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Sausage Stuffed Delicata Squash

In this recipe, roasted delicata squash is stuffed with layers of Italian sausage, spinach, and ricotta, topped with mozzarella cheese, and baked until melty and delicious. This Sausage Stuffed Delicata Squash is good enough to be the main dish for a holiday party or a fancy dinner party because it's SO GOOD and absolutely gorgeous. 

Baked stuffed delicata squash in a baking pan
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Stuffed delicata squash

I absolutely LOVE this dish because:

  • It's giving total lasagna vibes, with its layers of cooked sausage, marinara sauce, seasoned ricotta, and mozzarella.
  • It has veggies and protein all in one dish, making for an easy dinner.
  • I can add EXTRA veggies by adding more spinach if I want (and you KNOW I always do! See my veggie loaded chicken fajita pasta, or my spinach and butternut squash skillet).
  • It comes together SO easily. The sausage filling and other layers are made while the delicata squash is roasting. Then I just assemble everything quickly and bake for 5 minutes. 40 minutes, tops.
  • The recipe can easily be doubled without adding any extra cook time. Perfect for a dinner party!
Close up of a stuffed delicata squash with Italian sausage and mozzarella on top to show texture.

Related recipe: Air Fryer Delicata Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 delicata squashes
  • drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste (for seasoning the squash)
  • ¾ - 1 lb Italian sausage (uncooked ground sausage removed from casings—I wrote in detail how to remove sausage from casings in my sweet potato sausage soup recipe. You can also use ground beef or ground turkey if you prefer.)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped (or use baby spinach. Spinach is optional but adds some nutrients and a pop of color.)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, divided
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, diced (or use fresh basil)
  • ¾ - 1 cup marinara sauce (or favorite pasta sauce)
  • ½ cup ricotta (drain any liquid, if there is any. If you have time, let the ricotta come to room temperature in a bowl and then drain off any liquid that separates out.)
  • 1 pinch each salt and garlic powder
  • ¾ - 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used fresh mozzarella, but any shredded mozzarella is fine. Don't let the measurements here limit you. Measure that cheese with your heart!)
Ingredients to make sausage stuffed delicata squash.

Equipment

  • 9x13-inch or larger baking pan
  • Large skillet
  • Wooden spatula - I find wooden is best for breaking up the sausage meat in the skillet. I sometimes also use kitchen shears to chop the sausage meat into crumbles right in the pan.
  • Tongs and paper towels for absorbing extra sausage grease
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Bowls

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Slice the delicata squashes in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and insides.

Delicata squash halves with seeds being removed with a spoon

Brush the insides of the delicata squashes with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place the squashes cut-side down on your baking pan and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is fully cooked and easily pierced with a fork.

2 pictures showing how to season delicata squash and roast it.
Make sure to place all the squashes cut-side down! I only flipped them to show you what they should look like.

While the squash is roasting, heat a large pan and add the sausage meat, diced onion, and minced garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to break up the sausage meat into tiny pieces. I sometimes use kitchen shears to chop the sausage meat right in the pan, taking care not to scratch the pan. Once the sausage is fully cooked (this should take about 8-10 minutes), use tongs and a paper towel to absorb any extra grease.

2 pictures showing how to make browned Italian sausage crumbles

Add the diced spinach, ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning, diced parsley, and about ¼ - ⅓ cup marinara sauce to the pan (reserve the rest!). Stir until the spinach is wilted. This is your sausage filling.

2 pictures showing how to add chopped spinach, seasonings, and sauce to cooked crumbled sausage

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta with the remaining ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning, a pinch of salt, and garlic powder. Mix well.

Bowl of seasoned ricotta cheese.

Use tongs to flip the delicata squash halves over to make 4 boats. Use the tongs to carefully stretch out the center to make wider boats (more room for fillings!).

Add a few tablespoons of the sausage filling to each delicata squash (don't fill the squash completely yet, you'll be adding more layers to it!). Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons marinara sauce over the sausage in each squash.

Picture showing how to stuffed delicata squash halves.

Add about 2 tablespoons of the seasoned ricotta on top of each squash.

Picture showing how to stuffed delicata squash halves.

Repeat with a layer of sausage and a drizzle of marinara sauce.

Picture showing how to stuffed delicata squash halves.

Top the sausages with shredded mozzarella and place back in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melted and the fillings are heated through.

Picture showing how to stuffed delicata squash halves.

Allow to cool for a few minutes and enjoy! Oh, and if you think this is delicious and sausage makes everything better, be sure to try my sweet potato sausage skillet with peppers, and my Italian sausage gravy!

Plate with 2 stuffed delicata squash halves.

Ingredient variations, substitutions, and tips

→ If your squashes are small, you'll only need about ¾ pound of sausage.

