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Stuffed Acorn Squash with sausage and two rices recipe


Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote that there was a "distinct nip in the air and a slight crunch to the grass. Fall was creeping in on little cat feet."

Um yeah, whatever. What a difference a fortnight makes.

Can you say 129 mph winds, boys and girls? How about 3 inches of rain in six hours? I knew you could.

Seriously, in the last few weeks, we have gone from start of fall to first time they used the word hurricane to describe a northwest storm. The main interstate between Seattle and Portland is closed, probably for days,  (But remember, global climate change is a myth.)

Along with the overnight shift in seasons comes a shift in menus. Grills have been stored for the winter while tomatoes and basil have given way to winter squash and sage. Mmmmm! I love fall! It is all about warm comfort food around my house.

The other night I decided it was time for one of my essential fall comfort recipes: stuffed squash. My grandmother used to stuff squash with all sorts of yummy things, never using a recipe, just working with whatever was on hand. Improvisational cooking has always been one of my favored ways to approach a meal so this was easy but I wanted to add an extra dimension: how local could the dish be?

squash with sausage and two rices

Seriously, one of my major challenges with the move to theOtherCity has been sourcing food ingredients locally. My timing, frankly, sucks.

I arrived just in time for the final Farmer's Market of the season and the local farms have a very limited selection of vegetables available. The squash, however, has been excellent, which is a good thing since winter squash is an extremely versatile vegetable and very nutritious. (By the way, Kate at Accidental Hedonist was kind enough to provide a rundown of the varieties of winter squash in case you aren't familiar with the range of available choices.)

In this case, the squash was grown at the cider mill just up the road, friends of mine made the wonderful Italian sausage (you usually have to stay at their bed and breakfast to taste this stuff and, even then, it's well worth it!), the onion came from the last day of the farmer's market, the sage is from my garden, and the garlic came from other friends with a bed and breakfast. (may I digress? All other things being equal, I recommend friends with B&Bs. Really. That is all.) The rice? Well, let's just say that skews my average food miles a LOT.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with sausage and two rices

serves two

Acorn squash 1

Italian sausage 1/2 pound

Onion 1/2 medium

Wild rice, raw  1/3 cup

Basamati rice, cooked ~3/4 cup

Sage,minced/crushed   a few leaves, 1/2 tsp or so (preferably fresh)acorn squash halves

Garlic, crushed  1-2 cloves (not heads, cloves!)

Pecans, chopped  Small handful


As I said, this was improvised. When I made this, I had leftover basamati rice so I used it along with the wild rice. You can use other cooked grains or just wild rice or just brown rice or pretty much whatever makes you happy. Just make sure it is cooked before you add it to the meat mixture.

Prepare squash

Cut squash in half from tip to stem. scooping out the squash seeds

Run a spoon around the center of the squash and scoop out the seeds. (You can either discard the seeds and stringy.goop or make toasted seeds by rinsing off the goop, spreading the seeds on a cookie sheet and lightly toasting them in a 350° oven. Salt and store in an, who am I kidding, just munch them!)

Place squash cut side down in pan with a little water, poke a few holes in each half and bake @ 350 for ~20 min. They should be partially baked, a fork should slide in easily at first and then meet resistance.squash ready to bake


Cook wild rice by bringing ~2 cups of water (or chicken stock) to a boil and adding 1/3 cup of wild rice. Turn down and simmer until tender (~50 min). Turn off burner, uncover the rice and fluff it with a fork. If there is excess liquid, drain it off.

Crumble the sausage into a frying pan and cook on medium heat until it is looking all browned and lovely and smells so good you have to snitch some. Toss the chopped onion in with the meat and cook for a few more minutes, until the onions are translucent. Remove the pan from the heat, drain off any obvious fat and let the meat cool for a few minutes.

sausage and two rice fillingAdd rice, sage, garlic, and pecans to meat and stir well to combine. Fill the squash with the sausage mixture, heaping it up a bit. (I ended up with extra which I baked in a small cast iron pan alongside the squash.)

Filling and baking

Pop the squash back in the oven (still @350) for another 30 minutes or so to heat through.

Fortunately, there is arugula in the garden still so we added a salad and some homemade rolls and had a lovely fall dinner.

Here are a few other tasty sounding dishes that food bloggers are cooking up with squash:

How about you? What are you making with squash this fall?

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