Sausage & Pepper Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash
My sister brought me some beautiful treasures from her garden. She brought two of these adorable little squash that I totally labelled as gourds. She kept arguing with me that they were edible, and I stubbornly stuck to my stance that they were ornamental. You have to learn to stick your ground with me when I get stubborn like that. You see, these pretty little squash totally LOOK like those gorgeous little things you use to decorate your table in autumn. So she texted my dad to see what he would say and yes, he replied that they are edible.
Well, l if DAD says they are edible, then they must be. I did a quick search on types of squash and discovered that my sweet sister was RIGHT … yes, these cute little stripey squashes that fit in your hand are edible, so I cooked up one of the beauties that she brought me (saving the other for ornamental purposes … until I decide it looks too good and I must eat it). I had to taste the flesh before I could figure out what the stuffing should be. Perhaps they vary as they age and ripen, but the one I cooked up wasn’t sweet like I expected. It was more savory like a potato, with much the same texture.
Well, since we’re talking potato, I stuffed my little striped wonder with things I love with potatoes: chicken sausage, green and yellow sweet pepper, onion, garlic, and a bit of cream cheese and Greek yogurt to stick it together, then I melted a slice of gouda cheese on top. I was sampling my stuffing quite a bit along the way (because it tasted so dang good!), so I ended up with just the right amount to push back into my little squash shells. So don’t worry about “taste testing” your squash as you go. It’s quite all right.
I think this same stuffing would work for larger winter squash as well. Just increase the amount of filling for the number of servings you expect to have. I think a single sweet dumpling squash is about 1 serving. An acorn squash might be 2 or 3, a butternut maybe 4 to 6 servings. It doesn’t have to be exact at all. Squash stuffing is quite forgiving.
- 1 sweet dumpling squash
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 3-oz. sausage, roughly chopped (I used habanero monterey jack chicken sausage)
- 1 oz. Greek yogurt & light cream cheese mix (or 1/2 oz. light cream cheese + 1/2 oz. plain nonfat Greek yogurt)
- salt & pepper to taste
- For the top: slices of Gouda cheese
- Cut a small notch in the squash and bake at 350 F for 40 minutes or so or until the squash is tender. Either cut the squash in half lengthwise, or cut the top off.
- Using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard, then carefully scoop out the flesh of the squash, taking care not to leave a nice shell and not cut the peel. Chop the flesh of the squash.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat, then add the olive oil to warm it. Add the bell pepper and garlic and sautee until the onion is soft and translucent, then add the squash and sausage and sautee a bit longer until all the ingredients are warm. Add the cheese and yogurt in bits and stir to melt and mix it in. Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Scoop the filling mixture back into the little squash shells, heaping and pushing it down gentlly to fit as best you can. Top with cheese slices and bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes or so or until the cheese on top is nicely melted and the entire squash is steaming hot.
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