Here ya go: a holiday gift from me to you. This dish is the perfect – and I mean PERFECT – vegetarian entree for a holiday meal. Hubs said it tasted like stuffing to him, and I can see where he got that from – the savory, roasty flavors are definitely reminiscient of stuffing, but there’s no lumps of soggy bread, which are a major turn-off for me, anyway. This recipe starts with a base of slightly caramelized onions, so you know it’s going to be good. The white beans add protein punch and bump this dish up from neglected side to full-on main course. Add on top of that squash, chestnuts, thyme and bread crumbs and you’ve got the makings of a deliciously compassionate holiday feast. Add some mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, cranberry sauce and citrus-roasted brussels sprouts (oh yes, I went there), and I promise you won’t even miss the turkey.
Butternut Squash and Chestnut Casserole with White Beans
1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium butternut squash, cubed
1 15-ounce jar chestnuts, coarsely chopped
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper (eyeball to your preferred amount)
coarse bread crumbs (I like Ian’s brand, whole wheat, or homemade)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
additional olive oil for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a 9×13 inch casserole dish, toss the onions and olive oil until the onions are completely coated. Bake for 20 minutes, until onions are beginning to turn golden and caramelized.
- Meanwhile, cube the butternut squash into approximately 3/4 to 1 inch pieces and set aside. Coarsely chop chestnuts and toss together with butternut squash.
- When onions have baked for 20 minutes, remove from oven and add butternut squash and chestnuts, white beans, vegetable broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss all ingredients together in the baking dish (careful, it’s hot!) until well combined.
- Cover with a generous sprinkle of bread crumbs (in the picture above I had made my own, but I made another batch with Ian’s to bring to an office party. Either way is good! Or you could use croutons.) and nutritional yeast, if using. Drizzle with olive oil and return to oven for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Source: Adapted from Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero