This Persian inspired roasted butternut squash is stuffed with a grain mixture and served with pistachio pesto, pomegranate, pine nuts & feta. A delicious, hearty autumn/ fall recipe! Perfect as a vegetarian thanksgiving recipe or even for christmas!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year- and no, I don’t mean Christmas! It’s just turned Autumn, and I’m so ready for it. Falling leaves, warm nights in, candles, pumpkins and all things Halloween. Bring it on! And now, for something to chow down on while snuggle under a warm blanket, here is my roasted butternut squash with pistachio pesto, pomegranate & feta and stuffed with grains.
I love butternut squash. It is literally one of my favourite ingredients and, if you haven’t already, then you can check out my recipe for Spiced Butternut Corn Vegan Soup. I also did a post for ‘perfect-every-time’ Simple Oven Baked Butternut Squash.
This recipe elevates the simple oven-baked butternut squash and takes it to a new level. Stuffed with grains and then topped with pistachio pesto, pomegranate and feta ( I cheated and used my current favourite Vegan feta), this Persian inspired butternut squash recipe is a staple in my house.
Plus! This recipe can easily be veganised. Simply use a Vegan pesto and Vegan Feta! ( I’ve used a Vegan feta here and It is delicious!)
I love to actually cut the pieces into 1/4’s and serve a portion alongside a small salad. Honestly, that’s mostly because I like to make the butternut squash go further since I’m on such a tight budget. Feel free to nosh on 1/2 the butternut squash as a serving too!
How to make the Roasted Butternut Squash with Pistachio Pesto, Pomegranate & Feta
One thing that is really worth noting for this recipe is that it’s fairly customisable. From swapping out pesto’s to cheese types to grain types, you can really mix and match to find your perfect combinations.
To begin with, though, you first need to roast the butternut squash. To do this, preheat the oven to 180°C, chop the butternut squash in half, score and then lightly brush with oil of your choice. I then sprinkle the slices with some salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika.
Note* If you’re feeling particularly cheeky, then you can also dot the pieces with a little bit of butter for extra creaminess.
This can then be placed into the oven for between 40-50 minutes, till tender. To check this, just use a knife to prod the flesh. Cooking times can vary so you may need up to an extra ten minutes sometimes.
Meanwhile, while the butternut squash is roasting, you can prepare the grain filling. I swap these out a lot; from couscous to quinoa to pearl barley. This specific time I used a 7-grain blend and just followed the packet instructions, using a stock tablet for extra flavour and then mixing in some chopped spinach once it had cooked.
This is also the time to prepare your pistachio pesto, if making it from scratch.
I’ve found that unless you have the various herb plants at home and generally have the ingredients in your kitchen, then making homemade pistachio pesto can be costly and so if I don’t have enough pistachios/ herbs on hand then I’ll often pick up some pesto from a store.
In fact, I had some leftover pesto today that needed to be used and so used that for this recipe. However, I’m including my favourite Pistachio & Basil pesto recipe below too for you to use, as that’s what I’ll usually pair this dish with.
Once the roasted butternut squash is ready, then it’s time to assemble everything. Simply spoon the grain mix into the squash and drizzle over the pesto. Then sprinkle with pomegranate, pine nuts and feta ( or crumbly cheese of your choice).
The Roasted Butternut Squash, Grain & Pistachio Pesto Recipe:
Roasted Butternut Squash with pistachio pesto
For the Roasted Butternut Squash:
- 1 Butternut Squash
- Garlic Powder
- Smoked Paprika optional
- Pine Nuts
- Pesto If using shop-bought
- Feta or crumbly cheese of choice
- Grains of your choice around 80g ( pearl barley, wheat, cous cous, grain medley etc.)
- Vegetable Stock tablet
- Baby Spinach small handful
For The Pistachio Pesto:
- 100 g Pistachios unsalted
- 70 g Vegetarian Parmesan
- 1 Small bunch Parsley
- 1 Small bunch Basil
- Garlic paste to taste ( or fresh garlic)
- chilli flakes
- olive oil
- 1/2-1 lemon juice ( optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare the butternut squash for roasting. To do this, wash the butternut squash before chopping it in half ( or quarters if using for four portions) .
- Scoop out the pulpy flesh and seeds and then score with a knife.
- Lightly oil the butternut squash flesh and season with salt, garlic powder and smoked paprika, as wanted.*
- Place onto a lined baking sheet and pop in the oven for between 40-50 minutes, till the flesh is tender. To test this simply prod with a sharp knife.**
- Meanwhile, prepare your grains of choice according to the packet instructions, using a vegetable stock tablet for extra flavour. Once cooked, stir in some shopped baby spinach.
- If using homemade pistachio pesto then this can also be prepared now. Begin by blending the pistachios and cheese together with a little oil. Then place all the herbs into the blender with a little more oil and the lemon juice, if using***. check the taste and season/add more oil if necessary, till a smooth pesto.
- Once the butternut squash is cooked, it's time to assemble. Simply scoop the grains into the butternut squash, top with a drizzle of pesto, some pine nuts, pomegranate and feta ( or crumbly cheese of your choice****).
If you try this recipe out then I’d love to know what you think in the comments below.
Also, as always, I’d LOVE to see your results! So if you try the recipe out then let me know. Also, feel free to tag me in any pics @MemoirsSoLuciie and #MSLuciierecipes.
Till next time,