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Healthy Butternut Squash Casserole With Sweet Potato (Vegan)

A healthy savory butternut squash casserole sweetened with dried fruits and sweet potatoes, complemented by earthiness of brown and wild rice, and finished with balsamic notes. The recipe is naturally vegan and everyone will rave about it if you prepare it for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Butternut squash casserole recipe  with roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cranberries, raisins complemented by earthiness of brown rice and wild rice and finished with balsamic sauce. A healthy side dish or meal during fall or holiday season (Thanksgiving or Christmas).
Butternut squash casserole with sweet potatoes, rice, raisins, cranberry and finished with a balsamic sauce.

If you’re looking for butternut squash casserole recipes or for some roasted butternut squash and sweet potato recipes then you’re in the right place.

Just like my savory twice baked sweet potatoes recipe, this healthy butternut squash casserole is accompanied by sweet balsamic notes (a mix of savory and sweet) – perfect as a side dish or as meal during fall or holiday season.

This is one of my favorite vegan butternut squash recipes: it’s easy and simple to make and comprises only whole food ingredients plus it’s naturally gluten free and dairy free!

If you prefer a more savory and creamy casserole then you should check out this vegan potato bake / casserole.

And if you have some butternut squash leftovers you can try this warm creamy butternut squash soup.

Healthy Butternut Squash Casserole With Fall Flavors

If you are looking for a meatless dinner or side dish recipe that’s cozy, satisfying, great for a crowd and healthy enough so you could enjoy a dessert afterwards, than this vegan butternut squash casserole is the one.

Healthy Butternut Squash Casserole with sweet potatoes and rice finished with a sweet balsamic sauce, perfect as a side dish or meal. This vegan butternut squash casserole is easy to make and stores well.
Colorful butternut squash and sweet potatoes roasted until golden and assembled with rice and dried fruit into a casserole dish.

A combination of brown rice and wild rice, caramelized butternut squash, sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, raisins and a sweet cinnamon-y glaze: lots of flavor, warm, filling, and comforting, just perfect for the fall season.

Related: Lazy Cabbage Roll Casserole

Butternut Squash And Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

This butternut squash casserole provides a nice alternative to plain rice side dishes and is healthier than other pre-mixed options. Actually it’s perfect as a vegan Thanksgiving side dish.

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Ingredients Needed

  • Butternut squash (acorn or Delicata squash also would work);
  • Sweet potato (or yams);
  • Dried cranberries (for texture color and sweetness);
  • Golden raisins (or other dried fruit);
  • Brown rice – short grain or long grain, they both work well. Short grain is a little bit more sticky.
  • Vild rice (or brown basmati rice, if you can’t find the wild type);
  • Extra virgin olive oil – or avocado oil, any healthy oil with a neutral flavor.
  • Balsamic vinegar – or apple cider vinegar.
  • Spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, salt);

See measurements in the recipe card below.

How To Make The Butternut Squash Casserole

Step 1. Prepare:

Preheat oven to 400F (205C), line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. We’re going to roast the veggies first.

Since both butternut squash and sweet potato tend to turn mushy while cooking, it’s best to roast them first and cook the brown rice and the wild rice separately so they don’t stick together. Therefore the butternut squash casserole will stay fluffy and textured allowing to taste each of the flavors separately.

Step 2. Make the sauce:

In a small bowl combine the oil, maple syrup, vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Step 3. Coat the veggies with sauce and bake:

In a large bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded), cubed sweet potatoes (peeled), and half of the seasoned sauce mixture you made earlier, toss to coat. Place the cubed veggies in a single layer on the baking sheet (use 2 baking sheets if necessary) to get an even roast on all sides. Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until softened and with a golden brown crust.

Process shots showing how to get perfect caramelized roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes for a casserole.
How To Get Perfect Caramelized Roasted Butternut Squash And Sweet Potatoes.

Extra Tip: Perfectly Roasted Veggies

When baking the butternut squash and sweet potato cubes take into account their size: if they’re about 1 inch in size, you need to bake them 25 minutes at 400 F. Larger cubes, about 35-40 minutes. Bake until they’re tender and lightly caramelized.

