Vegan

Vegan Lentil, Apple & Pecan Stuffed Butternut Squash

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Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash with Lentil & Apple filling is a hearty and satisfying plant-based main course for any winter dinner and makes for a showstopping holiday meal! Easy to make ahead of time!

Even though it’s February already I am still craving all things squash and pumpkin! And trust me, you too will love this easy Stuffed Butternut Squash recipe all fall and winter long. It’s a tasty vegan and vegetarian main dish with a flavorful stuffing made of lentils, apples, onions and pecans. It’s seasoned with plenty of spices and herbs and baked inside a halved butternut squash making for a beautiful presentation.

Obviously this is a great healthy vegan meal for Christmas, Thanksgiving but really any dinner that calls for an eye-catching main.

close-up of a lentil and apple stuffed baked butternut squash half in a white casserole dish

I love me a hearty and meaty main dish that is meat-free (obviously). And this lentil stuffed butternut squash is a great way to show your family and friends that plant-based recipes can be incredibly satisfying. Nobody’s gonna leave the table hungry here and we don’t compromise on flavor either.

lentil and apple stuffed butternut squash halves in a white casserole dish

The apple, pecan and lentil filling is wonderfully savory and packed with such incredible flavor thanks to fennel seeds, sage, thyme and rosemary. Thanks to the brown lentils, the filling honestly tastes and feels a bit meaty, and sausagey which is crazy because there’s not even any meat substitute in it.

More Vegan Butternut Squash recipes:

More Vegan Fall & Winter recipes:

Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash with Lentil Apple Filling

Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash with Lentil & Apple filling is a hearty and satisfying plant-based main course for any winter dinner and makes for a showstopping holiday meal! Easy to make ahead of time!

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time50 mins

Total Time1 hr

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: apple and lentil stuffing, stuffed butternut squash, vegan Thanksgiving recipe

Servings: 4

Calories: 298kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

  • 1 large Butternut Squash or two small butternut squashes
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • generous dash of black pepper

For the Filling:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds preferably crushed
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage or 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) of finely chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 15 oz can of lentils drained, or 1.5 cups cooked lentils
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 of an apple chopped small
  • 1/4 cup (27.25 g) chopped pecans omit for Nutfree

Instructions

  • Slice the butternut squash into half. Remove the seed box, then drizzle, brush all over with oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper.

  • Bake at 400 degrees F (205 C) for 45-50 minutes, or until cooked completely in the middle.

  • Meanwhile, make your lentil filling. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add oil, then add in your fennel seeds, and herbs, sage, thyme, rosemary, and mix in.

  • Add in the onion, garlic, and mix in, and cook until the onion is golden.

  • Add in your lentils, salt, onion powder, black pepper, and mix in, then add in the apples, pecans, and mix in, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture is heated through. Taste and adjust flavor.

  • Remove the butternut squash from the oven. Scoop out the middle portion of the butternut squash, leaving about half an inch in the squash.

  • Mash the butternut squash that you removed and lightly mix into the lentils. You dont want to completely mix it in, there should  be some blobs of butternut squash in the lentil mixture. Also if you handle the mixture too much, the lentils would start to break down.

  • Spoon the lentil mixture into the scooped out butternut squash. sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper, and bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, or broil for 1-2 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and serve as is, or serve with a drizzle of lemon juice, or a side of gravy . To make this without nuts, just omit the pecans.

Notes

  • If you don’t find any butternut, use acorn squash.
  • Instead of apples, you could easily use pears – make sure they are still a bit hard or they will turn into mush while baking.
  • Walnuts or hazelnuts make a great substitution for pecans.
  • I used a mix of thyme, rosemary, and sage in this recipe, but you can use any combination of sturdy herbs, including oregano.
  • This is delicious as is but you could also drizzle it with some tahini or vegan sour cream.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash with Lentil Apple Filling

Amount Per Serving

Calories 298 Calories from Fat 81

% Daily Value*

Fat 9g14%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Trans Fat 1g

Sodium 447mg19%

Potassium 1125mg32%

Carbohydrates 48g16%

Fiber 14g58%

Sugar 9g10%

Protein 12g24%

Vitamin A 19959IU399%

Vitamin C 43mg52%

Calcium 126mg13%

Iron 5mg28%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Ingredients for Stuffed Butternut Squash:

  • The filling is enough for 1 big butternut squash, or two small butternut squashes.
  • For the filling we use traditional fall and winter-centric stuffing:  apples, red onions, lentils as a meat substitute and pecans for crunch
  • We up the flavor of the filling with traditional stuffing seasonings like fennel seeds, sage, thyme and rosemary as well as onion powder for some umami
  • garlic is a must for me but you can add some garlic powder instead
  • salt and pepper – always!

Tips & Substitutions:

  • If you don’t find any butternut, use acorn squash.
  • Instead of apples, you could easily use pears – make sure they are still a bit hard or they will turn into mush while baking.
  • Walnuts or hazelnuts make a great substitution for pecans.
  • I used a mix of thyme, rosemary, and sage in this recipe, but you can use any combination of sturdy herbs, including oregano.
  • This is delicious as is but you could also drizzle it with some tahini or vegan sour cream.

ingredients for making vegan stuffed butternut squash on a marble countertop

How to make Vegan Stuffed Butternut Squash:

2 butternut squash halves on a baking sheet drizzled with oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper

Slice the butternut squash into half. Remove the seeds, then drizzle, brush all over with oil, and sprinkle salt and pepper.

two baked halves of vegan butternut squash ready for stuffing



Bake at 400 degrees F for 45-50 minutes, or until cooked completely in the middle.

chopped onion being sauteed in a pan

Make your lentil filling. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add oil, then add in your fennel seeds, and herbs, sage, thyme, rosemary, and mix in. Add in the onion, garlic, and mix in, and cook until the onion is golden.

lentil onion stuffing mixture and spices sauteeing in a frying pan

Add in your lentils, salt, onion powder, black pepper, and mix in, then add in the apples, pecans, and mix in, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture is heated through. Taste and adjust flavor.

apples and chopped nuts being added to vegan lentil stuffing in a frying pan

apple lentil stuffing in a frying pan

Remove the butternut squash from the oven. Scoop out the middle portion of the butternut squash, leaving about half an inch in the squash. Mash the butternut squash that you removed and lightly mix into the lentils. You don’t want to completely mix it in, there should be some blobs of butternut squash in the lentil mixture. Also if you handle the mixture too much, the lentils would start to break down.

side view of two stuffed butternut squash halves in a casserole dish

Spoon the lentil mixture into the scooped out butternut squash. sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper, and bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, or broil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve as is, or serve with a drizzle of lemon juice, or a side of gravy. To make this without nuts, just omit the pecans.

Make-Ahead Instructions:

Make the lentil filling a day or two in advance, and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Roast the squash halves a day or two in advance, and store tightly covered or in an airtight container in the fridge.  On the day of serving, stuff the squash and bake in the oven for 15 minutes !

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