Stuffed Butternut Squash Recipe – Everyday Healthy Recipes


This vegan stuffed butternut squash is made using lentils, vegetables, and seeds for crunch. It’s a delicious, easy to prepare dish, perfect for the holiday season!

You might also like vegetarian stuffed peppers!

Top down view of 2 stuffed butternut squash halves on parchment.

This stuffed butternut squash makes a delicious vegetarian centrepiece suitable for any occasion. The filling is a combination of sweet, tangy and savoury, which complement the naturally nutty and sweet flavour of the squash creating a rich and colourful dish.

Stuffed butternut squash ingredients and substitutes

  • Butternut squash: use a medium/large squash. Wash it thoroughly before cutting and roasting.
  • Lentils: I used green but brown, black (beluga), puy lentils or even black turtle beans are all good alternatives.
  • Mushrooms: use either regular, closed-cup or chestnut mushrooms.
  • Spinach: adds colour, flavour and moisture. Creates a great contrast with naturally sweet squash (see also spinach stuffed sweet potatoes).
  • Tomato puree and sundried tomatoes: add depth of flavour.
  • Soy sauce: intensify the flavour of the mushrooms adding depth.
  • Herbs and spices: you can substitute the Italian herbs for either thyme or sage or a combination.
  • Sunflower seeds: add crunch but can be replaced with chopped pecans.
Ingredients for making stuffed butternut squash in individual dishes.
Stuffed butternut squash ingredients.

How to prepare the butternut squash

Cut: Preheat the oven to 375F/190C/gas mark 5. Place the butternut squash on top of a cutting board and using a large sharp knife cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds.

Season: Place the halves, open-side-up, on top of a baking sheet, season and brush the inside with a little oil (approx.1 tablespoon).

Roast: Roast in the centre of the oven for 55-60 minutes or until golden brown.  The squash is ready when it starts caramelizing around the edges and is tender (check with a fork). Remove from the oven (increase the oven temperature to 400F/200C/gas mark 6) and follow the Instructions for stuffing below.

Top tip

To save time you can roast the butternut squash ahead and once cooled completely, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Roasted butternut squash halves on top of baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

How to assemble the recipe

Stuffing butternut squash is easy!

1.Scoop out pulp: Once you’ve removed the squash from the oven scoop out some of the pulp (leaving a 1cm/1/3 inch around the edge). Chop the pulp roughly and set aside.

Roasted butternut squash halves with scooped out middle on top of baking sheet lined with paper and spoon.

2. Cook mushrooms: Cut each mushroom in half and then slice thickly. In a large non-stick pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil, add the mushrooms, pepper to taste and cook over a fairly high heat for about 5 minutes stirring often. Halfway through cooking add the soy sauce. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Cooking chopped mushrooms in pan.

3. Wilt spinach: Using the same pan briefly heat the spinach (with 1-2 teaspoons of oil, if required) just until wilted stirring all the time (this will take about a minute). Remove from the heat.

Wilted chopped spinach in pan.

4. Combine filling ingredients: To the mixing bowl add the lentils, butternut squash pulp, mushrooms, spinach, tomato puree, sundried tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds and spices.

5. Stir filling mixture: Stir the mixture thoroughly then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

6. Stuff butternut squash: Sprinkle the inside of the squash halves with a little salt, pepper and hot paprika (optional) and stuff with the filling mixture. Combine 1 tablespoon of sunflower and pumpkin seeds (each) with 2 teaspoons of oil and spread over the top.

Top down view of stuffed squash halves.

Bake: Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, set aside for 5 minutes then serve.

Serving suggestions

As a holiday dish: Cut into thick slices and serve with roast potatoes, mashed rutabaga or celery root. Delicious with crunchy holiday coleslaw, cranberry sauce or chutney.

As a dinner idea: Serve with mashed potatoes or another simple side, such as rice, bulgur wheat or couscous. Stuffed butternut squash is delicious with green beans or broccoli.

Variations

Add a handful of dried sweetened cranberries for a festive touch.

Use a combination of lentil and quinoa, couscous, bulgur wheat, barley or rice (a great way of using up leftovers).

Scatter crumbled feta cheese over the top before baking.

