A Vegan Stuffed Squash Recipe To Serve At Thanksgiving That Everyone At The Table (Yes, Everyone) Will Enjoy
Whether you’re a vegan, carnivore, flexitarian or a non-subscriber to labels (can’t we all just get along?), this stuffed squash is a perfect accompaniment to any holiday dinner table. And, because this version packs a combo of grains plus legumes (forming a complete protein), it can stand alone as a main dish.
VEGAN STUFFED SQUASH RECIPE
- 2 acorn squashes
- ½ cup of brown rice, dried
- ¼ cup of green lentils, dried
- Olive oil
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 carrot
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- A few leaves of fresh sage
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 1 cup of fresh spinach or kale
- ½ cup of fresh, chopped parsley
- *Optional topping* Cheesy Vegan Nut Crumbs
1. Pre-bake squash: Cut the squash in half through the middle, not lengthwise through the stem. This will yield a prettier shape. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Bake the squash, flesh side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet at 425F until tender, but not mushy (about 40 minutes). You can do this step the night before, if you like.
2. When cool enough, scoop out the squash, leaving 1 centimeter of flesh around the edges and bottom. (See picture). You want the squash to be sturdy enough for stuffing.
3. Pre-cook rice and lentils: Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a small pot. Add the brown rice and cook for 20 minutes. Add the lentils and cook another 20 minutes. (Brown rice takes 40 minutes to cook and absorbs 3X its volume in water. Green lentils take 20 minutes and absorb 2X their volume. You will be left with 2 cups of cooked rice and lentils in a 3:1 ratio).
4. Make the filling: Heat a large saute pan to medium high. Mince the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot. Drizzle a little olive oil and saute all of the vegetables. Cook thoroughly until they are soft and a little brown and crispy in places. Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, and minced sage leaves. Add in a splash of water to deglaze the pan.
5. Look at your 4 squash halves and estimate how much total filling they can hold. Add enough rice and lentils to the sauteeing vegetables to equal that volume. Add the fresh spinach or kale and let it wilt down. Season generously with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust accordingly. Do you want more spice? A splash of XYZ? Let your intuition guide you. When you’re finished, remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
6. Pack and bake: Pack the stuffing into the hollowed-out squash. They will be heavy and rounded at the top. If you like, you can make the Cheesy Vegan Nut Crumbles as a topping, but it will taste just as delicious without! Bake for 30 minutes at 350F in the lower half of the oven. Move up to the broiler for the last 5 minutes to create a nice golden colour.
7. Let cool slightly and then eat with a spoon.
A few more “fall-friendly” recipe ideas:
- How to make sourdough bread at home.
- A simple roasted butternut squash recipe.
- Apple and lentil curry recipe.
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