Ah butternut squash. Sweet and creamy, the perfect fall veg. Last week was Canadian Thanksgiving, so the hubs surprised me with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and brown gravy. Yes, fried chicken is indeed a proper substitute for roast turkey. So what was missing from this otherwise classic Thanksgiving dinner? Stuffing.
Stuffing is my favorite part of the holiday dinner, for sure. Especially when it’s cooked inside the bird, and the bread soaks up all the juices. Bread cubes saturated in poultry juice, heavenly! But when the dish is served outside the bird, it becomes the less flavorful cousin of stuffing, dressing.
Since one cannot stuff fried chicken (well I guess you could, but that’s for another post) what better way to liven up the boring dressing than with squash? Add some smoked sausage for a bit of meaty flavor, and throw in handfuls of baby spinach for some green and you’ve got the perfect Thanksgiving side. It was a weeknight, so to make things easy I went with a box of Stove Top. Of all the Thanksgiving food I like to make from scratch, stuffing is not one of them. Perhaps I just haven’t tried a good homemade stuffing as of yet, but Stove Top just tastes better to me. If you have a good stuffing recipe, let me know and I’ll try it. Until then, here is my doctored Stove Top stuffing, to go along with your fried chicken of course.
Butternut Squash, Sausage and Spinach Dressing
1 box of Stove Top Stuffing (or your favorite boxed stuffing or homemade recipe, to feed 4)
2 cups diced butternut squash
1/2 lb diced smoked sausage
1 bag organic baby spinach
1 diced small onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 quart baking dish
1. Prepare stuffing according to directions.
2. In a medium sauté pan, fry smoked sausage and onion in a tablespoon of olive oil until slightly browned. Add garlic and squash and allow squash to lightly caramalize.
3. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
4. In a large bowl mix prepared stuffing, squash mixture, parsley, sage, nutmeg and egg until combined.
5. Pour into a 2 quart baking dish sprayed with baking spray. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden.