Mujaddara Stuffed Butternut Squash is a savory, Middle Eastern-inspired dish made with brown rice, lentils, and caramelized onions stuffed inside a roasted butternut squash. This dish is incredibly simple and bursting with Mediterranean flavor.
| vegan + gluten free + dairy free |
Have you heard of Mujaddara? If not, you’re going to love it! And if so, then I can’t wait to introduce it to you in this new, delicious way!
Mujaddara is a layered Middle Eastern dish traditionally made with a blend of brown rice and lentils, then topped with caramelized onions. It’s inexpensive and so simple to make, even though the name might be a little frightening. Don’t let this super easy dish intimidate you!
The first time I actually had mujaddara was at my favorite restaurant in Traverse City, The Franklin. They served mujaddara studded with mushrooms and topped with a few spices of delicata squash.
I loved the combination of mushrooms with the brown rice and lentils, and the squash addition was a fun spin; I knew I had to make it at home, but wanted it to be a heartier dish!
This mujaddara stuffed squash is loosely based on this recipe from Kate over at Cookie & Kate.
To make this a really hearty dinner, we’ll roast up an entire butternut squash and serve the mujaddara stuffed inside the squash.
How fun is that?!
The squash makes this dish just perfect for fall and winter!
If you don’t want to serve the mujaddara inside squash boats, you could totally serve it with…
- Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Chickpeas and Kale
- Mediterranean Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Olives & Dates
- Roasted Za’atar Asparagus with Lemon Almond “Breadcrumbs”
- Weeknight Roasted Za’atar Chicken with Herbed Tahini & Leeks
How to make Mujaddara Stuffed Butternut Squash
First, start simmering the rice. You want to make sure you’re NOT using quick-cooking rice; get the real stuff. Halfway through cooking, we’ll add the lentils and finish cooking them.
As soon as you start the rice, you’ll want to roast the squash in the oven. Use a really sharp knife to cut it in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Roast it cut-side up for about 45 minutes or until fork-tender.
Meanwhile, we’ll saute mushrooms, onions, and spices in olive oil, and when the rice and lentils are done, it all gets stirred together with a generous amount of cilantro (my favorite!).
Oh, and you could totally stir in some kale or spinach for more greens, too!
To really complete the dish, fry up a couple large onions (sliced thinly) until crispy or caramelized, whichever you prefer. For crispy onions, fry at higher heat for a shorter amount of time; for caramelized onions, saute on very low heat for a long time (like 20 minutes).
Then it’s just a matter of assembly: scoop out a little squash so there’s more room for mujaddara, then stuff the squash with the mujaddara, top with crispy onions, labneh or yogurt, and more cilantro!
This Mujaddara Stuffed Butternut Squash is naturally a vegan and gluten free dish. It’s so flavorful and incredibly filling! It’s also the perfect comfort food for fall and winter, and a great way to get a TON of fiber in your diet. Actually, one serving of this dish contains a whopping 15 grams of fiber!
I can’t wait for you to give this stuffed squash a try!
Pin this Mujaddara Stuffed Butternut Squash!
- 2 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise with a sharp knife, seeds removed
- 1 c. brown basmati rice (not the quick cooking kind)
- 1 c. green lentils
- 4 c. vegetable broth or water
- 1/4 c. olive oil, divided
- 1/4 c. diced yellow onion
- 16 oz. mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 large yellow onions, sliced thinly
- 1/2 c. cilantro, minced
Preheat the oven to 400 F and line two rimmed baking trays with foil. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle each half with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place squash cut-side up on the baking trays and roast at 400 F for 45-50 minutes or until fork-tender.
Meanwhile, add the broth and rice to a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover; simmer 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, stir in the lentils and continue to simmer another 20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
While the rice is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, diced onions, and mushrooms. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and mushrooms have cooked down. Stir in the garlic, cumin, and salt, cooking another minute. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro. Stir the mushroom mixture into the cooked lentils and rice. Keep warm.
Return the skillet (or use a different skillet to cut down cooking time) to medium heat and add the remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil and sliced onions. Saute until golden, about 10-15 minutes. For caramelized onions, cook over low heat for closer to 30 minutes.
Scoop out some of the butternut squash (if you want!) and fill with lentil & rice mixture. Top with crispy fried onions, yogurt, and more cilantro.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 420 Protein: 14g Carbs: 80g Fat: 10g Fiber: 15g