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Sausage, Squash, and Cornbread Gratin

Sausage, Squash, and Cornbread Gratin

Break out of your butternut squash rut and give kabocha (a.k.a. Japanese pumpkin) a try. It has a vibrant orange flesh and dense, velvety texture that works equally well in sweet or savory recipes. It’s typically available in grocery stores, but if you can’t find kabocha, a medium butternut will still do just fine.


  1. Position a rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°. Cut off stem end of kabocha squash and rest on cut side. Cut squash in half. Scoop out seeds and stringy innards with a spoon; discard. Using your knife, shave off tough peel and layer of light green flesh beneath. Cut squash into 1"-thick slices.

  2. Smash 5 garlic cloves with the side of the knife and remove peel.

  3. Combine squash, garlic, 3 rosemary sprigs, ½ cup heavy cream, and ¼ cup water in a medium saucepan. Season generously with salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer until squash is tender and easily mashes when pressed with the back of a spoon, 10–15 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, grasp stem end of each kale leaf. Starting at stem, slide your other hand along length of leaf to strip leaves. Repeat with entire bunch; discard stems. Tear leaves into 1"–2" pieces (you should have about 8 cups).

  5. Peel 2 shallots and thinly slice crosswise.

  6. Use the tip of your knife to prick 1 lb. sausage all over in several places.

  7. Crumble cornbread into coarse crumbs (you should have about 2 cups).

  8. When squash is tender, remove saucepan from heat. Uncover and pluck out rosemary sprigs, leaving leaves inside pot. Transfer entire mixture to a medium bowl (reserve saucepan) and mash with the back of a spoon until no distinct pieces of squash remain. Season with salt and pepper.

  9. Wipe out pot with paper towels and heat over medium. Add 2 Tbsp. butter and heat until melted. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add kale a couple of handfuls at a time, stirring to wilt between each batch, and cook until leaves are dark green and wilted, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl with squash, then fold to incorporate.

  10. Heat 1 Tbsp. butter in same saucepan over medium and add sausage. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides (they won’t be cooked through), about 6 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and let cool for a few minutes (reserve saucepan again and do not pour out fat from sausages–you’re going to use it one more time).

  11. Meanwhile, using a rubber spatula, scrape squash and kale mixture into a shallow 2-qt. baking dish and smooth top.

  12. Cut sausages crosswise into 2" pieces and nestle into top of squash mixture, spacing evenly.

  13. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in same saucepan over medium and add cornbread crumbs. Cook, stirring, just until crumbs are evenly coated in fat. Scatter cornbread crumbs over squash mixture; season with more salt and pepper.

  14. Bake gratin until crumbs are toasty and brown and sausages are cooked through (you can insert an instant-read thermometer into center of sausage to check if registers 140°, or just cut into one with a knife), 20–25 minutes. Let cool 5–10 minutes before serving.

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Reviews SectionGood Lord at the fat and salt in this recipe! Don't dare make it if you have any heart or hypertension issues!This one was a miss for me. The sausages didn't cook all the way through, the cornbread was incredibly sweet and didn't go well with the rest of the ingredients, and the squash didn't cook properly in the heavy cream and wasn't as creamy as hoped. Also, the cream broke in the cooking process. My boyfriend pretended to like it but I threw the rest out.AnonymousColumbia, SC08/19/19Very tasty. I used spicy Italian sausage and thought it was nice with the sweet squash. I would slice the sausage more thinly or do crumbles as another commenter suggested.patricia.j.luna0594Atlanta 09/30/18crazy delicious! made as-is but had to go butternut. DAYUMMMMThis recipe was fantastic! The individual ingredients married so well together; absolutely delicious. Very easy to make, many steps, but very simple. I think next time I will use big crumbles of sausage instead of sliced sausage, that was the only thing I would change.So simple! I tried to find pre-made cornbread, but then embraced my southern roots and made a quick batch the night before and saved in the fridge. I bought pre-cut kale from the salad section and ended up using the same pan from start to finish! My kitchen smelled wonderful while cooking. This is a fool-proof recipe!claireglezer0017Washington, D.C.11/12/17

Cornbread Squash Dressing

I hear from a reliable source that squash is starting to come in! I didn't plant any this year so if you're trying to get rid of some, stop on by with a bag and I'll gladly take some off your hands!

