Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

5 from 13 votes

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These sausage stuffed acorn squash have a savory sourdough stuffing, full of pecans and cranberries. Make this recipe for part of your holiday meal or a weeknight dinner!

sausage stuffing inside of baked acorn squash on plate with fork

Whether you call it sausage stuffing or dressing, imagine it baked into acorn squash with sautéed onions and celery, pecans, and fresh cranberries. And of course, a drizzle of maple syrup on top. The result is our new favorite fall meal, and it is off the hook tasty!

The stuffed squash is filling enough to be a meal in itself, but if you make the servings smaller, it’s also a great Thanksgiving side dish.

Speaking of Thanksgiving and other special holidays, these would be gorgeous on the table with a roasted turkey! If you plan to make one, I have an entire post on tips for roasting and carving a turkey.

If you’re looking for other dishes to serve with it, consider making a few of these Thanksgiving side dishes, and don’t forget to make the best roasted mashed potatoes you’ll ever eat!

Thanksgiving dressing baked into a winter squash

Sausage stuffed acorn squash

The ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe are pretty basic, but I have few notes and substitutions to mention.

Ingredient notes and substitutions

  • Acorn squash– I prefer the sweetness of this squash, but the recipe will definitely work with other types of winter squash. It would work well with butternut squash, or even spaghetti squash.
  • Sausage– Any regular ground pork sausage will work. You could also use ground Italian sausage, a tube of breakfast sausage, or even hot sausage if you want to.
  • Sourdough bread– If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make homemade sourdough bread. Otherwise, buy it ready to use. You could also use regular stuffing cubes or croutons.
  • Cranberries– Fresh or frozen cranberries may be used. If you have a hard time finding them, you can use dried cranberries.
  • Pecans– Of course, any type of nut can be used. Walnuts or even almonds would be delicious. You can omit the nuts entirely if you need or want to.

Another option instead of using cranberries is to make apple sausage stuffing.

photo collage of homemade Thanksgiving dressing and baked squash halves

Meatless Option

If meat isn’t your thing, leave the sausage out. I highly recommend it though, as the sausage adds a bit of savory moisture and texture that takes this over the top from side dish to main course.

Or, use a protein-rich substitute like lentils, or chopped portobello mushrooms, which are often used as a vegan meat substitute.

savory stuffed squash with sausage and cranberry stuffing

Video: Making sausage stuffed acorn squash

To see how easy the stuffed squash recipe is to make, watch the video located in the recipe card below!

plated dinner of sausage stuffed acorn squash

Recipe Notes

Make ahead instructions

If you’d like to make sausage stuffed acorn squash ahead of time, it can be done. However, you’ll need to keep the stuffing separate from the squash until you’re ready to bake it.
Both should be fine in the refrigerator for up to two days, but it’s best not to wait much longer than that.


To prevent any chance of illness from bacteria, use a cooking thermometer to be sure that the filling reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

close up image of stuffed squash with homemade dressing (stuffing)

This post, first published on Kevin Is Cooking Oct. 17, 2016, was last updated with new content on Sept. 7, 2021.

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Call it stuffing or dressing, these Savory Stuffed Acorn Squash have a sausage sourdough bread stuffing with pecans and cranberries that doesn’t need a holiday to be eaten. We eat these whenever rI can get fresh acorn squash. Amazing stuffing!

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash + Video

5 from 13 votes
These sausage stuffed acorn squash have sourdough stuffing, pecans and cranberries. Make this recipe for an easy holiday side or main dish.
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 4 slices sourdough bread toasted and cubed (See Note 1)
  • 2 acorn squash halved and seeded
  • 1/2 lb sausage meat See Note 2
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2-3 sage leaves chopped (see Note 3)
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecans chopped
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup divided


  • Preheat oven 425°F. Using a sharpened kitchen knife, cut the acorn squash in half vertically starting at tip down to the stem. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Rub oil all over squash and salt and pepper the cut sides. Place cut side up on lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Toast the sourdough bread slices and then cube, set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat and the oil, sausage meat and start to brown, 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, herbs, red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Cook for another 6 minutes. Remove from skillet and add to large bowl to cool.
  • When sausage mixture is cool enough to handle add the bread, egg and chicken stock. Toss to coat evenly. Add the cranberries and pecans and mix.
  • Divide stuffing mixture evenly between each squash half and press down gently to mold in cavity. Drizzle with maple syrup and bake for another 15-20 minutes, and tops are golden brown and crispy.



