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Roasted butternut squash and chestnut pilaf

Roasted butternut squash and chestnut pilaf

This pilaf is jam-packed full of flavour. The sweet, caramelised butternut squash pairs so perfectly with the earthiness of the chestnuts and the fluffy fragrant rice brings it all together. Perfect for a midweek dinner.

By @SpoonfulofHappy

  • Serves 6

  • 30 Minutes

  • 1 pan

  • Beginner

Suitable for dairy-free, gluten-free, vegans and vegetarians

Whole Chestnuts


  • 1 medium butternut squash, skin on
  • 2 tbsp plant-based butter
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 curry leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, whole
  • 250g basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 x 180g Pouch Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan). Remove the top and bottom of the butternut squash so both ends are flat, then lay it on its side and cut through the middle where the thinner end begins to widen. Rest the flat edge of each half on the chopping board and cut down through the centre. Remove any seeds and cut into semi circles about 1.5cm thick. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with a good pinch of salt. Roast for 10-15 minutes on one side, then flip and roast for a further 10-15 minutes on the other side until soft and starting to caramelise in places.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large lidded saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the cloves, cardamom pods, turmeric, cinnamon stick, curry leaf and whole garlic cloves and stir to combine. Cook for a minute or two more until fragrant.
  3. Add the rice and stir to coat in the butter and spices. Continue to stir for a further 2 minutes to gently toast the rice.
  4. Add the stock, stir and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover with the lid. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Once absorbed, remove from the heat and leave to sit with the lid on for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the spring onion, parsley, coriander, chestnuts and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Place in a large serving bowl and top with the roasted butternut squash.

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