Butternut Squash Wild Rice Stew
Butternut Squash Wild Rice Stew- made with autumn vegetables, chickpeas and cashew cream, this wild rice stew is as nourishing as it is comforting. (vegan + gluten-free)
Are you guys ready for the coziest autumn stew of all time? I whipped this up the first weekend we had a cold front come through Athens and it was the perfect meal on a cool evening.
I’ll admit it’s not the quickest of recipes to make but it’s relatively easy and definitely worth the extra time it takes to wash and chop the nourishing vegetables. I based it off of my Creamy Wild Rice Mushroom Soup but changed a few things and reduced the liquid to make a thicker, heartier stew.
Butternut Squash Wild Rice Stew Ingredients
- Autumn Vegetables– Using a combination of leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, kale and butternut squash gives this stew plenty of texture and well rounded flavor. While I highly recommend using leeks, you can always substitute a yellow onion in their place. Also, feel free to switch out the kale for your preferred greens if you’re not a fan.
- Dried Oregano and Thyme– I love using these herbs in this stew because they are earthy and pair so well with all of the vegetables. Again, feel free to adjust or substitute these according to your liking.
- Vegetable Broth– I prefer to make my own broth using Better Than Bouillon because I find it has the best savory flavor, but any vegetable broth will work.
- Wild Rice– You can use wild rice or a wild rice blend, just keep in mind the cooking time may vary a bit depending on which one you choose.
- Chickpeas– Garbanzo beans give the stew an extra boost of protein and iron, but you can always leave them out if prefer.
- Cashew Cream– The main reason why we’re using cashew cream, as opposed to store-bought plant milk, is because the flavor works the best in savory recipes. No matter what kind of plant milk I use, I can always taste the hint of sweetness in the recipe but that’s not the case with homemade cashew milk/cream. I also used to hate it when I saw a recipe called for blended cashews because I didn’t own a Vitamix and they would always turn out gritty when I used my regular blender or food processor. But I invested in a NutriBullet and realized that it works just as good as a high speed blender! If you don’t own a Vitamix, the NutriBullet is a great alternative.
- Cornstarch– Bledning just a few tablespoons of starch with the cashew cream creates a slurry that helps thicken the stew, giving it a rich and creamy texture. You are welcome to leave out the starch if you prefer, but the end result won’t be as thick and creamy.
How to Make Butternut Squash Wild Rice Stew
Outside of soaking the cashews and blending them to make a cream, the entire recipe is made in just one-pot so there isn’t a ton of dishes to do.
- Sauté the leeks, carrots, celery and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add the kale, and seasonings. Cover and cook until kale is wilted, about 3 minutes.
- Add the rice, pour in the broth and cook for 10-15 minutes. Then add the squash and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, until the squash is tender and the rice is fully cooked.
- Blend the soaked cashews with water and starch. Pour into the pot along with the chickpeas. Cook for about 5 minutes, until heated through. Serve and enjoy!
I’m telling you guys, it doesn’t get cozier than this stew. It’s sure to keep you warm and full all winter long. I’ll definitely be making it on repeat. I hope you enjoy it!
Butternut Squash Wild Rice Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
- 2 medium leeks, halved and thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups chopped lacinato kale
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (yields about 3 cups)
- 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked* (see notes)
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- In a large pot, warm 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the leek, carrots, celery and garlic then cook for about 5 minutes. Next add the kale, oregano, thyme, salt & pepper and cook for an addition 3 minutes.
- To the pot, add wild rice. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the squash and continue to cook for another 20-25 minutes, until squash is soft and rice is fully cooked. The time may vary depending on the rice that you use.
- To a high speed blender or NutriBullet, add the soaked and rinsed cashews, 1 cup of water and 1/2 tablespoon starch. Blend until smooth.
- Lastly, add the chickpeas and pour in the cashew milk. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!
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