This recipe is a total dinner time show stopper. Stuffed Butternut Squash is such a plant based classic, especially at Christmas time, and so I wanted to put my own spin on things with this Moroccan stuffed squash.
Bursting with dried apricots, almonds and citrus flavours, with a warm brightness from the ras al hanout, this recipe really has something special. I’ve even included a delicious lemon dijon dressing to finish things off – it’s so easy to whip up and totally brings the whole dish to life!
In an age of hyper-processed meat alternatives, this is my whole food answer to a plant-based festive meal…
Plant Based Simplicity
Now this Moroccan Stuffed Butternut Squash recipe might look fancy, but I promise it’s a super simple to make. Just roast that lovely butternut and toast the almonds, and you’re halfway there!
Once you’ve got all your spices together, the kale, feta and rice (I opted for Mr Organic lentil rice for a boost of natural plant based protein), you’re pretty much ready to go. Just 10 minutes more in the oven and a drizzle of that lovely lemon dijon dressing… and dinner is served.
Spices and Flavour
What makes this stuffed squash recipe so fabulous is the total flavour bomb of spices. Warm ras al hanout with some zesty citrus, and coriander seeds for a light, aromatic nuttiness. With a little bit of natural sweetness from the dried fruit and roasted butternut, balanced with some salty feta, good for you kale and fresh coriander. The flavours are just out of this world guys! Honestly that stuffing is so good you can even eat it on its own, I love it with some cubes of pumpkin smashed in.
Serve this as a veggie roast dinner alternative at Christmas, as a super special New Year’s Day meal, or enjoy as part of your usual Sunday roast.
Moroccan Stuffed Butternut Squash
- 1 large butternut squash, sliced in half lengthways + seeds removed (1kg)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 25 g flaked almonds
- 1/2 small red onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 250 g cooked rice or 1 cup cooked lentil rice ( I used Mr Organic Red Lentil Protein Rice)
- 1.5 tsp ras el hanout
- 5 unsulphured apricots or medjool dates, chopped
- Zest from 1/2 orange + lemon
- 40 g kale, chopped
- 15 g fresh coriander
- 20 g vegan feta, crumbled (or regular if not vegan or DF)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon
- 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 180 fan and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Rub the butternut squash with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on the baking tray and bake for 40 - 50 minutes. Add the almonds to one corner of the tray for the last 8 minutes until golden.
- Heat the olive oil and add the onion. Cook for 3 - 4 mins until soft. Add the garlic and coriander seeds for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the cooked rice or lentil rice, ras el hanout, salt and pepper, apricots or dates, lemon, orange zest and kale and saute for 1 minute until the kale wilts.
- Scoop out some of the butternut flesh so there's about 1.5 cm thick left. Stir the scooped out butternut through the rice along with the roasted almonds, 10g fresh coriander and feta.
- Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and stir 2/3 through the rice mix.
- Scoop the filling back into the butternut halves and place back in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve with more fresh coriander.