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Vegan Butternut Squash Bake

Embrace the warmth of the winter season with this delightful Butternut Squash Bake from rainbowplantlife.com. This comforting dish features velvety butternut squash, generously filled with a blend of hearty grains, and bathed in a luscious cheesy (vegan!) Alfredo sauce. Baked to golden perfection, this recipe is a celebration of cozy flavors, making it an ideal companion for chilly winter evenings. Indulge in a heartwarming blend of textures and tastes that will undoubtedly elevate your winter dining experience.


INGREDIENTS

Butternut Squash

  • 3 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds or 1.1 kg each)

  • Olive oil or avocado oil (optional)

  • Kosher salt or sea salt (optional but recommended)

Farro

  • A few sprigs each of rosemary, sage, and thyme

  • 1 cup farro (semi-pearled or pearled); **substitute with brown rice for a Gluten-free option""

  • 2 ⅔ cups vegetable broth (or water)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

Cheesy Alfredo Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 (15-ounce) can “lite” coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 cup grated vegan cheese (optional)

Spinach

  • 4 cups baby spinach


INSTRUCTIONS


1. Baking the Butternut Squash: Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F/205°C. Slice each butternut squash in half lengthwise. If the squash is too tough to slice, microwave it for 2 minutes to soften. Place the squash halves on a baking tray, lightly brush the flesh with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 45-55 minutes until fork-tender. Once baked, cool, scoop out seeds and flesh, leaving the hollowed halves on the tray.


2. Preparing the Farro: While the squash bakes, tie together fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme with kitchen twine. In a saucepan, combine farro, broth or water, salt, and the bundled herbs. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes until tender. Drain well and fold into the reserved squash flesh.


3. Making the Cheesy Alfredo Sauce: In a sauté pan, heat olive oil, cook onion until softened, add garlic, then incorporate flour for a minute. Gradually add lite coconut milk, whisking to avoid clumps. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, and vegan cheese. Whisk until smooth. Steam spinach in a pan until wilted.


3. Assembling and Baking: Spoon the squash and farro mixture into the hollowed squash halves. Top with cooked spinach and pour the cheesy alfredo sauce over each. Bake at 350°F/175°C for 15-20 minutes until heated through. Broil briefly for a browned effect on the cheesy alfredo sauce. Enjoy your delicious stuffed butternut squash!



Photo from of rainbowplantlife.com

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