Oven-roasted and full of goodness, this vegan chilli stuffed squash recipe is absolutely delicious. For this recipe, we'll be roasting acorn squash in the oven, and stuffing with a quick and easy vegan chilli.
Wandering the supermarket aisles here in the UK you could be forgiven for not knowing any squash varieties other than the butternut squash and the classic Halloween pumpkin. That's because seasonal squash varieties aren't often seen in the major UK supermarkets, except for maybe Lidl and Morrisons who are, in my opinion, superior in the seasonal vegetable department. If you hunt out your local farmers market though, your eyes will be opened to a whole new world of seasonal fruit and vegetables.
There are many varieties of winter squash available here in the UK, today we're making stuffed acorn squash. It kinda has a savoury, umami flavour and is great for stuffing.
Preparing acorn squash for roasting
Right, so you've got your cute little squash, now what? Firstly, cut just enough off the bottom of the squash so it will sit flat on a baking tray. This will make sure it doesn't topple over during roasting, and all that delicious meat-free chilli doesn't come flying out. You can discard the bottom bit.
Next, cut the top off of the top of your winter squash. You want to slice about an inch from the top. Do this carefully and mind your fingers, we don't want any accidents here. Set the lid aside. We'll be popping that back on top for roasting.
Once the top is removed, scoop out the seeds and any fibrous parts of the flesh from the inside of the acorn squash, using a tablespoon. You can discard the fibrous parts, but you might want to keep the seeds for roasting a later.
How to roast acorn squash
After you've prepared your squash, pre-heat the oven to 200 Celsius (or 395 Fahrenheit). Next, add a tablespoon of olive oil into each of your hollowed vegetables along with a generous crack of salt and pepper. Finally, get your hands in there and rub the oil and seasoning all inside and exterior of the squash. Place them, on a baking tray, and pop them in the oven for 45 minutes. That's it - in 45 minutes you'll have roasted acorn squash.
I can't find acorn squash, can I use a different squash?
Yes - you can use butternut squash with a couple of differences to the technique.
Acorn Squashes, along with other winter varieties, are usually available September through until December. Therefore, if you've stumbled across this recipe outside of that season, you'll probably want to use butternut squash which is imported out of season. As a result, they tend to be available year-round in the UK supermarkets.
To make this recipe with butternut squash: cut the squash in half lengthways and discard the seeds and fibrous parts. Next, cut in half and cut criss-cross into the flesh, as per the picture on my butternut squash pasta bake recipe, and roast for 45 minutes to an hour.
Once the flesh is tender, scoop out the majority, to make way for the delicious veggie chilli. You add the squash into the chilli filling if that takes your fancy, or you can save it for another recipe, perhaps a Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup?
I don't have broccoli, can I use something else?
Yep - you could use store-bought cauliflower rice, or a whole cauliflower and blitz in a food processor the same way we're doing with the broccoli. You could also use cooked rice, but if that's the case, I'd suggest taking out the lentils too.
Having said that, my sister thought that I'd used a vegan mince substitute when I made this, the walnuts, broccoli and lentils offer a meatiness to the vegan chilli, so I'd recommend using the ingredients listed below if it's not too much trouble.
Can I make this spicier?
ABSOLUTELY! There's an undertone of heat in this recipe, which makes it super accessible and palatable to everyone. Some people (myself included) love more spice, for this, add half a tablespoon of hot chilli powder ALONGSIDE the flakes.
What should I serve stuffed squash with?
Personally, I don't think this dish needs anything else - it's surprisingly filling. You can never go wrong with a bit of garlic bread to mop up those sauces though. Having said that, I'm greedy.
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Enjoy your seasonal stuffed squash, and I'll see y'all soon.
More Hearty Vegan Dishes
Stuffed Squash with vegan chilli
Oven Roasted Squash
- 3 Acorn Squash you could use Butternut Squash, see above
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt + pepper
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 head broccoli blitzed in food proccesor
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 350 ml boiling water
- 400 g chopped tomatoes
- 250 g puy lentils ready cooked
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- ½ tbsp smoked paprika
- ½ tbsp dried basil
- ½ tbsp dried thyme
- ½ tbsp dried oregano
- ½ tbsp chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 400 g tin of kidney beans
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 50 g walnuts
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 Celcius
- Slice the top off of the acorn squash, about an inch from the top. Scoop out the seeds and the fibrous insides and discard. Rub the inside of each with one tablespoon of olive oil and generous cracking of salt and pepper, pop the lid back on top and roast for 45 minutes.
- Peel and dice the onion, and add to a frying pan with a splash of oil over medium heat. Cook until onion is soft and translucent - about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two until fragrant.
- Break the broccoli into small florets, add to a food proccesor and blitz until it is in rice sized pieces.
- Add the broccoli to the pan with the onion and garlic, crumble in a stock cube and 350ml of hot water. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in all remaining ingreidents, except kidney beans and walnuts. Cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occassionally.
- Add the kidney beans and roughly chopped walnuts, and cook the chilli uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Remove the roasted squash from the oven, and fill with the vegan chilli. Return to oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately, with a scattering of coriander over the top.