Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

I first shared this recipe on my blog four years ago, and it continues to be my favorite stuffed acorn squash recipe. It’s so hearty and flavorful, and the dish works great as either an entree or a side dish. In case you missed it the first time, here’s the recipe I use, which I adapted ever so slightly from a recipe I found at Lunds and Byerlys, a Minneapolis-based gourmet grocery store.

Wild Ride and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash (adapted from a recipe by Lunds and Byerlys); makes 4-8 servings

4 (1 lb.) acorn squash, halved, seeds removed
1 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. bulk Italian sausage
2 tsp. Italian herb seasoning
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 cup cooked wild rice
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone and mozzarella, divided

Arrange squash halves cut side down in a 13 x 9 microwavable baking dish filled with one inch of water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and make a few steam vents in the plastic wrap. Microwave until tender (15 minutes).

While squash is cooking, preheat oven to 350F. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté sausage, Italian herb seasoning, red pepper, onion and garlic until sausage is cooked and onions are tender (8-10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in spinach, wild rice and 1 cup provolone/mozzarella.

When squash is tender, carefully remove the water from the baking dish (the dish will be very hot). Place a tablespoon of butter in the bottom of each squash half. Spoon sausage mixture into halves and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.

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