Whole30 and Paleo Roasted Acorn Squash stuffed with a savory mixture of ground sausage, kale and mushrooms. I’ve included a video with step by step tips for how to cut and roast acorn squash. Once the squash is done, the meal comes together in about 10 minutes. This is a super delicious & fast weeknight dinner, and guess what? Kids love it!
It’s fall, y’all! Full disclosure, I’ve been living in the South for five years but I don’t feel comfortable saying the word “y’all.” With my New York accent, it comes out like “yawl.” I have 100% claimed it when I write, though. I’m a Southern girl at heart, I guess.
In any case, it’s officially fall, and I really love squash at this time of year, especially acorn squash. The flavor is so rich and sweet, not to mention they make the cutest little serving boats ever.
And now I’m so excited to share this recipe for Paleo and Whole30 Roasted and Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage, Kale & Mushrooms!
The really nice thing about acorn squash is there’s really no wrong way to cook them. You can bake them, cook them in the instant pot or slow cooker, heck, you can even microwave them!
My preferred method is roasting, because I love how it gets all caramelized on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside. It can be a little tricky, though, so here are some tips for how I like to do it:
How to Cook Roasted Acorn Squash in the Oven
Time needed: 1 hour.
Tips for Roasting Acorn Squash
- Microwave each squash alone for about 1 minute.
This softens it just enough to make it a little easier to cut. Even with the sharpest knives, squash are really hard.
- Make sure the squash is stable before you cut it. This is a LOT easier when you cut it on its side (NOT from stem to bottom).
People sometimes don’t like to do this, because it won’t sit flat to function as a bowl to stuff the squash with other yummy goodness. The solution: Cut it sideways, roast it, and once it’s cooked and cooled a bit, you can easily trim the bottoms of each half so it sits flat.
- Use a grapefruit spoon to scrape and remove the seeds.
The sharpened edges on the grapefruit spoon make this job like a thousand times easier.
- Score the flesh of the squash in a cross-hatch pattern before baking.
This allows you to easily remove bite-sized pieces with a fork easily once it’s cooked. If you don’t do this, you’ll be man-handling your squash come dinnertime.
- Drizzle the flesh with either:
Olive oil, salt and pepper (savory) OR melted ghee, maple syrup, and a touch of cinnamon (sweet). For this recipe, choose oil, salt and pepper.
- Lay on a parchment lined baking sheet, face up, and roast at 400 degrees for one hour.
If you have a particularly large or small squash, either add or subtract about 10 minutes and watch closely near the end of the cook time.
Okay, back to the recipe!
Okay, focus, Laura. Right now, I’m prepping to go out of town for Thanksgiving, so that means eating what’s left in the fridge and pantry, avoiding a trip to the grocery store at all costs. I had a few acorn squash to roast, so I did a quick search of what I had to see what I could use to make a meal.
Usually when I forage in my fridge, I almost always come out with eggs and make a frittata using whatever extra veggies I have on hand. That’s kind of what I love most about frittatas – you can whip up a delicious one in no time! Just check out my super simple Whole30 Chorizo and Potato Frittata recipe, or my Whole30 Sausage and Broccoli Frittata recipes.
Not this time. Don’t get me wrong, I love eggs, but I just was in the mood for something different!
Today I found an 8 oz. package of baby bella mushrooms, ground sausage, and half of a bunch of kale. And man, the stars just aligned on this one, because it was good. Like, really good.
I just love it when things work out so perfectly like that, don’t you? Honestly, I couldn’t have planned this stuffed acorn squash recipe better if I tried.
If your kids HATE mushrooms (mine do, too):
Here’s a tip for you: If your kids hate mushrooms, dice them up really small.. I mean REALLY small, and sauté them with ground sausage. The mushrooms take on the flavor of the sausage.
Most importantly, the texture ends up really similar! I suspect texture is the biggest culprit for why my kids won’t eat mushrooms, so this is super important!
When I made this, my five year old was spooning the sausage mixture into his mouth, barely swallowing before shoving more in. And as much as his table manners are lacking, I love to see him enjoying the food I make (especially when I sneak him extra veggies, muah ha ha).
One of the other meals my kids love? Orange Sesame Chicken and Broccoli (Whole30). Check it out!
Simple Dinners = The Best Dinners
Well, this meal is made of literally five ingredients (besides the oil, salt and pepper, I mean). Does it get any easier than that? And hello, it’s unbelievably flavorful and filling.
It’s just one of those meals that can warm you up when you come in from the cold, nose and cheeks still rosy. And once the acorn squash are roasted (which you can do in advance, by the way), the whole meal comes together in about 10 minutes.
My family gobbled this up! My husband just kept repeating, “This is SO good.” And that makes me feel good.
Hope you enjoy this Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage, Kale & Mushrooms as much as we did!
Pin it to your Whole30 & Paleo Dinner Boards:
Looking for more healthy family-friendly dinner options? Check out some of these:
- Pesto & Chicken Spaghetti Squash Bake (Gluten Free, Low Carb)
- Chicken & Bacon Caesar Salad (Whole30)
- Classic Pot Roast (Instant Pot/Slow Cooker, Whole30)
- Sausage and Tortellini Soup
- Instant Pot Pineapple Pork Chops (Whole30)
If you like this recipe, please leave a star rating below!
And if you make it, I’d love to see! Tag me on Instagram or Facebook @cookathomemom!
Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage, Sautéed Kale & Mushrooms (Whole30)
Roasted Acorn Squash
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Sausage & Sautéed Mushrooms & Kale
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms
- 2 cups kale chopped with large stems removed
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
Roast the Acorn Squash
- Preheat oven to 400. Cut the acorn squash in half and remove seeds (see HOW TO COOK ACORN SQUASH for tips above).
- Lay each squash half on a parchment lined baking sheet, face up, and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for one hour, until the squash begin to caramelize and you can easily slide a knife through the squash. *If your squash are large or small, either add or subtract about 10 minutes and watch closely toward the end of cook time.
Cook the Sausage with Sautéed Mushrooms & Kale
- While the squash cooks, brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes, breaking apart as it cooks. Spoon the sausage into a bowl and set aside. Don't wipe out the pan.
- Add the mushrooms to the skillet and sauté in the sausage grease, stirring occasionally, until browned. Stir in the kale and sautée together, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and sprinkle in fresh thyme.
Assemble and Serve
- Spoon the sausage mixture into the squash halves and serve!