This delicious Vegan stuffed butternut squash dish works perfectly as a meat-free Christmas dinner (or for a Vegan thanksgiving)! It works wonderfully as a side or main – filled with a delicious rice, mushroom and cranberry stuffing to keep you more than satisfied!
Can you believe that there’s less than 3 weeks until Christmas Day?! Which means it’s officially that time of the year to start experimenting with deliciously festive vegetarian & vegan Christmas recipes, just in time to host the perfect Christmas party with friends and family.
This year I’ll be making this maple-glazed & rice, mushroom & cranberry filled Vegan stuffed butternut squash Christmas dish. This works as a great Vegan roast any time of the year but with the bonus of cranberries, makes for a sumptuous Christmas/Thanksgiving option.
Every year, around this time, vegetarian and vegans everywhere start to panic about what delicious vegan Christmas dinner recipes to give a go- or whether to give up entirely on that idea and buy something pre-made. I have to admit I’ve tried various things over the years. Now, I tend to try and make a new meat-free and healthy Christmas dishes every year – just to keep things interesting.
Even though I’m plant-based and not technically vegan, I love to have lots of different dietary options on the table for everyone to enjoy. Plus, any chance to share more plant-based recipes with friends and family is a win-win! This recipe is also a fantastic vegan Thanksgiving roast option.
I think the whole ‘cooking’ part of Christmas is absolutely, 100% one of my favourite parts of the holiday. Family get together and work in harmony (or not) to create a gorgeous feast for everyone to enjoy. The kitchen smells fantastic of the various elements cooking/frying/boiling etc.
This stuffed butternut squash recipe is certainly no different – The smell of the delicious mushroom stuffing is one thing. Still, the maple-glazed roasted butternut squash is just on a whole other level entirely of drool-worthiness. Plus I love the sweet and savoury mix and how Christmas blends the two so effortlessly (that’s why cranberry sauce is such magic for savoury dishes!).
What I love about this stuffed butternut squash recipe, is that you can tie it up with twine when roasting it in the oven and carving into it feels so Christmas-y but is a still 100% meat-free. Plus, It’s not overly complicated. Although it does take some time to make, each step is easy to follow, so I hope you all give it a go if you can!
You can even pre-prepare the butternut squash the day before you roast it in the oven, so less needs to be done on the day. The stuffed butternut squash can then be served alongside a home-made cranberry sauce. Yum!
How to make this Vegan stuffed butternut squash Christmas dish
Preheat the oven to 170º (fan-assisted) then begin by chopping the squash in half and removing the seeds. I like to use a spoon on melon baller/ice-cream scoop. Anything spoon-like works amazingly, I’ve found.
Lightly brush the butternut squash halves with maple syrup and season with some salt & pepper, to taste.
Then pop it in the oven for around 40 minutes. Check the squash after 30 minutes, to see how soft the flesh is. Although it will be popped back into the oven later on, I like to have the flesh cooked till soft at this point.
Meanwhile, as the squash roasts in the oven, it’s time to prepare the stuffing.
Note* I’ve made this recipe using brown rice. You could also use couscous or quinoa, and it works just as well. Although preparing the grain of choice will differ slightly with times.
To prepare the rice, first make sure to rinse it thoroughly, within a colander, a few times, until the water runs clear.
Then bring 1.5 litres of water to boil, add the rice and cook for 30 mins. Turn off the heat and drain the remaining water from the pan then cover the pan with a lid and leave to steam for 5-10 minutes.
As the rice cooks, you can prepare the other elements of the stuffing. Begin by finely chopping the onion, mushrooms and chestnuts. You can also use a small blender/food processor to get all the elements chopped finely; start with the onion, as it’s the hardest elements and so will take longer to break up and then pop in the mushrooms and chestnuts.
Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and onion. Fry for 1-2 minutes to allow them to soften and go golden in colour.
Add the mushrooms and chestnuts and stir well until thoroughly incorporated and warmed through.
Add the chopped parsley and cinnamon and Stir well.
Finally, incorporate the cranberries and cooked rice. Stir well and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the cranberries have softened and everything is combined thoroughly.
Once all the elements are ready, leave the squash to cool down, till you’re able to handle it. You’ll need some thick kitchen twine or other oven-safe thread at this point ( oh, and scissors, of course).
Fill up one half of the squash with the stuffing, making sure to overfill it generously – I learnt the hard way that it’s a little bit fiddly to try to fill both sides and press them together without a lot of spills and mess! Once filled, cover the squash with the other half and press together.
