Sausage-Stuffed Squash

We love Delicata squash for this weeknight dinner recipe.

Sausage-Stuffed Squash
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Melissa Gray; Prop Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

Around this time of year, butternut squash tends to get lots of attention, but this fall, we're highlighting some of the fantastic ways to use lesser-known squash varieties. Consider Delicata squash the winterized version of summer-growing zucchini; it has a similar shape and a mild, delicate flavor. Go ahead—you can eat this small squash skin and all. Flavor wise, it's sweet and creamy. Use it in place of acorn squash or sweet potatoes. Since this squash skin is edible, it's the perfect choice to make stuffed squash boats. In this recipe, we're stuffing Delicata squash with a savory sausage filling.

Our Sausage-Stuffed Squash is versatile enough to be served as a main dish or as a stunning side. Packed with Italian flavors of sausage, garlic, thyme, and Pecorino-Romano, this squash dish is well-suited for the cooler weather. The secret star of this dish is the cheesy cornbread-pecan topping that gets crumbled over each stuffed squash. Not only is this a great way to use up leftover cornbread, but the pecans draw out the natural nuttiness of the Delicata squash. To cut down on prep time, the squash can be stuffed ahead of time and baked right before dinner.


  • 2 medium delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeds and stems removed and discarded 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 8 ounces ground hot Italian pork sausage

  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion (from 1 medium onion)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves 

  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, stems removed, leaves cut into 1-inch strips (about 4 cups)

  • ¼ cup water or chicken stock

  • ¼ cup crumbled day-old cornbread

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans, toasted

  • ½ ounce pecorino Romano cheese, grated with a Microplane grater (about ⅓ cup)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil; season with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Place squash, cut sides up, on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake, uncovered, until almost tender, about 30 minutes. Remove squash from oven; set aside at room temperature.

  2. While squash roast, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium. Add sausage. Cook, using a spatula to break apart pork into small pieces, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion, garlic, thyme, and oregano. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add chard, water, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chard is wilted and liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

  3. Spoon sausage mixture evenly into squash halves. Stir together cornbread, pecans, and cheese in a small bowl until well combined, and sprinkle evenly over pork mixture. Bake stuffed squash halves at 375°F until squash are tender and topping is golden brown, about 10 minutes; cool 5 minutes before serving.

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