Butternut Squash Stuffed with Fragrant Spinach and Brown Rice
This recipe for brown rice, spinach and pecan-stuffed butternut squash is loaded with flavor and oh, so hearty. But, the best part is that it’s ready in about 30 minutes….that’s not really the best part – eating it is! Don’t you love an edible bowl, too?
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 27 minutes
- 1 butternut squash, cut horizontally, remove seeds and scoop out stringy fiber
- 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-1/2 cups packed fresh spinach
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon flour for thickener (I used brown rice flour, but any will work)
- 2/3 cup brown rice (equals 2 cups cooked)
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped, and extra for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. After removing the seeds and fiber-y strings from the squash, I suggest hollowing out a bit more of the squash with a spoon to make room for the yummy filling.
- Place the butternut squash halves cut side up onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and season with salt and ground black pepper. Bake for 25 minutes or until they are fork tender.
- While the squash cooks, prepare the stuffing. Cook the rice according to the package directions, and set it aside.
- Heat sauté pan over medium heat. When pan is hot, add onions and cook for about 3 minutes. Add a couple tablespoons of water or broth to keep the onions from sticking. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute.
- Next, add the spinach, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, salt and ground black pepper. Stir to combine and the spinach will begin to wilt.
- Add all but about 2 tablespoons of the vegetable broth to the pan. Stir the mixture, and allow the broth to cook down for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons of broth to a small bowl with the flour and whisk to combine until smooth, and then add to the sauté pan to thicken the mixture.
- Once the liquid has cooked down a little, add the rice to the pan. Stir all together, then remove from the heat. Add in the pecan pieces, but keep about 1 teaspoon to use as garnish.
- Remove the butternut squash from the oven, set on individual plates and fill each equally with the rice mixture.
- Garnish with the remaining pecan pieces, and serve warm.