Step 4. Cook the rice with dried fruits:

  • Meanwhile the veggies are roasting you can cook the rice.
  • Place the rinsed wild rice in a pot with boiling water (if your rice is pre-soaked, use a 2 to 1 water-to-rice ratio, or 3 to 1 ratio if it’s not). Place the wild rice first as it needs to cook for about 10 minutes longer than the brown rice.
  • Add the other half of the sauce mixture you used for coating the veggies to the rice, stir, cover the pot with the lid, and reduce the heat to its very lowest setting to help the rice cook evenly (for about 20 minutes). Remove from heat, add the cranberries and the raisins. Cover again and let it sit covered, so the steam will plump the rice and fruits.

Step 5. Assemble the butternut squash casserole:

To arrange the meal and serve, take a taller baking dish (I used a glass dish) and place a layer of veggies, then a layer of rice and repeat until you fill up the dish. Sprinkle some chopped greens on top. Serve warm or cold.

Process shots showing how to make and assemble a healthy vegan butternut squash casserole with roasted sweet potatoes and rice.

Tips For Making This Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Recipe

  • To save time you can find at the grocery store – butternut squashes that have been peeled and chopped already.
  • Cook the rice while the vegetables are roasting in the oven so you get them ready at the same time.
  • The brown rice cooks in shorter time than wild rice and may become too soft or mushy if you cook them together. Is best to start cooking the wild rice 6-8 minutes before adding the brown rice to the pot. To cut the cooking time in half, try to soak the rice a few hours before cooking (or overnight), especially the wild rice.
  • If your rice is pre-soaked the liquid to rice ratio should be 2:1; if it’s dry then – 3:1.

Video: Watch How To Make This Butternut Squash Casserole

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You Might Also Like: Pumpkin And Beetroot Salad (Vegan)

Add-Ins And Substitutions

  • This butternut squash and sweet potato casserole would be even more hearty if you add some nuts, seeds, herbs or even some protein like beans or meat (if you’re not vegan). I even contemplated on adding some apple chunks, they would caramelize beautifully as well.
  • If you want to remove some of the oil and sugar that the dried fruits have been soaked in, then place them in water for an hour or so, and rinse several times. This will also help them be plump and juicy when added to the dish.

More Savory Notes

If you prefer a more savory dish than opt for savory herbs, nuts, seeds, and maybe some stock – as the liquid for this butternut squash casserole recipe.

Overhead shot of the finished butternut squash casserole. One of my favorite baked butternut squash recipes: it’s easy and simple to make, perfect as a meatless dinner or side dish recipe great for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Make This Butternut Squash Casserole In Advance

This recipe reheats beautifully or can be served cold as it is. If making in advance, then store the roasted vegetables and cooked rice in an airtight container (separate or together, it doesn’t matter as long as you don’t add herbs) in the refrigerator. If you want to add extra ingredients, it’s best to add them after reheating.

Check this out: Meal Prepping Vegetables: How to Keep Veggies Fresh Longer

Butternut Squash Casserole Or Bake

A casserole comprises all ingredients together and baked. They often rely on cheese, sour cream or eggs to hold casseroles together and provide creaminess. Since this is a vegan dish, I didn’t use any of those and I decided that in this dish the caramelization and texture is more important, and a mushy texture will ruin the flavors.

Healthy Savory Butternut Squash Casserole With Sweet Potatoes and Rice (Vegan Gluten Free Recipe, Side Dish) #butternutsquash #casserole #glutenfree #vegan #sidedish
Pin it for later!

Some parts are baked, some are boiled, but the final dish is served in a casserole dish and briefly baked at the end. So hence the name, or call it whatever you want, it doesn’t really matter when you try it!

More Healthy Dinner Recipes For Fall And Holiday Season

If you made this Butternut Squash Casserole please leave a comment and rating below the recipe.

It would be really helpful for me and readers. Thank you!

butternut squash casserole vegan
Print Recipe

Healthy Butternut Squash Casserole With Sweet Potatoes and Rice (Vegan)

A healthy savory butternut squash casserole recipe sweetened with dried fruits and sweet potatoes, complemented by earthiness of brown / wild rice and finished with sweet balsamic notes. Enjoy this butternut squash casserole as a side dish or as main dish – either way – perfect for a holiday table.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Soaking Time (optional)2 hrs
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Clean Eating, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 327.9kcal
Author: HealthyTasteOfLife
Pin Recipe Save

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare a parchment paper lined baking sheet, the larger the better.

Make The Sauce

  • In a small bowl combine the oil, maple syrup, vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside.

 Coat the veggies with sauce and bake:

  • In a large bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded), cubed sweet potatoes (peeled), and half of the seasoned sauce mixture you made earlier, toss to coat.
  • Place the cubed veggies in a single layer on the baking sheet (use 2 baking sheets if necessary) to get an even roast on all sides. Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once half-way through baking, until softened and with a golden brown crust.

Cook the rice with dried fruits:

  • Meanwhile the veggies are roasting you can cook the rice.Place the rinsed wild rice in a pot with boiling water (if your rice is pre-soaked, use a 2 to 1 water-to-rice ratio, or 3 to 1 ratio if it’s not).
  • Place the wild rice first as it needs to cook for about 10 minutes longer than the brown rice.
  • Add the other half of the sauce mixture you used for coating the veggies to the rice, stir, cover the pot with the lid, and reduce the heat to its very lowest setting to help the rice cook evenly (for about 20 minutes). Remove from heat, add the cranberries and the raisins. Cover again and let it sit covered, so the steam will plump the rice and fruits.

Assemble the butternut squash casserole:

  • To arrange the meal and serve, take a taller baking dish (I used a glass dish) and place a layer of veggies, then a layer of rice and repeat until you fill up the dish.
    Sprinkle some chopped greens on top. Serve warm or cold.

Video

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Notes

Tips For Making This Vegan Butternut Squash Casserole

  • To save time you can find at the grocery store – butternut squashes that have been peeled and chopped already. 
  • When baking the butternut squash and sweet potato cubes take into account their size: if they’re about 1 inch in size, you need to bake them 25 minutes at 400 F. Larger cubes, about 35 minutes. Bake until they’re tender and lightly caramelized.
  • Cook the rice while the vegetables are roasting in the oven so you get them ready at the same time.
  • The brown rice cooks in shorter time than wild rice and may become too soft or mushy if you cook them together. Is best to start cooking the wild rice 5-7 minutes before adding the brown rice to the pot. To cut the cooking time in half, try to soak the rice a few hours before cooking (or overnight), especially the wild rice.
  • If your rice is pre-soaked the liquid to rice ratio should be 2:1; if it’s dry then – 3:1. The rice is fully cooked when the grains are tender but still chewy and beginning to split. If there is any liquid left, drain it.
  • If you want to remove some of the oil and sugar that the dried fruits have been soaked in, then place them in water for an hour or so, and rinse several times. This will also help them be plump and juicy when added to the dish.
Tried this recipe?Mention @HealthyTasteOfLife or tag #healthytasteoflife!

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 327.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 66.5g | Protein: 3.7g | Fat: 7.6g | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 27.5g | Vitamin A: 469.1IU | Vitamin C: 69.8mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.

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Recipe Rating




Melissa

Thursday 24th of November 2022

I substituted the raisins with currants because raisins are a migraine trigger for a family member.

Melissa

Thursday 24th of November 2022

Making this right now for Thanksgiving dish but adding some roasted beets to this dish also. So far it's turning out terrific.

Karen

Monday 14th of November 2022

I loved this recipe. I only used 1/2 cup of golden raisins and craisins and only used 2 tbl of maple syrup and oil. So easy and delicious!! Will be making for Thanksgiving!

Laura

Saturday 25th of December 2021

Hi - Not clear if the 2nd half of the oil/maple mixture cooks with the rice for it's last 20 minutes, or if add after the rice is cooked with the cranberries/raisins. You actually have it printed both ways in the recipe. I'm opting for adding it after the rice is cooked.

"Add the sauce to the rice: add the other half of the sauce mixture, stir, cover the pot with the lid, and reduce the heat to its very lowest setting to help the rice cook evenly (for about 20 minutes). Remove from heat, add the cranberries and the raisins." OR In the VIDEO, you say to add the 2nd half of oil/maple mixture after rice completed with the cranberries and raisins.

If you want it added to cook with the rice, it's 45-50 minutes for the rice - but add the mixture for the last 20 minutes? If so, reduce the amount of water by the amount of the liquid mixture? I'm thinking not as it serves as a flavorful coating - that's why I'm adding it after the rice is done.

Thanks for the clarification.

HealthyTasteOfLife

Saturday 1st of January 2022

You can add it while cooking or after, the oily liquid provides flavor and prevents the rice from being sticky. The only thing is that, if you add it after cooking, it might not absorb so well and you may end up with leftover liquid at the bottom of the pot.

Jodi

Wednesday 24th of November 2021

Can I make this today including baking and reheat tomorrow? Thanks.

HealthyTasteOfLife

Friday 26th of November 2021

Yes it should be fine.