For some reason, I never see pattypan squash around here, not even at the farmer's market, but yellow squash happens to be my favorite in the summer squash family. I like it far better than zucchini, though I do eat both. I think yellow is a little sweeter and more mellow than zucchini but both make pretty good zoodles.

I like it sauteed and smothered down with some onions, stuffed, in casseroles, as a dressing, in gratins even fried, but have you ever tried yellow squash creamed? Think, creamed corn as far as texture goes, but with a concentrated squash flavor. Just fabulous. Hope you try it sometime!

Normally I would chop the veggies for a dressing, but this time I decided to dice everything using the dicing kit attachment for my KitchenAid food processor. The difference between dicing and chopping, is that chopped veggies have very little continuity in size and cut. When sauteed, they sort of just melt into the skillet, generally as intended. Diced vegetables, on the other hand, are uniformly square, and hold their texture more once cooked, resulting in a completely different texture and flavor from sliced or even chunks of vegetables. You certainly can just chop though!

Use whatever cornbread you have, leftover from homemade, store-bought from the deli, or made from a packet or box mix, though keep in mind those generally contain some sugar, some more than others. Traditionally, these dressings are made with condensed soups in the south and often cream of chicken. I recommend using the Great for Cooking version rather than the green label variety, at least the first time you make it. That way you have a baseline if you change to a Healthy Request or other lighter versions of the cream soups. You can also make your own homemade substitute of course.

Here's how to make it. As always, full directions with measurements and a printable copy are available, further down the page.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery and green pepper saute until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add squash, cook and stir for 2 minutes stir in cream soup, stir until heated through and remove from heat. Add cornbread crumbs and seasonings mix well. Stir in eggs and transfer to a greased 11 x 7 inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for about 55 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

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Recipe: Cornbread Squash Dressing

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup each diced bell pepper and celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4-1/2 cups chopped yellow summer squash
  • 1 (10-3/4 ounces) can original (Great for Cooking) condensed cream of chicken soup, preferably with herbs
  • 2 cups cooked and crumbled cornbread
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • 2 large eggs , beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery and green pepper saute until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add squash, cook and stir for 2 minutes stir in cream soup, stir until heated through and remove from heat.

Add cornbread crumbs and seasonings mix well. Stir in eggs and transfer to a greased 11 x 7 inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for about 55 to 60 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Actual time will depend on your oven.

Cook's Notes: Double recipe for a 9 x 13 inch casserole. When I published this recipe, I used 1/2 of an 8 x 8 inch pan of cooked Jiffy cornbread, crumbled to get 2 cups, which does provide some sweetness, though I typically use my regular savory cornbread. Use whatever cornbread you usually make. If you prefer not to use condensed soup, make a homemade substitute.

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Recipe Summary

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices bread, crumbled
  • ½ cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease an 8x10-inch baking dish.

Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir the onion until soft, about 6 minutes. Mix in the zucchini, and cover the skillet cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the kosher salt, black pepper, and parsley, and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in flour, and reduce heat to a simmer.

Mix the hot milk and chicken bouillon granules together in a small bowl, stirring until the bouillon has dissolved. Pour the milk into the skillet, and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the milk thickens into a sauce, about 5 minutes. Pour the zucchini mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Mix the bread crumbs with 1/2 cup of melted butter, and sprinkle the crumbs over the casserole.

Bake in the preheated oven until the casserole is bubbling and the top has browned, about 20 minutes.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces Merguez sausage, casing removed
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 5 small round summer squashes, halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs, or more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat it with 1 teaspoon olive oil.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Stir in sausage and red bell pepper. Cook, stirring to break up sausage into small pieces, until sausage is browned and bell pepper is soft and sweet, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain off any fat.

Stir goat cheese and sausage mixture in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.

Hollow out a 3/4-inch deep well in the center of each squash half. Place each piece on the prepared baking sheet, cut-side up. Season with salt and black pepper fill each with 1 to 2 tablespoons cheese and sausage mixture. Top each squash with breadcrumbs and lightly drizzle with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil.

Bake in the preheated oven until filling is golden and squash is tender, about 30 minutes.

