Caramelized Onion, Apple and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash (Paleo & Whole30)


INGREDIENTS
2 small/med acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds/strings scooped out
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, sugar free*
1 large onion (or 2 small) cut in half and sliced thin
3 tbsp ghee, coconut oil, or other cooking fat (for caramelizing the onions) + 2 tsp (for sautéing the garlic)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium-large apple, cored and diced
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
sea salt and black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the 4 acorn squash halves (seeds removed) open-side down on the baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until the top of your squash feels tender when gently pressed. You can always check them and continue to roast a few more minutes if they aren't tender enough. Set aside after removing from oven.
  3. While the squash roasts, make the filling. Begin by caramelizing the onions (this process takes a good 20-25 minutes to really bring the flavor out!)
  4. In a medium skillet, heat the ghee or coconut oil over low heat and add all the onions, stirring to coat. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and cook over low heat, stirring every 5 minutes ago to prevent burning. Once onions have been cooking for about 25 minutes and are deep golden brown, remove from heat and set aside.
  5. While the squash roasts and the onions cook, heat a large saucepan over medium low heat and add the remaining 2 tsp cooking fat to melt. Add the garlic and cook until just tender, then add all the sausage and increase the heat to medium.
  6. Cook the sausage and stir to break up lumps, about 5-8 minutes until just browned. Add the apples and herbs and continue to cook, stirring until the apples soften. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the spinach wilts.
  7. Add the caramelized onions to the sausage mixture, leaving excess cooking fat in the pan. Preheat your broiler, then fill all 4 halves of the squash with the stuffing mixture (you may have leftover depending on how big your squash was)
  8. Arrange the squash on the baking sheet, stuffing side up, and put under the broiler for 5-10 minutes until the tops get nice and toasty, checking often to prevent burning. Once nice and browned, remove from oven, allow to cool a bit and then serve warm. Enjoy!


NOTES
*Check labels or look out for your local store's store-made sausage, since they usually leave out sugar and preservatives. You can also check out the sugar free pork breakfast sausage from U.S. Wellness Meats, which is one of my favorites, or their sugar free Italian Sausage links!


Original Recipes visit: Caramelized Onion, Apple and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash (Paleo & Whole30) @ paleorunningmomma.com

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