This lentil, whole-grain bread, and mushroom stuffed butternut squash is a delicious fall centerpiece or a fancy side.
Thanksgiving is approaching with staggering speed! And Halloween isn’t even over yet.
It’s crazy how quickly the holidays creep up on you, don’t you think?
Anyways, I’ve been wondering about a satisfying main dish for the occasion. Tofurkeys and the like seem to be the most obvious choice for vegans but honestly, I’m not a fan of all that processed soy. Or the texture for that matter.
But that might be just me.
Meet the unprocessed cousin of the Tofurkey
To stay true to tradition, I did stick to the whole idea of stuffing something and roasting it. However, I went with a butternut squash and a healthy veggie filling instead: it’s based on red lentils, mushrooms, nuts, whole-grain bread, and herbs. Plus quite a bit of mashed butternut squash flesh :) Tons of good stuff!
This stuffed butternut squash is hearty, filling and festive but also very healthy and free of processed foods. Just make sure to find new high-quality whole-grain bread (use gluten-free if needed). That’s important for both flavor and the overall healthiness of this dish.
Remember, dark colored bread doesn’t have to mean whole-grain!
Putting the menu together
You’ll love how easy it is to put this dish together as well. It’s not super quick but the amount of hands-on time you’ll need to put in is very low.
The oven does most of the work for you (and makes the kitchen nicely warm and cozy as a bonus). You can even prepare this veggie-stuffed butternut squash ahead of time and then just warm it up before serving!
If you need some more inspiration, have a look at this huge Thanksgiving recipe collection. It’s filled with delicious yet healthy recipes from appetizers and soups all the way to sweet treats.
Wondering about nutrition?
You’ll be happy to hear the whole dish is packed with protein, fiber and just a little bit of healthy fat. No oil needed! It’s also bursting with eye- and skin-healthy vitamin A (pumpkins are such a great source of it!). Plus it looks like this micronutrient is great for immunity too!
See the full nutritional details here.
As for special diets, the recipe is naturally vegan, soy-free and oil-free but if you need to, you can also make it gluten-free and nut-free!
- 1 butternut squash (ca 2.5 pounds = 1.135 kg)
- ½ pound (8 slices of the sandwich sort) whole grain bread (use gluten-free if needed)
- 1 large onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 12-14 ounces (350-400 g) mushrooms, cleaned and peeled
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- ½ cup (100 g) red lentils, dry
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- ½ cup (60 g) walnuts (substitute your favorite seeds for a nut-free option)
- salt & pepper to taste (I used about ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper)
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash, halve and seed the butternut squash and place it on the sheet (cut side up).
- Roast until soft and lightly golden on top (about 45 minutes but it depends on the size of the squash).
- In the meantime, finely chop the onion, garlic, and mushrooms and transfer to a non-stick pan (or use regular plus a little oil or water) along with the thyme.
- Fry over medium heat until all water is evaporated and the onion becomes fragrant.
- Add the lentils and water to the pan and cook until soft (about 15 minutes).
- Set aside.
- Once the squash is cooked, scoop out most of the flesh (leave a little bit in there to support the shape of the squash) and add it to the stuffing mixture.
- Finely cube the bread and roughly chop the walnuts and also mix them into the filling. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the stuffing into the squash halves and put back into the hot oven.
- Roast for a few more minutes (or broil if you'd like a crispy topping) and serve.
View Stuffed Butternut Squash’s Nutritional Information
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