Two acorn squash stuffed with a quinoa and sauasage stuffing baked and topped with cheese

Quinoa & Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Squash is one of my favorite Fall and Winter vegetables. Winter squash come in so many different varieties, shapes and sizes, and are ideal for storing in the cellar over winter as their tough skin, (or rind) helps protect it over longer periods of time. They provide a consistent yet varied and healthy addition to any home cooked meal during a time of year where not to many vegetables are ‘in season’. From soups, casseroles, and even pasta dishes (have you had spaghetti squash noodles!?), there are just so many options to creating tasty squash dishes. These quinoa and sausage stuffed acorn squash are perfect as a meal on their own, or served alongside other items at a big family meal or potluck.

Two acorn squash stuffed with a quinoa and sauasage stuffing baked and topped with cheese

This post contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated if a purchase is made through the links provided. For more information please read my affiliate disclosure.

Wait…Whats The Difference Between Winter & Summer Squash?

Before we get to the recipe, you should understand the difference between winter and summer squash and why some types of squash are better suited to certain recipes then others.

  • Winter squash are squash varieties which are purposely grown to their mature stage, where the seeds have fully developed, and the rind has hardened and become super tough. Pumpkins are a great example of an edible winter squash as well as Butternut Squash, Spaghetti Squash, and Acorn Squash. The flesh is usually quite tough (when raw) in comparison to summer squash, and this lets it hold up better to long cooking times and high temperatures. Winter squash are ideal for roasting, making soup, or as this stuffed acorn squash recipe shows, ideal for stuffing!
  • Summer Squash on the other hand include Green Zucchini, Straight Neck Squash, and Patty Pans. These varieties of squash are harvested while they are still young, and their skin is still soft and tender. The seeds have usually barely started to form, and the flesh is tender and sweet. Summer squash are great chopped raw in salads, used is soups, and sauteed in stir fry’s.
Acorn squash are the prefect size for these individual Quinoa & Sausage stuffed entrees!Click To Tweet

three acorn squash bunched together on a wooden table

Acorn squash are not very large, and this makes them the perfect size to create these individual sized stuffed squash entrees! One stuffed squash, (two half’s) is easily enough to satisfy one person. Other varieties would be too large for one person to eat by themselves!

Why You Should Roast Your Squash Before Stuffing It

Whenever you are making a stuffed squash (regardless of type used) you should always roast the squash first. The main reason for this is that it ‘par cooks’ the squash flesh, ensuring that after stuffing the squash and baking it, the whole thing is actually tender and cooked through. If you where to simply cut the squash and scoop out the seeds, then stuff and bake it, you run a very high risk of the squash itself not being cooked all the way. Then you have to deal with complaints from guests/ family/ whoever you are serving this recipe to.

cleaned acorn squash halves on a sheet pan ready to be roasted.

The great thing about this is, that you can easily roast the squash the day before, and then prepare the filling, stuff the squash and bake the dish the day you want to serve it. This makes the recipe not as long winded, and creates the possibility of making this a weekday supper! Simply cut and clean the squash after supper on say Monday night, pop it in the oven to roast for half and hour and go watch an episode of your favorite show. Let them cool in the fridge over night, and then Tuesday after school or work, simply prepare the filling, stuff the pre-roasted squash half’s, and voila! You have an impressive, healthy meal in 40 minutes!

 Did you know you can substitute Acorn Squash for Butternut in this Curried Butternut Squash Soup? – Chef Markus

“So How Do I Roast This Acorn Squash”, You May Be Asking?

Simple! (And this applies to most any winter squash.)

  1. Trim the top and bottom of the squash. (Watch you fingers! Squash is hard when raw so make sure you use a sharp knife to avoid it slipping on the tough rind!)
  2. Cut the squash in half.
  3. Use a spoon or other utensil to scoop out the seeds!( Save them and make super tasty roasted squash seeds! A delicious and healthy snack!
  4. Brush the hollowed out squash with clarified butter or oil, and season liberally.
  5. Roast HOLLOW SIDE DOWN on a parchment lined sheet pan for 30 minutes at 400F.

Someone scooping out the seeds of a halved acorn squash

Preparing The Quinoa & Sausage Stuffing

If you decided to roast the squash ahead of time: smart move!! Other wise prepare the stuffing for these quinoa and sausage stuffed acorn squash as the squash is roasting.

