I don’t know about you guys…but my favorite season is definitely Fall. I love the warm spices, the apples, the pumpkin, the squash, and cozy sweaters! This dish was inspired by my readiness for the fall. It was a colder August day and I was feeling those Fall vibes. I thought…acorn squash! Then I wanted to do that sweet and salty pairing, so I decided on sausage and apples. I added goat cheese to give a tang and a little creaminess. The secret ingredient that make these little squash so irresistible is the ground thyme. Just a little bit of this spice brings out the umami/savory quality of the pork that make you want to eat more!
Not only are these a great healthy Fall meal, they are also really easy to make and look gourmet! You want to impress your friends and family, make this meal!!!
1 Medium Yellow Onion Chopped (around 1 1/2 cup)
1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage Links - Casings Removed
2 Medium Acorn Squash, Cut in Half and De-Seeded
2-3 Celery Stalks, Bottoms Cut Off, Thinly Sliced (around 1 cup sliced)
Extra Virgin Oil
1 tbsp Light Oil
1 Sweet Apple, Diced (I used honey crisp)
1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, Minced (2 large sprigs)
1/4 tsp Ground Thyme
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/8 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper (or 5-6 grinds on the pepper grinder)
1/2 cup Goat Cheese Crumbles
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the inside of each carved out acorn squash half. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil and lay the acorn squash halves face down.
3. Cook acorn squash for 35 min.
4. While the squash is cooking, heat 1 tbsp light oil in a deep dish sauté pan on medium high heat.
5. Add the onions and celery and sauté for 6-7 min or until the onions are softened and starting to lightly brown, stirring occasionally.
6. Add your sausage removed from the casings and break it up continuously with a spoon, stirring it into the mixture. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until completely cooked.
7. Add your apples, rosemary and seasonings. Cook for an additionally 2-3 minutes or until apples have softened, stirring occasionally.
8. With the heat off, stir in your goat cheese until it has melted into the mixture. Reserve on the stove.
9. When the squash are done, remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven to 350 degrees.
10. Flip the squash on the pan and evenly fill each half with the sausage filling.
11. Immediately place them back in the oven for 10 more minutes of cook time. Serve with a dressed salad and/or crunchy Italian bread.