Cake, Batter, and Bowl

Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Main Dishes

The past few weeks have been a bit more crazy than usual because I’ve been working on a grant with my PI while still trying to squeeze in a healthy number of experiments. Our annual genetics department and lab ski retreats have also been thrown into the mix, and I’ve been training for my first 5K! Since all these activities haven’t much time left to experiment in the kitchen, I’ve been whipping up some of my favorite tried and true recipes instead.

This stuffed acorn squash dish was originally inspired by one of my very favorite bloggers, Joanne, whose blog, Eats Well with Others, is always entertaining and filled with mouth watering treats. Last fall she featured 12 weeks of winter squash recipes, which inspired me to stuff some squash of my own. This is a wonderful meal because the veggie, side, and main dish are all combined into one neat little container! I simply filled roasted acorn squash with quinoa, thyme, leeks, and turkey sausage, and then added in cranberries and goat cheese for a little tangy sweetness to balance out the savory flavors. I’ve also made it with ground turkey and pork sausage – you really can’t go wrong. This is truly an easy and tasty dish that never disappoints.

Also, thanks to everyone for your blogiversary wishes and for entering my giveaway! The lucky winners were numbers 12 and 96 – congrats to Sophie and Christine!

Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
4 acorn squash, cut in half with seeds and pulp removed
1 1/2 cups quinoa
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
1 pound turkey sausage, casings removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dried cranberries
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place squash cut side down on a large cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 375˚F for 35 to 40 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, place quinoa and chicken stock in a stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Stir in thyme and salt.

Place leeks and turkey sausage in a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until sausage is browned and leeks are tender. Add garlic and cook one additional minute.

Stir cooked quinoa, cranberries, and goat cheese in with browned sausage mixture. Pile quinoa and sausage mixture evenly into cooked squash. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition: 392 calories, 9.7g fat, 6.6g fiber, 20.9g protein per serving
Cost: $1.74 per serving

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