Last year I suggested we try a vegan Thanksgiving, and my husband was not into it. He’s always down to try a new vegan recipe, but he just couldn’t give up turkey at Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t blame him. Roast turkey is a once or twice a year thing we both look forward to. Still, this Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash has been on my mind ever since then. I need to try it, so I’m working it into this year’s pre-Thanksgiving menu. My husband is down to try it since it won’t interfere with his yearly turkey fix, and I get to try a vegan Thanksgiving dish.
The perfect vegan centrepiece main dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday. Stuffed with super flavourful wild rice, cranberries, walnuts, and sage filling. Can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and warmed up before serving. Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free.
Since this is a vegan dish, it was naturally full of vegetables. That meant I had to buy most of the ingredients, but I didn’t have any trouble finding them at my regular grocery store.
There is some latitude in the white rice choice, but I went with the author’s suggestion of basmati. For the wild rice, I ended up using a boxed kit that came with a dry seasoning packet. I just tossed the seasoning and used the rice by itself.
This recipe can be broken down into three main parts: roasting the squash, making the stuffing, and roasting the stuffed squash. Here is how my time broke down:
- 1 hour 5 minutes to halve and roast the squash
- 19 minutes to make the stuffing (done while the squash roasted)
- 10 minutes to finish the stuffing and stuff the squash halves
- 35 minutes to bake
- 1 hour 50 minutes total
Making the optional onion gravy would qualify as a fourth step. I decided to make it the night before and forgot to time it, but I would say it took about 45 minutes. I took my time with it and let the onions caramelize — it was worth it!
Roasting the Butternut Squash
The first part of this recipe is halving and roasting the butternut squash. Cutting into a raw butternut squash can be tough, but I took my time. A tea towel twisted up and wrapped around the squash kept it from rolling as I cut it the largest kitchen knife I have.
Once that was done, I poured olive oil over the halves and roasted them for an hour. The squash was on the small side, so I started out with the shortest time listed just to be on the safe side. It ended up being perfect.
Making the Stuffing
As the squash roasted, I got started on the stuffing. There was plenty of chopping involved, but it didn’t take me too long to get it all done. Then I got started cooking the veggies in a saucepan, and everything went according to the instructions.
The stuffing was done about 25 minutes before the squash was ready, so I took a short break. When the squash was ready, I carefully scooped out the insides, leaving about an inch around the edges so the squash would hold its shape.
Stuffing the Squash
The stuffing had cooled enough to be handled by this time, so I began stuffing the butternut squash halves. I used a combination of a wooden spoon and my hands to really pack in the stuffing. I also mounded it over the top edges to create a bit of a gap between the halves. Despite all that, I still had a fair amount of stuffing leftover, so no worries about running out.
All that was left was to tie the halves together with some kitchen string. I was worried the stuffing wouldn’t stay put, but it really did. Closing the halves like a book left me with a few stray bits of stuffing on the baking sheet, but not much. Then it was just a matter of tying them up and baking for another 35 minutes.