squash with lentils and feta

Butternut squash with spiced lentils and feta

  • serves 6
  • Easy

Serving up half a squash is a great meal option for vegetarian friends or family. This one is baked then stuffed with lentils, spices and lemon juice and finished with creamy feta cheese and coriander. Serve hot or room temperature.



  • butternut squash 3 small, about 600g each
  • olive oil
  • Puy lentils 150g
  • onions 3, halved and thinly sliced
  • garlic 3 cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • cumin seeds 3 tsp
  • ground cumin 3 tsp
  • ground cinnamon 3 tsp
  • sweet paprika 1½ tsp
  • cayenne pepper a pinch
  • feta 225g, crumbled
  • pine nuts 60g
  • mint chopped to make 3 tbsp
  • flat-leaf parsley chopped to make 3 tbsp
  • lemon 1, juiced
  • pomegranate seeds scooped from a half


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6. Wash the butternut squash and carefully cut it in half lengthways. using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and fibrous centre and discard. Put the squash halves on a baking tray cut-side up, Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, season and roast in a hot oven for approx 35 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

  • Step 2

    While the squash is cooking, simmer the lentils for about 30 minutes, until al dente, and drain. (you could use 300g pre-cooked lentils, or cook the lentils ahead of time).

  • Step 3

    When the squash is cool enough to handle scoop out some flesh, leaving a border of 1cm, then roughly chop the flesh and put it in a bowl. (this can be done in advance).

  • Step 4

    Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onions and garlic and cook until beginning to caramelise, about 10 minutes. Add the spices and cook for two minutes more. Add the lentils, reserved squash and 300ml of hot water and simmer for 8 minutes (until most of the water has been absorbed). Remove from the heat and stir through the feta, pine nuts, herbs and lemon juice. season to taste with salt and pepper. (again the filling could be made ahead of time and the squash re-heated as required).

  • Step 5

    Spoon the mixture equally between squash halves and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and the tahini yoghurt.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 448
  • Carbs 42.9g
  • Protein 18.3g
  • Fat 23.8g
  • Salt 1.06g
  • Saturates 6.6g
  • Fibre 7.6g