Use the twine to tie the squash together. This will depend on the length of the squash, but I like to do this in 3-4 different spots along the squash, to keep it together during the baking and cutting process.
Lightly glaze with maple syrup, using a brush, and place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until thoroughly cooked through. If you’re feeling particularly cheeky, then you can even add one last glaze of maple syrup when out of the oven.
This vegan stuffed butternut squash Christmas dish is now ready to serve! Leave the twine in place and, using a sharp knife, chop portioned slices – an excellent vegan roast alternative!
You can then serve this delicious vegan roast alternative as part of your meat-free Christmas spread, with some homemade cranberry sauce.
Other Christmas Recipes you may like
For more inspiration for vegetarian and vegan Christmas recipes, then you may like this excellent home-made mushroom & cranberry stuffed wellington and/or homemade cranberry sauce. I also have a whole collection of Christmas dessert recipes you might like – from orange blossom sugar cookies to candy cane yogurt jars. You can see all my Christmas recipes HERE.
As always, if you give this vegan roast recipe a go then let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Also, What are your absolute favourite meat-free Christmas/ Vegan Christmas dishes to make? I’m always in the mood for some festive recipe inspiration!
Also, I love seeing your recreations and customised versions of my recipes, so feel free to tag me @AlphaFoodie.
Christmas Stuffed Butternut Squash
- 3 butternut squash medium sized
For the stuffing:
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup chestnut mushrooms
- 1 cup chestnuts
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1 teaspoon garlic flakes or powder
- 1 onion
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 5-6 leaves sage
- handful of parsley
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup just for glazing
- cranberry sause for drizzling
- The first step to making this stuffed butternut squash is to do the first roast of the butternut squash. Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC (or 325ºF/170ºC fan-assisted) then begin by chopping the squash in half and removing the seeds. I like to use a spoon on melon baller/ice-cream scoop. Anything spoon-like works amazingly, I've found.
- Lightly brush the butternut squash flesh with maple syrup and then season lightly with some salt & pepper.
- Then pop it in the oven for around 40 minutes. Check the squash after 30 minutes, to see how soft the flesh is. Although it will be popped back into the oven later on, I like to have the flesh cooked till soft at this point.
- Meanwhile, as the squash roasts in the oven, it's time to prepare the stuffing. *
- To prepare the rice, first make sure to rinse it well within a colander a few times, until the water runs clear.
- Then bring 1.5 l water to boil, Add the rice and cook for 30 mins. Turn off the heat and drain the remaining water from the pan then cover the pan with a lid and leave to steam for 5-10 minutes.
- As the rice cooks, you can prepare the other elements of the stuffing. Begin by finely chopping the onion, mushrooms and chestnuts. **
- Heat up some olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and onion. Fry for 1-2 minutes to let them sweat and begin to soften.
- Add the mushrooms and chestnuts and stir well. fry for a further minute then add the parsley and cinnamon. Stir well.
- Finally, add the cranberries and the cooked rice. Stir well and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the cranberries have softened.
- Once all of the elements are ready, simply leave the squash to cool down, till you're able to handle it. You'll need some kitchen twine or other oven-safe thread at this point.
- Fill up one half of the squash with the stuffing, making sure to overfill it generously. Then cover with the second half.
- Use the twine to tie up the squash. This will depend on how large the squash is, but I like to do this in 3-4 different spots.
- Glaze with maple syrup and put back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. If you're feeling cheeky, then you can even add one last glaze when you take it out of the oven.
- This vegan stuffed butternut squash Christmas dish is now ready to serve! Simply leave the twine in place and, using a sharp knife, you can chop portioned slices - a wonderful vegan roast!
Is there a way to make this in advance and if so, what do you suggest doing in advance by a day or two and then what would you do the day of?
Support @ Alphafoodie
You can either make the stuffing ahead (the day before) and bake the butternut the day of. Alternatively, you can make the whole dish the day before and just warm it up in the oven right before serving.
How does this cook at 170 degrees? Is that Celsius?
Support @ Alphafoodie
This cooks at 375ºF/190ºC (or 325ºF/170ºC fan-assisted). I hope this helps.
it turned out wonderfully and was a delicious vegan option!
thank you and merry christmas to you as well! should the cranberries also be pre-cooked?
Samira @ Alphafoodie
thank you! Cranberries don’t need to since they will soften when added to the rest of the ingredients and placed in the oven 🙂
should the chestnuts be roasted first?
Samira @ Alphafoodie
Hi, Yes sorry I wasn’t clear, they’re normally ready pre-cooked! (pre-roasted) hope you’re having a great Christmas Day!