Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pinenuts and Cherries

Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Allison Beck

Ingredients

  • acorn squash, sliced in half and seeds scooped out
  • 4 tablespoons  olive oil, for brushing, plus more for sautéing
  • 4 tablespoons  maple syrup, for brushing
  •   Salt, to taste
  • large yellow onions, finely diced
  • turkey sausage links, removed from casings
  • 1/3 cup  dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup  pinenuts, toasted

Squash can be intimidating. Ok, steam it and serve it as a purée, or peel, cube, and roast it until crispy in the corners, tender inside, and with a rich caramelized exterior. Delicious. But after a couple of times, it can get monotonous.

For someone gluten- and corn-free like me, finding healthy carbohydrates to satisfy my hankering can be a challenge. Stuffed acorn squash is one of my new favorite go-tos. Start with sausage, or for vegetarians, a base of brown rice. Supplement with sweeteners (honey or maple syrup) and spices as you wish, then add a variety of flavorings from cherries and pine nuts to something exotic, like pineapple, coconut, and chopped macadamia nuts. You can even try greens — kale, miso, and a garnish of scallion sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Trim off the bottom of each squash half so each sits flat. Brush with olive oil and maple syrup. Season with salt and bake for about 1 hour, or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the onions and turn the heat to medium high. Cook for about 10 minutes or until onions are golden and translucent. Season with a pinch of salt and add the turkey sausage. Cook about 10 minutes, or until the meat is cooked most of the way through. Add the cherries and remove from heat. Set aside.

Once the squash is tender, fill each with stuffing. Bake for about 10 minutes, until everything is warmed through. Garnish with pinenuts and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories per serving:

538 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:

27%

Servings:

4
  • Fat 115g 177%
  • Carbs 222g 74%
  • Saturated 17g 84%
  • Fiber 24g 95%
  • Trans 1g
  • Sugars 99g
  • Monounsaturated 57g
  • Polyunsaturated 30g
  • Protein 82g 164%
  • Cholesterol 257mg 86%
  • Sodium 2,079mg 87%
  • Calcium 518mg 52%
  • Magnesium 510mg 128%
  • Potassium 4,878mg 139%
  • Iron 14mg 78%
  • Zinc 16mg 110%
  • Phosphorus 1,282mg 183%
  • Vitamin A 204µg 23%
  • Vitamin C 138mg 230%
  • Thiamin (B1) 2mg 125%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 2mg 127%
  • Niacin (B3) 25mg 124%
  • Vitamin B6 3mg 164%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 242µg 61%
  • Vitamin B12 4µg 74%
  • Vitamin E 14mg 69%
  • Vitamin K 90µg 112%
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