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Turkey Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Finding healthy recipes the family will eat is a challenge. This elegant squash is one we love, and it works with pork, turkey and chicken sausage. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 50 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 4 medium acorn squash (about 1-1/2 pounds each)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 pound Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 400°. Cut squash lengthwise in half; remove and discard seeds. Using a sharp knife, cut a thin slice from bottom of each half to allow them to lie flat. Place squash in a shallow roasting pan, hollow side down; add 1/4 in. of hot water and halved tomatoes. Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage, mushrooms, apple, onion and dried seasonings over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink, breaking up sausage into crumbles; drain. Add spinach, thyme, salt and pepper; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Carefully remove squash from roasting pan. Drain cooking liquid, reserving tomatoes. Return squash to pan, hollow side up.
  • Stir cheese, vinegar and reserved tomatoes into sausage mixture. Spoon into squash cavities. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through and squash is easily pierced with a fork.
Nutrition Facts
1 stuffed squash half: 302 calories, 10g fat (5g saturated fat), 43mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 7g fiber), 15g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 2 medium-fat meat.

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Average Rating:
  • Jennifer
    May 11, 2020

    Was better than I imagined! So good and satisfying. I loved having something low in calories but that just hit the spot. I can’t wait to eat left overs tomorrow.

  • Lisa
    Dec 27, 2019

    Made as directed and it was good. Not a family favorite. I gave it a four star on account of its flavor for being low calorie and tasty. It's a lot of food and if the whole family isn't dieting it's a lot of leftovers.

  • billstouffer
    Oct 3, 2018

    No comment left

  • Tracy
    Sep 20, 2017

    Hubby loved it. Kids not so much but only because they were thrown off by serving in the squash bowl.

  • DonnaG201
    Sep 7, 2017

    can this be frozen to serve another day?

  • lovetocook0920
    Nov 3, 2014

    My whole family (even the kids) really enjoyed this! I didn't change a thing.

  • keverwann
    Oct 12, 2014

    This tasted good, but the kids didn't touch it ("ewww, stuffed squash!"). Left out the caraway, thyme, salt, pepper, and vinegar. Subbed in 1 pint diced canned tomatoes, 4oz can of mushrooms, 1/2 pound Italian sausage, shredded kale, and shredded mozzarella. Made the filling and baked the squash halves before church, combined and cooked after church; this worked out nicely.

  • Lisa Friesen
    Oct 12, 2014

    I used 1/2 spicy hot sausage and 1/2 hamburger , Monterrey jack cheese and added some canned Bertolli marinara sauce over the filling. I used less mushrooms. Will make again for myself (family not impressed). Very versatile!

  • jbruner147
    Oct 7, 2014

    A little bit of extra prep time with this recipe, but it is worth it. Absolutely delicious.

  • partnersincooking
    Sep 28, 2014

    This is the most incredible recipe. We try new recipes nearly every week and at this point it is very difficult to make my top 10 list; however; this recipe made it! I have never found another recipe with such an intriguing yet well thought out combination of herbs. You have never had another dish that tastes like this one. It is amazing! Also, we followed the recipe exactly as written. Note: you really do need to add the red wine vinegar. Melissa Birdsong, you are an amazing cook to develop such a unique recipe.