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.
Adapted from Cooking Light
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.