Stuffed Squash with Leeks, Lentils & Pomegranate

The Flexitarian Cookbook  features a whole host of delicious plant-centric recipes, with the option to add in dairy, meat or fish as needed - this vegan Stuffed Squash recipe can be jazzed up with some goat's cheese if you're entertaining dairy lovers. Roasting the squash in its skin gives the whole vegetable such a fabulous texture and the skin is unbelievably good to eat. Serve it with a rocket salad.


The flexitarian cookbook 


2 small butternut squash, halved and deseeded

4–5 tablespoons olive oil

Handful of fresh thyme leaves

2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary

2 large leeks, trimmed and chopped

300 g/10½ oz. baby plum tomatoes

400-g/14-oz. can black beluga lentils

Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

50 g/scant ½ cup toasted pine nuts, to serve

3–4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, to serve

Rocket/arugula leaves, to serve

For the Pomegranate Dressing:

50 ml/3½ tablespoons olive oil

50 ml/3½ tablespoons

Pomegranate molasses




Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.

Lightly score a diamond pattern into the fl esh of the squash using a sharp knife. Drizzle with a little of the oil, sprinkle with the thyme and rosemary, place on a fl at sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and push the squash over to one side. Scatter the chopped leeks and whole baby plum tomatoes on the other side of the pan and drizzle with the remaining oil. Season with salt fl akes and black pepper and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, until the fl esh of the squash is soft and the leeks and tomatoes are lightly charred.

Scoop the leeks and tomatoes into a large bowl. Drain and rinse the lentils, and add them to this bowl. Mix the olive oil and pomegranate molasses together and add about half to the lentil mixture. Pile the mixture into the squash hollows and return the sheet pan to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, until the lentil fi lling is just heated through.

Remove from the oven, drizzle over the remaining pomegranate dressing, scatter with pine nuts and pomegranate seeds and add a good grinding of black pepper before serving.


Roast Butternut With Black Lentils & Goat’s Cheese (V)

Cut 200 g/7 oz. firm goat’s cheese into pieces and fold into the lentil filling. Use this to stuff the squash and bake as main recipe. Sprinkle with extra goat’s cheese along with the toasted pine nuts and drizzle with extra Pomegranate Dressing before serving.


Looking for more adaptable recipes designed for part-time vegetarians and vegans? Make sure you check out The Flexitarian Cookbook. To get more great blog posts like this one - direct to your inbox – be sure to sign up to our mailing list here.