The crisp winds of fall are bringing not only those piles of crunchy, dead leaves covering the sidewalks but also wheelbarrows full of squashes, pumpkins and gourds. So let's Traeger those bad boys!
When we see squash we can't help but want to stuff it! We saddled up the buttery "meat" of an acorn squash with some real meat: sausage. With the addition of a few chunks of cream cheese on top to smooth it all out and soothe the heat of the smoked paprika and pepper, this cold weather feast is ready to warm the soul.
SAUSAGE-STUFFED ACORN SQUASH
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 40 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any
1 lb. turkey sage sausage or italian sausage
2 acorn squash, cut in half
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt, plus more for seasoning
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 c. shredded green cabbage
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
1 tbsp. minced garlic
4 oz. cream cheese (about 1/2 c.)
4 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
Scrape out and clean the seeds out of the acorn squash. (If you want, you can dry and roast the seeds and use them as a crunchy topping.)
Start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (about 5 minutes). Preheat to High heat, lid closed, for about 15 minutes.
Place the squash halves cut side up on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil, and season with 1 tsp. of the salt and the pepper and sprinkle with the smoked paprika.
Place the squash on the Traeger and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden around the edges and a knife can be inserted easily into the flesh.
While the squash is cooking, get cracking on the stuffing. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and pour in the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil. When hot, add the turkey sausage, making sure to leave large chunks. Let the chunks brown, then turn and cook through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Drain the oil from the sausage and in the same pan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the red, yellow and jalapeno peppers and onion and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the onions are soft and the peppers are still a little al dente.
Add in the cabbage and cook until it starts to color and wilt, about 4 minutes.
Add the turkey back in along with the garlic. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes more to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat and add in the chopped parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper and a pinch of smoked paprika as needed.
Take the squash halves and divide the turkey mixture among the squash halves.
Cut the cream cheese into 1/2-inch cubes and evenly distribute it over the top of the stuffed acorn squash halves.
Put the acorn squash back on the Traeger and cook for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned.
Garnish with a bit of parsley and serve immediately.
Sausage stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe.docx (12.46 kb)