Hi hello, it’s me. About to make you start thinking about Thanksgiving before we even hit Halloween. But I think you will be cool with it considering our star topic – Farro Mac N Cheese Stuffed Butternut Squash. The one that will please every type of eater gathering around your table.
Moment of silence please. This recipe will quite literally have you rethinking your traditional Thanksgiving choices. It’s decadent, hearty, satisfying, indulgent, yet made with incredibly wholesome ingredients. This would be the perfect vegetarian / vegan entrée or side dish for those who crave some hearty veggie options!
As always I like to give you options, swap out the farro for brown rice to make this dish gluten free and the ghee for vegan butter to make completely plant-based friendly.
Everyone is welcomed to fall in love with this one!
High Speed Blender
Large Mixing Bowl
Mac N Cheese Sauce
*Note: Preparing your sauce first or the day before will help cut down on recipe time
1.5 cup cashews (soaked minimum 6 hours in a bowl of water)
1 sweet or yellow onion, peeled and quartered 2 carrots, peeled and quartered 2 cloves garlic , peeled 3/4 cup unsweetened cashew yogurt ( I use Forager Project, any unsweetened non-dairy yogurt should work) 1/4 cup water 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp ghee or vegan butter (really enhances cheesy flavor ) 1 tsp paprika (extra for sprinkling on top) 1/2 tsp chili powder 3/4 tsp + sea salt
Add your carrot, onion, and whole garlic cloves to a steam pot and steam until carrot and onion are fork tender, usually about 12-15 minutes. Allow to slightly cool.
Drain and rinse your cashews that have been soaking.
Add your cashews and cooled steamed mix to a high-speed blender. Add your cashew yogurt, water, lemon, ghee/ vegan butter and all spices into blender. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of your blender as needed. Taste and adjust your seasonings...more salt, lemon, paprika, chili powder, etc.
Stuffed Butternut Squash
1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise
½ tbsp olive oil
Pinch sea salt
1 ¼ cup cooked farro , cooked according to package instructions
1.5 cup fresh spinach, de-stemmed & finely chopped
1.5 cup + mac n cheese sauce from recipe above
2-3 sage leaves, diced
Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh of your halved butternut squash. Rub olive oil onto each half of butternut squash and into the hole you created by scooping out the seeds. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt onto each half. Place your squash cut-side down on your lined baking sheet. First bake for 20 minutes. Then flip your squash over and continue baking. Check your squash after an additional 30 minutes. Once a knife can pierce through the thickest part of your squash easily, it is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Reduce oven heat to 375F once your squash has been removed.
Prepare your farro according to package instructions while your butternut squash is roasting ( also a great step to have done ahead of time.) Once finished, measure out one full cup for this recipe, and save the rest to add to salads or stir fry’s!
Add your farro to a large mixing bowl.
Once your butternut squash has cooled, scoop out about ½ the flesh of each half – making sure you still have a sturdy boat intact for when you fill it. Add the flesh to the farro bowl.
Add in your chopped spinach, diced sage, and stir in your mac n cheese sauce. Stir well. If not saucy enough, add an additional ¼ cup sauce. Taste and adjust salt – I added a few pinches at this step.
Fill each half of squash with a decent amount of filling. If you have any filling left over, save it for adding to salads or veggie bowls!
Bake your stuffed squash for an additional 25 minutes. Lastly, let sit under a high broil for only 2 minutes, watching carefully. This will help brown and crisp the top of each squash.
Remove from the oven and serve!
*Replace farro with brown rice or quinoa to make dish gluten free
**Sub ghee with vegan butter of choice to make dish vegan