Vegan Wild-Rice-Stuffed Butternut Squash

October 4, 2022


2 medium butternut squash (2 to 2 1/4 pounds each)

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

4 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup wild rice

1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons dried unsweetened cherries

1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped


  1. The oven should be set up with a rack in the center and heated to 400 degrees F.
  2. Each squash should be cut in half lengthwise, with the seeds removed and thrown away. Place the halves flesh-side up in a large baking dish.
  3. The vinegar, maple syrup, and two teaspoons of oil are whisked together. Apply some of the maple oil on the squash halves' flesh side and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. In the baking dish, place the squash flesh-side down. Brush the skin-side with the maple-oil mixture, then season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Roast the squash for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fork-tender. When the squash is cool enough to handle, let it rest. Scoop part of the flesh out, leaving a 1/4-inch border all around, and place it in a big bowl. Leave reasonably sizable bits of the flesh that was scraped out.
  4. While this is happening, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, turning regularly, for about 6 minutes, until they are tender and golden brown. Stir the rice for about a minute while adding the curry powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to toast the spices. When the rice is soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed, add 2 cups of water and simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes (different brands of wild rice may vary in cooking times; add more water if needed). Remove from heat and add the remaining maple oil, cherries, parsley, sage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper to the butternut squash chunks.
  5. Fill the hollowed-out squash halves evenly with the filling, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and bake, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the filling is thoroughly warmed. Place each on a serving dish after cutting each in half crosswise. Add some parsley and walnuts as a garnish. Serve hot.

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