If you’ve never had Kabocha squash before, you’re in for such a treat when you do try it. It has such a lovely flavor and is one of my favorite winter vegetables. Kabocha squash is also called Japanese Pumpkin because it is sweet and smooth, much like pumpkin and sweet potato. When shopping for Kabocha squash there are two things to look for. 1) It should feel heavier than you expect when you pick it up. 2) The skin should be a deep green (yellow spots and streaks are also a good indicator of ripeness).
I love this recipe because it combines sweet and savory so well. The sweet flavors of the squash, cranberries, and caramelized onions pair perfectly with the savory flavors of the walnuts, mushrooms, and sage. It’s absolutely delicious! Depending on the size of your squash, you may have a little filling left over. Not to worry, it’s so good that I’m sure you or a guest won’t mind eating it with a spoon.
Have you tried this recipe? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!
Stuffed Kabocha Squash (Vegan, Gluten Free, Flour Free):
- 1 kabocha squash top cut off and seeded
- 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
- Salt to taste
- 3 Tablespoons vegan butter* divided
- 1 cup rice
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 package mushrooms (8 ounces or 227 grams) sliced
- 1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
- 5 fresh sage leaves cut into ¼” strips
- 1/2 cup walnuts roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Use the Tablespoon of grapeseed oil to oil the interior of the seeded kabocha squash before roasting.
- After oiling, lightly sprinkle the interior of the kabocha squash with salt.
- Roast on a parchment paper or reusable silicone mat lined baking sheet for 40 minutes with the cut side down.
- While the kabocha squash is cooking, prepare the filling.
- Boil the water in a medium pot with lid.
- While the water is boiling, heat a medium sized skillet on medium high heat.
- Melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter in the skillet.
- Toast the rice in the skillet for two minutes, stirring it to coat it evenly with the butter.
- Transfer the toasted rice to the boiling water and add salt to taste.
- Cover and reduce the heat to low, simmer for 18 minutes.
- After 18 minutes, turn the heat off and allow the rice to rest with the lid on for an additional 10 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, melt the remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium heat.
- Saute the sliced mushrooms for 5 minutes, or until they have browned and shrunk considerably in size.
- Add the chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until translucent and caramelized.
- Add in the sage and saute for 30 seconds, or just long enough for it to cook and crisp up.
- Turn the heat for the skillet off.
- Once the rice is finished resting, combine the rice, mushrooms, onion, sage, walnut, and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
- Scoop out the interior portion of the flesh of the roasted kabocha squash, leaving a 1 cm thick shell to hold the filling.
- Mix the roasted kabocha squash into the rice mixture.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the rice filling into the hollowed out kabocha squash shell. Lightly pack the filling down into the squash (so that it will stay in place when you slice it for serving).
- Slice the stuffed squash into 4 even pieces for serving.
*I used the Earth Balance vegan butter sticks. This is my favorite vegan butter replacement and I prefer the sticks for baking and cooking because they have a lower water content than the tub does. The tub has more water in it to make it more spreadable, which makes it not as ideal for baking and sauteing.