You don’t need a whole turkey or ham to present as the centerpiece of your holiday meal. This sausage stuffed Kabocha squash recipe is as, if not more, impressive than the traditional turkey presentation. It’s my recommendation for a Thanksgiving or Christmas vegan main course with eye appeal and great flavor. And trust me, you don’t need to be a vegetarian to appreciate it.
A vegan squash recipe for everyone
I hate the whole idea of an “extra dish” for the vegetarians. It’s usually an afterthought and one that represents extra work. But this stuffed squash doesn’t have to be the extra dish you make for the vegetarians while everyone else eats meat. This stuffed squash dish is hearty enough to satisfy meat lovers. So make it the centerpiece of your next dinner party. A meatless special occasion meal will do the planet good.
Substitute with a baked stuffed pumpkin
If you can’t find Kabocha squash, the recipe works well with a roasted stuffed pumpkin, like a Fairy Tale or New England Pie variety.
What is Kabocha squash?
Now, this substitution recommendation needs a little clarification. That’s because anyone who knows their squashes knows that Kabocha is actually a variety of pumpkin. Those who are familiar with this orange-fleshed squash love it for its firm texture and almost velvety consistency. It is also a nutrient-rich food. And, since we’re all about ways to improve sexual health, I should add that this winter squash contains many nutrients to support sexual health including vitamins A & C as well as potassium, magnesium and iron. Incidentally, did you know that all pumpkin are considered aphrodisiac?
This type of pumpkin is fairly common in Japanese cuisine, so you may try looking in an Asian foods market. Trust me, the Kabocha squash is definitely one of those ingredients that’s worth a little extra effort to find.
You can make this Kabocha squash recipe with a meat-based filling
If you’re looking for an alternative to my plant-based stuffing, you can make this baked stuffed squash recipe with traditional Italian sausage. I recommend using sweet Italian sausage. Just use it exactly as you would the vegan sausage in the recipe below. I’ve tried it both ways and definitely prefer the vegan recipe. But let me know what you think.
Vegetarian Roasted, Stuffed Kabocha Squash
- 4-5 lb Kabocha squash substitute with a pumpkin of similar weight
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 celery rib finely chopped
- 8 oz kabocha or butternut squash cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 vegan sausages halved lengthwise then sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small Granny Smith apple cored and diced
- 2/3 cup shredded kale (about 3 large leaves ribs removed)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 slices sprouted rye bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 leaves fresh sage finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- smoked salt
- Preheat a convection oven to 350 degrees.*
- Line a sturdy baking sheet with parchment.
- Using a strong knife, cute the cap off of the squash (like a Jack-o-Lantern).
- Clean the kabocha squash or pumpkin of seeds and string.
- Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the onions and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the celery, kale, cubes of squash and a pinch of salt. Saute for 6 minutes or until the squash begins to soften.
- Add the apple and sausage continue to sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the white wine and cook for an additional minute.
- Remove from heat and toss in bread, thyme, sage and rosemary. Season with additional salt to taste. (Keep in mind that you will want the mixture fairly salty to help season the flesh of the squash or pumpkin.)
- Stuff the kabocha squash with the stuffing mixture, being careful not to overstuff. (You may have some stuffing left over.) Top stuffed squash with the cap.
- Transfer squash to parchment-lined baking sheet and cook for 1 1/4 hour. Remove the cap and continue to cook for an additional 15-30 minutes, until flesh of the kabocha squash is soft and easily pierced with the tip of a knife.
- To serve, either slice wedges from the squash like a pie or scoop out servings, being careful to scoop out the kabocha or pumkin’s fresh with the stuffing. The kabocha squash should have a creamy texture when it is fully cooked.
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