Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Butternut Squash

Thanksgiving is over but autumn continues on in this kitchen. I go through these phases of eating too much butternut squash in early September and then I have to put it away for a while because I know that I’ll want it all over again closer to Thanksgiving….and what do you know, I haven’t changed one bit!

I definitely wanted to highlight the squash as a main ingredient in this recipe, but also elevate the typical idea of roasting it whole and eating it on its own. Adding some fresh ingredients and a bit of spice really brought out the sweetness of the squash — totally great and easy dish to pull off that can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the sausage and possibly adding chickpeas or another legume for added protein.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium size butternut squash
  • Mild Italian ground sausage
    I used the Johnsonville’s Recipe Starters product from Loblaws.
    Didn’t use the full pack in this dish, but cooked all of it to use during the week.
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup of chopped apple
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of dried cranberries, optional
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of chilli powder
  • 2 tsp of paprika
  • 1/ 4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 of shredded parmesan
  • S+ P, and olive oil

Preheat your oven to 375°F and prepare a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise (from tip to root) and scoop out the seeds on the inside. You can keep them to roast later or discard, your choice! Next, evenly drizzle a bit of olive oil on the flesh of the squash and season with salt and pepper. Coat the entire surface of the squash and turn flesh side down onto the pan. Cook for about 45 minutes on the middle rack . Check on it and flip the squash over and cook for an additional 5 minutes, the flesh should be fork tender.

Next, brown your sausage in a medium pan. When it is about 75% cooked, add the paprika, chilli powder, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and place in a medium bowl. Add the cooked quinoa, chopped apple, parsley, shredded parmesan to the bowl and mix together. Taste and adjust your seasoning.

Once the butternut squash has cooked through, take an ice cream scoop and spoon out a canal from the long part of the squash. Ultimately, we are creating more space for the stuffing. Keep any additional squash for the filling, or save for a lunch throughout the week. Hope you guys enjoy!
Peace and good eats,
-A❁ 

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