Stuffed Winter Squash

Posted in: Winter Squash, Leek


  • 2 acorn, delicata, dumpling, or carnival squash, cut in half through the stem and seeded
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for rubbing the squash and oiling the dish
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces chorizo or sweet Italian sausage, crumbled or cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup chopped leeks (from 1 small leek)
  • 1 cup chopped apple or pear (from 1 to 2 fruit)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups sliced tender greens (like spinach, kale, Swiss chard), cut into ribbons
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked millet, rice, or quinoa
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Rub the flesh of each squash half with olive oil, and oil an ovenproof dish or baking sheet. Sprinkle the whole baking dish with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Lay the squash flesh-side down in the dish and bake until it is very tender when pricked with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and raise the oven temperature to 425°F.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chorizo or sausage and fry until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the leeks to the hot oil and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the apple, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper, and cook for another minute. Add the greens, sage, cooked grains, and reserved sausage. Cook for another minute, stirring to combine, and remove from heat. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Flip the cooked squash over in the baking dish so it is flesh-side up. (Be careful, as steam will escape when you turn it.) Scoop the filling into the cavity of each squash half, piling it into a mountain so that it holds as much as possible. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until the cheese melts, about 10 minutes.