Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash – Sweet acorn squash stuffed with spicy Italian sausage, quinoa, sweet dried cranberries and walnuts. A perfect fall dinner that can be even be made ahead of time!
My 10 year old has off school today. I have to say, I am actually kind of excited about it. It has been awhile since we have just spent the day together. I am trying to plan some of our favorite things to do together today. After he does his chores that is. I made the mistake of going into his room today. The boy has a list of chores waiting for him when he gets home tonight. I go in there every day, but for some reason today it was over the top a mess. Hopefully he will be motivated to get it done so we have a fun day together! Complete with his favorite Street Tacos for dinner.
Fall is all about squash. Everywhere you turn is a new squash recipe, including the roasted butternut squash I shared a couple weeks ago. But this quinoa and sausage stuffed acorn squash recipe has been on my to do list for years. I first saw the idea on a Cooking Light magazine years ago, and surprisingly enough my husband agreed it looked good. But for some reason I never got around to trying it, until now. And I am so glad I did because it was amazing!
The original recipe called for rice, but I mixed it up and used quinoa. It is full of spicy Italian sausage, crunchy walnuts, and sweet dried cranberries and then topped with cheese. Definitely a ton of fall flavors all come together in one bite. Plus, you can easily make these quinoa and sausage stuffed acorn squash ahead of time. I made the filling in the morning and then roasted the squash and stuffed them. When it was time for dinner I just warmed them in the oven for 30 minutes and topped with cheese. A great make ahead meal that is comforting and perfect for a chilly night.
- 2 acorn squash , halved
- 1 Tbls olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 12 oz Italian sausage
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drizzle olive oil over the inside of the halved squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes, or until just tender.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add Italian sausage and onions to the pan. Break apart sausage and cook for 6-8 minutes until browned. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
In a large bowl combine quinoa, sausage mixture, walnuts, dried cranberries, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Mix until well combined.
Spoon quinoa mixture into the cooked halves of squash. Top with Mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and bake until the cheese is melted.
To made ahead: Prepare recipe until you top with Mozzarella cheese. Cover and refrigerate. When ready, heat at 350 for 30 minutes or until heated through. Top with cheese to melt and serve.