Stuffed Acorn SquashWe love the sweet nutty flavor of acorn squash. We also love cornbread stuffing. This recipe is the best of both worlds. This Italian take on stuffed squash combines the rich, corn-forward flavor of polenta with Italian sausage and red peppers to create a rich delicious dish that’s perfect as a hearty side or served as a main dish with a side salad. Using prepared polenta saves time, but you can also make your own. Just spread cooked polenta into a baking pan and allow it cool before cutting it into squares.

Polenta Stuffed Acorn Squash

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 6 stuffed squash halves

Polenta Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients

  • 3 medium acorn squash, about 3/4 to 1 pound each
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 pound fresh Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 18-ounce tube of prepared polenta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus additional for sprinkling on top
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut squash in half horizontally and remove seeds. Brush with melted butter and place flesh-down on baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Bake 30-45 minutes, or until sharp knife easily pierces squash.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and sauté for 4-5 minutes, breaking up meat with spoon. Add onion and bell pepper and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove pan from heat and stir in polenta cubes, cheese and parsley. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if needed.

Flip roasted squash over so that flesh side – which will now be somewhat caramelized – is facing up. Pack each with rounded spoonfuls of filling, dividing it evening among all six squash halves. Sprinkle with additional cheese and bake 15-20 minutes or until filling is heated through and cheese has melted.

 

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