Friday, November 9, 2012

Kale, Cranberry, and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Thanksgiving is in two weeks. Two weeks. Things have been busy in our house lately, so I really can't even believe it's November. My littlest baby started preschool this week. She could have started last month, but she was not ready. Okay it was totally me who was not ready. It's just so strange when the baby in the family goes to preschool. It's been over 5 years since I've had a baby/toddler at home 24/7, and although I may finally get a chance to tackle some projects I haven't had time to (okay more like take a shower alone - they're only in school a few hours a few mornings a week), I miss my little buddy in the front of the shopping cart.

Every year our family celebrates Thanksgiving at least twice. The week before Thanksgiving we celebrate "Friendsgiving" - a big pot luck dinner party at our friends' house with 100 of their closest friends that goes late into the night. A week later we celebrate either here in Santa Barbara or in Arizona with the other side of our family. Because I don't make sugary treats often, I always request to bring a deliciously decadent cake, pie, etc. I still haven't decided on one for this year. 
Photo by my friend Sarah of last year's Friendsgiving. Scrapbook paper placemats for a crowd? Genius! 
What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish to make? According to the Fun Facts from Mrs. Cubbison's new “Thanksgiving Across America” Survey, turkey is #1 and stuffing is #2 on Thanksgiving tables, but special diets are growing in importance. I can relate to the second part - I'm not a big fan of roast turkey, but I do love all the other Thanksgiving flavors. And why not enjoy those flavors all month instead of just one day? Kale, Cranberry, and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash is a great easy dinner that feels like Thanksgiving anytime. You can adjust this to your own dietary needs. Use vegetarian sausage like I did, or the real thing. I've even seen gluten free stuffing around. For great Thanksgiving tips be sure to visit  Mrs. Cubbison’s Facebook page and

Have you decided on your Thanksgiving menu yet? Pinterest is another great source for ideas. 
Have a wonderful weekend! 

Kale, Cranberry, and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash 
printer friendly recipe 

makes 4 

2 large acorn squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 cups chopped or torn Tuscan kale
1 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1-2 cooked Italian sausages, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used vegetarian)
3 cups stuffing mix

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds with a spoon. Drizzle or brush cut edges and inside of squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and syrup. Sprinkle with salt. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until softened. Add the kale and continue to saute until tender, adding a tablespoon of water and covering if needed. Add the vegetable broth, cranberries, sausage, and stuffing mix and stir to combine. Cook for one minute and remove from heat.

Fill roasted squash with the stuffing. If there is extra stuffing, bake it in a small casserole dish. Cover stuffed squash with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes longer to brown the top.



  1. Such beautiful photos! I love using squash as a serving "dish" and these are single serving - so cute! The recipe sounds wonderful =)

  2. Lovely acorn squash recipe Marina!

  3. Who needs turkey? Between this and your Brussels sprout mac and cheese, I'm set!

  4. ugh, i can't believe it's 2 weeks away - how did this year fly by SO fast?! this looks like a perfect dish for the big day!

  5. Brilliant Marina!! I think I will use this recipe to give my old-school cornbread stuffing new life this thanksgiving.. : )

  6. This looks so yummy! I had stuffed acorn squash last weekend at a friends house and am a big fan now. I like the addition of the cranberries too.

  7. Really delicious! I can't believe that Thanksgiving is sooooo close by, this squash would grace any table.
    Mary x

  8. What a gorgeous dish!! I can't get over how fast time is going! It;s crazy to think Thanksgiving is just about next week!!

  9. I knew we were kindred spirits! I don't care for the turkey either (almost hate to say it) but I love the dressing, the potatoes, the homemade rolls and always a chocolate cream pie (the pumpkin pie is not on my list either) or a pumpkin cheesecake with a praline topping. These look wonderful. I am such a squash fan (but not sweet potatoes either). My kids think I am so funny with my likes and dislikes for Thanksgiving! I love the Friendgiving idea. That is fabulous and how fun to make it a huge affair!

  10. I love stuffed squash, one of these is all I need for my Thanksgiving meal!

  11. Marina, this dish is fantastic, it's a piece of art really... :) For Thanksgiving menu is very traditional, with turkey, gravy, mash potatoes, pie, and a lot of fruits... :)

  12. This is such a beautiful dish! It's so elegant and would make a truly beautiful addition to Thanksgiving dinner. And I love the idea of a "Friendsgiving" - sounds like so much fun!

  13. looks amazing! and confession I have never cooked ana corn squash before!! I think this is the push I needed!

  14. This looks amazing!! I'll have to try it - my vegetarian self appreciates these type of Thanksgiving recipes. :) {especially low fat ones - I'm low-fat for my MS diet}. anyway, love the idea of a Friendsgiving, too - I think it would probably be more fun than a family Thanksgiving with all the drama associated!

  15. Looks like another winner, Marina! Can't wait to try it!


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