Whether you're planning an elaborate holiday get together with your family and friends, or making a beautiful dinner for your family; here is a gorgeous rustic side dish that you can make to serve to all at the table. This is the third holiday recipe from USA Rice Federation, that features of course their main ingredient RICE. They say that, "the combination of feta cheese and sausage delights the palate with a savoury finish with every bite". Sausage and feta you say? The smokey flavour from the sausage, the salty flavour from the feta, and the sweet earthy flavour from the squash is sure to be a beautiful mix :)

Recipe and photo from USA Rice Federation. Permission was granted prior to posting.

*Disclaimer: the recommendation to use U.S. Rice is strictly from the USA Rice Federation and from the creator of this recipe. Food Tastes Yummy does not fully endorse products.*

Makes 4 servings

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Baking time: 30 minutes (1st bake), 15 minutes (2nd bake to heat through)

  •  2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lb gluten-free turkey sausage, casing removed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked U.S. brown rice
  • 2 cups gluten-free chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 oz crumbled goat cheese

Heat oven to 400 F

Rub cut squash all over with oil - including the skin - and place cut side down on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake in oven until tender while preparing filling, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly before turning over.

In deep skillet, brown sausage meat, breaking meat into small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Transfer to plate. Add onion and red pepper to the skillet and cook until onion is tender and browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in rice and cook until rice is coated, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes. Stir in sausage, parsley, and crumbled goat cheese and divide rice mixture evenly over the squash, packing slightly.

Return to oven until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve with a crisp green salad.

Variation: Make this a vegetarian option by replacing the turkey sausage with dry red lentils. Just add the rinsed lentils to the onions and peppers and proceed as directed.

Tip: Adding some chopped nuts on top adds great flavour and crunch.

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