Apple Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash

Apple sausage stuffed butternut squash is all sorts of deliciousness in one easy recipe. The squash is creamy and soft, while the filling is hearty, flavorful, and naturally gluten-free. You’re gonna love this healthy seasonal recipe.

Butternut squash filled with sausage apples and other ingredients in a baking dish.

The leaves are falling and the air is getting crisper, which means it’s time to whip out the warm and cozy recipes. As for me, it’s my cue to discover and test new squash recipes for you guys. So, if winter squashes are your jam, I’ve got a very special treat for you today.

Say hello to my stuffed butternut squash recipe! Roasted butternut squash halves are filled with Italian sausage, apple, spinach, cranberries, herbs, and baked to perfection. Yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds and might just be one of my new favorite squash recipes to date.

Serve it as a main course for a weeknight meal or place it on your Thanksgiving menu alongside other delicious side dishes.

Stuffed butternut squash fresh out of the oven.

How To Roast Butternut Squash

If you’ve watched my previous video on how to perfectly roast butternut squash, you’ll take those same steps to begin the roasting process. But if you haven’t, here’s a quick run through on how to cut butternut squash, then roast it.

  1. Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise. You can cut the ends off and microwave it for 2 minutes beforehand to make it easier to cut.
  2. Scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Don’t forget to save the seeds if you’d like to roast them later for a crunchy snack!
  3. Lightly oil the butternut squash halves with a brush and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes with the squash laying cut side down on a baking sheet.

Making stuffed butternut squash filling on the stovetop.


How To Make Stuffed Butternut Squash

While you’re waiting for your butternut squash to roast, it’s time to make the good stuff. Get a saute pan cooking over medium high heat and follow the steps below.

  1. Cook the sausage until it’s browned. Use a spatula to break it up into smaller pieces.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, and baby spinach and stir for 2-3 minutes, until the spinach is wilted.
  3. Add the apple, sage, and rosemary and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the apple softens.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the cranberries and pecans.
  5. Start filling! Once the butternut squash halves are cooked, remove them from the oven and scoop out some of the flesh to make room for the apple sausage filling. Side note, you can save the extra flesh to make my mashed butternut squash.
  6. Bake the filled squash for another 5 minutes under your top broiler, or until it becomes golden on top. Then serve immediately!

Filling butternut squash halves with sausage apple stuffing.

Get Creative With The Stuffing

While apple and sausage makes for an amazing flavor combination, you can switch up the ingredients to your liking. Here’s a few things you can change:

  • If you’re not a fan of sausage, you can add in other protein options such as diced chicken or bacon bits.
  • You can turn this into a vegan recipe by replacing the meat with quinoa or rice.
  • Aside from spinach, feel free to throw in other fresh ingredients such as kale or mushrooms.
  • If you’re looking to make it extra cheesy, sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese on top before popping the squash under the broiler.

Two stuffed butternut squash halves in a baking pan.

Need More Butternut Squash Ideas?

Make use of these curvy beauties in my roasted butternut squash soup, kale and butternut squash frittata or roasted butternut squash salad with romaine and goat cheese.

Two butternut squash halves stuffed with sausage apple filling.

Apple Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash

4.91 from 41 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Apple sausage stuffed butternut squash is filled with flavorful fall ingredients. It's the perfect seasonal meal that's hearty, healthy and more delicious than you can imagine.


  • 2 1/2 pound butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil, or olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups (lightly packed) baby spinach
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped


  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit (200 degrees celsius).
  • Slice the butternut squash in half with a very sharp knife. You can also cut the ends off and microwave for 2 minutes, to make it easier to slice in half lengthwise.
  • Scoop the seeds out of the butternut squash with a spoon.
  • Lightly oil the butternut squash and season with salt and pepper.
  • Lay the butternut squash, cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  • While the butternut squash is cooking, add the sausage to a saute pan on medium heat. Use a spatula to break up the sausage and cook until it's just browned.
  • Add the onions, garlic and baby spinach to the pan and stir for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.
  • Add the apple, sage and rosemary and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the apple has softened slightly.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the cranberries and pecans.
  • When the butternut squash halves are cooked through, remove them from the oven, flip them over and remove some of the flesh (but leave plenty to enjoy!) to make room for the filling. Save this removed flesh and turn it into mashed butternut squash to enjoy later!
  • Fill the butternut squash with the apple sausage filling.
  • Turn the top broiler on the oven and bake the filled butternut squash for 5 minutes, or until they're golden on top. Serve immediately.

Lisa's Tips

  • Depending on the size of your butternut squash, you may have leftovers of the sausage apple filling. This is great mixed with sauteed cauliflower rice for a nourishing lunch.


