This vegan stuffed butternut squash with rice and lentils, prepared without oil, features a tender texture and a robust flavor profile. The oven-roasted sweet and tender butternut squash, cradles a flavorful stuffing that's hearty and filled with broccoli.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Perfect as a showstopper main course for the holiday season, think vegan Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas, or any type of special occasion.
- Whilst this hearty meal looks like it's technical, it is relatively easy to prepare, it is a great way to show just how tasty plant-based recipes can be.
- The flavors are savory-sweet, imagine savory brown rice stuffed onto a sweet oven-roasted butternut squash.
- Dietary friendly - it's vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, it is WFPB friendly.
Ingredient Notes And Variations
Notes on some of the ingredients, the full list of ingredients and their measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Whole Butternut Squash
Aka butternut pumpkin, is part of the winter squash family, it should be fresh and blemish-free.
Select at least a medium-large-sized one, I typically choose one that weighs around 2 ⅔ pounds (1.2kg).
See below how to cut it. I also use this ingredient to make butternut soup with coconut milk.
Your local grocery store or supermarket may sell squash halves ready to go, saving you the effort of cutting.
Rice and Lentil Stuffing
Brown rice is my choice of grain for the stuffing to be used in this recipe. You can swap it out for other types of rice, such as Basmati, Jasmine, white rice or wild rice.
Canned brown lentils need to be drained and rinsed before cooking with the rice.
Fresh broccoli is cut into small florets and then pulsed in a food processor (affiliate link) until it becomes a bit larger than rice. You can find step-by-step instructions two sections down and in the recipe card below.
Finely chopped onion and minced garlic add so much flavor to the stuffing. The onion can be any color you prefer, I tend to gravitate toward brown or red onion.
Toasted slivered almonds are so delicious with their nutty vibes and toasty flavors. I toast these without oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
Vegetable bouillon cube, I add two cubes, hence no additional salt is required and is perfect with the sweetness of the squash. You can of course use vegetable stock or vegetable broth instead.
The seasonings include ground cumin, ground paprika, salt and black pepper to taste. So simple!
Finely sliced scallions to top the vegan stuffed butternut squash. I highly recommend this as scallions add flavor.
Other finely chopped fresh herbs can also be used as garnish as well. Some cranberries or raisins can also be added to the filling, I find the squash to be sweet enough.
How To Cut Butternut Squash In Half Lengthways
To safely cut a butternut squash, you'll need the following :
- Sharp chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Optional tea towel
- Wash the squash, and rinse the squash under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Keep the skin on, it helps to hold the squash together during roasting.
- Secure, and place the squash horizontally on the cutting board. Its wider base should be facing you. Optionally, place it on a tea towel, which can minimize rocking.
- Trim the ends, using a sharp knife, start by trimming off both ends of the squash. This gives you stable and flat surfaces to work with.
- Cut in half, with the squash stabilized, carefully cut it in half lengthwise. Apply even pressure and use a rocking motion with the knife to guide it through the squash whilst gently tapping with the heel of your hand. Note: The squash is harder towards the stem end, so take your time and use a rocking motion to cut.
- Scoop out seeds, once halved, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp from the cavity. Don't discard the pumpkin seeds! Roast them, they make an awesome snack.
How to Make Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash with Rice and Lentils
Preheat Oven and Roast the Butternut Halves
Place the halves cut sides down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast in a fan-forced oven at 395F (200C) for 45 minutes.
When the squashes are done roasting, they will be oozing juices and completely tender.
Make the Rice and Lentils Stuffing
Pulse the broccoli florets in a food processor until a rice-like consistency is achieved. These can be left uncooked (I prefer uncooked to keep as many nutrients as possible) or they can be quickly pan-fried (with or without oil) until just tender. Set this aside.
Toast the slivered almonds in a non-stick pan without oil, this should take a few minutes. Set these aside.
Cook the brown rice with the finely chopped onion, minced garlic, spices in the vegetable bouillon water for about 35-40 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Start by bringing the covered pot to a boil on high heat, then turn it down to low and allow it to simmer.
Add the canned lentils after rinsing and draining, to the cooked brown rice and then add the broccoli. Put the lid back on and allow the pot to sit for 5 minutes. Do this step quickly to minimize the amount of heat escaping.
