I Eat Plants: Stuffed Squash 25 Ways

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So it’s the night before Thanksgiving, and you just found out that you have a vegan coming for dinner tomorrow.  The shopping is done, the meal is planned, and it was not planned around a vegan or vegetarian guest.  You like to be a good host though, so you’d like something besides salad on the table they can eat.  So what do you do?

When I thought about this question, I got inspired by last week’s Spices and Seasons post on stuffed squash.  I’m willing to bet that you have everything you need on hand to make some sort!

While it would be great if you can make some of your sides vegan (throw one potato in the oven to bake instead of mash or leave some of the green beans out of the casserole would be one way to make some other vegan dishes on short notice), sometimes you get caught off guard and have to think on your feet! This is where stuffed squash comes in.

Acorn Squash, stuffed with millet, pears, red kidney beans and garlic and onions.

Acorn Squash, stuffed with millet, pears, red kidney beans and garlic and onions.

Chances are, you have some type of grain and a can of beans that you weren’t using for something else that can make up the stuffing.  If you’re making your traditional stuffing from scratch and your bread happens to be vegan, that would also work well for this.  This isn’t a recipe per se, but more an idea.

How about if you don’t have a squash suitable for stuffing on hand?

A sweet potato may work, a hollowed out pepper, possibly even a hollowed out tomato.  I’ve listed a few different squashes that I’ve seen work, but you could even use a butternut squash (or even a summer squash, if you happen to have one on hand) or whatever else you have hanging around.  The sky is the limit!

Choose a Squash:

Choose a grain:

  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Barley
  • Millet
  • Cubed Bread

Choose a Protein:

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Seitan
  • Beans/Legumes
  • Mock Meat (Beyond Meat, Gardein, Soy Curls, TVP, etc)

Choose a Flavor Profile:

  • Garam Masala
  • Scarbourough Fair (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme)
  • Garlic & Onion
  • Cinnamon & Nutmeg
  • Curry

Choose an Add-In:

  • Dried or Fresh Fruit (rasins,cranberries, cherries, apples, pears, figs, etc)
  • Nuts/Seeds
  • Leafy Greens
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Sautéed Mushrooms

The amount you’ll need of each will be different depending on the type of squash you’re using, the size, and that some of the grains cook up differently.  My personal feeling is always better to make a bit too much than too little!  You can also use more than one from any of the columns, especially if you’re making a larger amount.

As a general rule, you’ll want to pre-bake the squash before stuffing it, then bake again with the stuffing.

These can make a great last minute addition to your table!

Delicata Squash stuffed with good old fashioned vegan stuffing mix and dried cranberries.

Delicata Squash stuffed with good old fashioned vegan stuffing mix and dried cranberries.

Have any other questions about what works for a vegan for Thanksgiving?  Feel free to comment here or to tweet me @pickyvegan – I’ll be watching!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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About Author

I Eat Plants columnist Jodie Deignan went vegetarian in 2004 and fully committed to veganism in 2007. By day she’s a psychiatric nurse practitioner and by night she spends a lot of time cooking delicious vegan food for herself and her friends. She’s a bit of a picky eater, with a special distaste for mushrooms, seaweed, raw tomatoes, and eggplant, though she’s discovered along the way she’s a little more open-minded than she once thought. She blogs at The Picky Vegan.

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