Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

If you could use a single picture to encapsulate the word "nourishing," it may well be a picture of this stuffed acorn squash. Just think about it for a second: It features kale, fiber-loaded squash and wild rice, hearty Italian sausage, dried fruit, and a delightful blend of onion and spices to balance it all out. Now go ahead and take a bite of this veritable all-in-one meal, and you'll see that it can pretty much sum up "nourishing" in taste, too.

And while you could serve this as a fancy side, it really does an entire meal make. Chef, recipe developer, and registered dietician Kristen Carli says, "I love to eat this dish because it is complete on its own. No extra dishes to wash up." She also touts the health angle, adding: "Acorn squash is a great starchy vegetable to use during winter months. One cup provides almost half your fiber content for the day, and it also has a lot of vitamin C and potassium."

If you can find an acorn squash in other seasons, no reason to relegate this dish to the colder months: It would be as welcome at a summer BBQ as it would on the table during those long wintry nights. Or any other time, of course!

Gather your ingredients for this stuffed acorn squash

This recipe calls for acorn squash, olive oil, salt, pepper, wild rice, vegetable broth, diced yellow onion, ground mild Italian sausage, kale with the stems removed and leaves chopped, dried cherries, and raisins.

Now, don't be discouraged if acorn squash is not in season or available near you at the time: You can substitute in another similar veggie, or frankly, you can follow the rest of the recipe and make a great meal (or very fancy side) just by following the other steps. Maybe just use a bit more rice a bit to add more starchy goodness in the absence of squash.

Roast the squash and cook the rice

The first two steps of this recipe are basically hands-off after the initial prep and take the same amount of time, so tackle them and then get to prepping all of your other ingredients.

Start by preheating the oven to 400 F, then slice each acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds. Now place the halves face-up (scooped-out side up, that is, to be clear) on foil-wrapped baking sheets, and then bake them for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add rice and vegetable broth. Bring the liquid to a boil, and then immediately lower it to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook the rice for 45 minutes until it is tender.

Cook the onions, sausage, and kale

Once the squash and rice are a bit past the halfway point in their cooking, it's time to get going on the rest of the dish. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and onion and sauté until the onion turns translucent, which takes about five minutes. Then add the salt, pepper, and sausage, and break it up with a wooden spoon, cooking until the meat is no longer pink.

Finally for this step, add the de-stemmed and chopped kale on top of sausage and cover the pan with a lid. Let things cook on low for a few minutes until the kale is bright green and slightly wilted. Now stir to combine everything and remove the pan from the heat.

Mix your filling and then load the acorn squash halves

Now is the time to cut the heat under the rice and get the acorn squash out of the oven

Transfer the onion, kale, and sausage mixture from the skillet into a large bowl and then sprinkle in the raisins and dried cherries. Stir to combine everything well, and once the rice is cooked, add it to the mixture and stir to combine everything.

Now scoop the mixture into each halved acorn squash, loading them evenly, and don't worry if you have extra left over, as it can be enjoyed out of a bowl or on a plate just fine. And remember, you may well find yourself preparing the "filling" as its own side or main course even when no acorn squash are available.

Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe
5 from 44 ratings
This stuffed acorn squash features kale, wild rice, hearty Italian sausage, dried fruit, and a delightful blend of onion and spices.
Prep Time
Cook Time
plate of stuffed acorn squash
Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • 4 acorn squash
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage, ground
  • 3 cups kale leaves, stems removed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dried cherries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice each acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds, and place on foil-wrapped baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, add rice and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cover and cook for 45 minutes until rice is tender.
  4. As squash and rice cook, put a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and onion, and sauté until onion is translucent.
  5. Add salt, pepper, and sausage, and break up with a wooden spoon, then cook until meat is no longer pink.
  6. Add chopped kale on top of sausage and cover with a lid, then cook on low for a few minutes until kale is bright green and slightly wilted. Stir to combine.
  7. Remove kale and sausage mixture from heat and sprinkle with raisins and cherries, then stir to combine.
  8. Once rice is cooked, add to mixture and stir to combine.
  9. Scoop mixture into each acorn squash half, then serve.
Calories per Serving 395
Total Fat 20.0 g
Saturated Fat 6.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 43.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 43.9 g
Dietary Fiber 5.2 g
Total Sugars 4.4 g
Sodium 734.5 mg
Protein 13.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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