Monday, November 25, 2013

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash [Paleo and Gluten-Free]

I just asked my husband if I could put this on my "Picky Husband Approved" page and his response - "Oh yeah, big fan!" This is shocking to me since I'm not even sure he knows what an acorn squash is, but he ate this up real quick and went back for seconds and thirds. Besides the miraculous response from my non foodie husband, I'm also excited to share this recipe with you because it is the perfect fall side dish. It's excellent for breakfast and it would make an amazing gluten-free substitute for Thanksgiving day stuffing or dressing. Seriously, this is all your paleo, gluten-free side dish dreams come true. 

If you don't make this as a gluten-free Thanksgiving side dish, then I highly recommend you make it for the morning after Thanksgiving. This is one dish that brings together all the warm and delicious flavors of fall. It's healthy, it's filling, and it is delicious. Seriously, if Adam endorses it then you don't want to miss out. 

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 4 

1 acorn squash
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
garlic powder
1 lb quality pork breakfast sausage (I get mine from Sprouts)
6 fresh sage leaves - chopped
1/4 cup coarsely shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
1/4 cup roasted pepitas 
red pepper flakes to taste 
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 diced onion 

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half. Scoop out the seeds. A melon baller works well for this. Rub cut sides of squash with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place squash cut side down on a tin foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes until soft.

Meanwhile, dice onion. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add onion and saute for about 2 minutes. Crumble breakfast sausage and add to the pan. Add red pepper to taste. 

When sausage is pretty much cooked all the way through, add chopped sage and garlic. Cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off heat and add pepitas and parmesan (if using). 

Once squash is done roasting, place squash halves cut side up in a glass baking dish. Turn oven down to 350 degrees. Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out squash flesh (leaving enough to keep shells standing up) and add squash to pan with sausage. Mix well. Scoop sausage and squash mixture into the acorn squash shells. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm. 

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