I’m having so much fun trying meatless dishes once a week!! This week, I made something that tastes a little out of place for the hot months of summer. Butternut squash was calling my name at the store and I had to answer the calling. 🙂 File this one away for fall – it would make an awesome holiday side dish or a tasty option for meat-free guests.
Twice Baked Butternut Squash w/ Quinoa & Pecans (original recipe by Inquiring Chef)
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1/3 c. uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 t. chicken stock (or veg stock if meat-free)
- 1/3 c. pecan halves, chopped roughly
- 2 t. olive oil
- 1 small shallot, finely minced
- 1/2 c. panko
- 3 T. melted butter
- 2 T. + 2 T. Parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
The first step is go roast the squash. To do this, you cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds (just like seeding a pumpkin!). Place the squash skin-side down on a baking sheet, then sprinkle the squash’s flesh with salt and pepper. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the pan. Cover it tightly with tin foil and bake it for 50 minutes at 450*F.
Meanwhile, bring your stock of choice to a boil and then add the quinoa. Cover, then reduce heat to a simmer and allow quinoa to cook about 15 minutes. Then, remove it from the heat until the remaining liquid is absorbed. Also, heat 1 t. of olive oil in a small pan and saute the shallot until browned. Set aside. Finally, toast the pecan pieces in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Mine didn’t take quite that long – when they are nice and fragrant, they are ready! Set those aside as well.
Once the squash is finished (Stab it with a fork. If it’s tender, it’s done. If not, put it back in until it’s done.), spoon out the butternut squash and reduce the oven to 400*F. It will be a pureed texture. Mix it with the quinoa, pecans, shallots, 2 T. of Parmesan cheese, some salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Spoon the mixture back into the squash skin – which is now just a boat for your delicious filling!
Combine the panko, 2 T. Parmesan, and melted butter, then sprinkle on top of the quinoa mixture. Put the squash back into the oven at 400*F for about 30 minutes or until the bread crumbs are nicely browned. Simple as that!