Vegan brown rice and spinach-stuffed butternut squash
This vegan dish makes a beautiful addition to your holiday meals, but can you imagine that you can bust it out any night of the week? I know, right?
How much do I love a meal that's served in an edible bowl? A lot. I know you will too, whether you're looking for a dish with distinction for Thanksgiving or simply something fun and flavorful on a Wednesday night.
Hearty and colorful, this vegan recipe for brown rice, spinach and pecan-stuffed butternut squash is packed with flavor. The best part? It’s ready in about 30 minutes. Sounds hard to believe, but it's true.
While you're roasting the butternut squash (only 25 minutes, folks), you can easily prepare the brown rice and spinach mixture to spoon into the squash. This warm and festive dish will likely become a favorite, and that's great, since it can be ready in about half an hour.
Note: Vegan foods are made without any animal or animal-derived products. Carefully check the packaging labels of food products you use for these recipes to ensure they are vegan.
Vegan brown rice, spinach and pecan-stuffed butternut squash recipe
This dish is seasonal and colorful, with great flavors, and it's also a simple-to-make meal. You can easily double the recipe to feed a larger group and modify this dish a bit too: Use kale or Swiss chard instead of spinach, or even add mushrooms for a heartier feast.
Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 27 minutes | Total time: 32 minutes
- 1 butternut squash, split horizontally, seeds and stringy fiber scooped out
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-1/2 cups packed fresh spinach
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose baking flour
- 2/3 cup quick-cooking brown rice (to equal 2 cups cooked)
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped, plus extra for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. If you think you need a bit more room for the filling after removing the seeds and strings from the squash, then hollow out a bit of the squash with a spoon.
- Place the butternut squash halves cut side up onto a baking sheet, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Bake for 25 minutes or until they are fork tender.
- While the squash is cooking, prepare your stuffing. Cook the rice according to the package directions, and set it aside.
- To a sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for about 1 minute. Add the spinach, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, salt and ground black pepper. Stir to combine. After a minute or so, the spinach will begin to wilt.
- Add all but about 2 tablespoons of the vegetable broth to the pan. Stir the mixture, and allow the broth to cook down for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the 2 tablespoons of broth to a small bowl along with the flour. Whisk to combine until smooth, and then add to the sauté pan. This will help thicken the mixture a bit.
- Once the liquid has cooked down just a little, add the rice to the pan. Stir to incorporate, then remove from the heat. Stir in the pecan pieces, reserving about 1 teaspoon to use as garnish.
- Remove the butternut squash from the oven, divide the rice mixture equally, and spoon it into each hollowed-out squash half.
- Garnish with the remaining pecan pieces, and serve warm.
Serve this pretty dish any day of the week.