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Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage, Barley and Goat Cheese

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Two 1-pound acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 stalks celery, small diced (about 1 cup)

1 large shallot, minced (about 1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon dried sage

1 pound Italian sausage or soy sausage, removed from casings

1 cup cooked barley (see Cook's Note)

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

2 ounces goat cheese

4 teaspoons honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Brush the squash with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Season aggressively with salt and pepper and place cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Add 1 tablespoon water to the baking sheet and bake until tender, 25 to 35 minutes.
  3. Warm the remaining butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and shallots and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning, sage and 3 ounces water and cook until the herbs are tender, about 2 minutes. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the sausage to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is golden brown and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Add water as needed to deglaze the pan and prevent sticking while cooking.
  5. Transfer the sausage mixture to a large bowl and toss with the barley and lemon zest. Stir in the goat cheese, until large clumps still remain but are evenly dispersed. Stir and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Fill each squash half with the sausage mixture and bake cut-side up until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Drizzle with the honey before serving.

Cook’s Note

You can use quick-cooking barley for this dish. Be sure to drain it thoroughly before adding it to the stuffing.

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