This dish is more than just a heart-healthy meal, it's also super tasty! The subtle sweetness of the apples married with spicy sausages and fresh sage make for an amazing combination that will have your guests asking "What did you do?"
Bite into this savory masterpiece to find out what makes such fine flavors come together so well at the first bite.
Pack it up for a picnic in the park.
Apple and Sausage-Stuffed Butternut Squash is the perfect dish for your Labor Day weekend barbecue. This recipe is easy to follow and can be made in advance, so you can spend more time enjoying the holiday with your family and friends. The butternut squash is stuffed with a savory sausage filling, then topped with a sweet apple. Serve this dish hot off the oven, or pack it up for a picnic in the park. Either way, your guests are sure to be impressed. So go ahead and give Apple and Sausage-Stuffed Butternut Squash a try this Labor Day weekend. You won't be disappointed.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 70-80 minutes
- Non-stick cooking spray
2 butternut squash, cut in half, seeds and pulp removed
3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
3-4 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and finely minced
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 1½ c. baby Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 lb. spicy bulk Italian sausage
- 2 T. fresh sage leaves, julienned
- 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into small chunks
2 t. ground cinnamon
- 4 oz. walnuts, chopped
- 3 T. cold butter, cut into small chunks
- 2 T. brown sugar (optional)
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Place the top oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Spray two 13 x 9” glass baking dishes with non-stick cooking spray. Place butternut squash halves in glass dishes, cut side up. Brush exposed edges lightly with olive oil.
- Place both dishes in preheated oven. Bake until soft enough to scoop out the interior with a spoon, approximately 45-50 minutes. (Actual baking time will vary depending on individual oven temperature, size of the squash, and how ripe it is).
- While the squash is baking, add the remaining olive oil, garlic, and onion to a large skillet set over medium heat. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to develop some color, approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they develop some color and start to release their liquid, approximately 4-5 minutes.
- Add the sausage to the skillet and cook until it is mostly brown, approximately 6-8 minutes. Break the sausage apart with a spatula or wooden spoon while it cooks.
- Add fresh sage, chopped apples, and cinnamon. Continue cooking over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until apples soften, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and drain excess liquid from the skillet, if necessary. Stir in chopped walnuts and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Stir to combine and set aside.
- When ready, remove the squash from the oven and cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
- Transfer the squash, one at a time, to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, trace a ½” inch border around the perimeter of each squash. Scoop out all of the squash inside the border and reserve the cooked flesh in a large bowl. Be careful not to puncture the exterior of the squash skin during this process. When finished, return each empty squash shell to a baking dish.
- Cut the cooked squash into bite-sized chunks and add to the apple-sausage mixture. Gently fold together until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Spoon apple-sausage mixture into empty squash shells and top each with chunks of butter, brown sugar, if using, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until filling is warmed through and nicely browned. Remove from oven and top with additional Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, if desired, before serving. Enjoy!
Apple and Sausage-Stuffed Butternut Squash is a popular dish during the fall season, and for good reason. The sweet apple and savory sausage pair perfectly with the rich and creamy butternut squash. Plus, it's a great way to use up any extra squash you may have from your labor day weekend trip to the farmers market. However, if you're looking for a substitute for one of the ingredients, there are a few things you can try. For the apple, you could use pear or cranberry. For the sausage, you could use ground beef or turkey. And for the butternut squash, you could use pumpkin or sweet potato. With a few simple substitutions, you can easily make Apple and Sausage-Stuffed Butternut Squash all year round.
For less heat, use ½ pound spicy and ½ pound mild Italian sausage. If you prefer a sweeter dish, add more brown sugar prior to baking.
Apple and Sausage-Stuffed Butternut Squash is a delicious and easy recipe that is perfect for the fall. The dish is made with butternut squash, apples, sausage, and a variety of other ingredients. It can be easily assembled ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to four to five days.
This makes it a great option for labor day weekend when you want to enjoy the holiday without spending all day in the kitchen.