Butternut Squash Rice, Sausage, Apple and Pecan Stuffing

Butternut Squash, Sausage and Apple Skillet

This one pan skillet dish is perfect for your Thanksgiving gathering or an Autumn meal. Spiralized butternut squash and apple are beautiful in this easy, weeknight dinner or Thanksgiving side dish.

Butternut Squash Rice, Sausage, Apple and Pecan Stuffing

I’m a big fan of the one pan recipes, especially during the holidays, because I hate cleanup. This one pan, easy weeknight dinner is exactly that – it cooks quickly, all in the same pan, and is packed with flavor and nutrients.

You can enjoy this skillet meal as a side dish around the holidays or just as an fall or winter inspired meal for the family. You can use spiralized sweet potatoes instead of spiralized butternut squash, but don’t skip the spiralized apples – they give this dish just the hint of sweetness it needs.

Butternut Squash Rice, Sausage, Apple and Pecan Stuffing

Classic stuffing flavors like thyme, celery, and crunchy pecans give this dish a Thanksgiving vibe, but it’s fit for any day of the year.

You can also use any type of sausage you’d like – turkey sausage, chicken sausage would work really well here, too. I like Italian fennel sausage because it gives the skillet a richer flavor, but if you want something lower in fat, substitute in a different sausage.

And if you’re vegetarian, you can substitute in lentils, quinoa, farro, brown rice, or even tofu.

Butternut Squash Rice, Sausage, Apple and Pecan Stuffing

Watch our video to learn how to spiralize an apple using the Inspiralizer and subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch more videos:

Nutritional Information & Recipe


Butternut Squash, Sausage and Apple Skillet

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 55 mins


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 celery ribs diced
  • ½ cup diced yellow or white onion
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 sweet Italian sausage links decased
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 1 large butternut squash peeled, Blade C, noodles trimmed
  • 1 Gala apple Blade C
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan or Gruyere cheese or mild cheddar


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once oil heats, add in the garlic, celery, onion, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables soften and then push to the side of the skillet and add in the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and cook until it’s no longer pink, about 6-7 more minutes.
  • Add in the butternut squash. Stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes to let the butternut squash start to heat through.
  • Meanwhile, spiralize the apple on Blade C.
  • Fold in the apple noodles and pecans, stir once more and then top with the cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until butternut squash is no longer crunchy.

Butternut Squash Rice Sausage, Apple and Pecan Stuffing

with love, Ali

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Recipe Rating


  • That looks delicious!
  • This sounds great, and not just for Thanksgiving! I think I will try it with chicken sausage to reduce the fat content. Also, will probably leave out the parmesan (don't tell my husband, the cheese addict!)
    • Those are great adjustments! Chicken sausage would be delicious here too - and the parm really isn't needed (just an extra savory taste!)
  • I love butternut squash! Great idea for Thanksgiving!
  • I'm definitely going to try this as I have ( and love) all the ingredients used! Yum!
  • Looks delicious and flavorful!
  • This looks fabulous!
  • I would choose the Joy to the World foil art.
  • This recipe looks terrific! I cannot wait to try it!
  • Is there a way to order just a replacement blade rather than a new spiralizer? I also lost my blade C!
  • Looks and sounds fabulous. Can't wait to try it. Also can't wait for your cookbook to come out.
  • This sounds delicious. Any thoughts on prepping in advance and heating in the oven? Or maybe preparing everything through step 3, ricing the squash and setting all that aside the day before. Then heating the sausage mixture on Thanksgiving and proceeding with step 4? Thanks!
    • Yes, that would definitely all work - you can do all the prep except for baking in the oven!
      • Thanks, Ali! I've been thinking a lot about you and my neglected Spiralizer lately. I want to focus on getting more veggies into my (and my kids') life, and I think Inspiralizing may be the way to go! I'm glad I have your site as a resource! Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Sounds delicious! I'd send some happy new year's cards from minted!
  • I would buy some Christmas cards :)
  • It looks so good! can't wait to give it a try!
  • I'm going to try this as an entree, but with sweet potato instead of the squash and venison sausage instead of the pork. Will let you know how it turns out!
  • I tried this for Thanksgiving instead of a typical stuffing. Taste was excellent, but preparation was time consuming.
  • I just made this as the main course for dinner (using a combo of andouille and spicy chicken sausage for the sausages and goat cheese instead of parmesan because it's what I had), and it was SO GOOD! My boyfriend said we should add it to the regular rotation and that "it's so great to have all the fall flavors without it being heavy." I wish I could go back to Thanksgiving and make this - next year! Thank you!! (I also CANNOT WAIT for your cookbook!)
    • Yayyy! My favorite part is that your boyfriend wants to add it to the regular rotation. Give him a hug for me! :)
  • I just made this for dinner recently and it was a big hit. Loved the flavor combinations! And while the prep does have a bunch of steps, it still came together pretty quickly.
  • First, Happy Holidays! Second, I have been put in charge of bringing 2 spiralized side dishes to Christmas. This one looks great! Do you think I can make it ahead of time and then reheat it or make it ahead of time but bake it once we get to our destination?
  • I just purchased a spiralizer and love it. Have made zucchini noodles (hot and cold). My husband has enjoyed all the different recipes I have made so far! This recipe looks great for a main course!
  • I made the butternut squash, apple, sausage stuffing with pecans yesterday, I really was troubled over how to spiralize apples without having to pick out the seeds and core pieces, I also do not like apple peels but I knew I could peel the apple before spiralizing so I just need to figure out how to work around the core and seeds. A while back I purchased a Good Grips apple corer and I decided it was worth a try. I used this to core the apple, then I peeled the apple and placed it on my spiralizer. I had to hold it in place until I brought the pusher/turner part up and stuck the spikes into the apple, it worked like a charm as long as you keep pressure on the apple it stays in place, no seeds or nasty core remnants in your food to pick out or worry about a guest having to discreetly spit into a napkin. Maybe someone has already tried this or suggested this but I was pretty happy it worked for me. The dish was awesome as well, so full of flavor.
  • Oh man that looks amazing!!!! I wish I had seen this before I made stuffing this year, but no reason I can't make later with a nice bowl of soup. Thanks for the share
  • Question: What do you think about adding a bit of Nutritional Yeast instead of the parmesan? I can't have the cheese, but love the flavor.
    • That would work great to keep the cheesy flavor in there!
  • Any idea about how many cups of rice 1 butternut squash would produce? I have a bunch in my freezer but didn't write down how much squash made the rice...... silly me!! (and yes i'm already testing thanksgiving recipes)
  • Is the butternut squash supposed to be riced or left as noodles? The recipe references rice but the photo looks like noodles - unless those are the apples....
  • This recipe looks just gorgeous! I can't wait to make it! Apple rings look very unusual. I am happy to show this recipe to my students at the culinary school!
  • I have some Green Giant spiralized butternut in the freezer, should I thaw that first? Thanks!!
    • Hi Becca! Yes, thaw your noodles and then use them as outlined in the recipe!
      • Thank you! It worked great, only complaint was that we could’ve used a second package to bulk the meal up a little more, otherwise the taste was excellent!
  • This recipe looks just gorgeous! I can't wait to make it! Apple rings look very unusual. I am happy to show this recipe to my students at the culinary school!
    • That would be fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing the love!