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Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash with Fennel

One of my favorite seasonal vegetables to use in later summer and Fall is the beautiful acorn squash. My Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash is full of flavor and makes an impressive, attractive plate for family or guests. This dish just screams Fall harvest!

The Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe takes advantage of both squash and fennel from the garden or farmer’s market. Plus, both are incredibly good for you, bringing a variety of vitamins and minerals and even fiber to the dinner table.

Two sausage-stuffed acorn squash halves, on a wooden board with herbs around.

Why Make Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Not only is the dish tasty, but the presentation is also a wow factor and memory maker. This meal is a Fall tradition your family will remember and talk about for years!

If you like to have more than one dish at each meal, you can serve sausage stuffed acorn squash with a bright salad with vinaigrette for contrast, fresh tomatoes, or a nice crusty bread.

Unlike many of the recipes for stuffed acorn squash, this one does not include any brown sugar, bread crumbs, or parmesan. It’s a completely different take! As an added bonus, as long as you buy GF sausage, this recipe is gluten-free sausage stuffed acorn squash.

close up of baked squash.

How to Make Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

This squash meal begins with the gorgeous dark green squash. Of course, the inside is a buttery yellow. Microwave the squash to soften it just enough to make slicing easier. That’s the hardest part of any big squash dish! Once it’s sliced in half and the seeds are all scooped out, you’ll make baked acorn squash following the instructions on the recipe card below.

While it’s baking, you make the sausage filling in a skillet and then bring it all together. The sausage stuffed acorn squash recipe is not difficult, but baking the squash will take close to an hour so you’ll need to plan accordingly. Top with a frond or two from the fennel for a special touch.

Ingredients for Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • Acorn Squash. A lush green squash with a buttery yellow center perfect for baking, soups, or stews.
  • Butter. Real is good. Dairy-free will work.
  • Salt.
  • Black Pepper.

Ingredients for the Sausage Filling

  • Olive Oil. You need just enough oil to get the fennel started sauteeing while the sausage cooks up. You may still need to drain off the fat after cooking, depending on how much fat cooks out of the sausage.
  • Italian Sauage. Mild, ground sausage is perfect for this recipe.
  • Fennel. Diced.
  • Thyme. Fresh or Dried will both work.
  • Oregano. Fresh or Dried will both work.
  • Rosemary. Fresh or Dried will both work.
  • Garlic. Two fresh cloves.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.
fennel on a cutting board, ready to be chopped.

FAQ

What is the Easiest Way to Cut a Fennel Bulb?

Watch this quick video for the absolute easiest way to cut fennel for the sausage stuffed acorn squash.

Can I freeze sausage stuffed baked acorn squash?

I do not recommend freezing baked squash. It is already soft and tends to get mealy or change unpleasantly in texture when frozen. You can refrigerate leftovers and reheat them in the microwave for a few days if you’d like.

What other meat goes with acorn squash?

Ground beef or turkey will both work in place of sausage, but bring less flavor to the dish so you may need to up the seasoning. Chorizo is also fantastic and will have a slightly different flavor if you want to make this recipe twice and have it taste different each time.

What can I use instead of acorn squash?

Butternut squash is a great substitute for acorn squash. They are a similar consistency when baked, but the presentation won’t have as much contrast in color. Butternut squash is also about twice the size of a typical acorn squash so you won’t need as many.

You could also use the sausage filling on spaghetti squash. You can bake it in the exact same way, and then remove it in strands by twisting with a fork and serve it with the sausage on top. It won’t necessarily be sausage “stuffed” squash (although you can serve spaghetti squash in its skin if you prefer), but it will still be quite tasty.

How do I pick a good acorn squash at the grocery store or farmer’s market?

Choose acorn squash that is firm without any bruises or soft spots. Look for one with nice smooth skin. If you can hear stuff moving inside when you shake a squash or if it feels surprisingly light when you pick it up, it’s probably been on the shelf for too long. Choose two that are similar in size so that they will finish baking at the same time.

We love squash and eat a lot of acorn and butternut squash. I enjoyed this article on other squash varieties.

Recipes for Stuffed Acorn Squash

Close-up of sausage-stuffed acorn squash with fennel frond on top.

You can find all of our side dish recipes here!

Items we used

  • Loaf Pans – I like these loaf pans for baking squash because they’ll stay upright without spilling one drop of butter!
  • Vegetable Brush – I try and keep the peel/skin on my vegetables when I cook them. They contain vitamins and other nutrients. It’s important to get them clean and using a brush works well!

If you like this recipe, we would appreciate your comment and a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review!

3/4 angle view of one half of a baked acorn squash stuffed with sausage and fennel.
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5 from 12 votes

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash with Fennel

One of my favorite seasonal vegetables to use in later summer and Fall is the beautiful acorn squash. My Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash is full of flavor and makes an impressive, attractive plate for family or guests.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4 Servings
Author Julie Menghini

Ingredients

Squash

  • 2 Acorn Squash
  • 4 tsp butter divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Sausage Filling

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage ground/mild
  • 1/4 cup fennel diced
  • 1/2 tsp thyme fresh or dried
  • 1/2 tsp oregano fresh or dried
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary fresh or dried
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Garnishes – chopped fennel fronds

    Instructions

    Squash

    • Preheat the oven (or grill) to 400°F.
    • Wash the outside of the squash.
    • Microwave the whole acorn squash for 3 to 3-1/2 minutes.  Remove with hot pads or a towel.  Lay the squash on its side (not end) and slice the squash in half.  Scoop out the seeds using a spoon.  Put the squash in a baking dish lined with parchment paper. A loaf pan works well too.
    • Melt the butter and brush the cut halves of each acorn squash. Pour any remaining equally into the cavity of each squash.
    • Sprinkle the salt and pepper over each half of the squash.
    • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender.

    Sausage filling – Make while squash is baking

    • Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ground sausage and fennel. Cook until the sausage is completely cooked. Add garlic and cook just for another minute or two. If necessary, drain off any fat.
    • Stir in rosemary, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Cook until the spices are aromatic, just a minute or two.
    • Spoon the sausage filling into the cooked squash. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve.

    Notes

    Microwaving the squash for 3 minutes makes cutting it in half and scooping the insides out much easier.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1310mg | Potassium: 1073mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 941IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 3mg
    This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.
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    An acorn squash half stuffed with sausage and fennel.
    Recipe Rating




    Christie

    Sunday 17th of October 2021

    Oh my goodness! These look amazing. Perfect for a dinner or a side dish.

    Julie Menghini

    Tuesday 19th of October 2021

    Thank you, Christie! Perfect for this time of year.

    Amy Nash

    Thursday 23rd of September 2021

    Wow this savory filling is good! I don't use fennel enough and this recipe was a great reminder of how delicious it is!

    Julie Menghini

    Monday 27th of September 2021

    Thank you, Amy!

    Amy (Savory Moments)

    Thursday 16th of September 2021

    I love that you used fennel in these - what a great flavor to compliment these stuffed acorn squash.

    Julie Menghini

    Sunday 19th of September 2021

    Thank you, Amy! We love fennel and it's delicious in this recipe.

    Inger @ Art of Natural Liivng

    Wednesday 15th of September 2021

    Love an entree that includes a vegetable. I'd just add a salad and bread for dinner!

    Julie Menghini

    Sunday 19th of September 2021

    That's perfect in our opinion too! Thank you.

    Jolene

    Wednesday 15th of September 2021

    Looks delicious and I love the loaf pan tip!

    Julie Menghini

    Sunday 19th of September 2021

    Thank you, Jolene! The loaf pan works really well with Acorn Squash.