Miso lentil stuffed butternut squash bake
Popular dish of roasted butternut squash filled with lentils, leek and mushrooms meets with Japanese staple seasoning, Miso.
Not only packed with nutrient rich healthy ingredients this dish is filled with amazing aroma from Miso.
This recipe is perfect as a plant based main dish or a side dish.
I am finally posting this miso lentil stuffed butternut squash and am so excited to share this recipe with you because it turned out so delicious!
I love anything “stuffed” because it looks and sounds kind of fun (don’t you think?) to eat it.
I had never eaten and even seen butternut squash until I moved to Australia to study almost 10 year ago. When I had it immediately I fell in love this sweet vegetable that can brighten many dishes.
I’ve experimented to make stuffed butternut squash recipes many times with the filling using quinoa and /or lentils. Most of the time I tried my version of the middle eastern -like flavor (like cumin, coriander, paprika and cinnamon) and never thought about making with Japanese seasonings.
I mentioned in the ABOUT page but I was not a big fun of food of my own country until recently. However since I recognized the amazing power of our traditional seasonings I had been experimenting fusing Japanese essences into various world dishes.
And of course this stuffed butternut squash had been on my have-to-try list!
Miso works wonders in many dishes by adding deeper and richer favor and taste to them.
While I cannot think of any food including fish, chicken, beef, legumes and vegetables that DOESN’T work well with miso, some of them goes especially well with the flavor of miso.
Pumpkin/squash and egg plant are two representative of “miso friendly” ingredients and I consider lentils too although it is not Japanese traditional ingredient.
Actually I got the inspiration of using eggplant from Japanese popular dish called “tekka miso 鉄火味噌“
It is basically slightly sweet savory dish which sliced eggplant sautéed with miso and a few other seasonings.
Eggplant absorb oils and the flavor of the seasonings so works great as a sub-ingredient in this lentil stuffing as well as adding natural sweetness to it.
As you can see the ingredient list below that I used balsamic vinegar together with white miso. No, you do not want to omit it as it is a “key” seasoning in this recipe to “settle” the flavor by adding both sweetness and sourness.
I used Japanese leek (Naga negi 長ねぎ) instead of usual flavor-adding ingredient as I wanted to add mild bitterness and also it adds more Japanese-like flavor to the end product.
If your local asian/ Japanese supermarket does not have Japanese leek, then you can simply replace it with regular one.
What is good about this stuffed butternut squash?
- Uses only real food
- packed with both soluble and insoluble fibers that help keep your gut healthy.
- packed with beautiful natural aromas from sauteéd vegetables
- has incredible and rich flavor of Miso
- seasoned with fermented soy bean, Miso, which contains all essential amino acids ,many vitamins and minerals as well as probiotics that support your gut health.
Check other recipes using miso
If you are into Miso or have leftover and don’t know have to consume it, make sure to check these Miso recipes!
how to make miso lentil stuffed butternut squash
what you need;
- small- medium butternut squash
- Japanese leek, sliced into 1.5-2cm (0.5-0.7inch)
- garlic, finely chopped
- eggplant, diced
- white mushrooms, thinly sliced
- green beans, roughly chopped
- dry lentils (please read the instruction #1)
Seasonings and other ingredients;
- white miso, blended with balsamic vinegar to “soften”
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- sea salt and black pepper
- chopped walnuts to add-in
1.Soak lentils the night before with apple cider vinegar;
- you can use canned lentils for your convenience, but I do recommend to soak and cook your own lentils as this process helps break down the “anti-nutrients” in lentils that prevent us from absorbing some nutrients.
- the night before place dry lentils in a large bowl with plenty of water, add 1 tbsp of vinegar. Soak at least for 8 hours. Drain, rinse and cook lentils for about 20 minutes or until they are done. (＊I recommend cooking lentils before preparing butternut squash for efficiency)
2. Roast butternut squash
- preheat the oven at 210℃ (410°F)
- carefully cut butternut squash in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds with knife or a spoon. Drizzle with a little olive oil, season with black pepper and sea salt.
- wrap the halves with foil, place on baking tray and cook for 40-50 minutes or until they are cooked through.
