A few posts ago I mentioned the over use of kale I suffered from a few years ago. I’ve moved past the days of using it as a central ingredient in every meal I make. But I have not and will not move past this recipe. It remains one of my cold weather favorites, a play on a childhood comfort food with protein and veggies all in one easy to make dish! Plus, you’re left with just a few dirty dishes at the end (a huge bonus in a dishwasher-less Manhattan apartment.)
I usually make this dish as the staple entree and serve it with some warm bread. It really is all you need! I also love it for leftovers, one of those meals that somehow tastes better the second, or third time around!
So here it is, I strongly encourage you to give it a try!
Kale and Turkey Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash
1 lb. hot Italian turkey sausage
1 lb. kale
3 tablespoons butter
4 rounded teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Notes Before We Begin
- I usually use turkey sausage, as listed above, but I have substituted ground turkey in the past. Just be sure to season to taste if you use this alteration, as the sausage brings a lot of flavor to balance the sweetness in the recipe.
- Please be aware of your thumbs. I am not kidding! Cutting and scoring the squash can be risky business. Pay attention, be careful, and never push or pull your knife in the direction of important body parts.
- You will have more filling than you can fit into the squash. I heat the leftover mixture just before serving and add it to the plate around the stuffed squash.
Ok, now that we got all of that out of our way, let’s cook!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Halve your acorn squash one at a time from tip to stem. I do this by placing the squash stem side to the cutting board, it should rest there comfortably. Insert your knife at the tip and cut in one direction down to the board. Repeat to cut the other direction. Score the inner flesh of each piece.
Like I said before, keep your fingers away from your knife!!!
Once your squash is halved, scoop out the seeds and stringy sections. Scrape your spoon along the inside to remove and remaining pieces. Place each squash open side up in a baking dish.
Split the butter between the four sections. Top each tab of butter with a rounded teaspoon of brown sugar. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the green onions, set aside. Rinse and coarsely chop the kale.
Remove sausage from the outer casing and cooking a frying pan, stirring often, until no longer pink. Remove from heat and drain sausage over paper towels to remove excess grease.
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in the same pan used for sausage. Add chopped green onion, stirring regularly until soft. Add kale, being aware that you may not be able to fit it all at once. If so, add what will fit, stir, and cover until partially wilted. Repeat until all kale has been added. Add maple syrup and stir. Allow to cook for 2 minutes more. Return sausage to the pan and stir throughout kale. Allow to cook for 5 minutes then remove from heat.
When squash has cooked for 45 minutes, remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375.
Spoon kale and sausage mixture into squash sections. Fill them until over filled. Return to the oven and cook for 15 minutes more.
Allow squash to cool for 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!