Whole roasted buttercup squash with spiced lentils

Nadia Lim nails winter comfort food with this roasted buttercup squash recipe. Filled with spiced lentils, dried apricots and sweet honey, this dish makes a delicious gluten and dairy-free dinner

By Nadia Lim
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking
  • Serves 4
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Whole roasted buttercup squash with spiced lentils
  • 2 buttercup squash (or other small pumpkin variety, roughly 900g-1kg each)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 cup chicken stock*
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon liquid honey
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1 can brown lentils, rinsed and drained well
To serve
  • 3/4 cup plain hummus*
  • 2 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup coriander, roughly chopped


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Place buttercup squash on a lined baking tray and bake for 45 minutes.
  • 2
    While squash is baking, heat olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Cook onion with a pinch of salt for about 8 minutes or until lightly golden. Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook for a further 2 minutes until fragrant. Stir regularly to ensure spices do not stick to the pan. Add stock, tomatoes, honey and apricots and cook for 8 minutes. Add drained lentils and cook for a further 10 minutes or until most of the moisture has evaporated. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 3
    Remove squash from oven but leave oven on. Allow squash to cool slightly then, using a sharp knife, carefully slice off each top to form lids.
  • 4
    Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds and soft membrane inside the squash. Scrape out the majority of the flesh (leaving about 1cm of flesh all around the inside), place in a bowl and mash roughly with a fork. Take ½ cup of mashed squash and set aside in a small bowl to be used for the hummus later.
  • 5
    Add the rest of the mashed squash to the lentil mixture and stir to combine. Spoon this mixture into the squash shells (you may have a bit of mixture left over). Place the lids back on top and return to the oven for about 15 minutes to heat through.
  • 6
    Add hummus to the bowl of reserved mashed squash and stir to combine. Sprinkle over toasted pumpkin seeds.
  • 7
    To serve, bring the squash to the table and let your guests help themselves to a big scoop of pumpkin and lentils. Dollop with some pumpkin hummus and sprinkle with coriander. Serve with rice or couscous if you would like to make the meal spread further.


*Check label if eating gluten-free

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