Hi everyone! I have the yummiest recipe for you today! First of all, don’t let the fancy presentation in the photo above fool you. While this stuffed summer squash is extremely photogenic, (and I got a little carried away when I was displaying it… I’m talking about the sour cream being piped out of a bag and onto the plate…. I mean, who does that?!), it is nothing short of tummy filling, any night of the week, comfort food! Seriously, you can dress it up fancy and serve it to company, bring it to a potluck, or you can serve it straight out of the skillet to your hubby and kids on TV trays, and it doesn’t take long at all to make (piping the sour cream is very optional!). When I say any night of the week, I really mean it… you don’t even need to break out a single spice for this recipe! Not one. It doesn’t get any better than that! So let’s dive right in and get you cooking!! So what exactly are we talking about here? The three sisters. Squash, corn, and beans.
The ‘three sisters’ concept was invented by the Native Americans, thousands of years ago, and I learned about it from a master gardener when I was turning my front yard into a garden. Basically, these three plants are very beneficial to each other, and work together in a concept called companion planting. The corn grows straight up, and beans need a trellis, so they wrap around the corn. Squash grows low to the ground with giant leaves, and has spiny stems. The giant squash leaves spread out and shade the roots of the other plants, retaining moisture in the soil, and the spiny stems help prevent pests from climbing onto the other plants. The beans put nitrogen back into the soil, where most crops pull it out, so they literally feed the other plants. So you can grow these three crops together with great success! When you are ready to harvest them, they are delicious together in all sorts of dishes. So, that’s the Three Sister concept, and even if you don’t garden, you can still enjoy this amazing trio, because they rock in many recipes together! (Click here for a fantastic salad recipe that features the three sisters!) Did I mention that you can make this Vegan Stuffed Summer Squash in under 45 minutes? Here’s what you need to do….
Prepare a box of Spanish rice according to the directions on the package, either in the microwave or on the stove top. It should take about 20 minutes or so, and you can get everything else ready in the meantime. Start with the patty pan squash. Wash, and then just slice the tough part where the stems were attached.
Next, turn them over, so they look like a small bowl, and cut a thin slice off of the top. (In the picture below, the one with the spoon is turned over, and the others are still upside down) From there, you need to stick a spoon into them and gently go around that circle and scoop out the inside. These squash are semi soft, so it won’t be that difficult.
Once you have them all hollowed out, you can open your cans of corn and beans, and dice up your soy chicken, if you are using that. It’s optional. I like it and I think it makes the dish even more satisfying. If you are serving it to folks who are not vegan, no worries, it goes over extremely well in this recipe. I’ve served it at cooking classes and even at parties, and everyone loved it! For this recipe, I used Beyond Meat soy chicken, which is vegan and gluten free too (yay!). I use the strips and cut them into small chunks.
When your rice is done you just mix the rice with the chicken, corn, and beans.
Spoon as much as you can into each squash, and set into a pan. I used a cast iron skillet, so I was able to fit eight patty pan squashes into the pan, and it was the easiest and fastest way to cook them. However, I had about half of the filling left over. So you could save the filling and either freeze it, make more squash, or you can stuff peppers with it! I highly recommend doing half in the squash and half in some peppers, because they are really delicious when you eat them together. I am making a second post with the peppers (I have so many pictures you guys!), so you can get all of the details, and print out the recipe for the peppers here.
After your squash are all stuffed and are nestled together in your pan, you can top them with some vegan cheese. It’s totally optional, but you know, CHEESE! If you are a fan of vegan cheese, it’s kinda like ‘regular’ cheese, it just makes everything a little bit more special! Use your favorite brand. Then you will spoon a little bit of Enchilada sauce over the top, and pour 1 cup of water into the pan.
Then just cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes. When they’re done, the cheese will be melted, and the squash will be soft, but not mushy. Just poke it with a knife. If it goes through easily, they’re done.
I’m a little jelly of you guys right now because you’re getting ready to experience these, and my leftovers are all gone. I’m going to have to make these again ASAP!! They went fast at my house because everyone LOVED them, and the recipe was enough for us to have two meals! Serve these warm, with a little more enchilada sauce spooned over the top. I also like to garnish with some vegan sour cream (Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Gourmet is my favorite kind), and some avocados and cilantro.
and just in case you weren’t already totally hungry yet…
Drops mic, walks off stage… Seriously, print this, pin this, make this ASAP. This is a vegan, gluten free dinner that you can make for your whole family in under 45 minutes, and it just doesn’t get any easier, or more delicious than this! As I mentioned before, make sure you check out my follow up post where I show you my stuffed peppers, and you can print the recipe for those too. A great way to make sure you don’t miss any of my recipes/posts is to sign up for my email newsletter. Just drop your address into the box below and that’s it. I never share my list with anyone, and you’ll get an email about once a week with a new recipe. Thanks for reading, commenting, and connecting! Have a great day!
- 16 patty pan summer squashes
- 1 box Spanish Style Rice (gluten free/vegan), prepared
- 1 pkg. Beyond Meat Chicken Strips, diced into 1" cubes (optional)
- 1 can black beans (I used spicy black beans from Whole Food's 365 brand), drained
- 1 can organic corn, drained
- 2 C shredded Cheddar Vegan Cheese (use your favorite brand)
- 2 8 oz. pouches or equivalent amount of prepared mild enchilada sauce, such as Fronterabrand
- 1 Cup water
- Optional garnish:
- vegan sour cream, such as Follow Your Heart's Vegan Gourmet brand
- diced avocados
- Prepare 1 box of Spanish Rice according to the package directions.
- While rice is cooking, wash squash, and slice of the bottom part where stems were attached. Turn squash over and slice a thin circle off the top. Then using a spoon, hollow out the center.
- When rice is ready, mix the rice together with the beans, corn, and soy chicken.
- Spoon that mixture into the hollowed out squash. Place into a skillet (mine fit 8 at a time) or a large baking dish. Top each squash with a little vegan cheese, and a couple of spoonfuls of Enchilada sauce.
- Pour 1 C of water into the pan (one cup each if you need more than one pan).
- Cover and cook on stove top for 15 minutes over a medium heat.
- If using a baking dish, bake in a preheated oven, covered, at 450* F, for about 35 minutes.
- Squash is ready when cheese is melted and squash is tender when pierced with a fork or knife.
- Cool for about 5 minutes and then serve with a little more sauce, and optional garnishes (vegan sour cream, chopped cilantro, and diced avocados).
* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through, and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission from Amazon. It helps me keep the blog running, so if you do purchase after reading my post, that’s awesome, thanks! Most importantly, I just want to inspire you, and be inspired by you. I never endorse products that I don’t use, or don’t believe in. When I do find something that I’m passionate about, or that I believe will help my readers, I like to share it! 🙂