Sausage and Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash


  • 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 8 ounces merguez (spicy lamb) sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 tablespoon plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the 4 squash halves in one layer.
  2. Crumble sausage into a bowl. Add salt, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, diced pepper, buttermilk or yogurt, chopped mint, and egg. Mix well, breaking mixture down to a paste-like consistency, 3 or 4 minutes. Mix in cooked rice.
  3. Divide mixture among the squash halves. Sprinkle stuffing with a pinch or 2 of breadcrumbs and some grated cheese. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
  4. Cover dish loosely with aluminum foil, more tented than wrapped; foil shouldn't touch the tops of the stuffed squash.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake until top is golden brown and squash is soft and tender, 30 to 45 minutes.