Sausage, Apple, & Cranberry Stuffed Butternut Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 med/large butternut squash
  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil or olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 3 cups kale chopped
  • 1 medium apple, chopped (honeycrisp or pink lady)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425° degrees F and prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut open each butternut squash lengthwise so you have 4 long halves. Scoop out the seeds and strings, then drizzle with 2 Tbsp of the oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper.
  3. Place halves face down on the baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until softened (check at 30 minutes).
  4. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cook sausage into the skillet until almost done.
  5. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  6. Add in the fresh herbs and continue to cook for another minute.
  7. Stir in the kale, apples, and pecans, and cook for another minute or two until just softened.
  8. Remove from heat, stir in the cranberries, and season the mixture to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
  9. Once the squash is done, allow it to cool until you are able to scoop out the squash, leaving about 3/4” border around the sides and bottom.
  10. Stir the scooped out squash into the sausage mixture.
  11. Generously fill the sausage mixture into the squash boats.
  12. Place filled squash boats onto the the baking sheet and broil on high until the top of the stuffing and squash are golden brown, 2-4 minutes or so.  
  13. Garnish with additional fresh herbs, salt, and pepper to taste.

Thanks to the original recipe found here.

Bacon and Butternut Squash Pasta

Ingredients

  • 3 cups peeled butternut squash, cubed into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 strips of turkey or regular bacon
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 8oz pasta, any type
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups reduced-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup provolone, shredded
  • 1/3 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese

Instructions

Squash, Bacon, & Onions
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Prepare two oven safe cooking trays with foil. 
  3. Spray one pan with cooking spray and spread cubed butternut squash evenly over pan. Top with garlic powder, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, place bacon onto the second prepared pan and set a second timer for 10 minutes. 
  6. After 10 minutes check the bacon. Continue cooking bacon in 5 minute increments until bacon is brown and crisp, but not burnt. 
  7. Allow bacon to cool on paper towels and then crumble.
  8. While bacon cools, spray a medium sized pan with cooking spray (or coat pan with bacon grease) and cook onions on medium low until translucent.
Pasta & Sauce
  1. When squash is browned and done baking, increase oven temperature to 450F.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions until al dente, drain.  
  3. Meanwhile combine flour and a pinch of salt in a dutch oven, over medium high heat. 
  4. Slowly add milk while constantly whisking. Continue stirring until sauce comes to a low boil, cooking an additional minute until slightly thickened. 
  5. Remove sauce from heat and stir in provolone cheese until melted. 
  6. Add cooked squash, bacon, and onions to pasta and sauce mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 10 minutes. 

Thanks to Cooking Light Comfort Food  for the original recipe! (p. 212)