Bread Dressing Stuffed Acorn Squash will fill your house with the aroma of the Holidays. Flavors of Italian Sausage mingle with rosemary and sage to create a savory companion to your Thanksgiving feast.
The day after I made this Bread Dressing Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe I opened up my oven and it hit me, “Oh my that smells good”. I guess I was too busy cutting, chopping and photographing to enjoy what was being whipped up in my kitchen. With a swing of that oven door those gorgeous aromas transported me back to all the memories of Holidays past. Oh I loved waking up on Thanksgiving morning to the smell of sautéing onions and celery while my parents busily worked preparing our Thanksgiving feast. Those smells meant home, comfort and security to me. It meant time with family and that the season of eating incredibly good food had started. Our family dynamics have changed over the years but the smell of bread dressing and turkey still means the same thing today. That morning as I opened my oven door and the gorgeous aromas from this Bread Dressing Stuffed Acorn Squash danced in the air I instantly became excited, THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING!!!!!
Tips about Bread Dressing Stuffed Acorn Squash:
- What type of bread should you use for your bread dressing? Really the bottomline is going to be your favorite bread. I have found denser white sandwich breads and or wheat breads to work very well. My all-time favorite really is using homemade bread.
- I can’t suggest this enough, a good quality rich chicken stock will make all the difference. I have made the mistake in the past of buying the lesser costing stock and sadly it tasted like the chicken ran though hot water. The deeper, richer stocks or broths are going to impart more flavor thereby just making a tastier bread dressing.
- Add butter. I have made bread dressing with and without butter and both taste great but it always feels like there is something missing when butter isn’t added.
- Adding Italian sausage and mushrooms is my favorite way to eat bread dressing. Did you know that making Italian sausage is actually incredibly easy? Check out my Homemade Italian Sausage for details.
- Don’t skimp on the garlic, herbs and spices. They really are another element that adds depth of flavor. Here is a trick: I have a small coffee grinder that I use to grind only my Italian herbs.
- This recipe makes enough bread dressing to stuff your acorns and your turkey. Your welcome!
Bread Dressing Stuffed Acorn Squash
- 6 med acorn squashes
- olive oil *for drizzling or brushing
- salt & pepper *to taste
- For the Bread Dressing
- 1 1/2 lb loaf of bread *sliced and toasted
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2-4 tbsp butter *depending on taste preferences
- 1 med brown onion *diced about a heaping cup
- 2 celery stalks *diced about a heaping cup
- 1 lb sliced mushrooms
- 3-4 garlic cloves *crushed or minced
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp marjoram
- 1 tsp sage
- 2 tsp ground rosemary
- 1/2 tsp ground fennel *optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3/4-1 lb Italian sausage *crumbled
- 1 1/2- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350℉.
Lay bread slices out on large cookies sheets and toast in oven for 15 mins per side or until moisture is mostly gone. Another option is to lay bread slices out flat over night and let become stale permitting air is not humid. Let cool, cut into 1/2 inch squares & place into large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Slice off a small portion of bottoms of squashes so they stand flat & cut squashes in half. Remove seeds, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and place squashes face down. Bake in a 350℉ oven for 30-40 mins or until squash just begins to cook.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over med/high heat add olive oil and butter. Sauté onion until sweating, about 3-4 mins. Add celery and continue sautéing for another 3-4 mins, Add mushrooms, continue sautéing until they begin to loose their moisture and reduce in size. At this point add garlic, herbs & spices. Continue cooking for another 3-4 mins stirring frequently. Add to bread.
In the same frying pan sauté Italian sausage until golden brown, about 5-7 mins. Add to bread mixture. If sausage is high in fat, transfer with slotted spoon and discard excess grease.
Pour the first cup of stock over bread mixture and mix well. Continue adding broth to the level of moisture preferred. Once dressing is well mixed scoop a heaping cup into each of the partially baked squash halves. Cover pan well with aluminum foil and continue baking an additional 30 mins or until squash is tender. (Note: If using less broth place squash in a 1/4 inch water bath for final baking)
*Please use as many organic ingredients as possible.*
This recipe is part of Food Network’s Fall Fest recipe round up. For more squash inspiration check out:
A Mind “Full” Mom: Hidden Veggie Quesadilla
Foodtastic Mom: Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie
Dishin & Dishes: Thai Massaman Curry With Chicken and Butternut Squash
Devour: Combine Squash and Pasta for the Ultimate Fall Comfort Food
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Delicate Squash, Shitake, Kale & Quinoa Salad
Swing Eats: Zucchini Soufflé (gluten-free)
Healthy Eats: 6 Ways to Use Canned Pumpkin in Healthy Fall Meals
FN Dish: The Very Best Ways to Put In-Season Butternut Squash to Use
This recipe is also part of Meal Plan Monday.