Vegetarian/vegan stuffed butternut squash

Only one week to go until it’s Christmas Eve! Time has flown by lately hasn’t it? I only have a few more new Christmas recipes to share this year before I head home. First one up is vegetarian/vegan stuffed butternut squash, which you can either serve as a mains as an alternative to stuffed turkey or ham, but you can also serve it as a side dish. I made a really easy stuffing of breadcrumbs, red onion, thyme, sage, parsley, bay leaf, pecan nuts, and butter and oil. You can use real butter or vegan butter, depending on whether you want to make this vegan or vegetarian. If you are going for vegan then make sure to double check the breadcrumbs as well, they usually are vegan but it doesn’t hurt to check.

The stuffing is supereasy to make, but cutting the squash and scooping out the flesh can be a bit tricky. To make things easier I pre-cooked the unstuffed squash to soften the flesh. Stuffing the squash then is very easy. The only tricky part left is that you cannot “test” if your squash is cooked or not. But you should be able to see from the outside and you could use one of those cake testers to poke into the squash to see if it’s soft enough. We ate this vegetarian/vegan stuffed butternut squash with some homemade cranberry sauce (with red wine) – recipe will follow in a few days. Since I made 2 stuffed squashes we had it vegan one night and then had it with some seabass on the second night. If you are serving it as a side then you could easily serve it with turkey, ham, chicken, fish, it truly goes with everything!

Vegetarian stuffed butternut squash

Reviews

Ingredients:

Adjust Servings
200-250g fresh breadcrumbs
15g fresh parsley
1 red onion
2 bay leaves
2tablespoons dried sage
a few twigs of fresh thyme
50g pecan nuts
150g butter
50ml rapeseed oil
2 butternut squashes
a few drops of honey (not vegan), maple syrup or oil

Directions

1.
Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan
Chop the butternut squash in half lengthways. This can be fairly difficult as it's very hard to get through. Please mind your hands as well.
Place on an oven tray with the cut side up, drizzle a bit of oil on top and bake for 20 minutes. Let it cool down while preparing the rest.
Mark as complete
2.
Slice the onion finely
Mark as complete
3.
Heat up oil and butter in a frying pan
Once the butter has melted, add the onion and all the herbs and cook until glossy but not browned.
Let it cool down for +-10 minutes.
Mark as complete
4.
Chop the pecan nuts
Add them to the breadcrumbs and add the cooled down butter/oil mixture as well. I used about 200g of breadcrumbs but I prefer a very gooey stuffing. Add a bit more for a drier stuffing. Don't add more than 250g though.
Remove the bay leaves before stuffing it into the butternut squash.
Mark as complete
5.
Once the butternut squash has cooled down, scoop out a good bit of the flesh
Don't completely empty it of course, leave a nice but around the edges - see photo - so that it's not just stuffing with a tiny bit of squash. About 1.5-2 cm of squash around the stuffing is perfect. Any of the flesh you scoop out can be cooked in the oven in a separate bowl and turned into mash.
Put the stuffing in both sides of the squash, press it down a bit to get a good amount in. Drizzle some honey/maple syrup along the edges of the squash, it'll help "stick" both sides together. Tie the squash up with some kitchen twine to prevent it from sliding apart in the oven. Cook for at least 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven at 200°C Fan. The outer skin should be slightly brown and soft when it's ready. Use a cake tester (or a metal skewer) to test if the squash is soft enough.
Mark as complete
6.
Remove from the oven
Remove the twine and slice it up in discs. It won't stay together perfectly of course, but you can press everything together on the plate if it does fall apart a bit.
Mark as complete
Notes
Serving size is based on it being a side dish (2-3 slices per person)
Needed: cooking twine

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