3. Make lentil stuffing while roasting butternut squash;
- heat olive oil in the pan over medium heat, add garlic and leek and sautée until they become fragrant. Add eggplant, mushrooms, green beans and well-drained cooked lentils and cook for 5-8 minutes.
- add in miso – vinegar slurry and chopped walnuts, stir and turn off the heat.
4. Stuff the miso lentil filling into roasted butternut squash, and bake
- once butternut squash is cooked, place on the baking sheet/dish.
Stuff the squash cavities with lentil filling.
- place back in the oven to roast another 10 minutes.
5. Transfer to the plate and serve!
- Butternut squash; if the “cavity” of butternut squash is too small to fill the lentil stuffing, you can take out the flesh to make the space after roasting.
You can add in the squash flesh to the lentil filling, or can save it for other purposes.
- Using white miso paste; I used WHITE miso, not yellow/ brown one and I recommend you to do so too as yellow miso can be too “intense” for this recipe. (white miso has much milder saltiness)
- Adding miso paste:
Blending miso and vinegar to form blurry makes it easier to get blended with lentil filling.
You want to add the miso paste at the END of cooking lentil filling as it can get “burned” easily on the pan.
- Lentil stuffing; you may get leftover lentil filling (depending on the size of the squash of course). If you do, you can use it as a “bed” for the stuffed squash as in my photos or save it for later.
If you like miso soup or any other miso flavored dishes, I’m sure you will like this recipe too.
This miso lentil stuffed butternut squash would make the great entrée or side dish for family/ friend gathering or relaxing weekend meals.
If you made this miso lentil stuffed butternut squash on your own let me know! I would love to hear how you liked them:)
Please leave your comments, suggestions or any question in the comment section below.
And one more thing to ask you.
I would love to connect with like minded people, so please remember to snap a photo and share it with #living_my_nature tagging @living_my_nature!!
I look forward to hear from you!!
♥Thank you for reading!♥
Miso lentil stuffed butternut squash bake
- 1 small butternut squash - about 480g (1lb)
- healthy pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- 75g / 2.6oz dry brown lentils (1/3 cup and 1 tbsp) - see the recipe note below (*1)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar - for soaking lentils
- 1/2 Japanese leek (or small regular leek if you don't have) - sliced into 1.5-2cm (0.5-0.7inch)
- 1 fat garlic clove (or 2 regular size cloves) - finely chopped, or crushed
- 1・1/4 cup eggplant - diced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 5 strings green beans - trimmed, and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp white miso paste (not yellow one) - mix with balsamic vinegar to soften
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- healthy pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- 1/4 cups walnuts - chopped
To serve (optional)
- bed of greens
- The night before place dry lentils in a large bowl with plenty of water, add 1 tbsp of vinegar. Soak at least for 8 hours. Drain, rinse and cook lentils for about 20 minutes or until they are done. (I recommend cooking lentils before preparing butternut squash for time efficiency)
prepare butternut squash;
- Preheat the oven at 210℃ (410°F).
Carefully cut butternut squash in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds with knife or a spoon. Drizzle with a little olive oil, season with black pepper and sea salt.
- Wrap the halves with foil, place on baking tray and cook for 40-50 minutes or until they are cooked through.
Make the miso lentil filling
- Heat olive oil in the pan over medium heat, add garlic and leek and sautée until they become fragrant.
- Add eggplant, mushrooms, green beans and well-drained cooked lentils and cook for 5-8 minutes.
Add in miso – vinegar slurry and chopped walnuts, stir to coat the filling evenly and turn off the heat.
Bake stuffed butternut squash
- Once butternut squash is cooked, place on the baking sheet or dish.
Fill in the squash cavities with lentil filling. (→ see the recipe note below *2 &*3)
- Place back in the oven to roast another 10 -15 minutes.
- Carefully take out the baking pan with butternut squash from the oven.Transfer to the plate and serve with choice of greens.
You can add in the squash flesh to the lentil filling, or can save it for other purposes. (*3) you may get leftover lentil filling (depending on the size of the squash of course). If you do, you can serve it with stuffed squash as in my photo or save it for later.
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