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Oven Roasted Stuffed Acorn Squash



One of my very favorite dinners this season has been this oven roasted stuffed acorn squash.  It's so quick and easy to prepare and you get all the flavors of fall served up in it's own little serving cup!  I use Stove Top chicken stuffing mix in this recipe because I absolutely love the flavor and it makes it extra simple, but you can easily switch it out with your own favorite stuffing recipe!  I highly recommend ALL the add-in's though, because sausage, dried cranberries, pecans and apple make for a falltabulous meal.  (Yes, I just made up that word.)

The great thing about this recipe is that you can easily cater to the fussier palates in the house.  My boys don't love apples, so I split the stuffing in half before adding the apple so half of the squash have apples in the stuffing and half don't.

Ingredients:
  • 3 large acorn squash
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper
Filling:
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 6oz box Stovetop chicken stuffing mix
  • 1 lb ground sausage, (I use Jimmy Dean sausage.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 an apple, chopped (optional if you don't like apples)
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Wash and dry your acorn squash.  Carefully cut each squash in half and remove seeds.  (I use a grapefruit spoon with the slightly serrated edges to remove the seeds... it works perfectly.)  Cut a very small piece off of the skin side of the squash so it sits without rolling all over the place.  
  3. Place the squash cut side up on a sheet pan, brush the olive oil on all the visible flesh of each half of the squash, then season them all lightly with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes depending on how large they are, the bigger the longer!  
  5. While the squash is roasting, combine your melted butter, hot water and stuffing mix.  Stir well with a fork and set aside.  
  6. In a frying pan, brown your sausage well, (I like to cook it till it has crispy brown bits on it.) 
  7. Add the sausage, chopped pecans, dried cranberries, and chopped apple to the stuffing mix and stir together well with the fork.  
  8. When ready, remove the squash from the oven and place it on a cooling rack or other heat proof board.  Reduce the oven to 400.  
  9. Using a cup measure, carefully scoop just under a cup of the stuffing mixture in to each squash half.  (Remember it's hot!)  Return the squash to the oven and let bake for an additional 18-20 minutes.
  10. Remove the squash from the oven and serve!  (I like to garnish with pomegranate seeds but that is completely optional.)
Like to see pictures at different phases?  Here you go!


Cut in half and scoop out the seeds




Cut just a small piece off the bottom of each one so they don't wobble




Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roast!




Fill the roasted halves with stuffing and return to the oven for another 20 minutes!


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