Italian Sausage Stuffed Summer Squash
- 2 large yellow squash halved & seeds removed
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- olive oil
- salt & black pepper to taste
- 4 oz spicy Italian sausage [I used fresh Italian chicken sausage]
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup fresh bread cubes
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups shredded blend of Italian cheese divided
- chopped fresh parsley [optional]
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Use a spoon to remove the seeds from the squash and cut in half.
- Simmer covered skin side down, in 1/2 inch of water for around 7-8 minutes.
- Remove from the water and set aside to cool. [If you have a food steamer, it works extremely well for this step, too.]
- In a small skillet, saute the diced onion in a light drizzle of olive oil over medium high heat until translucent. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the Italian sausage and cook until brown. Add, the minced garlic and spinach leaves. Sauté just until the spinach begins to wilt then remove from the heat.
- In the same pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the cubed bread and sauté for 1-2 minutes until golden. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the bread cubes while toasting.
- Add the bread cubes, spinach and sausage mixture to a mixing bowl. Mix together with 1 cup of shredded Italian cheese blend cheese and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
- Use a teaspoon to remove the seeds from the steamed squash. Place side by side in the baking dish. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. You can drizzle them with melted butter, if you like for added flavor.
- Divide the filling evenly between the squash halves and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling is golden and the squash is cooked through.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve hot.
a) Use a sharp knife to cut a flat piece from the backside of the squash to stabilize it. This will prevent the squash from rolling and it will remain upright while cooking.
b) Choose a blend of shredded Italian cheese in the flavors you enjoy. i.e. Kraft or Sargento Italian blend shredded cheese.