We all love stuffed squash in this house. The kids had a music teacher who would come home to teach them. We became friends and since he was coming on Sundays later mornings, he would always have lunch with us. He decided to go vegan, so I had to figure out recipes that would suit him. It became a challenge and I thoroughly enjoyed looking for recipes and making them my way. This was one of the dishes I made for him and he was in love. Expect, I skipped the feta for him.
This is another of my recipes that is so versatile. Change the ingredients to whatever you like or is in your fridge. Make it non-vegetarian by adding some cooked ground meat. I love it with cooked wild rice in place of the mushrooms.
My stuffed squash is vegetarian and so full of flavour. It has onions, garlic, fresh ginger and red chilies to give it that fresh seasoning. It’s stuffed with mushrooms, baby chard, feta, cranberries, and pecans. I even use the squash that I remove from the centre, so there’s no waste at all!
In order to get a deliciously baked squash, you need to clean and prep it. Cut 2 butternut squash into halves lengthwise. Remove the pulp and seeds. (Do not throw away the seeds. They are delicious when baked.) Line a baking dish with parchment paper and place all 4 halves of the squash on the dish – face up.
Prick each piece with a fork and sprinkle liberally with salt. This helps the salt to penetrate the squash as it cooks and helps the squash cook a little bit faster. Bake it in a 400 degree F oven for 40 mins. The squash needs to be cooked through before you can stuff it.
Let the baked squash cool down enough so you can handle it. Once it’s cooled down, using a spoon, scoop out the centre of squash, leaving about 3/4 of an inch all around and at the bottom. I use the natural centre pit of the squash to guide me. It’s the perfect depth and allows me to judge how much I need to scoop. Keep this scooped squash for use later in the recipe.
Getting the stuffed squash ready for baking
It’s time to flavour the squash. Heat the oil in a pan and into it put 1 finely chopped red onion, 3 sliced garlic cloves, 1 finely chopped red or green chili, and 1 teaspoon of grated ginger. Let the onion cook and soften – about 5 mins.
Chop three mushrooms into small cubes – the same size as the onions and put them into the pan. Let them cook for about 2 mins. Now you can add 2 cups of baby chard to the pan and continue cooking for a further 2 mins.
At this point you can take the pan off the heat and add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries and 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. Mix everything to combine all the ingredients so they are evenly distributed.
Prepping the squash for baking
It’s time to use the scooped squash. Chop the squash that you had scooped out from the centre of the squash into tiny 1 cm or so cubes. Put all of the chopped squash into the pan and mix to combine. Now you can add the feta too. Season with salt and pepper. Note that feta is quite salty, so put a little salt at a time and taste as you go.
It’s time to stuff the squash. Put 1/4 of the mix into the centre of each of the squash. It will fill the hole you created in the centre. Put enough of the mix in so it looks a little over-stuffed. Repeat till all of the stuffing is gone.
Line a baking tray / dish with parchment paper and place the squash on it. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for about 20 mins. Remove from the oven and enjoy with a side salad.
Vegetarian Baked Stuffed SquashCourse: Entree, VegetarianCuisine: CanadianDifficulty: Easy
This stuffed squash is a meal on its own. It is chock full of cranberries, pecans, feta, baby chard. Its flavourful and perfect for a cold winter day.
2 butternut squash
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves
1 red or green chili
1 teaspoon grated ginger
3 button mushrooms
2 cups baby chard (or any other green of choice)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup feta (skip for vegan version)
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the butternut squash lengthwise into halves and remove the seeds. Using a fork, prick the squash. Sprinkle liberally with salt and bake for 40 mins (or till it’s tender enough to scoop).
- Let the baked squash cool down. Once cooled, scoop out the centre of squash, leaving about 3/4 of an inch all around and at the bottom. Set the squash and scooped squash aside.
- Chop the onion and chili. Slice the garlic.
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the chopped onion, chili, grated ginger and sliced garlic to the pan. Let cook for about 5 mins.
- Chop the mushrooms into 1 cm cubes and toss into the pan. Cook for another 2 mins.
- Add the baby chard to the pan and mix. Cook for another 2 mins. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the cranberries, chopped pecans and feta to the pan and mix everything well, so it’s evenly distributed.
- Season with salt and pepper (see note).
- Chop the scooped out squash into 1 cm cubes and add to the mix.
- Put a 1/4 of the mix back into each of the squash halves.
- Line a baking dish or tray with parchment paper and place the filled squash on the dish / tray.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 mins.
- Enjoy with a side salad.
- – Feta is quite salty, so be careful with the amount of salt you use
– Check out other Entree recipes here.