Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not much of a cook. I’m an avid recipe searcher – but generally lack at the execution aspect. With the exception of a few things that I make (all things that involve the oven not the stove top) Ken is the main cook in our house since we prefer to eat non-burnt, non-raw inside food. However, last week my sister posted a photo of an acorn squash she had cooked and it just looked amazing. Then when I went to the grocery store over the weekend there they were right up front on display and on sale Acorn squash. I HAD to have one. So I bought it.
(Ken opens fridge)
Ken: What is this thing?
Me: It’s an acorn squash.
Ken: What do you do with it?
Me: I have no idea. Nicole posted a picture on Facebook and it looked really good so I got one.
Ken: Have you ever had it before?
Me: No. But I bet it’s awesome. (Text’s Nicole to see how she cooked it Answer “I googled it.” Crap now I have to google it. I have this weird looking squash thing and no idea how to even begin cooking it.)
So we looked up a bunch of recipes and most called for ingredients we didn’t have. Since I had not planned ahead and already gone to the store, this was no good so we decided to take a couple aspects of several different recipes and make our own. What’s the worst that could happen? If it totally sucks we could just order pizza right?
Most of the recipes called for baking it with butter and brown sugar and serving it as a side dish. (which is what my sister did) That seemed pretty good, however that seemed like way too much squash to have as a side for two people, and a lot of work for just a side dish so we decided to turn it into more of a meal.
BEST IDEA EVER I’m not even remotely exaggerating when I say that this was not only the best meal I’ve had at home in a long time, it’s also quite possibly the best meal I’ve had PERIOD in a long time. It captured all of the feelings of fall in a single meal. It was so good I decided to post my first (and with my skills possibly my last) recipe.
So here’s what we did so you can create this masterpiece yourself:
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 65 minutes (it’s worth the wait I promise)
- 1 medium to large acorn squash
- 3 links pre-cooked italian style chicken sausage (you could use pork sausage as well just make sure you cook it)
- 1 cup dry stuffing mix (we used turkey flavor because that’s what we had)
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves diced garlic (if you’re using jarred minced garlic this is 2 teaspoons)
Preheat oven to 400. If using the pre cooked sausage links cut into 1/4 inch thick slices then quarter them. In a large bowl combine stuffing mix until most of the liquid is absorbed. (we had a little extra – no big deal) Add the sausage, garlic and onion and mix.
Cut the acorn squash lengthwise and clean out, deseed the cavity. Place the two halves on a cookie sheet and press as much of the stuffing mixture into each cavity as you can fit allowing it to mound up on top. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the stuffing starts to brown on the top. Remove from oven and tuck aluminum foil around the squash halves. Return to oven and cook an additional 30-35 minutes until squash is fork tender.
Remove from oven and enjoy!