Vegan Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
You guys know how much I love my vegetables – I mean, I wrote a book called Eat More Plants – so this vegan sausage stuffed acorn squash is my idea of a good time: you’re stuffing a vegetable with other vegetables? Sign this dietitian up! I also like creating nourishing plant-based recipes that don’t forget about protein, so you feel full and satisfied.
This cozy, flavourful recipe is perfect whether you’re looking for thanksgiving recipes, a hearty vegan main dish to serve guests or even a freezer-friendly meal idea to help prepare you for a busy period.
I have to say that I know I really nailed a recipe when my hubs says more than once that he really likes it. In case you didn’t know, I’m actually the only plant person in my house (the rest of my family are omnivores!) and they’re not as, ahem, inclined to whole food living as I am.
On more than one occasion, I’ll get feedback from my community saying how their kids just love one of my recipes and in my head I’m thinking to myself “thank goodness because my kids totally complained about it”! So, their enthusiastic embrace of this stuffed squash recipe means that it’s sure to satisfy even the plant-skeptics.
Why You’ll Love this Vegan Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
There are so many different types of squash, but smaller acorn squash are the perfect vessel for making stuffed squash recipes because each half is just right for one serving! Roasted acorn squash are so easy to make, and will work with a ton of different fillings.
- It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savoury, with sweet squash and apple, aromatic vegetables and plenty of umami
- It’s a well-balanced vegan main dish with tons of vegetables and plenty of plant-based protein from the vegan sausage
- It’s the perfect comfort food: cozy, flavourful and filling
- It will help you increase your plant diversity to feed your gut microbiome, with 10 different plants in a single recipe!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Squash: I like using 2 smaller squash so that each person gets their own half for a nicer presentation
- Vegan sausage: I use a seitan-based apple sausage, like Field Roast or Gusta but you could use any sausage you love with a complimentary flavour.
- Onion, Garlic + Celery: your plant-powered aromatic base
- Apple: choose one with a crisp texture, like Honeycrisp or Gala
- Red Pepper: you could use orange or yellow if you prefer
- Spinach: I always used prewashed spinach for ease but it’s not necessary!
- Spices: thyme, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder
- Nutritional yeast: a great source of B12, nutritional yeast lends a cheesy, umami flavour
- Panko bread crumbs: for crunch
How to Cut Acorn Squash
If you’ve never cut an acorn squash before, don’t worry, it’s easy!
- You’ll need a really sharp knife, ideally a large chef’s knife. Don’t try to cut through the tough flesh with something small, you’ll hurt yourself!
- Grasp the stem side of the acorn squash firmly with your left hand. With the right hand, slowly and firmly press the tip of the knife down vertically into the centre of the squash, towards the right (and away from that other hand!).
- Once you’ve made that guide line, you can then move the knife down through the squash until your knife reaches the cutting board. Then spin the acorn squash around and slice through the remaining side so you have two halves.
- Then, use a spoon to scrape away all the goopy flesh and seeds, and you’re ready to roast!
Vegan Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash Tips, Tricks + Storage
- This recipe makes enough filling to fill 4 small squash halves in a heaping manner or 6 squash halves more modestly. Your choice! The leftover filling is delicious in a wrap too.
- Make ahead: You can absolutely make the filling in the morning or up to a day in advance to make this recipe more hands off come dinnertime.
- Store leftovers, covered in the fridge, for up to 3 days.
- Freeze leftover squash by wrapping tightly in tin foil. To reheat, place in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake from frozen at 350 for 45-60 minutes until hot all the way through.
- Reheating from chilled? It should take 20-30 minutes in the oven, or just chop up the squash and give it a reheat on the stove top, it will turn into a more stew-like consistency that’s delicious with some nice sourdough bread.
Recipe Variations + Special Diets
Gluten free? Use a gluten free vegan sausage like Beyond Meat and gluten free panko crumbs.
What to Serve with this Vegan Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
There are so many ways to serve this cozy + filling main. You could serve it on a bed of your favourite cooked whole grains like spelt or millet for bigger appetites.
More Cozy Acorn Squash Recipes
- Cumin Roasted Acorn Squash with Hemp Chile Crumble
- Winter Panzanella Salad with Kale and Roasted Squash
Vegan Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 2 smaller acorn squash, 2 – 2½ pounds (900-1125g) total
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 4 links regular or gluten free vegan sausage, crumbled
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- 4 packed cups baby spinach
- 1 medium apple like Gala or Honeycrisp, diced
- freshly cracked pepper
- 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs, gluten free if needed
- 1 tablespoon vegan parmesan, or nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, set aside.
- Cut acorn squash in halves. Rub halves with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the oil and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Place cut side down on baking sheet and bake until tender but not mushy, about 35-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling: heat remaining tablespoon (15 mL) of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add sausage and cook, stirring constantly, until starting to brown, 3-5 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and place skillet back on heat.
- Cook onion, celery and red pepper until onion is fully softened, about 7-10 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, onion powder, paprika and salt and cook, stirring constantly for one minute. Turn off heat.
- Add sausage crumbles and spinach to the pan and stir until spinach is wilted, 1-2 minutes. Add apple and stir through. Set aside.
- When squash is ready, remove from oven and turn cut side up. Stuff halves with sausage mixture. Turn oven to high broil.
- In a small bowl, combine crumbs, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder. Sprinkle over the stuffed squash halves and place until the broiler – watch closely! – until crumbs are golden brown, about 1 minute.