- 3 acorn squash, halved (remove seeds and majority of meat)
- 1 lb ground sage sausage or ground Italian sausage
- 1 12 oz package seasoned bread crumbs / stuffing mix
- 1 small fresh fennel bulb
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 4–5 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
- 1 granny smith apple
- 6–8 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 2 whole eggs, beaten
- 2–3 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt Pepper Garlic to taste
- Preheat an oven or grill to 375 degrees.
- Start by halving the acorn squash on its side and cut in half. Then carefully cut a small slice off of each end so that they stand up on their own (be careful not to cut too deep as you don’t want to make a hole in the bottom).
- Remove all the seeds and then take a spoon (kind of like a pumpkin), scrape around the circle inside to make a nice, deep hole.
- Coat the inside with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Place into the oven and roast until you can put a knife through the inside circle part of the squash with ease (the outside should be roasted and will turn a nice dark color). Once done, set aside to cool a bit.
- Next, cook the sausage according to the package – breaking it up into little bits. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- Now make the stuffing by placing the breadcrumbs into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Start by chopping the celery, fennel, onion and apple into small to mid-sized squares.
- Using a large saute pan, place veggies and apple into the pan over medium-high heat with a pat of butter or olive oil, salt & pepper.
- Saute until the veggies are slightly soft – approximately 5-7 minutes. Add chopped garlic and sage. Continue to cook for another minute until fragrant. Place onto a cookie sheet to cool and set aside.
- Beat the eggs until fluffy, mix into the breadcrumbs. Add the chicken stock and stir until moist and coated. Add sausage, veggies and apple to the breadcrumbs. Mix thoroughly.
- Place stuffing mixture into acorn squash by spooning in. You will want to form a bit of a mountain peak on the top. Don’t overstuff, but rather just nicely pack into the acorn squash.
- Place back in over and bake until the tops are slightly browned.
- Remove and finish with an olive oil drizzle and leaves from the top of the fennel for color. Congrats. You just won the side dish game for Thanksgiving. Enjoy.