How to make vegetarian stuffed butternut squash

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Butternut squash is one food that's thoroughly underrated. There are so many ways to enjoy it for an extended season, unlike its trendy cousin the pumpkin, which only feels appropriate between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Time to give butternut squash the respect it deserves with this delicious recipe.
This super simple squash wins points in presentation, taste and preparation. Plus, it’s full of vegetables, making it the perfect dish to accompany an indulgent beverage or dessert. Life is about balance, right? And, if you’d like to make it vegan, all you have to do is omit the honey or substitute in maple or coconut sugar.
Cooktop Cove
Vegetarian stuffed butternut squash
20 minutes
50 minutes
1 hour 10 minutes
2 medium butternut squash
4 tablespoons olive oil, separated
Salt and pepper
1 yellow onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup button mushrooms, diced
½ cup quinoa, cooked
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon honey
½ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Cut each butternut squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds, and place on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle or spray with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 30-40 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender all the way through when poked with a fork. Remove from the oven, and set aside to cool slightly. Do not turn the oven off.
Once cool, scoop out all but about ½ inch of the squash flesh and set aside.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic and mushrooms, and sauté until everything has begun to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa, spices and honey, and stir well until everything is heated through.
Remove from the heat, and add the squash flesh, walnuts and cranberries. Stir well, breaking up the pieces of squash as you do so, until everything is well-combined.
Spoon the filling back into the squash halves, and return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes before serving.
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This cooking method brings out the earthy sweetness of this underrated vegetable like no other.
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