A creamy, dairy-free risotto with earthy mushrooms and spinach presented in a roasted, salty halved squash. This gluten free and vegan meal is hearty and filling, and looks beautiful as an entrée for your favorite herbivore at the holiday table.

Roasted Squash with Mushroom and Spinach Risotto [Vegan]

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Cooking Time



  • 1 small or medium-sized red kuri squash
  • sea salt
  • avocado, macadamia, or coconut oil
  • 2 cups light, good-tasting broth
  • 2 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon white wine, divided
  • 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 1 package (8 oz) cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • black pepper, ground
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Wash the squash, and cut lengthwise in half. Scoop out the stringy pulp and seeds. Rub the cut side of the squash with the high heat-tolerant oil of your choice (avocado, macadamia, or coconut), and sprinkle generously with salt. Place the squash cut side down in a baking dish.
  3. Roast the squash for 15-20 minutes in the oven, enough to cook the squash until tender enough to give when pricked with a sharp knife, but be careful not to overcook it (you'll be putting the squash back in the oven once it's stuffed with risotto).
  4. Heat a medium or large frying pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the mushrooms with a 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and a good pinch of black pepper. When the mushrooms begin to release their water, stir and then add 1 tbsp white wine and allow the mushrooms to absorb it. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil, stir well, and reduce the heat to medium low. Continue to cook until the mushrooms are well-browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile (as you roast the squash and prepare the mushrooms), warm the broth in a small sauce pan and keep hot.
  6. In a medium or large frying pan (use the same one you prepared the mushrooms in), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced shallot and cook for a few minutes, until softened but not browned. Add the arborio rice, and stir to coat with the oil. Toast the rice for 2 minutes (add a touch more olive oil if needed). Add 1/4 cup of white wine, and cook until the wine is absorbed. Add a half cup of hot broth, bring to a simmer, and stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until mostly all absorbed while stirring frequently (about 5 minutes).
  7. A half cup at a time, continue adding the hot broth and cooking until mostly absorbed while stirring often, before adding more broth. When the last of the broth is added and beginning to absorb, stir in the chopped spinach. Continue to cook and stir. Add the sautéed mushrooms, and stir through. Remove from heat. Stir through 1/4 tsp nutritional yeast, if using.
  8. Scoop the risotto into the roasted squash halves, packing the risotto into a mound in each squash. Return the squash to the baking dish, and roast in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
  9. A halved squash is a large portion, appropriate for an entrée. If serving alongside many other dishes or if using as a side dish, carefully cut the squash in half and serve a quarter squash per person. When red kuri squash is well-cooked, it's skin is tender enough to eat but alternatively, the risotto and roasted squash flesh can be eaten, leaving the skin behind.


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