Baked Stuffed Butternut Squash with Quick Roast Red Pepper Sauce
This is a truly sumptuous dish yet it isn't difficult. It can all be done while the squash bakes in the oven.
The picture here shows the recipe made with quinoa. Try experimenting - a fried smoked tofu cubes or a few handfuls of cooked aduki beans would work well in the recipe, as would chopped nuts such as hazel or brazil - but the world's your falafel!
Freezable - but freeze the main dish separately from the sauce
If you don't have cooked wholegrains to hand, they can be made from scratch - as with the sauce and salad - while the squash is baking. Alternatively, buy them ready-cooked in sachets! Look for Sainsbury's, Tesco, Uncle Ben, Tilda and Merchant Gourmet brands.
Squash and stuffing
- Olive oil, about 2-3 tbsp
- 1 large butternut squash cut into 4 and de-seeded or equivalent quantity from another variety of squash. If you are in a hurry, chop into smaller pieces which will cook more quickly.
- 1 cup cooked brown rice or other wholegrain, eg quinoa or buckwheat. (If you don't have leftovers or pre-cooked pouches, cook the grains while the squash is baking.)
- 2 shallots, chopped fine
- 2 tbsp vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp red wine or cider
- Handful of raisins
- Good pinch of cinnamon
- Handful of chopped fresh parsley
- Optional: toasted pine nuts, slivered hazel nuts or pumpkin seeds
Quick Roast Red Pepper Sauce
- Half a jar (about 3 large) roasted red peppers, drained. Those in brine give a sharper taste to the sauce, those in oil are more fatty but have a smoother taste. You choose! (Aldi and Lidl provide good versions of these)
- 1 tsp dried basil OR a small handful of fresh basil, snipped with scissors
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (Engevita)
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- Hot stock to thin down
To serve: green salad or steamed greens of your choice
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Put on your wholegrains to cook now if making from scratch.
- Grease a baking tray with oil and coat the squash halves or pieces in it. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until soft. Check after 30 and make sure the squash sections aren't burning. Cover with foil or baking parchment if necessary.
- Meanwhile, cook shallots in stock and red wine/cider - along with the raisins, cinnamon and parsley - in a heavy-bottomed pan until shallots are soft and liquid reduced to almost nothing. Heat the rice and mix in the shallot mixture. Set aside, keeping it warm.
- Make a green salad or prepare greens for steaming. If using the toasted nuts or seed option, dry fry them in a non-stick frying pan for a few seconds, stirring constantly so they don't catch. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Now make the sauce by blending the red pepper sauce ingredients until smooth. Just before you're ready to serve, heat it through gently.
- Remove the baked squash pieces from the oven and place the rice/shallot mixture in the hollows and around the squash. Add the shallot mixture.
- Serve the squash and rice mixture hot, with the sauce on the side. Serve with the salad or greens.