Top tips and FAQs

  • The exact time needed to roast the butternut squash will depend on the size of your vegetable.  Ensure it’s tender before removing from the oven.
  • To save time start making the filling while the squash is in the oven.
  • Add some heat by sprinkling the butternut squash halves with hot paprika before stuffing.
  • Although the skin of the butternut squash is (theoretically) edible it can be tough (as with any winter squash) and not especially tasty. I don’t eat it but this is down to personal preference.
  • Best served hot. Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave.
Side view of cut lentil stuffed butternut squash halves on top of parchment.

Make ahead

You can make this lentil stuffed butternut squash in advance, cover, refrigerate and bake the next day. Remove from the fridge an hour before baking to bring up to room temperature. Bake at 375F/190C/gas mark 5 for 15-20 minutes (or until heated through).

Freezing

Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, remove from the oven an hour before baking then bake at 375F as above.

More vegetarian butternut squash recipes to try next

Check out also these other delicious vegetarian dinners including pasta meals.

Keep in touch!

If you make this easy stuffed butternut squash recipe I’d love to know how it turned out for you. Let me know in the comments below, thanks!

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Top down view of 2 stuffed butternut squash halves on parchment.

Stuffed Butternut Squash Recipe

This vegan stuffed butternut squash is made using lentils, vegetables and seeds for crunch. It’s a delicious, easy to prepare dish, perfect for the holiday season!

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Course: Dinner, Lunch

Cuisine: gluten free, vegan

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Servings: 8 servings

Calories: 193kcal

Instructions

Prepare butternut squash

  • Cut: Preheat the oven to 375F/190C/gas mark 5. Place the butternut squash on top of a cutting board and using a large sharp knife cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds.

  • Season: Place the halves, open-side-up, on top of a baking sheet, season and brush the inside with a little oil (approx.1 tablespoon).

  • Roast: Roast in the centre of the oven for 55-60 minutes or until golden brown.  The squash is ready when it starts caramelizing around the edges and is tender (check with a fork). Remove from the oven (increase the oven temperature to 400F/200C/gas mark 6) and follow the Instructions for stuffing below.

Make filling and assemble

  • Scoop out pulp: Once you’ve removed the squash from the oven scoop out some of the pulp (leaving a 1cm/⅓ inch around the edge). Chop the pulp roughly and set aside.

  • Cook mushrooms: Cut each mushroom in half and then slice thickly. In a large non-stick pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil, add the mushrooms, pepper to taste and cook over a fairly high heat for about 5 minutes stirring often. Halfway through cooking add the soy sauce. Remove from the pan and set aside.

  • Wilt spinach: Using the same pan briefly heat the spinach (with 1-2 teaspoons of oil, if required) just until wilted stirring all the time (this will take about a minute). Remove from the heat.

  • Combine filling ingredients: To the mixing bowl add the lentils, butternut squash pulp, mushrooms, spinach, tomato puree, sundried tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds and spices. Stir the mixture thoroughly then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

  • Stuff butternut squash: Sprinkle the inside of the squash halves with a little salt, pepper and hot paprika (optional) and stuff with the filling mixture. Combine 1 tablespoon of sunflower and pumpkin seeds (each) with 2 teaspoons of oil and spread over the top.

  • Bake: Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, set aside for 5 minutes then serve.

Notes

  • The exact time needed to roast the butternut squash will depend on the size of your vegetable.  Ensure it’s tender before removing from the oven.
  • To save time start making the filling while the squash is in the oven.
  • Add some heat by sprinkling the butternut squash halves with hot paprika before stuffing.
  • Although the skin of the butternut squash is (theoretically) edible it can be tough (as with any winter squash) and not especially tasty. I don’t eat it but this is down to personal preference.
  • Serve with roast potatoes, mashed rutabaga or celery root. Delicious with crunchy holiday coleslaw, cranberry sauce or chutney.
  • Best served hot. Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave.
  • Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, remove from the oven an hour before baking then bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 782mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 11297IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg

*Nutritional information is automatically generated and should be considered as an estimate.

**A note about baking: If using a fan-assisted oven refer to your appliance’s instructions and adjust the temperature accordingly.





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