When I read the Stuffed Winter Squash recipe in The Homemade Kitchen I immediately flagged it. I knew I had sausage in the freezer, acorn squash in the pantry, and access to my neighbor’s garden overflowing with chard. Bingo!
In the original recipe, Alana Chernila adds millet or quinoa, and uses cheddar cheese. She also makes her own apple sausage by adding leeks and apples to the browning sausage. But many markets (like Sprouts and Whole Foods) have done the apple and leek part for you and sell some version of apple sausage like the kind I had frozen and stashed away. Baked squash reminded me of my favorite winter side dish: Martha’s Creamy Baked Acorn Squash – such a simple recipe, but SO delicious and special.
So I shortcut-ted Chernila’s recipe and mashed it up with Martha’s to create our own LLP Sausage and Chard Stuffed Acorn Squash. You could use other types of sausage, and other types of greens. You could add a grain, or substitute grains for meat to make it vegetarian. AND if you omit the dairy, it could be a fantastically paleo dinner option as well!
OK – no more dragging it out! Here’s my new Best Autumn Recipe EVER:
- 1-2 Acorn Squash, halved, seeds removed*
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 links of Apple and Leek type Pork or Chicken Sausage
- 2 cloves Garlic, smashed, sliced, or chopped
- 2 big handfuls of Chard, cut into ribbons
- 2-4 T Cream
- 4 T grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- *Cut the squash in half more or less, depending on your appetite. 2 people could share 1 squash, or you could remove just 1/3 of the squash so that each person gets a more generous portion (I peeled and blitzed the leftover thirds in my food processor to use in place of carrots in a carrot quick bread, or Bon Appetit has a really great Ginger-Squash Cake you could use the remaining squash in).
- Rub the squash halves with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper.
- Place them cut-side down in a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until tender.
- Meanwhile, remove sausage from its casing and brown in a large pan. Add the garlic as well.
- After about 5 minutes, pile your chard ribbons on top of the sausage to start steaming.
- Once the chard is wilted, stir it into the sausage. You might want to add a few tablespoons of water to get any tasty brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Turn off the heat and set this mixture aside until the squash are cooked (Alternately, you could cook the sausage and chard during the last 10 minutes of the squash's bake-time).
- Once squash are tender, remove from oven.
- Turn oven temp up to 425°.
- Flip squash over, pour 1-2 teaspoons of cream in the bottom of the well then stuff tightly with the sausage chard mixture.
- Pour the remaining 1+ tablespoon of cream carefully and slowly over the sausage/chard so that it fills the crevasses.
- Top with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes more.
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