Sausage Apple & Cranberry Stuffed Butternut Squash

Butternut squash halves are roasted until tender then stuffed with a sweet & savory sausage filling, topped with parmesan cheese & broiled until melty! This stuffed butternut squash recipe is so tasty & perfect for an easy Fall dinner!

2 butternut squash halves stuffed with a healthier sausage, apple and cranberry filling sitting next to a small bowl of parmesan cheese

The first time I made this stuffed butternut squash recipe, I was HOOKED! It’s sweet, savory, so easy to make and full of cozy fall flavors! While the butternut squash does take a little bit of time to roast, it’s well worth the wait! (Plus you can always roast it beforehand and reheat it later!) It’s then pair with a delicious sausage stuffing made with sweet apples, tart cranberries, kale and spices that’s so addictive!

Easy, comforting and looks so appealing to serve for guests too! It’s always a crowd pleaser for Thanksgiving or any holiday gathering!

Ingredients used to make stuffed butternut squash

Ingredients For Your Stuffed Butternut Squash

  • Butternut squash: Look for squash that are similar in size to help with cooking time. Medium size squash tend to work the best for this recipe! (The size of your squash will effect your cooking the time. The larger the squash = the longer they’ll take to cook.)
  • Ground Italian sausage: We love using hot Italian chicken sausage to add a spicy kick! Sweet Italian sausage would work too! (You can also use ground pork or turkey sausage.)
  • Apples: Sweeter apples like Honeycrisp and Fuji’s work the best for this recipe.
  • Green kale: Cut the leaves off the stems for the best results. (Don’t worry if the kale is overflowing when you add it to your skillet. The leaves will shrink down as they cook.)
  • Dried cranberries: You’ll need about a 1/4 cup to add to your filling. (They plump up quite a bit after being cooked.)
  • White onion: Red onion can be used as a replacement.
  • Garlic: You’ll need at least 3 garlic cloves for this recipe.
  • Spices: Dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt and black pepper all go into your filling!
  • Parmesan cheese: Optional but it adds the best finishing touch to your squash!
2 butternut squash halves rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper sitting on a baking pan
A large skillet filled with sautéed ground chicken sausage, diced apples, dried cranberries, kale, onion and garlic

How To Make Stuffed Butternut Squash

1. Prep your squash. Cut the stem off your squash and slice it right down the middle (as evenly as you can.) Then take a large spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard them.

2. Roast your squash. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Then place your squash halves on the prepared pan and drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the cut side of each squash. Rub it in with your hands and season both half with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut side down on the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes (or until the squash are tender are pierce easily all the way through with a knife).

3. Cook your filling ingredients. Heat a large pan over medium high heat and spray it with cooking spray once hot. Then add your onions and garlic and cook until tender. (About 1-2 minutes) Add your ground sausage, dried thyme and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the sausage is cooked through and crumbly. (About 2-3 more minutes.) Then add your apples, dried cranberries and kale and sauté until the kale begins to wilt and the apples soften. Season with salt and pepper again then remove the pan from the stove and set it aside.

4. Stuff your squash! 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 all sides. (You can serve the scooped out parts as a “side dish” with the squash later, if desired.) Then divide the filling evenly between each squash half and sprinkle your parmesan (if using) over the top. Broil for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the squash and filling are warmed throughout.

5. Serve. Serve immediately and enjoy!

A close up photo of stuffed butternut squash filled with a sausage, apple, cranberry and kale filling

Storing and Reheating

  • Storing: Place your leftover stuffed butternut squash in an air tight container and keep it stored in the refrigerator. It should stay good for 4-5 days if stored properly.
  • To Reheat: Reheat your squash in the oven at 350 degrees (or in the microwave) until warmed throughout. (Ours usually take 15-20 minutes depending.)

Your stuffed butternut squash components can easily be prepped beforehand too! Roast the squash and cook the filling according to the directions then keep them both stored separately in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat – simply fill each squash half with the filling, sprinkle parmesan over the top and roast them in the oven at 350 degrees until they’re warmed to your liking. (Sometimes we’ll bump up the temperature to 400 degrees if needed. Every oven is different though so use your best judgement.)

FAQ’s

  • What’s the easiest way to cut a butternut squash in half? 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.
  • Do I need to peel my butternut squash before cooking it? Not for this recipe! The squash’s skin helps keep it’s shape while cooking and corrals your filling too!
  • Can you eat butternut squash skin? Yes! After slow roasting it in the oven, the skin becomes super soft and edible!
  • I can’t find ground Italian sausage! What do I do? Use your favorite sausage links instead and remove the sausage from it’s casing before cooking it.
  • 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’re looking for one then I’d suggest something lighter like a small side salad or simple cooked vegetable. (My Citrus Pomegranate Kale Salad would be a fantastic option!)
Sausage stuffed butternut squash sitting on a metal pan sitting next to a bowl of shaved parmesan and fresh thyme sprigs

Why you’ll love this sausage stuffed butternut squash recipe!

  • An all-in-one meal! This dish is loaded with protein, veggies, seasonal fruit & healthy fats! It’s hearty & nutritious!
  • Full of Fall flavors! Sweet butternut squash, crisp apples, spicy sausage & tender kale! It all just works together! (Don’t forget the parmesan on top – it’s the best part!😉)
  • Make them ahead of time! Cook your squash and filling the day before then reheat them together when you’re ready to eat! They’re perfect for an easy weeknight dinner!

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

Need it dairy free? Omit the cheese or use your favorite dairy free parmesan.

More squash recipes you might like:

[Made one of my recipes? Tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments – I love seeing what you create!]

2 butternut squash halves stuffed with a healthier sausage, apple and cranberry filling sitting next to a small bowl of parmesan cheese
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5 from 1 vote

Sausage Apple & Cranberry Stuffed Butternut Squash

Butternut squash halves are roasted until tender then stuffed with a sweet & savory sausage filling, topped with parmesan cheese & broiled until melty! This stuffed butternut squash recipe is so tasty & perfect for an easy Fall dinner!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apples, butternut squash recipes, comfort food, cranberries, kale, sausage, stuffed butternut squash
Servings: 4 servings (1 half per person)
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 1 lb. Italian ground chicken sausage* (I use hot Italian sausage)
  • ¾-1 Honeycrisp apple, cored & diced
  • ½ medium white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 cups green kale, chopped & packed
  • ¼ 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 stem 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 onions and garlic and cook until tender. (about 2 minutes) Then add your sausage, dried thyme and rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the sausage is cooked through and crumbly.
  • 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

*Sweet Italian chicken sausage can be used instead. (Or use your favorite ground pork or turkey sausage.) If you can’t find ground sausage – use sausage links and remove the sausage from it’s casing before cooking it.
 

4 Comments

  1. Sounds so delicious!! Comfort food is my favorite! Added to my fall menu!

  2. Oh my goodness, these stuffed squash look amazing! They would actually make a wonderful vegetarian holiday entree, I am sure vegan sausage would be an easy substitute in this recipe!

  3. So tasty! Made this last night. Tastes like Thanksgiving. Nom

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