I would like to make a public service announcement: It is 65 DEGREES in Miami tonight! 65 DEGREES, people!!! It actually feels like fall and I am LOVING it!!! If only it would stay like this for a while so I could pull out sweaters and boots. I’m late night blogging while my little and big loves snore up a storm! Let’s talk about some squash. I love squash. Any kind of squash, cooked any kind of way. Fried, grilled, stuffed or sauteed…. I love it! This is the first time I’ve ever stuffed a butternut squash and let me just say, I’m happy with how it turned out! This is kind of a labor of love. Meaning – it takes a little time to make, but I think it’s totally worth it! Make it on the weekend if you’re short on time during the week. 😉 I don’t normally give a step by step image of how to make something, but I thought for this particular recipe, it might be helpful. So here we go!
Wash and dry off your squash. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Lay it cut side up on your sheet pan and drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. Bake it until it’s fork tender – about 45 minutes.While the squash is cooking, cook the quinoa and veggies. After the squash has come out of the oven, let it cool for a few minutes or until it’s cool enough to handle. Use a paring knife to cut along the skin of the squash and score it. This made it easier (for me) to scoop out the meat of the squash. Be careful not to cut through the skin. You want to leave enough squash around the skin so that it holds its shape. Now, get to stuffing that bad boy! I stuffed one side of the squash as full as I could stuff it, then topped the other side of the squash. Use a few pieces of twine to hold it together so all of that yummy goodness doesn’t fall out. Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes. Just long enough to warm it back up. If you’re a saucy kind of person like me 🙂 make a little gravy (recipe below) to drizzle on top while you wait on the finished product.
Let the squash cool for a few minutes before you slice it. If you don’t wait, it may fall apart on you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! You’ll definitely have some leftover stuffing. Not to worry! I heated my leftovers up in a skillet (medium heat – just until it was warm) the next day for lunch. It was perfect!
Quinoa & Mushroom Stuffed Butternut Squash
Nothing says fall like butternut squash! This recipe is perfect for a main entree or side dish for your next family gathering!
- 1 large butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups quartered baby bella mushrooms
- 1 diced onion
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 big handfuls chopped fresh spinach
- zest of 1 lemon/juice of 1/2 lemon, optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 – 4 pieces of twine
- 1 tbsp butter (dairy or nondairy)
- 1 heaping tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the butternut squash on a parchment paper lined sheet pan cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
- In the mean time, cook the quinoa. Bring the quinoa, water or veg broth to a boil, add the thyme, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed. Once it’s done cooking, pour the quinoa out on a sheet pan and let it cool.
- In a large saute pan on medium heat – add a tbsp or two of olive oil. Once it’s hot add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes and then add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 3 – 5 minutes. Pour into a mixing bowl and set aside until you’re ready for it.
- Once the butternut squash has cooked, let it cool for about 5 minutes or until it’s cool enough to handle. Very carefully with a paring knife, cut scores into the flesh of the squash and run the knife along the sides of the skin so it’s easy to cut the meat of the squash out. Try not to cut the skin. You want to leave just enough squash left on the skin to hold the shape of the squash.
- Now, in the mixing bowl with the onion/garlic/mushrooms – add 2 cups of the quinoa, the spinach, zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon (if you want that added flavor). Mix everything together well and stuff one side of the squash with the filling. I stuffed as much as I could without all of it falling out. Place the other side of the squash on top. Use some twine to hold it together.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until it’s hot throughout. 20 minutes was plenty of time to warm it back up for me. NOW…. IF you want a little gravy on the side, make it while the squash is back in the oven.
- In a small sauce pan on medium-high heat, add the butter and let it melt completely. Then add the flour. Whisk together and form a roux. I like to let the flour cook for 2 – 3 minutes. This allows the roux to darken just a little bit. Next, add the broth and bring it to a boil. Whisk the roux into the broth. When it starts to boil, it will thicken. Let it boil for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to low. Add the spices, salt and pepper. TASTE IT! Adjust the seasoning to your preference.
- Once your Stuffed Squash has come out of the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes. If you cut it immediately, it falls apart. Letting it cool for a few minutes helps it to hold its shape.
- I drizzled the gravy over my Stuffed Squash. If you’re not into gravy, by all means skip this part and EAT!