Mildly sweet and nutty butternut squash is one of many reasons that I look forward to fall produce every year. Here are 15 wholesome vegan butternut squash recipes that celebrate this versatile and nutritious ingredient!
There’s nothing that makes me more excited for fall cooking than the site of winter squashes piling up at farmers markets. There are many wonderful varieties to choose from, but butternut squash will always be a favorite.
Butternut squash is so versatile. As I was rounding up the recipes below, I came across plenty of soup, which is how I first got comfortable cooking butternut squash.
Over time, however, I’ve started to use this type of squash in a broader array of recipes. Pizza? Check. Risotto? Check. Even nachos—yes, check!
I love surveying the many ways that butternut squash can brighten recipes with its golden color and contribute to their wholesomeness with its good nutrition.
Butternut squash health benefits
Butternut squash, like carrots, sweet potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables with orange color, butternut squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted in the body to Vitamin A, at which point it acts as an antioxidant.
Vitamin A plays an important role in cell growth. It’s associated with eye, heart, lung, and skin health and function.
In addition, butternut squash is a very good source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C, along with the Vitamin A that beta-carotene is a precursor to, supports immunity
Butternut squash is also rich in electrolytes, including magnesium and potassium. These minerals play a role in hydration status and muscle function.
Lastly, butternut squash has dietary fiber, which helps to keep our digestive tracts and cardiovascular systems strong.
How to break down butternut squash
Health benefits, sweet flavor, tender flesh—butternut squash has so much to offer. But it comes with a considerable downside, which is that it’s a bit of a pain to break down and cube.
Most of my butternut squash recipes call for peeled and cubed squash. (You don’t actually have to peel the squash, but I find it a lot more appealing from a texture and appearance perspective to do it.)
It’s possible to purchase pre-peeled, cubed squash in a lot of grocery stores these days. When that’s not an option, it’s time for some squash butchery. This post is a good primer on how to break down butternut squash for recipes.
How to roast butternut squash
Many of my recipes, including some of my salads, call for using roasted squash.
My roasting process in most of these recipes is the same: preheat your oven to 400F. Coat the squash in oil (I use olive or avocado oil for roasting vegetables) and place it on a lined baking sheet.
Bake your squash cubes for 25-35 minutes, stirring them on the sheet once halfway through baking. When the roasted squash is ready, the cubes will be lightly browning along the edges and fork tender.
15 Wholesome vegan butternut squash recipes
Once you have a squash cut and seeded and ready to go, you can use it in any one of these seasonal, satisfying, wholesome vegan butternut squash recipes.
Vegan Butternut Red Onion Pizza
This is the plant-based autumn pizza of your dreams! Made with savory roasted butternut squash, sweet, caramelized red onions, cashew cheese, and zippy arugula. A perfect party appetizer or flavorful vegan meal.
This butternut Brussels sprout salad is so colorful and festive! Made with crispy shaved Brussels sprouts and tender roasted squash, it's a celebration of autumn. The salad is topped with a creamy, cashew-based dressing and bright pomegranate arils.
Quinoa, kale, butternut squash, and edamame are brought together with a creamy sauce in this protein-packed vegan recipe. The meal has about 20 grams of protein and tons of nutrition. Easy to make ahead and perfect for busy nights!
Slow Cooker Black Bean, Butternut Squash & Quinoa Chili
This make-ahead slow cooker black bean butternut chili is perfect nutritious vegan comfort food. Made with protein rich beans and quinoa as well as filling butternut squash. It's a perfect recipe for your weekly meal prep, and it freezes well!
Roasted Brussels Sprout, Butternut Squash & Grape Salad with Quinoa
This roasted butternut squash salad is bursting with flavor, texture, and vibrant autumn produce. It has quinoa, Brussels sprouts, and the surprising addition of roasted grapes, which give the recipe sweet and savory notes. It's a perfect holiday salad!
This gingery, savory, salty sweet vegan butternut rice is an old recipe. Like, 2011 old!
I loved the rice when I first made it. And when I made it again last week, for the first time in a while, I was still a huge fan. In spite of the fact that my cooking has changed a lot in the last ten years, this recipe has stood the test of time.
To make the rice, you’ll roast butternut squash and apple together, along with onion. It’s one of those sweet and savory pairings that I love so much.
The roasted vegetables and apple are folded together with cooked rice and bright green peas. (I always have a bag of frozen peas in my freezer, so it’s easy for me to use them even when they’re not in season).
I originally used pink rice, which I had just tried for the first time, in the recipe. Now when I make the dish I tend to use short or medium grain brown rice. However, you could use pink rice, wild rice, black rice, or white rice and the dish would still work.
A little dressing of oil, tamari, rice vinegar, and apple cider vinegar bring the butternut squash rice to life. As does some fresh ginger, which I use to roast the vegetables. These seasonings elevate an otherwise simple grain dish, making it more than the sum of its parts.
I hope you’ll think so, too. The rice can be enjoyed as a side dish, or you can have a larger portion and add something else—maybe some greens, maybe a plant protein you love—to make it a meal.
1cupshort grain brown rice(medium or long grain rice will also work)
1cupfresh or frozen and defrosted green peas
1 1/2tablespoonsunseasoned rice vinegar
2teaspoonsapple cider vinegar
Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Place the squash, onion, and apple on the prepared sheet and drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the avocado oil. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast the mixture for 20. Sprinkle the vegetables and fruit with the ginger, stir them on the sheet, and then continue to roast for another 10-20 minutes, or until the squash and apples are gently browning.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the brown rice. Boil the brown rice for 35-40 minutes, or until all of the grains are tender. Add the peas to the pot and let them boil with the rice for 1-2 minutes, till bright green and tender. Drain the brown rice and peas, then return them to the pot. Cover the pot and let the mixture steam for 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, fold together the cooked rice, peas, and roasted vegetables. Whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil, tamari, and vinegars. Pour this dressing over the rice, mix again, and serve warm.
I hope you’ll have a chance to try some of these satisfying, cozy vegan butternut squash recipes while the energy of harvest season is still all around us! Enjoy them, friends.