You'll love this easy Stuffed Butternut Squash recipe. It's a tasty vegan and vegetarian main dish with a flavorful stuffing made of lentils, mushrooms, kale and cranberries. It's seasoned with herbs and baked inside a squash making a beautiful presentation. A great healthy meal for Christmas, Thanksgiving or any dinner.
If you're looking for a showstopping vegan or vegetarian Christmas dinner main dish, then you'll love this vegan Roasted Stuffed Butternut Squash recipe!
The red and green filling for the stuffed squash is courtesy of dried cranberries and kale, along with lentils, mushrooms and herbs.
Nothing says seasonal food like butternut squash. Okay, maybe sprouts. And cranberries. But butternut is close!
It’s versatile for things like soups and stews but it also can be roasted and stuffed with a flavorful mixture that makes it a full meal.
You’ll love the combination of these vegan foods into a hearty meal that looks as good as it tastes.
It's a stunning part of your Christmas dinner. Serve warm slices drizzled with vegan gravy and a side of sprouts.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
It makes a beautiful presentation for a holiday dinner.
It’s hearty and filling and full of protein without any meat.
You’ll use squash that’s in season.
You can customize the flavors or vegetables in the dish.
It is vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free.
Ingredients & Tools
Butternut Squash: This is the star of this dish. Make sure you find it whole at your local grocery store or farmers market.
Red Onion & Garlic: Helps add an aromatic flavor to the filling.
Kale: This adds a pop of color and a big dose of nutrients from this almighty leafy green.
Dried Thyme: Will add a herbed freshness. Switch it up for sage, rosemary or another herb.
Chopped Mushrooms: This will give some bulk to the stuffing but also a deep rich flavor.
Lentils: Adds a high protein heartiness to the squash stuffing.
Dried Cranberries: Gives the dish a slightly sweet and tart festive flavor.
Pumpkin Seeds: This adds a bit of crunch to the dish adding a great texture. Chopped pecans makes a tasty alternative.
Tools: Oven, baking sheet, knife, pan
Step By Step Tutorial
This pretty roasted stuffed squash recipe is really easy to make!
Follow this step by step photo tutorial, then scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and method.
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways, then use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds.
Rub the squash all over with 1 tablespoon of the oil, then place them, cut side down, on a baking sheet.
Roast for 20 minutes, then flip and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the flesh is soft. The time depends on how big your butternut is.
While the squash is cooking, heat the remaining oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further minute.
Stir in the mushrooms into the pan and cook for 10 minutes or until they’ve softened and released their juices.
When the squash is cooked, scrape a little of the squash from the neck to create a shallow channel (leave a ½ “ border around the edge). Chop the removed squash and set aside for the filling.
Stir in the reserved squash flesh, lentils, kale, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and ¾ cup of water and cook for a further 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
Pile the filling into the squash and return to the oven to cook for 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.
Make sure you add the pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries into the filling last as they may become soggy if added in the beginning.
It’s important to cook the mushrooms until they have released all of their moisture to ensure they don’t make the filling too watery.
When purchasing your butternut squash, make sure you keep an eye out for how you want your final presentation to look. If cooking multiple butternut squash, make sure they are roughly the same size and shape.
If you’d like to get a slightly browned crispy top, broil for 1-2 minutes after original cooking time.
Pair with these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar.
Add a tasty side dish with Maple Glazed Carrots.
Perfect with some sage-infused Vegan Stuffing.
Add some carbs with easy French Parmentier Potatoes.
Make Herb and Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms as an appetizer.
Theme the night all things squash with this Chocolate Chunk Butternut Squash Cake.
Pair with this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Apples.
Goes great with these Roasted Radishes and Asparagus.
Make the perfect Christmas dinner for vegans by adding a Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad.
Use either green or brown lentils to make this dish. Puy lentils would be great too.
Instead of kale, try using spinach or collard greens as a replacement.
Add some fresh rosemary or sage if you like the taste of more herbs.
If you like a little spice, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the stuffing as you’re cooking it.
If you can’t find butternut squash, try making stuffed acorn squash.
After cooking, drizzle with a dash of maple syrup for a hint of sweetness.
Try adding a cup of cooked rice to the filling.
To Make Gluten Free: All of the ingredients in this recipe are naturally gluten free.
To Make It Vegan: Be sure to use oil instead of butter to cook your squash. You can also use a vegan butter substitute for more buttery flavor.
Freezing: Because this Roasted Stuffed Butternut Squash recipe is served stuffed, it is not recommended that you freeze it as is. You could, however, freeze the stuffing in an airtight container for up to 3 months to thaw and repurpose.
Storing: If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Are you supposed to peel butternut squash before cooking? This depends on what recipe you’re trying to make. If you are making soup then yes! The skin of butternut squash does get tender once it is roasted making it edible if you would like to eat it. For this stuffed squash recipe, you don't need to peel it and it's best not to as the skin softens but keeps the shape.
What flavors go well with butternut squash? Besides the flavors in this recipe, butternut squash pairs well with basil, oregano, rosemary, black pepper, sage and even cumin. It also makes wonderful curry dishes.
What does cooked butternut squash taste like? Some say butternut squash tastes like a lighter version of a sweet potato. It's not as starchy or sweet which makes it a great healthy option to use for recipes like this roasted butternut stuffed squash.
More meat-free Christmas Dinner Main Dishes
Roasted Stuffed Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons oil divided
- 1 red onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 cup (100g) chopped mushrooms
- 15 oz 15oz/400g can green or brown lentils drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked dry lentils)
- 1 cup (40g) kale chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways, then use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds.
- Rub the squash all over with 1 tablespoon of the oil, then place them, cut side down, on a baking sheet. Roast to 20 minutes, then flip and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the flesh is soft. The time depends on how big your butternut squash is.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further minute.
- Stir in the mushrooms into the pan and cook for 10 minutes or until they’ve softened and released their juices.
- Stir in the lentils, kale, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and ¾ cup of water and cook for a further 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
- When the squash is cooked, scrape a little of the squash from the neck to create a shallow channel (leave a ½ “ border around the edge). Chop the removed squash and stir into the pan of the lentil filling.
- Pile the filling into the squash and return to the oven to cook for 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy.