Roasted Butternut Squash
2 butternut squash medium or large
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt or more
black pepper freshly ground
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion small, diced
14 oz Italian sausage spicy, crumbled
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
4 oz spinach fresh
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup pecans chopped
How to roast butternut squash
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Prepare the butternut squash. Slice each one in half lengthwise. Keep fingers away from the knife to avoid injury. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and fleshy strands tangled with the seeds.
Place butternut squash cut sides up on a baking sheet. Drizzle the cut sides of the butternut squash halves with olive oil and rub the oil into the squash. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Turn the squash halves over, and place it cut sides down on a baking sheet. Tip: you can line the baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for 30 or 40 minutes.
Make sausage filling
Make the sausage filling while the squash is being roasted in the oven.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add diced onion, and cook it on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes until cooked and a bit charred.
Add crumbled sausage, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning and cook for about 5 minutes or more on medium heat until the sausage is completely cooked through.
And fresh spinach and cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat until the spinach wilts.
Ad dried cranberries and chopped pecans and mix everything.
Season with salt and pepper. Probably not necessary since the sausage is already usually salty (unless you use sweet sausage which I do not recommend).
By this time, you have roasted the butternut squash for 30 or 40 minutes. Remove them from the oven and turn the cooked squash halves cut sides up.
Let it cool slightly. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh leaving about a 1-inch border along the sides. (For reference, I provide the step-by-step photos for this step above the recipe card).
Reheat the sausage mixture in the same skillet in which you made it to warm it up.
Divide the sausage filling among the 4 halves and stuff the squash until the mixture is leveled or a little bit higher.
Top with freshly ground black pepper and fresh thyme