Fall is here and squash is everywhere. This roasted delicata squash with sausage stuffing is total comfort food. So delish!
- 4 small to medium delicata squash
- Olive oil
- 1 pound of ground mild Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil to cook sausage
- 1 cup finely diced onions (about 1/2 a med-to-large onion)
- 1 cup finely diced celery (2-4 stalks, depending on size)
- 4 cups cubed bread (I used French bread)
- 1 cup peeled and diced apple (1 large apple - I used Gala)
- 2-3 tablespoons butter for cooking onions
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (for the onion mixture)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper (for the onion mixture)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- Extra butter to put on top of squash before cooking
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (during assembly of stuffing)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans
- For the ground Italian sausage, put the meat in a pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil. If you can’t find packaged ground sausage, just remove the casings from 6 Italian sausage links.
- Finely dice the onion.
- Finely dice the celery. I cut mine into long sticks then diced them down from there.
- Cut the bread into cubes. My video shows this process well. I used French bread. I bought a full loaf and needed almost half to get the four cups of bread cubes. Put the bread cubes on a small tray and heat in your toaster oven or regular oven at 375 degrees for about 10-15 minutes until they just start to brown a little.
- Cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise. This was a little tricky. I dug my knife into the squash, then carefully beared down to get through the squash.
- Once the squash is cut in half, remove all the seeds with a spoon. Transfer to a sheet pan and brush the meat-side of the squash with olive oil. Place the squash meat-side down. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes – just until they are slightly tender. You can check with a sharp knife. Cook longer if your squash are bigger.
- If you are using the optional parsley garnish you should chop that finely now.
- Peel and dice the apple – smaller pieces work well here, but doesn’t need to be finely diced. I cut the apples last because I didn’t want them sitting out too long after being cut.
- Start cooking the sausage on medium heat and break apart the meat so it is crumbly. You’ll probably need to do this throughout the cooking process. The sausage should be cooked through in about 5-8 minutes.
- In another pan melt the butter on medium heat, then add the onions, celery and apple. Season with salt and pepper. Give a stir until everything is well combined. Turn to low-medium heat and stir a few more times until everything is starting to get soft. Should take 5-8 minutes – same as the sausage.
- If you are using the toasted pecans, put them in a pan on low heat and let them toast for about 5 minutes, turning a few times to make sure they don’t burn. Let them cool before using.
- Let the sausage and the onion mixture cool a few minutes before assembling stuffing.
- Put the toasted (and cooled) bread cubes in a large mixing bowl and pour chicken broth on top of them to saturate. I pressed gently with a spatula to ensure they had been well coated and saturated.
- Add the salt, onion mixture, sausage and dried thyme on top of the bread cubes. I used my hands to gently mix all ingredients together. I lightly squeezed the mixture here. If you want to make sure you have visible bread cubes in the finished product, squeeze gently and with purpose.
- Once you have removed the squash from the oven and let it cool a few minutes, you can start stuffing them. Grab a generous handful of the mix and add it to the top of the squash. My video shows this well. Try to fit as much stuffing as you can in each squash.
- It’s optional, but I add thin-sliced butter pats to the top of the squash before baking in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. You can put under the broiler for a couple of minutes at the end if you want it crunchy on top. Be careful not to burn.
- While the squash is cooking, I covered my toasted pecans with plastic and pounded them down a little to add as a topping.
- I served the squash on a platter garnished with the toasted pecans and parsley. You could also make a salad to accompany this.
- You could use ciabatta bread cubes for the stuffing.
- When I tested this recipe, I cooked the squash on parchment paper. I’m not sure I would recommend this. The squash got really, really brown (almost burnt).