Roasted butternut squash makes a great vegetarian alternative to a meat cut during the festive season. I’ve designed this recipe with quinoa as the base for the stuffing and added flavour and texture with cranberries, macadamia nuts and kale for a wintery green hit – if you have veggies coming for Christmas dinner, this festive stuffed butternut squash recipe will wow them!
– 1 butternut squash
– 1 carrot, chopped
– 2 stalks of celery, chopped
– 1 red onion, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– big handful of kale, tough stalks removed, chopped
– 35g dried cranberries
– 35g macadamia nuts, cut into small pieces
– 150g quinoa, cooked to packet instructions
– 125ml stock
– 1 tsp fresh sage, chopped
– salt and pepper to taste
– Olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds, then put both halves on a baking tray, cut side up. Drizzle the olive oil on each half and rub to coat evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the squash is cooked and tender. The timings will vary dependent on the size of your squash; try not to overcook it as you want it to keep its shape.
3. Once tender, remove the squash halves from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Leave the oven on! Scoop out some of the flesh in the of both squash halves, leaving about a 1-inch border all around. Dice the scooped-out flesh into bite-size pieces and set aside.
4. While the squash is baking, in a large pan heat a splash of olive oil over a medium heat. When hot add the garlic, carrots, celery, kale and red onion and soften.
5. When the vegetables are soft, add the quinoa and stock to the pan and stir through. The stock is to moisten the mixture and help it combine.
6. Add in the macadamia nuts, dried cranberries, sage and salt and pepper to taste. Also add the chopped squash flesh and stir well to combine.
7. Pack in as much of the stuffing into both sides of the squash as you can. There will be lots of leftovers that can be served on the side. Pick up one squash half and flip it on top of the other. Use kitchen string to tie the squash in 2 or 3 places to hold it together.
8. Lightly brush the top of the squash with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until piping hot right through.
9. Serve the squash held together with string and slice with a sharp knife. The slices will fall apart easily. Serve with a gravy if desired.
Vicky is the writer behind The Flourishing Pantry, a blog and recipe collection for people in search of a healthier way to nourish themselves. In an online world that has become increasingly shouty about what to eat, Vicky searches for the answers to great gut health, whilst developing healthy and nutritious meals inspired by her discoveries online.
She’s not an expert – she’s just like you, trying to make sense of it all and eat well for life. The Flourishing Pantry has been nominated in the Free From category of the Health Bloggers Award 2017.