If you haven’t tried honeynut squash yet, this is your push to do so! These mini versions of butternut squash may be small, but they’re packed with flavour. And they make the perfect vessel for stuffing. This stuffed honeynut squash recipe is made with farro, meaty mushrooms, parsley, lemon, parmesan and pine nuts. Such simple ingredients, but they all work so well at making this roasted honeynut squash anything but ordinary.
What is Honeynut Squash?
I first came across a honeynut squash a few years back at the farmers market and instantly fell in love. They look like a mini butternut squash, but taste even better.
Here’s what you need to know about honeynut squash:
- It’s only been around since 2006!
- It was developed by breeder, Michael Mazourek after chef Dan Barber asked him to make butternut squash taste better.
- The taste is indeed much better and sweeter than butternut squash. Honeynut squash has an intense natural sweetness that becomes rich, caramel-y, and almost malt-like when roasted at high heat. The flavour is much more concentrated because it’s not diluted by water weight.
- They don’t have to be peeled, because they have a thin skin, similar to delicata squash. Major WIN!
- Three times as much beta-carotene packed into them!
- The success of such a new vegetable is due in large part to Dan Barber introducing it to chefs at the G9 Chef’s Summit. If you aren’t familiar with Dan Barber, I highly encourage you to check out his Netflix special on Chef’s Table, or read his amazing book, “The Third Plate.”
Honeynut squash has TWO TO THREE times as much beta-carotene than butternut squash!
Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make this stuffed honeynut squash recipe.
Because these are much smaller than butternut squash, I would serve one per person. If you’re having this as a side, you could serve half per person. It truly depends on you, your hunger and your needs!
This ancient grain is one of my favourites to cook with. It has a nutty flavour and chew unlike other grains.
Feel free to use whichever mushrooms you like the best. I use a mix of cremini and shiitake.
If you need to keep this dairy-free or vegan, omit the parmesan. But otherwise, it adds a really nice finish.
One of my favourite nuts! They have so much flavour when toasted and pair perfectly in this stuffed honeynut squash recipe.
To add some green, I like using parsley on top with a little squeeze of lemon (and zest) for acidity.
How to Cook Honeynut Squash
The other great thing about cooking honeynut squash is that you can cook it in less time than regular butternut squash. To roast your honeynut squash, simply cut it down the middle (much easier than cutting a butternut!), scoop the seeds out and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. From there, you’ll place it on a roasting pan and cook it at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes.
How to Make Stuffed Squash
To make this honeynut stuffed squash recipe, you’ll want to cook the squash first.
Prep the squash: simply, cut the squash in half with a sharp knife. Remove the seeds and any of the strands and pulp from the centre.
Cook the squash: place the cut squash on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Then flip them over so the cut side is facing down. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes at 425 degrees, until a fork can easily be pierced.
Cook the farro: add the rinsed farro to a pot of water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 35 to 40 minutes, until tender, but still chewy and al dente. Season with salt and a drizzle of oil and set aside.
Cook the mushrooms: first, you’ll want to simply wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel, then roughly tear them. I prefer leaving them in larger chunks for this recipe because it provides more texture. I prefer roasting the mushrooms in the oven at 400 degrees. Simply toss them with some oil, salt and pepper. You can also cook these on a pan if you wish.
Assemble the stuffed squash: add the mushrooms together with the farro in the same pot you used to cook the farro and toss. Place this mixture in the squash.
Quick broil: once the squash is stuffed, top with pine nuts and parmesan. Broil on high for one minute, until the cheese is melted and the pine nuts are toasted.
Top with parsley, lemon juice and zest. Serve and enjoy!
Tips and Options
Here are some tips to make this stuffed honeynut squash:
- Prep ahead of time: you can easily cook the farro and the squash ahead of time. Then simply cook the mushrooms and toss with the farro. Then stuff that in the squash and heat it up in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or so. Top with cheese, and pine nuts and then broil for one minute.
- Add some protein: you can easily add in some crumbled sausage to the stuffing to make this more satiating if you wish. Feel free to use a veggie sausage to keep it vegan or vegetarian.
Gluten Free: feel free to swap the farro for wild rice, or regular rice. I think wild rice would be best as it’s more similar in texture.
Vegan: omit the parmesan and use some nutritional yeast or another vegan parmesan substitute.
Honeynut squash: swap the honeynut squash for acorn squash or butternut squash. Although I much prefer honeynut, any type of squash will work.
If you make this stuffed honeynut squash recipe, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to tag me on Instagram, and/or leave a comment, rating or review below.
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Stuffed Honeynut Squash
This easy and delicious vegetarian stuffed honeynut squash recipe is made with farro, mushrooms and cooks in about 40 minutes total!
- 1 cup farro drained and rinsed
- 2 cups water
- pinch kosher salt
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
- 2 honeynut squash halved, seeds removed
- pinch salt and pepper to taste
- 110 g cremini mushrooms about 5, torn into chunks
- 5 shiitake mushrooms stem removed, torn into chunks
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 tbsp shaved parmesan
- 1/2 lemon juice and zest
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley for topping, optional
Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the rinsed farro to a pot of water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 35 to 40 minutes, until tender, but still chewy and al dente. Season with salt and a drizzle of oil and set aside.
Place the cut squash on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with half of the oil, salt and pepper. Then flip them over so the cut side is facing down. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes, until a fork can easily be pierced.
Turn the oven down to 400ºF (204ºC). Toss the torn mushrooms with the remaining oil, salt and pepper. Place on the same baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until cooked through.
Alternatively, you can place this in the oven on the second rack at the same time as the squash and cook for less time.
Add the mushrooms to the same pot you used to cook the farro and toss together. Place this mixture in the squash.
Top with pine nuts and parmesan. Broil on high for one minute, until the cheese is melted and the pine nuts are toasted.
Remove and squeeze lemon juice on top and add zest. Top with parsley. Serve and enjoy!