Vegan Wild Rice & Lentil Stuffed Butternut Squash

This vegan stuffed butternut squash features a wild rice, lentil, mushroom, kale and cranberry filling and is perfect for a stunning main dish.

A wedge of sliced stuffed butternut squash on a plate with a fork.

This stuffed butternut squash makes a crowd-pleasing main or side for holidays and everyday, especially served with the zesty parsley salsa verde.

Stuffed squash is the ultimate Fall comfort food. It’s warm, nourishing, satisfying, flavourful and so delicious. Give it a try for your next holiday or any special occasion.

Recipe Features

  • Dietary Features: Vegan (dairy-free and egg-free), gluten-free and nut-free.
  • Beautiful meat-free main or side dish for holidays and special occasions.
  • Made with simple ingredients.
  • Hearty, filling and delicious.
  • The filling and roasted squash can be prepared a day ahead for easy assembly.

Ingredient Notes

All of the ingredients needed for making a rice and lentil stuffed butternut squash recipe. Each ingredient is labelled with text.

Complete list of ingredients with amounts and instructions is located in the recipe card below.

  • Butternut Squash: You’ll need a large, approximately 3 lb squash. You could also use 2-3 large acorn squash for an alternative. If you can’t find large squash, 2 smaller ones work.
  • Maple Syrup: This can be substituted with agave syrup.
  • Olive Oil: I like extra virgin olive oil but you could use any neutral oil for roasting the squash and sautéing the shallot and mushroom.
  • Kale: I like kale best in this recipe because it’s a bit hardier than spinach, but spinach, Swiss chard or collard greens do work in place of kale.
  • Wild Rice Blend: I like Lundberg Wild Rice Blend. If you can’t find a wild rice blend, brown rice works.
  • Green Lentils: Be sure to use brown or green lentils. This recipe is not suitable for red lentils.
  • Vegetable Stock: Any vegetable broth or stock works. I like Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base.
  • Mushrooms: White, shitake or cremini mushrooms work.
  • Shallot: Shallot is really nice in this recipe but you could use white or red onion in a pinch.
  • Cranberries: If you can’t find dried cranberries, raisins would work but tart cranberries work best here.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: Use toasted pumpkin seeds if you can find them, otherwise raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) work, or you could use slivered almonds, pecans or walnuts. These can be mixed into the filling or sprinkled on top.

How to Make Stuffed Squash

There are a few steps to the recipe, but if read it over before you start, you should have a good grasp of the flow so you can keep things moving and efficient.

For the full written recipe be sure to scroll down to the recipe card.

Step 1: Roast the butternut squash.

Start by cutting the stem side and bottom side off the squash so you have a flat surface on either end. Place the bottom half of the squash on your cutting board and carefully cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard.

Rub the squash flesh with 1 tbsp of the oil and the maple syrup, season with salt and black pepper and place it cut side down on the baking sheet.

Roast the squash for 35-45 minutes, flipping over halfway through, until the flesh is tender when pierced with a fork.

Step by step photos for preparing a butternut squash for roasting on a pan.

Step 2: Cook the rice and lentils.

Bring the rice, stock and bay leaf to a boil in a medium pot, then cover and reduce to medium-low heat.

Cook for 15-20 minutes, then add the lentils and cook for another 20 minutes, until the rice and lentils are tender. If there is any remaining liquid you can drain that off and discard the bay leaf.

Step 3: Cook the vegetables.

While rice is cooking, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When the pan is hot, add the shallots and mushrooms. Season them with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 min, stirring occasionally until softened and golden-brown. 

Add the garlic, thyme, kale and dried cranberries and cook for 2-4 min, stirring often, until the kale is tender. Add the white wine or additional stock and cook for 1 min, stirring often and scrapping any brown bits off the bottom, until the liquid has evaporated.

Kale, mushroom and shallot cooking in a large pot with a wooden spoon.

Step 3: Mix the filling.

Transfer the kale-mushroom mixture to a large bowl and add the cooked rice and lentils.

Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small dish until combined, then add that as well and mix everything up.

Balsamic maple dressing in a small dish.

Step 4: Stuff the squash.

Once the squash is finished roasting, carefully scrape a spoon down the “neck” of the squash, removing some of the flesh, to create more space for the filling. 

Roughly mash the removed squash into the bowl with the rice mixture. Spoon the rice mixture into squash halves and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds.

Pop the squash back in the oven for 5-10 minutes to heat through.

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