This super simple recipe for Chickpea and Sage Stuffed Butternut Squash can be easily made in the air fryer or oven! Yes, that's a whole stuffed Butternut squash in the air fryer!
This easy vegan stuffed butternut squash recipe is perfect for serving up over the Festive period, whether for vegans or not! The savoury sage and chickpea stuffing works perfectly with the sweeter squash, and the ability to roast the squash in the oven or in the air fryer makes this recipe fantastic if you're cooking for a crowd and don't have enough oven space! I often do this with sides when the oven is full, like when I make my favourite Crispy Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes. Of course, you can also cook it in the oven too- I've included both methods in the recipe card.
- Butternut squash: A medium squash, not too large, should feed 2 people generously. You can also find mini squashes that are great for serving to more people or as a side dish.
- Sage: fresh sage is delicous and the best option, but you could also use dried.
- Chickpeas: cooked chickpeas, tinned/canned are fine to use here.
- Quinoa: this forms the bulk of the stuffing, and ensures this recipe is gluten free and adds some extra protien. the original recipe I made used bulghar wheat, which is a great alternative.
- Pumpkin seeds and/or pine nuts: Add a delicious extra crunch and flavour to the stuffing.
You don't have to have an air fryer for this recipe, it works just as well without one. However, I recently bought one and it's AMAZING for roasting veggies, chips, and all sorts of things. I chose the Ninja Foodi Health Grill & Airfryer for the large capacity basket and the fact that it can grill and dehydrate as well as air-fry and bake. Different models and makes will vary with their instructions and cook times, but it is certainly very useful for making this stuffed butternut squash recipe!
For the full recipe and instructions for both oven and air fryer please see the recipe card below.
- Slice the squash in half, remove the seeds and score in a criss cross pattern.
- Add olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and smoked paprika
- Pop into your airfryer for around 15-20 minutes. The time to cook depends on how big the squash is. If it's a particularly chonky one, it might take up to 25 minutes.
- Make the stuffing by cooking quinoa in water.
- Gently fry onion, garlic and sage, plus the pinenuts/seeds.
- Add the quinoa, white wine and drained chickpeas to the onion and sage and let cook for a few minutes.
- When the squash is cooked (soft and a little caramelised) you can choose to add the stuffing and cook for a little longer in the air fryer, or just serve the stuffing heaped into the squash.
It depends on the size of your butternut squash. A smaller/thinner one will take about 15 minutes. A chonkier one will take up to 25 minutes.
Between 20-25 minutes, depending on how big your squash is.
Yes you can, it won't be quite as fragrant as fresh, but it will still taste yummy.
Leave the wine out and add a splash of water.
My original recipe used bulgur wheat, which was delicious. Just soak the bulgur wheat and then use in place of the quinoa.
🥗 Serving ideas
These yummy butternut squashes are perfect to serve as part of a huge winter feast. A smaller size butternut is a lovely main for two people, a larger one will require a little extra cooking, but is perfect for 4 people. A lovely onion gravy would be a glorious addition to this recipe. I regard a good gravy essential for any large winter festive feast.
Or why not try some of these other sides to go along with these Chickpea and Sage Stuffed Butternut Squash:
- The Best Vegan Crispy Roast Potatoes
- Mustard Glazed Christmas Cocktail Sausages
- Vegan Christmas Tempeh 'Sausage' Stuffing Balls
- Perfect Vegan Garlic Greens Side Dish
If you love using the air fryer, then you'll also love this easy Air fryer Tempeh Bacon.
Chickpea & Sage Stuffed Butternut Squash (with Airfryer or Oven method)
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
For the squash
- 1 kg (2.2 lb) butternut squash (one medium squash)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Salt to taste
For the Stuffing
- 100 g (⅗ cup) quinoa (you can also use bulgar wheat)
- 1 teaspoon boullion/stock powder
- 150 g (1 cup) cooked chickpeas (around half a tin/can)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) white wine
- 1 white onion (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 9-10 fresh sage leaves
- Salt & Pepper to taste
To cook in an oven:
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6/200°C/400°F.
- Cut the squash in half lengthways & scoop out the seeds.
- Use your knife to make a criss cross on the squash- this looks pretty and helps it cook. Rub the cut side with the paprika,thyme olive oil and salt and sit cut side up on a baking sheet
- Pop in the oven for 15-20mins whilst you get on with the stuffing. Check on it at around 15 minutes. The squash will take longer to cook (up to 25 mins) if it's a chonky one, or a little less time if it's a thinner one.
- Once the butternut squash is cooked through, stuff the cavity with some of the stuffing and return to the oven for 5 minutes at the same temperature. (optional- you can just also serve the squash with warm, just made stuffing)
To cook in an airfryer
- Turn your airfryer on to 180°C/350°F and set it to 25 minutes.
- Cut the squash in half lengthways & scoop out the seeds.
- Use your knife to make a criss cross on the squash- this looks pretty and helps it cook. Rub the cut side with the paprika, olive oil and salt.
- When the airfryer is ready, put the butternut squash in cut side up. In a larger airfryer both sides should easily fit in.
- Check the squash after 15 minutes in the airfryer, if it is soft and caramelised on the outside, it is ready to stuff. If not, leave in for another 5 -10 minutes. How long the squash takes to cook depends on how chunky/thick the squash is! Some are much thinner than others and will take less time to cook.
- Once the butternut squash is cooked through, stuff the cavity with some of the stuffing and return to the airfryer for 5 minutes at the same temperature. (optional- you can just also serve the squash with warm, just made stuffing)
To make the stuffing
- Cook the quinoa in 300ml of water (or if using cups, 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups water) with the vegetable boullion. Boil the quinoa with a lid on for 5 minutes, then turn the heat right down for 5 minutes, then turn the heat off and let the quinoa sit there with the lid on for 5 minutes.
- In a frying pan, sautee the garlic and onion with a splash of olive oil until translucent.
- Add the sage leave and fry until crispy. Break them up a little in the pan.
- Add the cooked quinoa and mix.
- Add the white wine, and mix.
- Add the chickpeas and cook for a few minutes. Squash the chickpeas up roughly to help make the stuffing stuffable..
- Remove the squash from the oven or airfryer, and stuff with the stuffing mix. Any leftover stuffing add into a little dish to serve on the side. (You'll want extra stuffing..)
- You can put the squash back in the oven/airfryer to cook, or serve as is!
Like a traditional main meat dish, this really does deserve to be served alongside a feast 'with all the trimmings', it's not really a one dish meal, but I think that's part of it's beauty.