Add the toasted almonds to the lentil and rice stuffing and stir it through.
Stuff the Roasted Butternut Squash
Carve the cooked flesh out (reserve this for another recipe) and fill with the stuffing mixture. Top with chopped scallion and serve, see serving suggestions below.
Whilst I love enjoying this dish on its own as it is filled with both fiber and starch, I sometimes love to eat it with some homemade hot sauce. Oh my, so yummy! You could use any sauce or dressing, here's sweet onion dressing to try.
If you'd like some side dishes to go with your stuffed squash, try it with a side of arugula salad, or fennel orange salad. These will add some freshness to your stuffed roasted butternut squash dish.
This dish can be enjoyed both warm and cold.
Once the stuffed squash has cooled down to room temperature transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Leftover filling can be enjoyed on its own or used with other recipes.
Butternut squash skin is edible. When oven-roasted, the skin becomes mostly tender, however, around the stalk area it can be tough. It comes down to personal preference whether or not to eat the skin. I eat the parts of skin that fall apart when handled with cutlery. It tastes like the same nice flavor as the flesh.
More Vegan Stuffed Veg Recipes
If you love this easy stuffed butternut squash recipe, then you should check out my mouthwatering oven-baked stuffed bell peppers, they too are filled with a lentil rice filling.
Did you make this? I'd love to know! Leave me a comment below with a ★★★★★ rating or tag @plantbasedfolk on social media.
Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash With Rice and Lentils
- 2 medium-large Butternut squash washed (2⅔lb)
- ¼ cup Scallion finely sliced
Rice and Lentil Stuffing
- 1 cup Brown rice rinsed under cold water
- 2 cups Water see note #1
- 1⅓ cups Canned brown lentils drained and rinsed
- 2 Vegetable bouillon see note #1
- 1 medium Onion finely chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon Paprika powder
- Black Pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup Slivered almonds
- 1½ cups Broccoli pulsed, see step
Preheat Oven and Prepare the Squash
- Preheat your fan forced oven to 395°F (200°C). Rinse the butternut squash under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. Using a sharp knife, start by trimming off both ends of the butternut squash, then cut it vertically. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp from the cavity.2 medium-large Butternut squash
- Place the halved butternut squash on a baking sheet, cut side down. Roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender (use a fork to pierce it). Let the squash cool down to handling temperature.
Prepare the Lentil Rice Stuffing
- Whilst the squash is roasting. In a medium non stick pan, add the slivered almonds and toast over medium heat until golden brown. Transfer the toasted almonds to a plate and set aside.⅓ cup Slivered almonds
- Combine brown rice, onion, garlic, cumin, paprika in a pot. Dissolve the vegetable bouillon in ½ cup of boiling water. Add this and 1½ cups of cold water to the rice mixture. Stir the ingredients together. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to low heat, and simmer until the rice is tender and liquid is absorbed (about 35-40 minutes). Then turn the heat off, keep covered and let the pot rest for 5 minutes.Whilst the rice is cooking, chop the broccoli into florets and place them into a food processor. Pulse until a "rice-like" texture is achieved. See video or images above. Set this aside. Once the rice has cooked and rested, mix through the brown lentils and broccoli to it and place the lid back on. Let it sit for 5 more minutes. This will heat up the lentils and broccoli (see note #2)1 cup Brown rice, 2 cups Water, 1⅓ cups Canned brown lentils, 2 Vegetable bouillon, 1 medium Onion, 2 Garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon Cumin powder, 1 teaspoon Paprika powder, Black Pepper, Salt, 1½ cups Broccoli
- Add the toasted slivered almonds to the rice and fluff using a fork, combining the broccoli too.
Stuff the Butternut Squash
- Carve out the flesh from the roasted butternut squash, leaving at least a ¼ of inch perimeter. Save the flesh for another recipe. Place the stuffing into the cavities (if there is any juice left in the rice, scoop a spoonful and add it on top of the stuffing. Top with scallion and serve immediately with or without your favorite sauce, see attached hot sauce.¼ cup Scallion, 1 Homemade hot sauce
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
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