French Bacon, Potato, and Reblochon Casserole (Tartiflette) Ingalls Photography

Reblochon, a soft washed-rind cheese from the French Alps, adds a luxurious creaminess and delicious pungency to this simple bacon and potato gratin. Get the recipe for French Bacon, Potato, and Reblochon Casserole (Tartiflette) »

  • 1 cup all purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup P.A.N. cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • canola oil (for frying)

Begin by adding both bell pepper portions to a food processor until diced. Lightly saute in 1-2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat.

Crack the eggs in a bowl, then whisk them until blended. Add the eggs to the pan with the bell peppers and lightly scramble. Spread around the pan and continue to cook on low when the eggs are still loose and uncooked. Let sit until eggs are cooked through in a flat layer.

While the eggs are cooking, brown your sausage in another pan. I use just a bit of water and olive oil when browning my precooked sausage. Cook these as you normally would.

Once the eggs and sausage are done, fill up your deep fryer with oil and set the temperature to about 360 degrees. While the oil is heating up, add 2/3 cup of the flour, the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika and baking soda to a dish. Mix the ingredients until well combined.

Add both eggs and mix well, then slowly pour in the milk. Get a second dish to put the remaining 1/3 cup of flour in.

Mix it all together until batter is relatively smooth. It will be sticky!

Break the egg mixture into about 12 pieces and cut each sausage link in half. Wrap the egg portion around the sausage, then roll in the remaining 1/3 cup of flour.

Tip: Before you start dipping the breakfast bites in the batter, it helps to spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray.Since the batter is so sticky this really helps make the batter pliable and smooth so it won’t stick to your hands. Be sure to spray your hands between each breakfast bite too!

Gently work the batter around the sausage and egg, forming a thin layer around the mixture.

Drop each battered ball into the oil, shaking them around every minute or two. After about 3-5 minutes each breakfast bite will be done, be sure to try to get an even golden color all over.

Remove each bite from the oil and place it on paper towel to catch any remaining grease. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Once done you can serve with salsa, ketchup, even maple syrup!

I prefer the more savory taste, and these were absolutely delicious with salsa!

Summer Squash Gratin

  • shellfish-free
  • fish-free
  • alcohol-free
  • vegetarian
  • peanut-free
  • pork-free
  • pescatarian
  • tree-nut-free
  • soy-free
  • egg-free
  • red-meat-free
  • Calories 281
  • Fat 18.0 g (27.7%)
  • Saturated 4.3 g (21.6%)
  • Carbs 23.2 g (7.7%)
  • Fiber 4.5 g (18.2%)
  • Sugars 8.0 g
  • Protein 10.0 g (20.0%)
  • Sodium 454.8 mg (18.9%)


medium shallots, thinly sliced

summer squash, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces

Finely grated zest from 1/2 lemon

Freshly ground black pepper


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to to 400°F. Place 2 tablespoons of the oil, panko, and Parmesan in a medium bowl and mix to combine set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 6- to 8-inch oven-safe frying pan or skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the squash, thyme, lemon zest, and salt. Season with pepper, stir to combine, and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the panko mixture evenly over the squash.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the top is golden-brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Kelli is the Food Editor for Plan & Prep content for Kitchn. She's a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and author of the cookbooks, The Probiotic Kitchen, Buddha Bowls, and Everyday Freekeh Meals. She lives in New York.

Sunny's Italian Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash — The Weekender

I don’t know if it was trendy in the 1980s or if it was a particular quirk of my mother's, but we ate many a meal of stuffed vegetables during my childhood. No hollow or overgrown vegetable was safe. Peppers of all colors, giant zucchini, tomatoes and even, occasionally, avocados were filled with a medley of rice, protein and onion, then draped with shredded cheese and run under the broiler.

I’m fairly convinced that the reason my mom liked this particular style of dinner prep so much was that it gave her the opportunity to stretch a pound of meat across several meals and use up all manner of odds and ends from the crisper. I also suspect that she tucked more vegetables into the filling than I was aware of as a small child.

Many years have passed since I groaned at the idea of a meal of stuffed peppers or summer squash. In fact, now that I’m in charge of the grocery budget and my refrigerator’s ecosystem, I can see the many virtues in this style of cooking.

Purple Hull Peas and Sausage

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Fresh purple hull or black-eyed peas grow very well in the South, which is why they are a popular ingredient in Southern-style dishes. With just a few simple ingredients—peas, onion, garlic, chicken broth, and andouille sausage—you will have a filling and flavorful dish that is perfect as a hearty lunch or satisfying dinner.

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