Our Streeterville and River North Functional Medicine Physician, Dr. Kristen Halland, DC, believes you should never have to sacrifice health for flavor! Some may think a “healthy holiday” means not indulging in classic savory dishes – we’re here to change that mind set. Check out this recipe for Stuffed Squash with Sausage. It’s Whole30 friendly, too!

Dr. Halland love this recipe for Stuffed Squash with Sausage. She suggested to make sure to serve with a side of veggies and opt for cashew cream instead of sour cream.

Shiitake mushrooms are great for the immune system and have lots of B-Vitamins for fueling our cells! If you have a picky eater, you can finely chop the mushroomsbecause they blend in under the Italian sausage flavor.


  • 4 small to medium winter squash (such as delicata or acorn)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound bulk Italian or your favorite sausage
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • ½ pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped (optional)
1 Gala or your favorite apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup cashew cream
  • 1½ teaspoons nutritional yeast, or to taste (optional)
  • Parmigiano reggiano for topping (optional)
  • Chopped fresh basil or parsley, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment. Carefully cut each squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp. Brush the cut sides of the squash lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Arrange the squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender (acorn squash takes a few minutes longer than delicata). Set the squash aside and leave the oven on.
  2. While the squash is roasting, make the filling. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add enough olive oil to coat it with a thin layer. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until browned in spots and halfway cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir in the onion and shiitake mushrooms (if using) and continue to cook, stirring often, until the sausage is fully cooked and the mushrooms and onions have softened a bit. Stir in the apples and cook for five more minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the cashew cream sour cream and nutritional yeast (if using). Taste the filling and add salt, pepper, and/or nutritional yeast to taste.
  3. Turn the squash halves over so the cut sides are up. Spoon the filling into the squash halves and sprinkle a little cheese on top of each one, if using. Return the squash to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are browned in spots. Let cool for 10 minutes and then sprinkle with basil or parsley and serve hot.

This recipe was inspired by A Calculated Whisk.


About Functional Medicine

Our Functional Medicine & Clinical Nutrition team addresses the underlying cause of disease. Examining dietary, lifestyle, genetic, and environmental factors, we are able to uncover and effectively treat the root cause of health concerns. Informed by thorough clinical and diagnostic testing, we create individualized plans to help your patients achieve optimal health through focused one-on-one sessions.


About Kristen Halland, DC

Dr. Kristen Halland leads the Functional Medicine & Clinical Nutritional team at Aligned Modern Health’s River North and Streeterville locations.  Dr. Halland’s goal is to help people feel their best and live life fully – by using natural treatment options first and always seeking the root cause of the health issue. She graduated from Palmer College (Davenport) as a Chiropractic Physician in 2010 and pursued a second board certification and Diplomat in Acupuncture, First Line Therapy certifications, and extensive continuing education in integrative nutrition and functional medicine. Dr. Halland has enjoyed what she calls an eclectic career, including partnering with local Dietetics schools as a rotation site for R.D. students, teaching Human Anatomy / Cadaver Lab at local nursing colleges and lecturing on continuing education topics to other healthcare providers.


If you’re looking for more health tips or have questions about food sensitivities or gut health, schedule a free consultation with our Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition team today!