Calories: 930.54kcal, Carbohydrates: 97.95g, Protein: 29.58g, Fat: 53.48g, Saturated Fat: 14.76g, Cholesterol: 86.19mg, Sodium: 1037.65mg, Potassium: 3410.01mg, Fiber: 19.48g, Sugar: 35.26g, Vitamin A: 70450.88IU, Vitamin C: 171.63mg, Calcium: 520.62mg, Iron: 11.79mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple sausage stuffed butternut squash, butternut squash recipe, stuffed butternut squash
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

Leave a Comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Recipe Rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

97 comments on “Apple Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash”

  1. This was an amazing blend of flavors.  I made it with Delicata Squash, which we love.  Thank you for sharing this great recipe.5 stars

  2. Awesome!  Just made this tonight, very easy to make and delicious. I usually only eat squash as a soup but this recipe my husband found was very good!  I didn’t have fresh Sage or Rosemary and used dried instead, making sure to reduce amount by 1/3.  I can see this as a side dish too, in a casserole dish with squash on the bottom and stuffing on top with maybe a few sprinkles of goat or feta cheese. 
    If not on a diet, I can see this as a bruschetta too.  Spread mashed squash on bread, too with stuffing, maybe goat cheese and a drizzle of honey.  I recommend trying this recipe as is as it is perfectly balanced in flavor and texture….even if you don’t normally like squash.  5 stars

  3. I randomly stumbled upon your website one day. I have been trying a lot of your recipes and i am very impressed. But this was so delicious I had to let you know! My husband said it was so fancy and called it a holiday meal. Thanks again! 5 stars

  4. This was so delicious! Thanks so much for this recipe, perfect fall meal ! 5 stars

  5. This was FANTASTIC! It will definitely be in our dinner rotation. Thank you so much!

  6. Easy to follow instructions. My rookie mistake was to overcook the squash boats. Still  delicious.  Thanks Lisa.5 stars

  7. My husband and I loved this! Flavorful, tasty and filling, it’s delicious! Thanks Lisa for helping us eat well, feel great and lose weight too! It’s working!

  8. I switched up the menu on your whole 30 meal prep plan for January because I couldn’t wait until the end of the week to to try this..! I made it tonight and it was absolutely delicious!! I can’t wait to have the leftovers for dinner tomorrow. I couldn’t get Italian sausage meat in my local store, so I made my own using ground pork and herbs & spices and it worked great.
    Another amazing recipe that I will make over and over and share with others. I can’t wait to try the rest of the whole 30 meals! Thanks Lisa!5 stars

    • That’s amazing! Glad you were able to make up your own sausage and whip up this stuffed butternut squash Emma :)

  9. I am new to the Whole 30 way of eating. I was reading the label for the sausage I bought for this recipe-Trader Joe’s Hot Italian Sausage- and see that it has dextrose in it. Under the nutrtiion facts it says 1g added sugar in 1 90g link. Is this ok? I am learning that iodized salt even has dextrose in it, but trace amounts not grams. It is a bit confusing and I am on Day 3 and don’t want to start over:) If it’s not ok, do you have any recommendations for dextrose free sausage? Thank you!

  10. Absolutely delicious! My husband raved about how good this tasted. We were pretty noisy with the “mmmms” and “yums”!5 stars

  11. Saving this to make next week. Looks delicious!

  12. Enjoy many of your recipes and plan to try this one this week.
    However, the high sugar and salt are a problem with my need for low-sodium
    Apple choice, cranberries and pecan modifications can address the sugar level but where is the very high sodium coming from other than the salt to taste and likely, the Italian sausage?

    Can you help us with lower sodium options too?

  13. Loved this, as I do all your recipes Lisa – thank you so much! Added Golgi berries in mine as didn’t have cranberries on hand, which worked well too. Will add mushroom next time too, and fancy trying pine nuts or walnuts. Great for food prep too with both left overs plus the left over butternut squash, which I mashed with a little coconut oil and cinnamon. Delicious and satiating all round!5 stars

  14. Is the nutritional info for the entire recipe or per serving? 4 stars

  15. I love all these ingredients. Together in this is heavenly perfection. Thanks for making and sharing. Will be for sure adding this to my weeknight dinner options5 stars

  16. This was absolutely delicious!!!!!!! Thank you so much! Such a homey comforting fall recipe and so healthy too! I added feta as well and next time would like to try it with spicy sausage but otherwise YUMMMMM5 stars

  17. Hello Lisa- I made your Apple Sausage stuffed Butternut Squash recipe tonight. It was perfect! All the spices and quantities worked together so well! Easy instructions. I’ll definitely add this recipe to my favorites! Thank you!5 stars

  18. Hi! Do you think you could use acorn squash for this recipe? Thanks!

    • You can use this filling for acorn squash! But, the cooking time might be different. I hope to make a stuffed acorn squash recipe soon :)

