When it’s cold outside and I’m looking for a warm hearty meal one of my favorite dishes to make is this sausage stuffed butternut squash. The butternut squash is filling and when you combine with sausage, cheese, onions, and peppers your taste buds are going on a trip to heaven. Check out the quick video below to see how it all comes together:

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1 butternut squash (1 ½-2 lbs), cut in half and seeds scooped out
1 lb ground Italian sausage
1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, washed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp kosher salt (or to taste) and freshly ground black pepper
pinch crushed red pepper
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 375º F.

2. Spray the squash with non-stick spray and place it cut side down on a large baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or a knife inserted in the fattest part of the squash can pierce through all of the flesh easily.

3. While the squash is baking, brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the pan and put it in a small bowl and drain off most of the oil from the skillet (save a little to sauté the vegetables though) then add green and red bell peppers, mushrooms, onion and garlic and sauté until softened. Stir in salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Add the sausage back to the skillet and mix all together.

5.Once the baked squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out a little of the centers (to make space for the filling). Spoon in the filling and top with half of the cheeses. Repeat with the other half of the squash.

6. Bake the stuffed squash for another 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.