To stuff four acorn squash you’ll need:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 small onion – cut in a small dice or brunoise
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 green zucchini – small diced
  • 1 red bell pepper cored and diced
  • 3 pre-cooked sausages (I used a mild Italian sausage, but any kind will do. A great way to use up leftovers!)
  • Parsley
  • 1/2 cups Crumbled Feta
  • salt
  • pepper
Related:  German Caramelized Onion Tart - Zwiebel Kuchen

If you’ve never cooked quinoa before, don’t worry Sharon over at The Honour System has got you covered with some super simple instructions. You can cook quinoa on the stove top the old fashioned way or if you are so inclined, you can cook the quinoa in an Instant Pot if you have one!

Diced sausage, zucchini, and red bell pepper being sauteed in a pan.

Cook the quinoa and then dice all the vegetables and sausage. Take a large pan, and with a bit of oil or clarified butter, sautee the sausage over high heat until it starts to brown a little. Add the vegetables to it, and keep the heat high to caramelize the veg a little. Be careful not to burn it! Toss in the garlic, and give the pan a few shakes to evenly distribute everything. (You can also use a spoon to stir everything together).

Turn of the heat, and mix in the cooked quinoa. Taste the mixture, and make sure it is properly seasoned. Otherwise adjust it with some salt and pepper. You can also toss in the chopped parsley  and crumbled feta at this point.

A quinoa and sausage stuffing being mixed in a large frying pan

Arrange as many squash as you are planning to serve, on a parchment or silpat lined sheet pan, (Silapt is an awesome non-stick, re-usable version of the old school parchment paper!), and stuff the hollowed out cavity with the quinoa and sausage stuffing. Don’t worry if you have some filling left over, it makes a great addition to wraps, or you can make more stuffed acorn squash tomorrow night!



Top it off with a bit more feta and bake the quinoa and sausage stuffed acorn squash in a pre-heated oven at 400F for 20-30 minutes. Now wasn’t that easy!?

Granted this recipe does have a few steps, but they really are not to complicated if you cook at home on a regular basis. If this is the very first time you decide to cook from scratch, give yourself an extra half hour or so to allow for pre-ping the filling, just don’t stress over it and enjoy the process knowing you’re going to have one tasty supper when it’s all done!

two baked acorn squash halves topped with feta, ready to be eaten.

Tried the recipe? Rate the Recipe below, and take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

These quinoa and sausage stuffed acorn squash are a flavor packed and healthy 'all in one' meal. Perfect on their own or served at a family gathering or potluck.

Course Entree
Cuisine Canadian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 portions
Calories 655 kcal
Author Chef Markus Mueller

Ingredients

  • 4 Acorn Squash Cored and roasted

Quinoa & Sausage Filling

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 small onion - cut in a small dice or brunoise
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 green zucchini small diced
  • 1 red bell pepper cored and diced
  • 3 pre-cooked sausages I used a mild Italian sausage, but any kind will do. A great way to use up leftovers!
  • Parsley
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

Roasting The Acorn Squash

  1. Trim the top and bottoms of the Acorn Squash. Cut the squash in half.

  2. Scoop out the seeds, and save if planning on roasting for a tasty snack! (see post for more details)

  3. Brush the hollowed out squash halves with oil or clarified butter. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

  4. Roast hollow side down in a pre-heated oven at 400F for 30 minutes or until tender. Cool and set aside.

Quinoa and Sausage Filling

  1. Cook the quinoa as per your favorite method. (see post for more details)

  2. Dice the sausage , vegetables, and mince the garlic.

  3. In a hot pan with oil, saute the sausage until it starts to slightly brown About 5 minutes. Add in the rest of the vegetables and continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Toss in the garlic, and season the filling with salt, pepper, and parsley.

  5. Crumble in the feta cheese.

Assemble & Bake the Stuffed Acorn Squash.

  1. Stuff the prepared quinoa and sausage filling into the roasted squash halves. Top the stuffed acorn squash with more feta.

  2. Bake the quinoa and sausage stuffed acorn squash for 20 to 30 minutes in the 400F oven or until the cheese starts to slightly brown.

  3. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

The calories are calculated per serving. 1 Serving equals 2 stuffed squash halves.

This post contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated if a purchase is made through the links provided. For more information please read my affiliate disclosure.


© 2018, Markus Mueller | Earth, Food, and Fire. All rights reserved. Please contact Earth, Food, and Fire, if you wish to use any media or other content contained on this site.

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These quinoa and sausage stuffed acorn squash are a flavor packed and healthy 'all in one' meal. Perfect on their own or served at a family gathering or potluck. #acornsquash #stuffed #glutenfree #quinoa

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