Main Course

Stuffed Delicata Squash with Sausage, Greens, and Garlic

By: Ginny Mahar

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free. Can be made Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, or Paleo by omitting the cheese. 

When fall arrives in the northern latitudes our bodies may struggle to keep warm as they adjust to the damp and chill (especially those of us with hypothyroidism). At this time, the Earth gives us warming foods in abundance. Pumpkin, winter squash, beets, carrots, celeriac, and Jerusalem artichokes all come to mind. One of my favorite fall foods is sweet and golden delicata squash.

Delicata is a small, oblong squash variety, with thin, edible skin. This recipe plays off its natural sweetness with savory elements like sage, garlic, and Italian sausage. We don’t share many recipes using dairy here on Thyroid Refresh, but this works with or without cheese, so we decided to leave it as an option. If you don’t do dairy, feel free to omit. You can also substitute 1 to 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (aka “Nooch”).

To eliminate questionable additives, preservatives, or artificial ingredients, try our batch-cooking recipe for homemade Sweet Italian Sausage.

Pine nuts are on the list of goitrogenic foods, so if you are avoiding all goitrogens feel free to substitute another nut of your choice. Pecans would be lovely.

Here’s some info about the thyroid-friendly nutrients in this dish:

Stuffed Delicata Squash with Sausage, Greens, and Garlic

This recipe plays off the squash's natural sweetness with savory elements like sage, garlic, and Italian sausage. 

Dietary Compliance: Gluten-free. Can be made Dairy-free, Almost-Paleo, or Paleo by omitting the cheese.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8
Calories 398 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 medium delicata squash
  • A knob of ghee or other cooking fat
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced small
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage pork or turkey
  • 1 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
  • 1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • pinch red chili flakes or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt or more to taste
  • few grinds black pepper
  • 6 c roughly chopped chard leaves stems removed*
  • 2/3 c finely grated Parmesan cheese or substitute 1 Tbsp. Nutritional yeast
  • 2/3 c finely grated Romano cheese or substitute 1 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/3 c pine nuts toasted (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Wash the squash and cut lengthwise, through the middle. Use a spoon to scrape the seeds and stringy flesh from the squash halves. Place the squash halves cut side down onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in oven, 25 to 30 minutes or until the squash gives a little when pressed.

  2. While squash are baking, heat ghee in a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Choose a pot big and deep enough to accommodate the greens. Add diced onion and sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Add minced garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.
  3. Add sausage, herbs, and seasonings and cook, stirring until meat has browned. Add greens to the pot and stir until they begin to wilt. You may need to add about 1/4 cup water or broth to the pot (for steam) if the mixture is too dry, but the meat and greens should release some liquid as they cook. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and cook until greens are tender, stirring occasionally. Taste for doneness.

  4. Remove from heat and stir in half of parmesan and romano cheeses. Taste filling and adjust seasonings. It should be pretty robust, so add salt to taste if necessary.
  5. When squash is tender, remove from oven and arrange cut side up on baking sheet (you can use the same parchment-lined one). Divide the filling evenly among the halves. Top with remaining cheese.
  6. Return to oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and everything is heated through (this will take longer if they’ve been refrigerated overnight). Top with toasted pine nuts and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Here's a trick for removing the tender leaves from the tough stems of hearty greens: With one hand grasp the stem end of the leaf, and use the other hand to grasp the leaf at the base. Pull upwards along the central rib. The tender part of the leaf should come right off, ready to be chopped and cooked up. This works well with both chard and kale.

Ginny-Mahar-Co-Founder-Thyroid-Refresh

About the Author

Thyroid Refresh Co-founder Ginny Mahar is the mom and recipe blogger formerly known as Hypothyroid Chef. After struggling with the residual symptoms of Hashimoto’s for over four years, she embarked on her own process of adopting a thyroid-specific diet and lifestyle. Within one year, she restored her vitality and lowered her thyroid antibodies by half. Ginny is a passionate advocate of supporting others on their journeys toward better health. She is a Cordon Bleu trained chef, cooking instructor, writer, and entrepreneur.