  19. This was delicious! When I told my family I was making this for dinner, they weren’t real thrilled. But, after just one bite, their opinions changed! My daughter even had seconds. It was easy to make. The flavors blended perfectly. I will be making this again5 stars

  20. This was dee lish ous! I used turkey sausage so added a little extra herbs, and instead of spinach I used collard greens. There was four of us who enjoyed it very much. We had enough stuffing for scrambled eggs the next morning.
    Thank you for the recipe.4 stars

  21. Found your recipe this morning and luck would have it, I had almost every important ingredient to make this happen.  I used my last butternut squash that grew from my compost pile last year.  Baked it according to your recipe.  My intuition told me to not bake it the full 45 minutes so I baked for 40 instead.   Prepared the filling which came out very good minus a few changes I had to make for a vegetarian.  I used plant based sausage instead of regular sausage.  Diced a granny smith apple and used red onion.  Used all the other ingredients on the list but did not use nuts of any kind.   It’s not the journey but the destination that counts.  Unfortunately the butternut squash had completely collapsed when I removed it from the oven so I no longer had a vessel to hold the other ingredients.   I decided to make a savory butternut squash souffle and serve that with the other preparation.  I should have taken the butternut squash out after about 35 minutes.   Thank you for the recipe.4 stars

  22. Made this recipe tonight, it was so delicious, love the flavour combo and I have some filler leftover for an egg scramble tomorrow morning!5 stars

  23. Made this today with extra stuffing for leftovers and am IN LOVE. The squash skin gets so soft it’s nice and edible and I ended up mashing all of the second half for leftovers.

    Used frozen spinach (3 cups) and cooked a little longer to reduce down some liquid. Ended up having fresh sage and oregano from my garden instead of rosemary and still tasted beautiful.

    Will be saving this one for future wintery stay at home meals.5 stars

  24. This recipe is fantastic! Literally the only thing I changed was that I used breakfast sausage instead of Italian (it doesn’t like me, lol). It was easy and made a beautiful presentation. Thanks for sharing! 5 stars

  25. very good5 stars

  26. Hi, as a big Downshiftology fan and recommender I was excited to read this recipe and am looking forward to trying it out.
    I do want to make some little changes this time since I am traveling and don’t have all kitchen tools and ingredients here with me, plus I’m limited in time available for preparing meals.. So I have a few questions :
    – if I use diced chicken as protein for this recipe, how much should I use?
    – Can I bake the filling instead of cooking?
    – Can I leave out the spinach? (hard to get here and I’m anyways not a big spinach lover) Which vegetable can I use instead of it?
    – Can I use rosemary spice instead of the fresh version or leave it out altogether?

    Also, what type of apple is best to use for this recipe? Green like Granny Smith or (sweet) red?

    Thanks again for this beautiful recipe and all the other ones. And for helping us all to keep healthy without compromising on delicious food :)


    • Hi Tillie –

      1. I’d say use between 1.5-2 cups of diced chicken.
      2. It’ll be faster if you cook first and then bake.
      3. Yes, you can omit the spinach. But maybe you can substitute with other leafy greens you’d like!
      4. I’d still use a bit of dried rosemary!
      5. Sweet red apples are best in my opinion.

  27. I made this recipe for the first time last fall/winter.  I liked it so much that I decided that my friends would like it too, so a bunch of us made it together on Zoom!  It was a big hit!!  Everyone loved the combination of flavors, sweet, savory and spicy.  I used the spicy Italian sausage from Whole Foods.  I highly recommend this recipe!! 5 stars

  28. Absolutely loved the flavors! Perfect fall recipe. My husband and I love this! 5 stars

  29. I made this for a family dinner with my son and his family and it is so good! He took a very generous second helping and commented on how good it is. I enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast and lunch! Thanks again for a very tasty recipe. Definitely worth the time it takes.5 stars

    • Wonderful! Happy to hear everyone enjoyed this stuffed squash recipe. Looks like you’ll have to make double the batch next time!

  30. I love butternut squash, but for my husband it’s just okay. But this recipe it his sweet spot and said he really enjoyed it! It’s  a keeper, especially during the fall and winter. Thanks!5 stars

  31. OMG! I made this for supper and it is excellent! Wow!5 stars

  32. My hubby and I really loved this!  Thanks so much for a delicious, comforting fall recipe that we will enjoy again and again! Well done😊5 stars

  33. Is it really 930 calories per serving?! This sounds delicious but that seems really high for a healthy recipe. Thanks!

    • Yep! The filling has quite a bit of ingredients in it. But overall, this is a healthy recipe that can still be enjoyed despite the calorie count.

