A Love of Grub Original: Kale & Barley Squashage

It’s that time of year again! I still sleep with my windows open and live in jersey skirts, but something about the end of August makes me crave the comfort foods of Autumn. However, with a family reunion, a wedding, and countless take-out lunches in my recent history, it’s time to lighten up. I may have found the perfect solution: Acorn squash, chicken sausage, kale, and barley. It’s hearty and satisfying, yet healthy and refreshing and it took less than 45 minutes to make. Plus, am I the only one who thinks barley is super fun to chew? I’ve taken the liberty of naming this dish Kale & Barley Squashage.


  • 1 acorn squash, roughly 1 1/2 lbs., peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + more for cooking the sausage
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • 8 oz. barley
  • chicken stock or broth cubes (optional)
  • 1 pound chicken sausage (I recommend Isernio’s)
  • 3 cups kale, chopped

Preheat oven to 425.

For the squash: Mix the garlic, olive oil, brown sugar, cumin, pepper flakes and cinnamon together in a bowl.


Add the squash cubes, season with salt & pepper, and mix to coat. I found that a pie pan worked great as a mixing bowl/baking dish.


Place in the middle of the oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until fork-tender, stirring and rotating once.

Meanwhile, cook the barley per package instructions. I used Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Barley and tossed a non-chicken broth cube in the water for flavor.

In a large skillet, crumble and cook the chicken sausage until done. Add the kale, a little salt & pepper, stir it all around, and cover the pan to let the kale steam for a few minutes.


Drain the barley, remove the squash from the oven and mix it around in its delicious juices.


Layer each component in a bowl and dig in!