Stuffed butternut squash is a showstopper, the perfect centerpiece recipe for special holiday meals like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
The roasted butternut is filled with a rich, earthy, flavor-packed lentil filling, suitable for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
The squash is cooked with potatoes, herbs, and grapes; it’s festive, beautiful to look at, and delicious to eat.
Table of Contents
Dietary Note: this recipe is suitable for a vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan diet, provided you use non-dairy cheese.
Stuffed butternut squash is one of our favorite recipes when we have people over for dinner or celebrate a memorable holiday with our family.
This dish looks spectacular, and you can serve it at the center of the table because it’s just gorgeous.
You’ll love this recipe because it combines the sweet notes of the roasted butternut squash with the bold, savory, and meaty lentil filling.
We recommend cooking this with potato wedges and grapes for a visually stunning presentation and a delicious, flavor-packed meal.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.
Get a whole, fresh butternut squash. Cut the squash in half and seed it, but keep the peel on as it provides structure to the dish.
Also, the peel is edible once roasted, so feel free to eat it if you like.
If your squash is large, you can make this recipe with one-half. If it’s a smaller one, you can use both halves.
- Olive oil: substitute avocado oil.
- Onion: substitute leek.
- Garlic: fresh.
- Canned lentils: substitute lentils that you cook yourself.
- Walnuts: substitute almonds or rolled oats.
- Canned tomatoes: we use crushed tomatoes. Substitute fire-roasted tomatoes.
- Soy sauce: substitute tamari or coconut aminos for gluten-free.
- Dried oregano: substitute Italian herb mix.
- Salt and black pepper
Cheese or non-dairy cheese
We recommend adding some cheese or non-dairy cheese on top of the squash before serving it. The melted cheese adds that extra oomph that makes this dish extra festive.
You can use grated parmesan cheese or any other cheese or non-dairy cheese that melts.
Yukon gold, russet, or red potatoes are the side dish of this meal. They cook in about the same time as the squash, so we think it’s a good idea to add them.
They also taste delicious and look beautiful with the squash.
We season the potatoes with olive oil, paprika, rosemary, garlic, salt, and black pepper.
They look beautiful when roasted with the squash and the potatoes on the same tray. You can use both white and red grapes, best if without seeds.
Also, baked grapes are delicious. They add a mild sweetness that is perfect for this dish.
How to make stuffed butternut squash
Roast the squash and the potatoes
Preheat the oven to 380°F or 190°C.
Wash and cut the potatoes into wedges and add them to a baking tray. Toss them with olive oil, paprika, rosemary, crushed garlic cloves, salt, and black pepper.
Wash the butternut squash, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and place it in the center of the baking tray, pushing the potatoes on the sides.
Season the squash with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Tip: if your squash is large, you can roast just one-half.
Roast the squash and the potatoes at 380°F or 190°C for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the squash is knife tender. Don’t turn off the oven!
Now, scoop out some of the squash’s flesh to make space for the lentil stuffing.
Add the scooped-out flesh to the lentil stuffing below 👇
Tip: the butternut squash cooking time varies depending on its size.
Make the lentil stuffing
While the squash cooks, make the stuffing.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add chopped onion, minced or pressed garlic, and fry gently for 3 minutes.
Add drained and rinsed canned lentils, chopped walnuts, crushed tomatoes, water, dried oregano, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
Simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat or until the mixture thickens and all water is gone.
Add the flesh of the squash you previously scooped out and mash it with a fork. Stir to combine.
Stuff the butternut squash
Add the lentil stuffing to the hollowed butternut squash.
Then add some grapes next to the potatoes.
Bake for 15 more minutes.
Tip: you can add quite a bit of stuffing as the squash is served as a main meal for 4 to 6 people.
Finally, add the grated parmesan cheese (or non-dairy cheese) on top of the squash and bake for a few more minutes until the cheese melts.
Serve this stuffed butternut squash as a centerpiece meal for your Holiday dinners. We suggest pairing it with:
Other recipes that work wonderfully as delicious holiday meals are our lentil loaf (coming soon) and mushroom Wellington.
Mushroom Wellington is a gorgeous, meaty, fulfilling centerpiece for special occasions.
It’s easy to make with simple ingredients like lentils, mushrooms, and walnuts. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, especially if served with our tasty mushroom gravy.
Check out our mushroom Wellington recipe.
Adjust cooking time: Our recipe is just an indication, and roasting time will vary between 30 to 60 minutes based on the type of oven and the size of your veggies.
Keep an eye on them and use your judgment to know when they are ready.
Storage & Make Ahead
Make ahead: roast the squash without the filling the day before and store it in the fridge. You can make the lentil stuffing up to 3 days before and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Hollow out, stuff, and roast the squash for 20 minutes before serving it.
Refrigerator: stuffed butternut squash leftovers keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
Freeze: we recommend freezing the stuffed squash right after stuffing it and before the second bake. Thaw in the refrigerator, then bake for 20 to 30 minutes until heated through.
Reheat: warm leftovers in the microwave, air fryer, or oven.
More butternut squash recipes
Get more vibrant and delicious butternut squash recipes with these fall favorites:
More Thanksgiving ideas
If you are looking for more Thanksgiving ideas, take a look at these vegetarian Holiday dishes:
Stuffed Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash use half if yours is very large
- 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese or non-dairy cheese; add more or less to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 can (15 ounces) lentils drained and rinsed
- ½ cup walnuts chopped
- 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes + 1 cup water to rinse the can
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
- 2 twists black pepper + red pepper flakes to taste
ROASTED POTATOES & GRAPES (optional)
- 4 – 5 medium potatoes washed and cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon rosemary dried or fresh
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 2 twists black pepper
- 1 bunch grapes white, red, or both
ROAST SQUASH AND POTATOES
- Preheat the oven to 380°F or 190°C.Wash and cut 4 – 5 medium potatoes into wedges and add them to a baking tray. Season and toss them with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and 2 twists black pepperWash 1 butternut squash, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and place it in the center of the baking tray, pushing the potatoes on the sides. Season it with salt, pepper, and olive oil.If your squash is large, you can roast just one-half.
- Roast the squash and the potatoes for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the squash is knife tender. Don’t turn off the oven!Scoop out some of the squash’s flesh to make space for the lentil stuffing.Add the scooped-out flesh to the lentil stuffing below.
MAKE LENTIL STUFFING
- While the squash cooks, make the stuffing.In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 1 onion (chopped), 3 cloves garlic (pressed) and fry gently for 3 minutes.Add 1 can (15 ounces) lentils (drained and rinsed), ½ cup walnuts (chopped), 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes, 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 twists black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
- Simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat or until the mixture thickens and all water is gone.
- Add the flesh of the squash you previously scooped out and mash it with a fork. Stir to combine.
STUFF THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH
- Add the lentil stuffing to the hollowed butternut squash.Then add 1 bunch grapes cut into 4-5 pieces next to the potatoes.Bake for 15 more minutes.Tip: you can add quite a bit of stuffing as the squash is served as a main meal for 4 to 6 people.
- Finally, add 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (or non-dairy cheese) on top of the squash and bake for a few more minutes until the cheese melts.