Apple and Sausage Stuffed Squash – Gluten Free & Vegan Holiday Roast
A perfect mix of sweet, spicy and savory, this stuffed holiday squash is the perfect addition to any holiday table. We thought we would try to throw a gluten free and vegan twist on the classic stuffed bird. There’s a new star at the table! The butternut squash gives this dish a moisture and flavor that is just miles ahead of it’s turkey counterpart. To get creative with this stuffing we opted for rice instead of toast as our filling. The rice gave a nice neutral base for the flavors to play. The tart cranberries, sweet apple and hot sausage really take this stuffed holiday squash to the next level!
Start by cutting a large butternut squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and brush the squash with oil, salt and pepper. Then let the squash bake, face up, for just over an hour. Just enough time to let the flesh cook all the way through. It’s okay if your squash is a little under done, it’s going to get thrown back in the oven any way! Let your squash cool, and scoop out the insides. Make sure you’re leaving about 1-2 inches of squash around the sides, depending on the size of your squash.
In a large skillet combine vegetables and pan fried until tender. Once cooked, move them into a separate bowl and mix in cranberries. Letting the heat and moisture of the cooked vegetables re-hydrate the dried cranberries a little bit. In the same pan, cook the sausage until evenly browned. Cut up the sausage into bite sized pieces and mixed it in with the vegetables and mashed butternut squash filling.
In the spirit of trying new things, we decided to use the same pan to cook the rice (we’re wild, I know). So feel free to do a little deglazing of your sausage pan! To achieve this, just bring your vegetable broth to a boil in the pan. Lightly whisking the remaining oil and sausage pieces into the broth. Let the rice soak up all the yummy broth mixture until it is just slightly under cooked. From here, mixed the rice and diced apple into the stuffing mixture. Now you’re ready for the fun part!
Stuffing the squash is relatively easy, but a little time consuming. The easiest method is to just scoop and pat. Taking large helpings and pressing them into the squash so it is well packed with filling. Once each side is well packed with stuffing, close the squash and secure it with cooking twine. Baking it for another 30 or so minutes to let all the flavors really come together. That’s it, take it out and slice it!
-Tie the middle of the squash tightly with twine, this will keep it in place
-Keep the twine on the roast until after sliced
-Using one pan keeps the rice really flavorful
-Chopped walnuts add a little extra crunch