Sausage, Apple & Cranberry Stuffed Butternut Squash

Roasted butternut squash halves are filled with a sweet and savory sausage stuffing then broiled to crispy perfection! It’s an all-in-one meal that’s perfect for fall!

A roasted butternut squash half filled with a stuffing made of Italian chicken sausage, apples, cranberries, kale and spices

I’ll just admit it right now… I probably eat way too much butternut squash during this time of year. But it’s soo good and goes so well with just about everything! (Which if you’re reading this, I’m thinking you’ll most likely agree.) So what’s one more squash recipe on the blog right?? Especially when it’s an easy all-in-one meal that’s packed with cozy fall flavors and perfect for a weeknight. This sausage, apple and cranberry stuffed butternut squash is IT!

Trust me loves, you need this one in your lives!

Ingredients to make stuffed butternut squash in the oven

Ingredients

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this easy fall recipe:

  • Butternut squash: Look for squash that are similiar in size to make sure they cook at the same time. (Medium sized squash work the best for this recipe!)
  • Ground sausage: I love using Italian chicken sausage for a little sweet & savory action. (Turkey or pork sausage would work too!)
  • Apples: Honeycrisp or fuji’s are the best apples for this recipe because they’re slightly sweet without overpowering in flavor.
  • Green kale: Used in your filling and adds color to your dish.
  • Dried cranberries: They plump back up after cooking making them a fun and slightly tart addition to your squash.
  • Onion: I’d suggest using red onion because it’s sweeter than white or yellow and pairs well with the rest of your flavors.
  • Garlic: Every good recipe needs some garlic right?!
  • Spices: Dried thyme, rosemary and some salt and pepper are all you need for this recipe!
  • Parmesan cheese: Completely optional but it adds the perfect finishing touch to your squash.

You all know I’m a Sprouts girl – and this time of year is always my favorite time to shop at their stores! They have all their seasonal squash out right now (along with tried and true regulars) and they’re all super cheap so it’s easy to try a new variety. (Plus I love that I’m able to find all the ingredients I need for this meal in one place too. Hello one-stop shopping trip!)

Stuffed butternut squash halves on a baking sheet ready to go in the oven

How to make stuffed butternut squash

  1. Bake your squash. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Then cut the tops off both squash and cut each one in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and place the halves on your prepared pan. Next drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the cut side of each squash and rub it in with your hands. Season them with salt and pepper, then place your squash cut side down on the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes.
  2. Saute your filling ingredients. Heat a large pan over medium high heat and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Then add your sausage and saute until it’s mostly done. Add your onions, garlic, dried time and rosemary and cook until the onions soften and the sausage is cooked through. (About 2 more minutes.) Then add your apples. dried cranberries and kale and saute until the kale begins to wilt and the apples soften. (About 2-3 minutes.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Stuff your squash & broil. Once the squash is done, let it cool enough for you to handle it. Then take a spoon and scoop out some of the insides leaving a ½ inch thick border on the sides. Divide your filling between each squash and sprinkle some parmesan over the top, if using. Broil for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the squash and filling are warm.
  4. Serve. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Butternut squash stuffed with a hot Italian chicken sausage mixture sitting on a baking sheet next to fresh thyme springs

FAQ’s for making stuffed butternut squash

  • How do I know when my butternut squash is cooked?
  • What’s the easiest way to cut a butternut squash vertically? Cut the top stem off your squash then place it standing upright on a cutting board. Take your knife and position it at the top of your squash where the “half way” point would be. Then place your hands on both sides of your knife and push it down through your squash. You should be left with 2 halves.
  • Does butternut squash need to be peeled before it’s cooked? Not at all for this recipe! Because the skin of a butternut squash is tough, it makes a nice “boat” or bowl for your stuffing. Just scoop some flesh out with every bite!
  • What do I serve with stuffed butternut squash? This dish is pretty hearty on it’s own and doesn’t require a side dish. But if you really want one I would suggest pairing it with a light side salad. (Our personal favorite is my citrus & pomegranate kale salad!)
  • Can I make any of my ingredients beforehand? Absolutely! The stuffing and butternut squash can easily be made a day in advance or even the morning of. To reheat: Place your stuffing in the squash and heat it
Butternut squash halves that have been hollowed out and filled with a mixture of chicken sausage, apples and kale sitting on a large baking pan

This meal is great left over and so easy to heat up! To reheat I’d recommend heating the butternut squash halves in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until it reaches your desired temperature. (Use these same directions if you’re making the stuffing and squash in advance too!)

Why you’ll love this stuffed squash recipe

  • All-in-one meal! Protein, healthy starches and lots of fruits & veggies! There’s nothing else needed!
  • Full of fall flavors! There’s something about butternut squash, apples, sausage and kale that just go together! Hello and sweet & savory!
  • Easy to make ahead of time! Simply cook the stuffing and squash halves the day before and toss them in the oven when you’re ready to eat! It’s that easy!

Need it gluten free? Great news, it already is!

Need it dairy free? Omit the cheese or use your favorite dairy free parmesan. (Trader Joe’s has a great parm alternative!)

More squash recipes you might like:

[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments. I love seeing what you create!]

Sausage, Apple & Cranberry Stuffed Butternut Squash

Spicy chicken sausage, sweet apples, tart cranberries & kale are sauteed together with seasonal spices then stuffed inside tender roasted butternut squash! It's an easy all-in-one dinner that's perfect for fall!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Comfort Food
Keyword: apple, butternut squash, chicken sausage, cranberry, easy dinner, stuffed
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 1 lb. ground chicken sausage (I used spicy Italian)*
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, diced
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups green kale, chopped & packed
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil or avocado oil
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Next cut the tops off your butternut squash and cut them both in half length-wise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and place the halves on your prepared baking pan cut side up. Then drizzle a small amount of olive oil over your squash and rub it over all the sides. Season your squash with salt and pepper and place them back on the pan cut side down. Bake for 40-50 minutes. (Or until the squash pierces easily with a fork.)
  • While the squash bakes, prepare your stuffing. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Once hot, add your sausage and saute until it's mostly done. (About 2-3 minutes.) Then add your onions, garlic, dried thyme and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions have softened and the sausage is cooked through.
  • Next add your apples, kale and cranberries and cook until the apples have softened and the kale begins to wilt. (About 2-3 minutes) Season again with salt and pepper to taste.
  • When the squash is done, scoop out some of the insides leaving a ½ inch border. Then divide your stuffing evenly between the squash halves and sprinkle your parmesan (if using) over the top. Broil for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Chicken sausage can be replaced with pork sausage.

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