With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I have a couple holiday-appropriate recipes lined up. Fall is one of my favorite food seasons because I love all the fall produce, like apples, sweet potatoes, and (especially) squash! I never really ate squash as a kid, it’s not really something you see in Filipino kitchens. But when I discovered squash, it was magical. I like squash prepared very simply, cut in half and roasted in the oven with a little butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper until it’s tender.
So after acquiring some free squash(es?) from Jeff’s parents during our recent trip back to Michigan, I wanted a little change up from our usual squash routine. I found this recipe from Alton Brown, whom I love!!! I don’t know why I never thought of stuffing squash, it’s the perfect vessel for stuffing once you cut off the top and clean out the seeds. Leave it to AB to give me that “ah ha” moment (for me it would be more of a “no shit!” moment).
I did change out the stuffing part of AB’s recipe; I wanted a more Thanksgiving-type of stuffing with a bread base instead of the rice base called for in the recipe. I had some leftover cornbread and a baguette in the freezer, and with all the cornbread stuffing recipes popping up I decided to do a basic Cornbread-Sausage recipe from Food Network Magazine. Plus, this gives me an excuse to eat stuffing more than once a year, which is always good in my book.
Try this out, the cornbread stuffing is really flavorful and the squash absorbs some of the flavor of the sausage. A whole squash is a great serving as a stand alone meal, but if you wanted to serve this as a side (for Thanksgiving maybe) then I would half or quarter the squash lengthwise and then fill them with the stuffing. Enjoy!
Squash Stuffed with Cornbread-Sausage Stuffing
- 4 squash, any small variety about 1 to 1 1/4 lb each, such as acorn, buttercup, carnival
- 1 pound sausage
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 tablespoon sage, minced
- 1 tablespoon thyme, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 cups *stale cornbread, cubed
- 3 cups *stale white bread, cubed
*If bread is not stale, you can dry it out in a 325° oven for 5-10 minutes or until the bread is crusty and dry.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut 1 inch off the top of each squash and clean out the seeds. You may need to cut a little off the bottom of the squash in order for it to stand upright, just make sure not to cut off too much. Place the squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and put aside.
In a large saute pan over medium high heat, brown the sausage. When the sausage is no longer pink, remove from the saute pan, draining any fat from the sausage, and set aside. Melt the butter in the same saute pan and add the onion, celery, sage, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
In a large bowl, add the egg, cornbread, and white bread and stir to combine. Pour in the vegetable-broth mixture and the reserve sausage and toss to combine.
Fill the squash with the stuffing and top each squash with its lid. Bake the squash for about 1 hour or until the squash is tender. To test the squash, pierce the flesh with a paring knife and if it enters with no resistance then it is done. Serve immediately!
There is likely to be extra stuffing, so transfer the remaining stuffing to a baking dish and bake alongside the squash. Bake covered for 25-30 minutes and then remove the cover and bake until golden, about 15 minutes.