Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash Recipe with Classic Stuffing

Vegan stuffed butternut squash

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In search for a vegan/vegetarian/plant-based centerpiece dish for a special occasion? Well, you’re in luck, because in this post, I’ll take you step by step to making this delicious and impressive Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash recipe with a quick, yet delicious stuffing.

Mounting evidence on the benefits of plant-based eating continue to grow. Plant-based diets may help reduce levels of “blood pressure, HbA1C, and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates”. You don’t even need to go full on vegan to reap the health protecting benefits–just increasing your intake of whole, plant-based foods can definitely have a positive impact on your health. And now, on to some butternut squash goodness!

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What are the health benefits of butternut squash?

Butternut squash is actually a fruit, botanically speaking, but it’s treated as a vegetable, just like tomatoes. It’s from the same family as pumpkins, and has a similar a smooth, sweet, almost nutty flavor. Butternut squash is also a “winter squash”, just like acorn squash, but with a smoother, creamier texture.

The health benefits of butternut squash come from its high levels of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. A serving of butternut squash is one cup cooked. This amount provides more than 450% of the RDI for vitamin A and over 50% of the RDI for vitamin C. It’s also high in vitamin E, which together with vitamins A and C, provide powerful antioxidant activity which can help lower inflammation in the body and help immune function.

Butternut squash is also rich in carotenoids—plant pigments that give butternut squash its bright color— such as beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and alpha-carotene.

The body converts these pigments into active vitamin A, which, as we saw above, is not only a powerful antioxidant, but essential for eye, bone and immune health as well. This vegan roasted butternut squash recipe is one of the many delicious ways to include more of this nutritional powerhouse into your diet.

How to make this vegan butternut squash recipe

The vegan stuffed butternut squash recipe is basically made in three parts: cooking the squash, making the stuffing, and assembling it all together. Let’s walk through all the steps down below.

How do you cook butternut squash?

Although butternut squash can be eaten raw, it’s commonly roasted to soften the tough outer skin. Can you eat the skin of butternut squash? You totally can, and it’s a great source of extra fiber. I start out this recipe with the squash, since it takes around an hour to roast to tender perfection.

First, with a very sharp knife, cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (which you can later season and roast for pepitas), then put both halves on a baking tray cut side up.

Next, I make a basting mix of olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper, and brush it all over each butternut squash half, like the below video:

Now, place the basted squash halves in a preheated oven on 350 F. Bake for about 60 minutes (depending on the size of your squash), or until the squash is cooked and fork tender.

How do you hollow out a butternut squash?

Once the squash is cooked, let it cool enough so that you can start hollowing it out. Scoop out the flesh in the center of both squash halves, leaving about a 1-inch border all around. You can score a line 1-inch from the edges with the tip of the spoon before scooping to make it easier. You can use scooped out squash flesh for another dish, like Butternut Squash Soup.

How to make vegan stuffing

This is a quick, vegan stuffing recipe you can make with classic commercial stuffing mix. I like Pepperidge Farm’s Herb Seasoned Classic Stuffing since it’s vegan friendly. And it’s already pre-seasoned, so all you have to do it chop up and sauté some veggies and you’re good to go!

Ingredients for vegan stuffed butternut squash
This butternut squash stuffed with vegetables and commercial stuffing is full of texture and flavor

I also used chopped mushrooms, onions, celery and garlic, plus added in some dried cranberries and walnuts for a hint of sweetness, texture and crunch.

For this stuffing, first, heat up some olive oil under medium heat in a large pan. Add the mushrooms and sauté, taking care not to crowd them, keeping them in a single layer. Cook for about 1 minute on one side, flip them, and cook for 2-3 more minutes. When they are nicely browned, remove them from the pan and place them in a separate bowl.

Sauté the onion and celery until tender, for about 5 minutes. If necessary, add more olive oil to the pan. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms back in the in pan.

Now, pour the vegetable broth over the vegetables, add the rosemary sprig, salt and pepper, and combine well. Add the vegan butter and cook until melted.

Remove rosemary sprig. Add the stuffing mix and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Stir in dried cranberries and walnuts, and set aside.

Moisten the stuffing mix well with the vegetable broth until well combined
Vegan stuffing for butternut squash
This savory vegan stuffing has it all: texture, flavor and versatility. Use it as a side dish on its own, or baked as stuffing muffins!

Assembling the vegan stuffed butternut squash

So, now that we have everything cooked and ready, it’s time to assemble this bad boy. With a large spoon, pack in as much of the stuffing into both sides of the squash as you can. Take one squash half and flip it on top of the other. Use kitchen string to tie up the squash in 3 or 4 places holding it together. Lightly brush the top with more olive oil.

Assembled stuffed butternut squash
This is what your beautiful stuffed squash will look like, all tied up and ready to devour!

Bake for 20 to 35 minutes until heated through. Season the top with freshly ground pepper and fresh rosemary. Using a wide spatula, carefully transfer the squash to the serving plate. Slice the squash into rounds and serve with Vegan Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Gravy and Vegan Stuffing Muffins. Enjoy!

Vegan Butternut Squash Recipe
What goes with stuffed squash? Slice it and serve with Vegan Carmelized Onion and Mushroom Gravy and Vegan Stuffing Muffins
Vegan stuffed butternut squash

Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash Recipe with Classic Stuffing

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