Apple Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash

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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

4.92 from 49 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

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.

Ingredients 
 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Nutrition

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
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




119 Comments

  1. I made this the other night for the first time and it was so delicious! My husband took one look at it and said that he thought it wasn’t going to like it but was pleasantly surprised at good it was.
    I unfortunately didn’t have any apples or cranberries on hand and I’m sure they with them it would have really elevated the dish but let me tell you, even without them, it was so yummy! Such an easy dish that gives a fall wow factor at the table.5 stars

  2. I’ve never commented on a recipe in my life, but this one is worth it. Great flavor profile. Found via Garden Answer recent video. 1000 stars.5 stars

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it! And I’m thrilled you loved the recipe as well. :)

  3. This was a great dish! I only made the filling, and then mixed in quinoa to make it more of a complete meal on its own. It was very quick and easy to throw together.5 stars

  4. How would you make this ahead of time, so there’s not quite so much hands-on the day of? I’m guessing pre-roast the squash and make the filling, then just heat them separately and broil as originally posted?

  5. Oh my goodness! I have not even finished my plate but had to tell you how much I love it! I have to avoid corn (and dairy and pecans and gluten) and the only not too processed sausage I could find was sweet so I added some red pepper flakes. What a weird and wonderfully delicious combination! I put the scooped out squash in a small ramekin and topped it with the leftover mixture. Will try freezing it. Thank you for your amazingly flexible recipes.

  6. I think I will make this for a potluck. Instead of scooping out the squash I will be cubing it and mixing it together ads a casserole. Hope it tastes as good as it looks!

  7. This was so, so good. The filling is delicious and nicely balances with the squash. One of my favorite recipes.5 stars

  8. Made this today instead of a big turkey dinner and loved it ! Shared the recipe with my friend 3000 miles away – she made it too!! It’s a keeper I think we can enjoy all winter long.5 stars

  9. My non picky teens and I loved this. However, the walk away consensus was that it could’ve used more cranberries and the pecans should be omitted or pre roasted to soften & match the texture. Will definitely be making again this season.5 stars

    1. Happy to hear everyone enjoyed this stuffed butternut squash recipe, Jen! As always, you can tweak the recipe to your liking.

  10. I made this for dinner tonight and it was wonderful! It was easy to put together and was really flavorful. I know it’s one of your recipes from last year, but it’s a great fall one to make. The right amount of sweetness between the roasted squash, the apples and I substituted raisins for the dried cranberries. We have some of the meat mixture leff over, which is okay with us-we love leftovers! Thank you Lisa!5 stars

  11. I especially loved the leftovers that didn’t fit in the butternut squash.  I made with 2 eggs, added avocado, mushrooms, and cilantro.  Super yum breakfast.

    I wanted to show you photo, but don’t see link to attach.5 stars