My brother-in-law Dan is a vegetarian so I’m always trying to come up with interesting dishes so he’ll have something special to enjoy at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I enjoy the challenge and it encourages those of us who eat meat to try some new dishes as well. I made this butternut squash stuffed with wild rice and herbs last year and it was a hit. It makes quite a bit so you should have plenty to serve as either a vegetarian main course or as a side dish. It is delicious with pork, chicken or turkey. I can easily be adapted for vegans- just follow the substitutions at the end of the recipe.
Stuffed Butternut Squash
Makes about 8 to 10 servings as a side dish or 4 to 6 servings as a main course
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 2 teaspoons neutral oil such as safflower
- ½ cup raw wild rice
- ½ cup raw white rice
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- ½ medium onion, finely diced
- ½ cup red pepper, finely diced (about ½ a large pepper)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter OR margarine OR oil such as safflower or olive
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Using a large sharp knife, cut the butternut squash lengthwise down the middle and separate the two halves.
- Scoop out any seeds and discard. Rub each half of the squash with the oil (1 teaspoon per half). Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until tender. Check tenderness with a sharp knife – it should be soft enough to scoop out with ease.
- While the squash is roasting, prepare the stuffing ingredients. In a large saucepan, heat 2 cups vegetable stock until boiling. Add wild rice, cover tightly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Add white rice to the pot and continue to cook the rice mixture for another 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the stock has been absorbed.
- In a large bowl, add onion, red pepper, garlic, sage, rosemary and thyme. Once the rice mixture has cooked, add it as well.
- Remove baked squash from the oven and let cool slightly. Using a large spoon, carefully scoop the flesh out of the baked squash halves, making sure to leave about ¾” of a ‘wall’ intact so the shells will hold together. Add the scooped squash to the rice/stuffing bowl.
- Stir the cooked squash into the rice stuffing mixture until it is thoroughly combined. Add melted butter and salt and pepper to taste.
- Scoop the stuffing mixture back into the squash halves. Top each half with parmesan cheese or bread crumbs (1/4 cup per half).
- Bake stuffed squash for 20 minutes or until the cheese is beginning to brown on top. Garnish with a sprig of sage if desired.
Substitute vegan-friendly margarine, olive oil or neutral oil (canola, safflower, etc) for the melted butter. Top with ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs that have been tossed with 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs. Bake stuffed squash for 20 minutes or until crumbs begin to brown.
Bon Appétit and Enjoy!
This recipe first appeared on Suite 101.com.