      • Any suggestions on how to reduce the calories at all without altering the flavor profile in this dish?  Just too many calories for a serving. I probably will not eat a full serving as I eat slowly and try to listen to my body when it is telling me I am really full already.  Other than reducing serving size, any other suggestions? 

      • I would say you can swap out the sausage for a lighter ground meat, but it will alter the flavor all around. You can also reduce the cranberries in this for less sugar.

  34. My mother used to stir‐fry chicken liver with apple pieces and onion slices when I was a kid (Polish or German style). This recipe is just as delicious. I replaced the butternut with baked sweet potato and skipped baking the filling.5 stars

  35. Lisa, my question about the recipe is: where do the 35 grams of sugar come from? The recipe looks amazing and can’t wait to make it.  The only problem is the sugar.  It may come from the ingredients.
    Also, all of your recipes that I’ve made are great.5 stars

  36. I had a couple butternut squash to make a side dish to go with pork steaks. Found this recipe. Just pulled them out from under the broiler. They look and smell amazing. Sadly, there is not a lot of sausage stuffing left over because I couldn’t stop eating it while they broiled. Delicious!5 stars

    • Hi Denise – I do that all the time when I’m making this recipe as well! But, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed this recipe so much :)

  37. Where do you get unsweetened raisins?

  38. Delicious!! Super easy to make. I’m sorely tempted to wolf down the other half – but….I need it for lunch tomorrow! Never before has my will power been severely tested!5 stars

    • Hi Dorothy – Definitely and easy and flavorful recipe! You’re smart to put the other half away as I would also be very tempted to eat the second half!

  39. This was delicious! It was so easy to make and the leftovers were great for a meal prep. Thank you for sharing.5 stars

  40. Hi, Lisa! I’ve made some of your recipes and I’m now wanting to try this one! I got a question though, Can I use Spaghetti squash? I just bought spaghetti squash and wanting to use that instead of buying butternut squash. Thanks!

  41. This was such a great meal for winter! My whole family loved it5 stars

    • Hi An – Amazing! This really is such a great recipe for the winter time, so I’m glad everyone enjoyed this :)

  42. Lisa does it again with this amazing recipe. So easy to make and the leftovers are great for further meal prep. I made it with Bacon instead of sausage.- an option suggested by Lisa. The mix of ingredients makes a beautifully moist, juicy delicious dish.  If made with mushrooms instead of meat it will make a great alternative to nut roast for Xmas. 5 stars

    • Hi Catherine – I’m so happy you loved this recipe and the different variations you put on this! I can’t wait for the rest of your family to try this dish during Christmas :)

  43. I recently made this recipe and loved it as I have loved every Downshiftology recipe, sweet and savory. As always, thanks for what you do, Lisa!5 stars

  44. This is such a great recipe! I love butternut squash but feel like I can get repetitive with what I make or just feel uninspired after a while.

    Apple, butternut and sage are such a great flavour combo and the brightness of the apple balances out the roasted flavours. I made this for my mother too and she loved the leftovers as pack lunch the following day.

    Easy recipe that doesn’t require a lot of fuss or extra ingredients but the outcome is on point. Thank youuuuu! 5 stars

    • Hi Hanna – I’m so glad you and your mom loved this recipe! It’s great for a cozy meal with all it’s hearty flavors :)

  45. Whole30…. Delicious…. SO MUCH FLAVOR!!

    I made this for thanksgiving instead of traditional dressing (or stuffing depending on region) and not only did I love it, but my mom and dad absolutely loved it! I get intimidated with cooking squash because I usually only know how to make it one way — roasted (luckily Lisa has recipes for that, too) but this recipe IS SO FREAKING GOOD! It’s savory. It’s sweet. It definitely is a comfort food without the guilt.5 stars

    • Hi Gary – Thrilled to hear you made this for Thanksgiving :) The goal was definitely to make it a cozy dish, without sacrificing the healthy part!

  46. This recipe was as tasty as it sounded! Beautiful autumn dish… I’m glad I have a bit of leftovers for a second meal :)4 stars

  47. I made this today and really loved it. It definitely didn’t need the red pepper that I threw in along with the onion portion but I wanted it to use the extra ingredients I needed to. I basically doubled the recipe when it came to the “stuffing.” I love the creative ideas of this site!!!! Wonderful fall recipe!!!!! The stuffing would be good all by itself or over some lightly seasoned zucchini noodles.5 stars

    • Hi Miranda – I’m so glad you loved this recipe! And I would have to agree that the stuffing would taste amazing over zucchini noodles :)

  48. Delicious recipe. Shared with family and friend and it was a hit. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.5 stars

  49. Thank you for this delicious recipe! We will be making this again soon!5 stars

  50. This is soooo good. I made several and froze the rest for later in the month. I’m anticipating they will pop into the oven and be just as good as they were last night.5 stars