Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quinoa and Sausage
All of my favorite produce for the Fall season comes together for this delicious weeknight meal. Move over pumpkin spice, when the pomegranates start to ripen on our tree, that’s when I really know Fall has arrived to Southern California.
Just so you know, this stuffed squash makes great leftovers too, so make the whole recipe and bring it to work the next day.
Makes about 4 stuffed butternut halves
2 butternut squashes (on the larger side)
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 TBS maple syrup, divided
1 medium white/yellow onion, thinly sliced about 1/8-1/4″ thick
1 lb hot Italian sausage, ground
1 green apple, granny smith or similar tartness, cut into 1/4″ cubes
1 cup quinoa, uncooked to start
Water or chicken broth for cooking the quinoa per package instructions.
5 oz feta cheese
2 TBS culinary sage, thinly sliced
Arils from 1 pomegranate *optional but absolutely adds to the flavor!
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 Degrees F.
Slice your butternut squashes in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. NOTE: reserve the seeds to roast for snacks like you would pumpkin seeds.
Rub olive oil over the flesh of all the halves. We use a basting brush to make this easier.
Rub maple syrup over the flesh of all halves, using 1/2 TBS per half. Again, we use a basting brush.
Sprinkle the halves with salt and pepper.
Place on a cookie sheet and roast until completely tender when pierced with a fork. Ours typically takes about 40 minutes. NOTE: during roasting I sometimes use my basting brush to redistribute the maple syrup that collects in the cavity to any areas that look drier.
While the squash is roasting, prepare 1 cup (uncooked) of quinoa according to the package instructions. We use chicken broth in place of water when cooking ours to give it more flavor.
Meanwhile, start prepping the rest of the filling.⇓
In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons olive oil and add your onion.
Sprinkle with some salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions have almost finished caramelizing (about 15 minutes).
When the onions are just about done, add the green apple and sage and cook until the apple is slightly tender.
Transfer to a plate to cool.
Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet. Cook your italian sausage until fully browned and cooked.
Let cool slightly (your squash is still roasting) and then transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain some of the fat.
Use your skillet to add all your stuffing ingredients together (quinoa, sausage, apple/onion mixture, feta cheese), but don’t turn on the heat. We don’t need to cook it at this point.
Taste your filling, and add salt and pepper to taste.
At this point, your squash should be done roasting and already out of the oven. If you would like to scoop out some of the flesh from the neck of the squash to make a larger hole for filling, do so at this time. You can either use that extra flesh for something else or add it to your filling.
Stuff your squash!
To finish, broil in the oven on high for about 5-7 minutes. This brings it all together, warms the cheese, and crusts the quinoa on top a little. So good and crunchy!
Serve with a generous scoop or sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. I gotta admit, at first I went light on the pomegranate seeds, but I kept coming back to scoop more on the plate. They pair so well with all the flavors!
A note on extra filling:
If you have any extra filling, simply scoop some filling on each plate for serving!
PS: Have you tried this recipe? Use my hashtag #FreckledCA on Instagram so I can see your results!