Butternut Squash Stuffed with Mushrooms, Kale and Red Quinoa
Updated: Jan 6
The vibrant color and mild flavor of butternut squash combine well to create a colorful, flavorful side dish that pairs well with roast meats or poultry. This stuffed butternut squash recipe is ideal for entertaining because it can be prepared in advance and reheated then cut into slices for elegant individual servings.
How To Cook Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is one of the most popular of the hard winter squash probably because the more regular shape makes it one of the easiest squash to work with.
Butternut squash can be peeled and cut into thin slices for a gratin, or cubed and roasted for soup. I have often roasted butternut squash cubes with other root vegetables and served them as a roasted vegetable salad and of course, you can add roasted cubed squash to grain bowls or combine the cubes with a black bean or white bean dish. There are many delicious options.
How To Cut Butternut Squash
Even though the skin of winter squash is considered hard, it is actually quite thin and not that difficult to cut into, but it is something you want to tackle carefully.
The problem with cutting into squash is the irregular shape that can cause the squash to move around while being cut. The safest way to deal with that is of course cutting off a piece of the squash to create a flat surface so it doesn’t roll around when you try to cut it.
When chopping vegetables it’s important that the cutting board remains stationary. If you lay the cutting board on a damp kitchen towel or a paper towel then it will remain in place and not slide around. Before cutting into the squash make sure your knives are nice and sharp, you may also find it helpful to hold the squash with a small kitchen towel in one hand.
Holding the squash securely with one hand, cut off about a ½” slice from the base of the squash to remove the stem area. Now the squash will sit solidly on its end on the cutting board and you should be able to easily cut it in half. Center the knife over the squash and push down with both hands for a nice even cut.
Preparing the Stuffing
Once the squash has been cut in half and the seeds removed, then you will need to cut cubes of the flesh out of each half to create enough space for the stuffing. I chose a sauté of onions, garlic, mushrooms, and kale that I combined with the cubed butternut squash and some cooked red quinoa. The stuffing is very easy to customize to your taste.
Baking the Squash
Once you have stuffed the squash, it can be baked immediately or you can cover it and bake it the next day. Or you can bake it, cool it then refrigerate it and reheat it when needed.
When I made the video for this recipe I actually didn’t cover it and it was fine, the filling got a little crispy on top and the butternut squash got a nice bit of caramelization. However, in retrospect, for best results, I would cook it covered for about 20 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes or until tender.
If you are baking the squash in the Steam oven, use the Combination Convection Steam mode and you won’t have to cover it. Same when reheating it in the Steam oven, it will not need to be covered.
One of the reasons I like the presentation of this dish is that we eat with our eyes first and sometimes when you set out a dish on a buffet by the time a few people have taken a scoop it doesn’t look as appealing. These individual servings make for a much more decorative platter that can easily be embellished with a seasonal garnish.
Stuffed squash doesn’t have to be served as a side dish for a special meal, it can be enjoyed throughout the winter months and served alongside a salad or soup.
A popular treat for special celebrations is lobster tail and in my next post, I will review how to cook lobster tail in Convection and Convection Steam.
Your Convection Enthusiast