→ If you use ground beef or ground turkey in place of ground sausage, make sure to season the meat well with about ¾ - 1 teaspoon salt, and perhaps with a bit of fennel seed, garlic powder, onion powder.

→ Feel free to spice this recipe up by using spicy Italian sausage or adding red pepper flakes to the meat mixture.

→ A bit of ground nutmeg is ALWAYS a good thing in ricotta.

→ In place of ricotta, feel free to use drained cottage cheese (also make sure to see my list of savory cottage cheese recipes!)

→ In place of Italian seasoning, you can mix together dried basil, dried oregano, and dried parsley in equal amounts.

→ You can use this stuffing to make stuffed acorn squash, or see my other sausage-stuffed acorn squash recipe and my sausage-stuffed eggplant for other variations of sausage fillings to try.

Piece of cooked Italian sausage, ricotta, and spinach on a fork.

What to serve with stuffed delicata squash

This sausage stuffed delicata squash recipe makes a pretty complete meal on its own, since it has veggies, protein, fat, and a bit of carbs from the squash. But I like to serve some soup as a starter dish, or add some rice pilaf or quinoa on the side to make it a heartier meal.

Some soups that would go really well with this stuffed squash dinner:

Reheating stuffed squash

This sausage stuffed squash will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days in a sealed container. It reheats well in the microwave. Since it's pretty bulky, I recommend reheating until it is steaming hot to make sure that it heats all the way through (so it doesn't have any cold spots) and then letting it cool a few minutes so it's not too hot to eat.

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Sausage stuffed delicata squash with melted cheese on top.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Sausage Stuffed Delicata Squash

This stuffed Delicata Squash has layers of sausage, ricotta, marinara sauce, and mozzarella all baked together until melted and delicious. Dinner is ready in 40 minutes! Time-saving tip: Place the delicata squash in the oven to roast, then gather and prep all your other ingredients.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 4
Author: Kate

Ingredients

  • 2 delicata squashes
  • drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper - to taste (for seasoning the squash)
  • ¾ - 1 lb uncooked Italian sausage - removed from casings
  • 1 small onion - diced
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1-2 cups fresh spinach - roughly chopped (or use baby spinach)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning - divided (make sure it's unsalted)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves - diced (or use fresh basil)
  • ¾ - 1 cup marinara sauce - (or favorite pasta sauce)
  • ½ cup ricotta - (drain any liquid)
  • 1 pinch each salt and garlic powder
  • ¾ - 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Special equipment

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Slice the delicata squash in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and insides.
  • Brush the insides of the delicata squashes with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place the squashes cut-side down on your baking pan and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is fully cooked and easily pierced with a fork.
  • While the squash is roasting, heat a large skillet and add the ground sausage , diced onion, and minced garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to break up the sausage meat into tiny pieces. You can use kitchen shears to chop the sausage meat right in the pan, taking care not to scratch the pan.
  • Once the sausage is fully cooked, use tongs and a paper towel to absorb any extra grease. Discard the grease.
    2 pictures showing how to make browned Italian sausage crumbles
  • Add the diced spinach, ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning, diced parsley, and about ¼ - ⅓ cup marinara sauce to the pan (reserve the rest!). Stir until the spinach is wilted. This is your sausage filling.
    2 pictures showing how to add chopped spinach, seasonings, and sauce to cooked crumbled sausage
  • In a small bowl, combine the ricotta with the remaining ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning, a pinch of salt, and garlic powder. Mix well.
  • Use tongs to flip the delicata squash halves over to make 4 boats. Use the tongs to carefully stretch out the center to make wider boats (more room for fillings!).
  • Add a few tablespoons of the sausage filling to each delicata squash (don't fill the squash completely yet, you'll be adding more layers to it!). Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons marinara sauce over the sausage in each squash.
    Picture showing how to stuffed delicata squash halves.
  • Add about 2 tablespoons of the seasoned ricotta on top of each squash.
    Picture showing how to stuffed delicata squash halves.
  • Repeat with a layer of sausage and a drizzle of marinara sauce.
    Picture showing how to stuffed delicata squash halves.
  • Top the sausages with shredded mozzarella and place back in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melted and the fillings are heated through.
    Picture showing how to stuffed delicata squash halves.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes and enjoy!

Notes

See the blog post for recipe tips and substitution ideas.

Nutrition

Calories: 504kcal (25%) | Carbohydrates: 25g (8%) | Protein: 23g (46%) | Fat: 36g (55%) | Saturated Fat: 15g (75%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 97mg (32%) | Sodium: 1009mg (42%) | Potassium: 1226mg (35%) | Fiber: 4g (16%) | Sugar: 7g (8%) | Vitamin A: 3900IU (78%) | Vitamin C: 38mg (46%) | Calcium: 271mg (27%) | Iron: 3mg (17%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

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