This stuffed butternut squash is a meal in one, filled with chicken sausage and wild rice stuffing with mushrooms and cranberries.
Stuffed Butternut Squash with Wild Rice
This wild rice stuffed squash is a complete meal in one, packed with protein, carbs, and vegetables. It’s a beautiful main dish but also works as a side paired with turkey or chicken and a salad. Although this recipe is a little time consuming, a lot of that is just waiting for the squash and rice to cook, making this a perfect weekend recipe when you’re not in a rush. And no need to peel the squash so the prep is pretty simple. If you’d like to see some other stuffed squash recipes, try this Farro and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash and Stuffed Delicata Squash with Sausage-Mushroom Stuffing.
Do you peel butternut squash before baking?
Often, you do peel butternut squash before cooking it. However, for this recipe, there’s no need! The skin helps keep the squash together once it’s baked and stuffed, and you eat the filling, which has chopped squash in it.
Stuffed Butternut Squash Ingredients
- Butternut Squash: Cut a large butternut in half lengthwise, and top it with olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting.
- Sausage: Remove the casings from sweet Italian chicken or turkey sausage.
- Mushrooms: Slice button, shiitake, or baby bella mushrooms.
- Garlic: Mince two cloves.
- Salt to draw out the moisture in the mushrooms and flavor the veggies
- Kale: Shred two cups of kale.
- Cranberries: Use sweetened dried cranberries.
- Thyme: Sub rosemary for thyme.
- Black Pepper
- Wild Rice: You’ll need cooked rice for the stuffing.
How to Make Stuffed Butternut Squash
- Roast the Butternut Squash: Spray the cut sides of the squash with olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Place them cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 15 minutes at 400°F. Then flip them over and bake another 30 to 40 minutes until fork tender.
- Make the Stuffing: Crumble the sausage into a skillet on medium heat and lightly brown it. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and a pinch of salt, and cook for two minutes. Stir in the kale and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the cranberries and a tablespoon of the chopped thyme, season it with salt and pepper, and remove the pan from heat. Toss the mixture with the prepared rice.
- Scoop Out the Squash: Once the butternut squash is done, let it cool a bit. Then cup the sides of the squash with one hand so that it doesn’t tear, and spoon out some of the flesh, leaving a 3/4” border around the sides and bottom. Dice the remaining squash into small pieces and mix it with the rice and sausage.
- Stuff the Squash: Put half of the sausage mixture into each squash halve. Return the sheet pan to the oven and bake for another five minutes.
How to Freeze Stuffed Butternut Squash
This stuffed butternut squash with sausage will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it in airtight containers for up to three months. To thaw, put the dish in the fridge overnight and reheat it in the microwave or oven.
More Butternut Squash Recipes You’ll Love:
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Spinach and Butternut Squash Salad with Gorgonzola
- Stuffed Turkey Breasts with Butternut Squash and Figs
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash
- Butternut Squash Soup with Sage
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Stuffed Butternut Squash with Wild Rice and Sausage
FOR THE SQUASH
- 1 large butternut squash, (about 2 pounds) halved lengthwise, seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
FOR THE STUFFING
- 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
- 1 1/2 cups water or broth, for cooking the rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound fresh sweet Italian chicken or turkey sausage, casing removed
- 2 cups loosely packed sliced mushrooms, such as button, shiitake, or baby bella
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 cups loosely packed shredded kale
- 1/4 cup apple juice sweetened cranberries
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bake the squash. Spray the cut sides of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them cut-side down on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake another 30-40 minutes, until fork tender.
- Meanwhile, while the squash bakes make the rice. In a small lidded saucepan, combine the rice, cooking liquid and salt and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes, until tender. Drain any excess liquid and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Crumble the sausage into a skillet and cook until lightly browned, but still pink in some areas.
- Add the mushrooms, garlic and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring until the mushrooms are soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in the kale, and cook until completely wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Add the cranberries and 1 tablespoon of the chopped thyme and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Toss with the prepared rice.
- Once the squash is done, set it aside until cool enough to safely handle.
- Cupping the sides of the squash with one hand so that it doesn’t tear, spoon out some of the flesh, leaving a 3/4” border around the sides and bottom.
- Dice the remaining squash in small pieces and mix with the rice and sausage.
- Divide the sausage mixture between the hollowed out squash halves and fill to the top, mounding in the middle if there is extra. Return to the oven to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Arrange on a platter and serve immediately.