  1. Use thick slices of bread, about the thickness of two sandwich bread slices.
  2. I used half (8 ounces) regular pork sausage. There’s also the Spicy HOT version if you’d like a spicier stuffing.
  3. Substitute 1/2 teaspoon of ground sage if fresh isn’t available.


Calories: 640kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 768mg | Potassium: 1233mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1028IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 6mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image of sausage stuffed acorn squash


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. This has autumn written all over it. I better hurry and get it on the table though. I hear we are going to be at 100 degrees by the middle of the week here in So. Cal. GREG

    1. I was just out with my dogs here in San Diego and it as 51° F this morning and it’s supposed to be 81°F today. Our SoCal weather is all over the place. I’m thinking this might do very well for breakfast. 😉 Stay cool!

  2. 5 stars
    I absolutely love your recipes Kevin. Made your balsamic pork chops once again yesterday.
    YUM!! Your recipes are super easy to follow and you use ingredients that I usually have on
    hand or are ready available. Thank you for being so creative, inventive, fun to read about
    your life, wonderful every day recipes for busy people….can I go on? I think you are awesome!!!

  3. Hey Kevin! Squash and stuffing are the highlights of Thanksgiving for me! Combined this makes me very happy! My stuffing has sausage in it and quite often apples and pecans. I do a twice baked butternut squash that has spinach and mushrooms in it which is pretty tasty!

  4. 5 stars
    It is just Boy and I this Thanksgiving, so we are going out to dinner that day, BUT I’m totally thinking we need to do THIS for Thanksgiving Eve!! I am obsessing over this stuffed squash, Kevin! Stuffing (or dressing) is my favorite part of Turkey Day, so THIS deliciousness has me like WHOA! I want to eat this for dinner ever night for the next few months on repeat!! Pinned!! Cheers, buddy!

    1. YES! It doesn’t need to be just a holiday thing. We’ve had it 3 times total now, Dave digs this one. I always thought the super soft and untextured stuffing (or dressing) was blah and I think keeping textures in there and flavors that pop are key. We’re actually hitting up Dave’s sister in Portland area for the big day. Looking forward to seeing family. Happy Monday friend!

    1. I’m hoping this becomes a favorite, it sure is for us. Some many wonderful flavors and the combination is so tasty. Thanks Gaila!

    1. Thank you Karen, appreciate it. This is a savory, salty, sweet and delicious one for sure! A great side dish for either your Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Heck, make it both! 😉

  5. Stuffed acorn squash is one of my favorite fall meals Kevin. I usually stuff mine with rice, but stuffing sounds even better! These really are a meal in itself. Thanks so much for sharing. Can’t wait to try your version! Happy Monday!

  6. Oh wow, are these beautiful!! I love the festive flavors of things like cranberry and sage in there, and I bet maple takes them over the top. And I think sausage is the perfect addition to make this into a full meal!

    1. Thanks Faith! I think this a nice hint of flavors for the upcoming holidays and a great side dish for either Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Happy Monday friend!

  7. Oh my goodness! Love this, Kevin! So many delicious flavours going on and the presentation is just beautiful!! How perfect to serve to family over the holidays!
    And did you know what? I’m a HUGE love of stuffing, aka dressing in these parts and could probably make a meal of that in itself. Like, whenever we have turkey and there’s dressing involved….as much as I love turkey, I would be equally happy with a huge plate of dressing. For reals. I guess girl loves her carbs, lol. Definitely Pinning 🙂 Cheers to a great week!

    1. Mucho thanks Dawn! Dressing or stuffing, to me it’s comfort food and I love the savory, salty, sweet aspect of it and with a crunch of the nuts to counter the soft stuffing, it’s a winner in my book. #CarbLoversUnite 🙂

  8. You’ve got pretty much all of my favorite Fall flavors going on here, Kevin! From the cranberries to the pecans to the squash to the maple syrup. Yum! We still have some acorn squash laying on the counter (we grew a bunch of our own this year), and I totally want to make this stuffing! Heck, I’ll just eat it by itself it sounds so good. 🙂

    1. Thanksgiving goodness in a bowl. I really like the sourdough bread and tart cranberries in this to counter the sweet squash and maple syrup. BTW, I got some from Adirondack Maple Farms (no maple flavored here)!

      1. 5 stars
        Had all the ingredients on hand, sounded so good I couldn’t wait until dinner – it’s already in the oven (8:30 AM Pacific daylight time)!! Sourdough bread is more diabetic friendly than rice. Thanks for yet another great one.