Saturday, September 22, 2012

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Alright.  Seriously.

This squash.

Is delicious.

So delicious in fact that I've spent this entire morning getting this post to you instead of spending the morning engulfed in school work.  Now, I make it sound like this was a hard choice to make.  But obviously that's not the case.  I would rather be doing this any day.  But my to-do list for next week might make an argument that this was a poor use of a quiet morning in the apartment.  But rumor has it my sanity can make one heck of a counter.

I thought about waiting to share this recipe until the weather got a little colder.  But I can't wait.  Keeping such things from you would not be fair.

It combines way too many things that I love.  Roasted vegetables.  Squash.  Whole grains. And cheeeeese.  And by the way...for all of you vegetarians out there...the mushrooms in this somehow transform themselves into tasting like bacon.  Yes.  You read correctly.  Bacon.

As the guys started digging in, they raised their heads with bulging eyes and a look of bewilderment.  "Did you put bacon in this?"  

And then I took a bite.  They were right.  These mushrooms = Bacon.

And of course if you aren't a vegetarian you could put real bacon in this.  Or ground turkey.  Or chicken.  Or kangaroo.  All of the above would be delicious, I'm sure of it.

Vegetarian or not I encourage you to add anything and everything that you think would be good in this.  Don't have the fancy harvest grain blend I used?  Go for rice, quinoa, couscous, farro, orzo... Want to throw in some different vegetables?  Do it.  Feeling goat cheese instead of Parmesan?  Make it happen.  But promise you'll come back and tell me about the changes.

 roasted butternut squash...  
stuffed with delicious things.

Adapted from Naturally Ella

Makes: 4 servings  Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 75 minutes  Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

1 large butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium shallots, minced
4 ounces mushrooms,  I used a mix of cremini, oyster, and shiitake
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grain, I used Trader Joe's Harvest Grain Blend including couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa (which I received from my Foodie Pen Pal last month!)
1 cup water
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
pinch of salt
other seasonings to taste: I used South African Smoke seasoning blend from Trader Joe's

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.  Slice squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  But don't throw them out!  I highly encourage doing {this} instead!  Place each half cut side down in a 9x13 pan and pour 1/2 inch of water in the bottom.  Place pan in the oven and bake until tender, about 45-60 minutes.  Once done, remove from oven and set aside.
  2. While the squash is cooking, rinse the grain mix thoroughly and place in a pot with 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook until the water is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes.  In a large skillet heat olive oil and add the garlic, mushrooms and shallots.  Saute until tender, about 8 minutes.
  3. Scoop out the butternut squash, leaving 1/4 - 1/2 inch on the sides and bottom.  Drain water from the pan and return the squash to the pan cut side up.
  4. Mash the squash and stir in the cheese.  Once quinoa, and the shallot/mushroom mixture is done add it to the squash.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir and taste for needed seasonings.
  5. Scoop filling evenly into the butternut squash halves.  Sprinkle the top with cheese and return to the oven.  Let bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and the tops begin to brown.  Remove from oven, cut in half, and serve.
  6. Enjoy!

Coming soon - A colossal Oreo Cake constructed with homemade oreos for Brendan's 21st birthday!


  1. OMG this sounds soooo good! Definitely making it tonight. Just found your blog through Foodgawker & I can't wait to read more. Have a great rest of your weekend!

    1. I'm so glad you came across the blog! I love newbies :) Hope you got around to making this tasty thing and I hope it was delicious!

  2. The fiancé is in charge of dinner tomorrow night and he's all set to make this! Yum!

  3. I made this to eat with my lunch today. Delicious mmmmm.

  4. Ohhhh, Emilie. I made this for dinner tonight, and it was so amazing!! Next, we're trying the acorn squash recipe. Miss you! :)

    1. Kam! So happy to hear from you! Glad you liked the squash :) There will probably be more in the future...I'm obsessed. Let me know how the next one goes! Miss you!

  5. Just found your blog yesterday and made this recipe tonight! Came out soooo delicious. My dad was a gem and split the squash for me since I always have trouble with that for some reason. I used brown rice, and added broccoli and corn. Didn't have parmesean so I used cheddar. My dad, who isn't a big veggie fan, loved it! Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Found my blog, made a recipe, AND came back to tell me about it!? I adore you already. Your changes sound DELICIOUS. I'll have to try those out myself! Especially with the cheddar. Mmm. Maybe the next time I head to Vermont I'll pick out some super yummy Vermont cheddar. Can't wait to hear from you again!

  6. Hi, I just found your blog. This sounds delicious. I'm the only one in my house that likes squash, though (I know, they're weird!) I have an acorn squash sitting around right now. I wonder if it would be just as good? I'm not a vegetarian. I'm thinking adding some lean ground beef would be yummy. No TJs around here. I think I might try it with brown rice. And I bet each stuffed piece would freeze pretty well. Don't you think? Then this could be my lunch. Will try this week and let you know.

    1. This is a little late but YES it would definitely be good with acorn squash, lean ground beef, AND brown rice! It's such an easy recipe to adapt to whatever you like! Hope you made the changes and enjoyed it!

  7. This sounded so good I had to take a preliminary swing at it with what I had, and will again following your recipe (the bacon thing had me).

    I used jasmine rice with a pinch of cinnamon, onions and artichoke hearts. I added beef and a teaspoon of lemon juice, then topped it with feta and drizzled it in honey.

    So good, and I tasted the hint of bacon, with the smoke flavouring it must be perfect. Thanks for the recipe and the site.

    1. Oh my! You're additions sound SO delicious! I love the idea of combining cinnamon, onions, artichoke, feta, and honey! Seriously. Perfect combination.

      Thanks so much for coming back to share! Hope to hear from you again!

  8. I made this tonight and it was delicious. I didn't get the bacon flavor,but that may be because I didn't use any smoke flavor. I used some sage, rosemary, and thyme. When I first brought it out, my husband's reaction was, "wow, this is fancy." Thanks for the yummy recipe!

    1. So glad you liked it! And I would say you're right on the bacon thing. The South African Smoke tends to add a "baconesque" flavor to anything I put it on...but it also might be a wishful delusion :) Thanks for coming back to tell me about it!


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