Roasted Acorn Squash stuffed with a savory mixture of ground sausage, kale and mushrooms. Once the squash is done, the entire Whole30 and Paleo compliant meal comes together in about 10 minutes! This is a super delicious & fast weeknight dinner, and guess what? Even kids love it!
About the Recipe
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 (check out my acorn squash with maple almond drizzle recipe!), and today, it’s the star of the show!
The acorn squash halves are roasted to tender perfection, then stuffed with a savory mix of ground sausage, mushrooms, and kale. It’s made with just a handful of seasonal ingredients, plus it’s super easy to make!
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.
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.
Here’s what you need to make this crowd-pleasing dish at home!
- Acorn squash
- Baby bella mushrooms
- Ground sausage. I like using sweet or mild Italian sausage, but any kind you enjoy will work great.
- Fresh kale
- Fresh thyme
- Olive oil, salt and pepper
Making the Dish
Trust me, this recipe is super simple and incredibly forgiving, but there are some tips to help you get it exactly right. Here’s how to make it, step by step.
Oven Roasted Acorn Squash
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 air fry acorn squash!
For this recipe, I roasted them, 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:
- 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°F 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.
Sautéed Vegetables and Sausage
While the squash is cooking, we’ll get to work prepping the goodness that goes inside! Cut the kale into bite-sized pieces, and dice the mushrooms.
If your kids (or anyone in the house) HATES mushrooms, dice them up really small. I mean REALLY small. The mushrooms will 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!
Grab a large skillet and brown the sausage over medium heat, breaking it apart while it cooks. Toss in the mushrooms and kale, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet.
Once the sausage is cooked through, the mushrooms are tender, and the kale is cooked down a bit, it’s ready to assemble! Stuff each acorn squash half with the mixture, season to taste, and dig in!
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).
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 Tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Sausage & Sautéed Mushrooms & Kale
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
- 2 cups kale chopped with large stems removed
- 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
Roast the Acorn Squash
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the acorn squash in half and scrape out and remove the seeds.
- Lay each squash half on a parchment lined baking sheet, face up, and drizzle the flesh 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!