Vegan stuffed butternut squash

If you're looking for a meat-free festive main this is the one! Brightly coloured, and full of the flavours of Christmas this stuffed butternut squash is your turkey substitute.
 

The turkey is a pretty tough dish to replace at Christmas time. You need something that is going to be pretty enough to take the centre stage. This stuffed butternut squash does just that. The bright orange colours and stuffing of rice, cranberries and mushrooms is the perfect vegan main for Christmas lunch. This can be served with gravy (just keep it meat-free), roast potatoes and all the veggies. If you have both meat eaters and vegans at the table serve this alongside the turkey but make sure you have plenty to go around as the meat-eaters will be tucking into this too!

Vegan stuffed butternut squash

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Filling
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup mixed basmati and wild rice
  • 50ml vermouth
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Large handful cranberries
  • Large handful walnuts
  • Large handful parsley, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Cut the butternut squash in half and brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for approx. 60 mins until soft.
  4. To make the filling, sauté the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in olive oil until soft.
  5. Add the chilli, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the rice and fry of a couple of seconds.
  7. Add the vermouth and allow to bubble until the alcohol cooks off scraping any brown bits off the bottom.
  8. Add the vegetable broth and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 mins until the rice is tender.
  9. Remove from the heat and add the cranberries, walnuts and parsley and mix through.
  10. When the butternut is cool enough to handle, scoop out some of the flesh, leaving about an inch around the sides.
  11. Add some of the leftover butternut to the rice mixture and mix through.
  12. Pack the rice mix into the centre of each butternut half.
  13. Place the two halfs together and tie with butchers’ string.
  14. Drizzle with olive oil and return to the oven for 10 mins.
  15. Allow to rest for 10 mins before slicing.
  16. Serve with vegan gravy, roast potatoes and veggies.

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