Get your fall cooking started off right with this classic squash recipe.
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Stuffed squash is one of the first things I make every fall. I LOVE squash season, and seriously get giddy when I start seeing the seasonal squash in the produce section. I inevitably buy ALL the squash, and my husband wonders when he’ll ever eat a meal without squash again 😉
But even better, squash season also lines up pretty nicely with the timing of when we start to get meat back from the butcher from the year’s deer season harvest. I’m a SUCKER for venison grind, so I am always so excited to start using it, and a stuffed squash recipe is always in order.
Unfortunately, with the Napa fires this year, my husband wasn’t able to harvest any deer (he hunts in Napa county, and the fires started right after the season opener and ran through all of the land that they hunt on, pretty much wiping the season out), so our venison grind stash won’t get replenished. Luckily, we still have some from a good harvest last year, so I was able to whip up my favorite version of stuffed squash, using venison Italian sausage and delicata squash.
The real beauty of this recipe is that you can virtually substitute any ground meat and/or squash (although you may have to play around with the number of squash you buy to ensure you have enough filling. Use a ground sausage style meat, or use with plain ground meat. My favorite squash to stuff is delicata, but I also love kabocha and acorn (very seasonal if you are cooking for an occasion!).
One thing to note — if you decide to make this with plain ground meat (e.g., ground beef), but still want the Italian sausage style seasonings, consider adding some extra spices in like red chili flakes, onion powder, and oregano. One (1) teaspoon of each should do the trick!
Have you made these? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!
RECIPE (Serves 4)
- 1 lb. venison Italian sausage (regular Italian sausage works here, too!)
- 2 delicata squash
- 1/2 bunch kale (I like lacinato), chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt & pepper
- Avocado oil
Preheat your oven to 400. Slice your squash in half, and remove the pulp. Brush with avocado oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast until fork tender, about 25 mins, and remove from oven.
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat about 1 tbsp. avocado oil. Add in onions and garlic, quickly cook until fragrant (15-30 seconds), and then add in the venison sausage. Once almost browned, add in your choppe kale, Stir and cook until wilted and the venison sausage is fully browned.
Spoon the desired amount of filling into each squash half, and serve!