Don’t you just love when food is the serving vessel? Hot Italian Sausage and Apple Stuffed Squash is the perfect example of food served in food.
As you may have guessed, I am a fall food lover. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the warm summer weather, and all the grilled foods. When it comes to cold weather, comfort food rocks.
The weather is getting colder, in fact some areas of Canada have had snow. PLEASE by all means, if that happens to be you, keep it! For me all I want to see are a few snowflakes on Christmas day, then back to spring temperatures. What a Canadian right? LOL I am a fair weathered girl and proud of it!
Since I don’t want to move to a warmer climate, getting through the winter months with bowls of comfort food goodness makes things a whole lot easier. Soups, stews, chilis, anything served in a bowl works for me. Helps me warm my hands up. Hot mugs of tea, coffee, lattes and hot chocolate work too.
Ok, some of you are probably thinking “enough with the pumpkin recipes already”. Is that you? Sorry, I had to get in at least one more before my mind switches to Christmas craziness and all the seasonal chaos.
Since I did not want all the little Halloween pumpkins to go to waste that my grandchildren had at their house, I decided to make good (and delicious) use of them. Pumpkin butter, pumpkin soup, and roasted pumpkin seeds took over my kitchen last Sunday.
Have you tried my Real Pumpkin Latte? Made with REAL pumpkin (not flavoured syrups), and hey, the money you save making this at home will buy a few extra Christmas presents. It is easier than you think, no fancy equipment necessary.
SQUASH IS SO VERSATILE
Do you know how many varieties of squash there are? From summer to fall, you can enjoy squash all year long. No wonder zoodles have become so popular. My Greek Zoodle Salad is a favourite here during grilling season. When squash is in season (especially during market time) feeding your family is VERY economical.
When it comes to fall and winter, there are endless recipes to incorporate the seasonal varieties, just like this Hot Italian Sausage and Apple Stuffed Squash. Simple to make, and the presentation is pretty cool too. You can feed a family of 6 with this budget friendly recipe.
For this recipe I used hot Italian sausage, but you can use whatever you like. Chicken, turkey, mild, sweet, maple, let your tastebuds lead the way.
Pick your favourite variety of squash, I used acorn (also known as peppercorn). Cut it in half and scoop out the insides. Place the squash cut side down on a foil or parchment lined baking sheet, and roast for about 30 minutes.
While that is baking away, get out a frying pan. Cut up your sausage (I removed the casing), and cook. Drain the excess fat, and place the cooked meat in a bowl.
Now, since I wanted to turn this into a “full meal deal”, I cooked some onion, carrots, apples, and threw in a can of chickpeas too. For some extra seasonal yum, I added maple flavoured balsamic to the mix. The flavour profile is sweet with a bit if heat! YUM!
Once the squash is cooked, place it on a serving platter, season with salt and pepper (I love smoked sea salt), STUFF it with your wonderful mixture, and dig in. Dinner is served. Did I mention you can have this on the table in about 30-40 minutes? Yup you can.
When it comes to food I always say: “Food doesn’t have to be complicated, BUT it does have to taste good”. This Hot Italian Sausage and Apple Stuffed Squash is EASY to make and DELICIOUS to eat. Experiment in the kitchen and create your own flavourful filling combination. ENJOY!!
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Hot Italian Sausage and Apple Stuffed Squash
- 3 acorn squash
- 1 pound sausage meat (your choice)
- 19 ounces chickpeas (1 can)
- 3 cups apples (peeled and diced)
- 1/2 cup onion (diced)
- 1 cup carrots (grated)
- 2 tsp maple balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper (to taste)
To Bake the Squash:
- Preheat oven to 400º F and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
- Cut squash in 1/2 lengthwise, and scoop out the insides.
- Place cut side down, and bake until done (approx. 30 minutes). Prepare filling while squash is baking.
To Make the Filling:
- Remove casing from sausage and cut into small pieces (you can even use a potato masher after you cut it up).
- Heat a non-stick frying pan to medium-high, add the meat and cook (for about 15 minutes).
- While this is cooking, peel and dice the apple, dice the onion, grate the carrot and rinse and drain the chickpeas.
- Once the meat is cooked, remove the pan from the heat. Place the meat into a bowl (discarding the excess fat).
- Place the pan back on medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the meat and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the apples and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the carrots and chickpeas and cook for 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, and the maple balsamic. Mix well, remove from heat.
- Remove squash from oven. Place on individual serving plates and season with salt and pepper.
- Stuff each 1/2 with the sausage and apple mixture.