Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage and Black Rice (Gluten Free)

This Stuffed Acorn Squash is filled with black rice, Italian ground sausage and a host of yummy veggies. Plus it’s gluten free! It’s a comforting and splendidly colorful dish loaded with earthy and delicious flavors.

stuffed acorn squash on plate

As a Floridian, I didn’t grow up eating fall and winter squashes, so I wasn’t even sure how to cook them, but my interest was peaked when I lived in Virginia and began seeing them at the farmer’s markets. After a lot of research and a few trial and error meals, I fell in love with their unique flavor and versatility in the kitchen. This Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is now a staple in our house! 

How To Make This Stuffed Acorn Squash – Step by Step

  • Bring black rice and vegetable stock to boil in a saucepan. After 2 minutes, cover and set to simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Set oven to 400 degree. Place parchment paper on a small cookie sheet.
  • Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds. Rub with oil, salt, pepper and place face down on the cookie sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes.
  • While squash bakes and rice cooks, add oil to a large saute pan at medium heat.
  • Add onions to the pan and cook until clear.
  • Add ground sausage to the onions, cooking until no longer pink, 7-10 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add kale, garlic, cumin, thyme and paprika. Stir until kale is wilted.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Once rice is fully cooked mix into ground sausage mix
  • When squash is fully cooked, scoop mixture into the center of the squash.
  • Top with chopped walnuts and cheese, and place back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

ingredients for stuffed acorn squash

A Delicious Acorn Squash Recipe

 The acorn squash is one of my favorites, it’s sweet flavor makes it so easy to eat–simply roasted and buttered, it’s full of delicious flavor. I love pairing this sweet squash with something a little more earthy and robust in flavor which is why this recipe was born. I use a sweet Italian sausage, kale, mushrooms, and walnuts. For texture I add black rice to the mix.

Black Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

Though of course, you can substitute for another type of rice, black rice is not only unique in its color, it contains the highest amount of antioxidants, protein, and dietary fiber of all rice varieties, plus black rice is also a good source of iron.

It’s deep black or purple color is the indicator of its high antioxidant properties, similarly to how deeply colored antioxidant berries like blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries appear. It’s a grain that adds hardiness but also add significant nutritional value. This dish is chock full of nutrients and flavor. I think it hits all the flavor notes of a warm, comforting meal, perfect for those crisp wintery days.

How To Cut Acorn Squash

How to Cut Acorn Squash

Because acorn squash is a bit hard to cut through, it can seem a bit intimidating to work with. Here’s how to cut it!

  1. First, hold the squash horizontally on a cutting board so that the stem end is on the left, and the slightly pointy end is on the right.
  2. Take a large (sharp!) knife, and cut just enough of that pointy tip off to create more of a flat bottom; then, flip the squash around and cut off just the stem portion (taking care not to cut too far as to get into the hollow part of the squash) to create another flat surface.
  3. Still holding the acorn squash horizontally, place your knife in the center, and using a kitchen towel for extra leverage, place the towel over your knife and push down quite hard until the knife makes its way through.
  4. If it doesn’t go completely through, give the squash a firm thud against the cutting board with the knife still in it (as you would with a coconut), and this always cuts/splits it the rest of the way.
  5. Then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy bits inside.

cut squash

Top Tips For This Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • Because each squash is meant to feed two people, you can use larger acorn squash; plus, it has a larger cavity to hold the filling.
  • Roast acorn squash cut-side down on the baking sheet—this creates some steam in the cavity as the squash roasts, which helps it stay moist and become tender.
  • This recipe calls for black rice, but you can certainly substitute white rice, or even quinoa, barley, or couscous.
  • Ground Italian sausage is my pick for this stuffed acorn squash recipe, but you can use turkey, chicken, or even spicy sausage.
  • This recipe is super easy to make vegetarian, or even vegan! Just leave out the meat altogether, or substitute ground soy, tofu, tempeh, or any other vegetarian option.

stuffing in pan

Check Out These Other Squash Recipes

Have you tried this Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe? Feel free to leave a star rating and I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage and Black Rice

The acorn squash is one of my favorites, it’s sweet flavor makes it so easy to eat--simply roasted and buttered, it’s full of delicious flavor.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword rice stuffing, sausage stuffing, stuffed squash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 3 stuffed squash
Calories 862kcal
Author Jen Pinkston

Ingredients

  • ½ c black rice
  • 1 c vegetable stock
  • 2-3 acorn squash
  • ½ c mushrooms chopped
  • 4 stalks red kale removed from stem, chopped
  • ¼ c sweet onion chopped
  • 1 lb sweet italian ground sausage
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ c chopped walnuts
  • ¼ c parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast

Instructions

  • Bring black rice and vegetable stock to boil in a saucepan. After 2 minutes, cover and set to simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Set oven to 400 degree. Place parchment paper on a small cookie sheet.
  • Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds. Rub with oil, salt, pepper and place face down on the cookie sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes.
  • While squash bakes and rice cooks, add oil to a large saute pan at medium heat.
  • Add onions to the pan and cook until clear.
  • Add ground sausage to the onions, cooking until no longer pink, 7-10 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add kale, garlic, cumin, thyme and paprika. Stir until kale is wilted.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Once rice is fully cooked mix into ground sausage mix
  • When squash is fully cooked, scoop mixture into the center of the squash.
  • Top with chopped walnuts and cheese, and place back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Notes

Another rice or quinoa can be substituted for this dish.

Nutrition

Calories: 862kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1415mg | Potassium: 2009mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 9139IU | Vitamin C: 127mg | Calcium: 249mg | Iron: 7mg

 

Photography by Chase Daniel

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