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Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian

Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe Vegetarian is a symphony of flavors and textures, with roasted sweet butternut squash and chewy wild rice, aromatic leeks, and a medley of savory herbs. Topped with a golden crown of melted Gruyere cheese, this vegetarian delight promises a plateful of warmth and elegance in every forkful!

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Casserole:

  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice, rinsed (or brown rice, quinoa, farro, or white rice)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or vegan butter for a vegan version)
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if desired)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (or a vegetarian alternative)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup dried cherries, craisins, or raisins.

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Roast the Butternut Squash: Toss the cubed butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the chopped butternut squash cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the squash is tender and slightly caramelized. Set aside.
  3. Cook the Rice: Combine the rinsed rice and broth (or water) in a medium saucepan. Cook rice according to package directions on the stove top or rice cooker. Once cooked, fluff the rice with a fork and set aside.
  4. Prepare the Casserole: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped leeks and onion. Sauté for about 5-6 minutes until they become translucent and soft. Add the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms to the skillet.
  5. Cook for an additional 5-6 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and any liquid they release evaporates. Stir in the dried thyme, sage, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute. Remove from heat,  and add the dried fruit (if using). 
  6. Assemble the Casserole: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked wild rice, roasted butternut squash mixture, and the sautéed leek and mushroom mixture. Mix well to distribute the ingredients in an even layer. Transfer the mixture to a greased casserole dish.
  7. Add Cheese and Bake: Sprinkle the shredded Gruyere cheese over the top of the casserole. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil. Bake the casserole in the preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  8. Serve: Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving. Serve the butternut squash casserole warm as a comforting and flavorful vegetarian dish!

Notes

    • Opting for Precut Squash: If you're short on time, using precut butternut squash is convenient. However, if you're using precut squash, make sure to check for any large chunks that might need to be further cubed for even cooking.

    • Even Cubes: Whether using precut or whole butternut squash, aim for uniform cube sizes. This ensures even roasting and cooking throughout the casserole.

    • Roasting Perfection: When roasting the butternut squash, spread the cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Avoid overcrowding to allow proper caramelization. Roast until the edges turn golden and the cubes are tender when pierced with a fork.

    • Wild Rice Prep: Rinse the wild rice thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch. This will prevent the rice from becoming overly sticky. Use vegetable broth or chicken broth instead of water to infuse more flavor into the rice.

    • Layering Flavors: Sauté the leeks, onions, and mushrooms until they are nicely browned. This caramelization brings out the natural sweetness and depth of these ingredients.

    • Cheese Choice: While Gruyere cheese is recommended, feel free to explore other melting cheeses like Fontina or Emmental. This can add a unique twist to the dish.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: American
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: casserole, butternut squash, wild rice, Thanksgiving, vegetarian