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Persian Rice-Stuffed Butternut Squash (Sheet Pan Meals)

Persian Rice-Stuffed Butternut Squash

Dried cherries, pistachios and ready-cooked rice make an easy, flavorful stuffing. Roasted butternut squash is the perfect cooking vessel, with extra-easy cleanup!

Course Side Dish
Servings 4 servings
Author Camilla Saulsbury


  • 2 butternut squash, halved lengthwise (2)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided (60 mL)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (1)
  • 1 12 oz/375 g package frozen brown rice, thawed (1)
  • 3/4 cup roasted pistachios or almonds, coarsely chopped (175 mL)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions (125 mL)
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried cherries (75 mL)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (5 mL)
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin (3 mL)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

  2. Line an 18- by 13-inch (45 by 33 cm) rimmed sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.

  3. Using a metal spoon, scrape out seeds and membranes from squash halves. Using a sharp knife, score the flesh. Place squash, cut side up, on prepared pan, spacing evenly. Brush cut sides with 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from oven and add red pepper alongside squash. Drizzle pepper with 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil. Roast for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine rice, pistachios, green onions, cherries, cinnamon, cumin and the remaining oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Remove pan from oven and spoon rice mixture into squash cavities. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes or until squash is fork-tender and stuffing is warmed through.

Recipe Notes

If packaged frozen rice is not available, substitute 2 cups (500 mL) cooled cooked brown rice.

Other dried fruits, such as cranberries, raisins or chopped apricots, can be used in place of the cherries.


Recipe excerpt and first post image are courtesy of 200 Best Sheet Pan Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury © 2016 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.