Instant Pot Apple and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash
2 lb. Italian pork sausage
1/2 tsp. oregano flakes
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. sage
1 carrot, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 apple, skin on, cored and diced
1 Tbs. maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black ipepper, to taste
2 Tbs. panko crumbs
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided use
Cut ends from each acorn squash, then place both squash (whole) into the microwave. On full power, cook squash for 2 minutes; remove from microwave and cut each squash in half. Using a spoon, scrape seeds and membranes from each squash half.
Place 1/2 cup broth along with a metal trivet into the bottom of the Instant Pot; add all 4 squash halves, flesh side up. Lock the Instant Pot lid into place, choosing the High Pressure setting for 5 minutes, bringing the Instant Pot up to full pressure. When the timer sounds, perform a quick release to remove all the pressure from the Instant Pot. Gently remove all the squash halves to a greased baking dish, flesh side up, leaving the skins on; season the squash with salt and pepper, to taste.
Set the Instant Pot to sauté setting; when pot is hot, add sausage, spices, carrots, onions, and celery; cook until sausage is nicely browned and vegetables are softened, 6-8 minutes. Stir in apples and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Drain fats if needed, then stir in maple syrup, panko, and 3/4 cup Parmesan; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the prepared sausage mixture evenly between the four squash halves, then sprinkle the tops with 1 Tbs. each of Parmesan.
Place squash into a preheated 375 degree F. oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until hot throughout. Remove from oven and serve warm.
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