32 comments on “Stuffed Butternut Squash with Wild Rice and Sausage”
Great flavor used olive oil added sweet sliced chicken sausage, dried cranberries, garlic (at least 2 cloves chopped), thyme, parsley chopped, mushrooms sauteed in a splash of sherry to moisten and release the browning mushroom pieces with the chicken. We both enjoyed the epicurine quality aroma. Enjoy!
She means dried cranberries! I bought regular ones and was very confused… until I realized she meant dried. This recipe was absolutely delicious and my fiance loved it. I substituted the mushrooms for another veggie because they upset my stomach and it was still amazing.
There wasn’t much flavor in this dish. It tastes like it’s missing something. It just wasn’t worth all the effort.
what is wild rice?
Lisa, wild rice is a species of grain from grasses and not related to rice. It is rich in protein and other nutrients, has a nutty flavor and a firm bite to it. If I can’t get it, I’ve substituted brown rice or brown basmati rice. You could probably use regular white rice, but might have to adjust the cooking time a bit.
This was a yummy recipe. Thank you, Gina! I had to substitute ingredients because I didn’t have what was called for. I used reconstituted dried mushrooms, frozen spinach and kielbasa….and added a little rosemary and hot pepper flakes. So I imagine, if I had the fresh ingredients you called for, my dish would have been much better…but it was good with what I had in my pantry. I look forward to getting your new recipes!
I wanted to make this but couldn’t as there are so many pop ups, ads and your side banner w all your platforms. Not a good mobile experience at all!!
Love this! I used just ground turkey because I’m not a sausage fan and it was outstanding. I think I’ll try simplifying it and make it for lunches by just roasting cubed squash and skipping the stuffing steps. It’ll be less “romantic” but it’ll travel well!
Do you eat the skin of the squash?
No, you don’t eat the skin.
This was delicious and so pretty! Only switch I made was to use Trader Joes’s microwavable rice medley, added 1 cup cooked rice. We loved this dish. Thank you, Gina!
This wild rice stuffed squash looks delicious!
I have a question about the serving size? Is it one half of a squash? Is that what the the nutrition info is for? The reason I ask is that the top of the recipe says 4 servings. Maybe it’s 2 whole meal servings and 4 as a side? Thanks for letting me know either way. Can’t wait to make this!
It’s 1/2 of a 1/2. The whole recipe makes 6 cups!
Forgot to rate. Excellent flavor … loved this and will make again. Just took me longer to make than I thought it would.
Great flavors! I loved how this turned out. However, this took much longer for me to cook than stated in recipe. The butternut squash was still hard at specified time … took total of 1 hour 10 mins. Wild rice always takes at least 45 minutes to simmer, plus another 10 resting, so that was off as well. No time to let squash cool enough to handle … just did the scooping etc immediately after removing from oven. So total time was closer to two hours. I will make this again, but in future, will precook squash a bit in microwave first (I usually do this when I cook halved bnut squash to decrease bake time, but wanted to follow this recipe as written). Also, if using a rice blend, the cook time may be less, but pure wild rice always takes an hour to cook from start to finish, if not more, including the rinsing, bring water to boil, simmering, then letting stand.
I was so excited for this one, and it definitely delivered!
I made it exactly as written. So filling, in fact the “filling” was overflowing so I’m not sure if I did something wrong (no complaints here though!)
Excellent blend of fall flavors. Truly delicious!
I do not like wild rice – what would be a flavorful substitution?
Use brown rice
This is really delicious! Made it exactly as the recipe is written. A great Thanksgiving meal for two, with plenty of leftovers! Thank you for a great dish!
So glad you enjoyed it!
If made ahead without baking the stuffed squash and refrigerated, can it be reheated in the oven? Any suggestion for oven temperature or time for reheating?
I think you HAVE to bake the squash beforehand, and then store it and reheat.
Can I substitute spinach (for kale) and plant-based-sausage (for sausage)? Do I have to modify anything if I do?
I would love this as I do all of your recipes, but need clarification on serving size and one ingredient.
The recipe calls for one squash yet one serving is half the squash… at the top it says it serves 4+ .
Secondly, “apple juice sweetened cranberries”? Are these dried cranberries soaked in apple juice prior to using?
they sell cranberries sweetened with apple juice but use any kind you wish. And yes, a serving is 1/4 of the butternut, it’s a lot! If you want individual you could use smaller honeynut squash.
Yes- I am also a little confused. I am tracking nutrition info for myself. It says 1 squash is 4 servings, yet also says one serving is ½ squash. Thanks for the clarification!
What are apple juice sweetened cranberries? Is this something you make or buy?
they sell them!
Is the chicken sausage to be cooked or just ready to mix with other ingredients
You cook it, see step 4.