Farmersgirl Kitchen

How to make Butternut Squash Meat-Free Loaf

How to make Butternut Squash Meat-Free Loaf

Vegetarian | April 9, 2017 | By

Butternut Squash Meat-Free Loaf is a great alternative to meatloaf, packed with beans, quinoa, vegetables and cheese, it also freezes well so this recipe makes enough for two loaves.  Since January we’ve been having at least one and sometimes two meat-free meals each week and this is one of the most versatile meat-free recipes I have created. 

Roasted Butternut Squash

The base of the Butternut Squash Meat-Free Loaf is, of course, the butternut squash! By far the easiest way to cook butternut squash is to roast it.  All you need to do is split the squash in two, brush with oil and bake in the oven at 180C for 30-50 minutes depending on the size of your butternut squash. 

Butternut Squash Meat Free Loaf Ingredients

Leeks sauteed in butter or good olive oil,  add great flavour and fava beans add texture to an otherwise fairly soft mixture.  If you don’t have fava beans, or don’t fancy soaking and cooking your beans, you can use canned kidney or cannellini beans. 

Grated Cheese adds great flavour to the Butternut Squash Meat-Free Loaf

Then you add grated cheese,  there’s nothing quite like the creamy, salty taste of good mature cheddar.

Two loaf tins of Butternut Squash Meat-Free Loaf

Butternut Squash Meat-Free Loaf
Serves 8
A meat free loaf packed with flavour from butternut squash, leeks and beans, make two loaves and freeze one for another day.
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Prep Time
50 min
Total Time
2 hr 50 min
Prep Time
50 min
Total Time
2 hr 50 min
  1. 1 large butternut squash
  2. 1 tbsp oil
  3. 100g whole fava beans, soaked overnight
  4. 25 g butter or oil
  5. 2 medium leeks, finely sliced
  6. 50 g quinoa, cooked according to pack instructions
  7. 2 eggs, beaten
  8. 200 g cheese, grated
  9. 50 g chopped salted nuts
  10. Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C
  2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place the two halves in a roasting tin and brush with olive oil.
  3. Cook the fava beans according to the packet instructions until soft but not disintegrating.
  4. Put the butter or oil in a saute pan and heat gently, then add the sliced leeks and cook gently for about 10 minutes until they are meltingly soft but not coloured. If your pan has a lid this will help the leeks to cook down.
  5. Take the butternut squash out of the oven and leave to cool for about 10-15 minutes. Scoop out the flesh and mash with a fork.
  6. Put the mashed butternut squash into a bowl with the cooked fava beans, quinoa, leeks, cheese, salted nuts, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
  7. Add the eggs and mix them through the loaf mixture.
  8. Line two loaf tins (20 cm x 13 cm x 9 cm) with parchment paper and share the mixture between the two tins.
  9. Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 170C for 40 minutes, remove the foil and bake for another 10 -15 minutes until the loaf is firm and springy.
  10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  11. Turn out and serve either with gravy or a tomato sauce just as you would with a meatloaf.
  1. I use the parchment loaf tin liners you would usually use for baking, they work really well as they are shaped.
  2. If you don't want to soak and cook your own beans you can use canned kidney or cannellini beans.
  3. This loaf freezes well, once cooled, wrap in baking parchment and foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, simply thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the wrapping.
  4. You can also serve the loaf cold with baked potatoes and salad or use it as a sandwich filling.
Farmersgirl Kitchen

Baked Butternut Squash Meat-Free Loaf

When I first made this loaf, I was a little disappointed that it didn’t hold together better however, this is pretty much the same with a meat based meatloaf which tends to crumble a little too. We enjoy the texture and bite of the fava beans, but if you want the Butternut Squash Meat-Free Loaf to be a finer texture then I would suggest that you mash the fava beans before mixing into the other ingredients. 

Enjoy this delicious Butternut Squash Meat-Free Loaf hot or cold with salad or baked potatoes. Add a tomato sauce or serve traditionally with gravy.


Here are some alternative meat-free loaves that you might also like:

Savoury Nut Loaf - Meat free




Savoury Nut Loaf – Farmersgirl Kitchen 






Cheese and Lentil Loaf - Thinly Spreak



Cheese and Lentil Loaf – Thinly Spread







Lentil and Brazil Nut Loaf - Tin & Thyme


Lentil and Brazil Nut Roast – Tin & Thyme





I’m adding this recipe to Meat-Free Mondays hosted by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes

Enjoy a slice of Butternut Squash


  1. Choclette
    April 10, 2017

    Making squash the base for a loaf is such a brilliant idea. I want to rush off and make this right now. I like the colour too, so it would be a bit of a shame to mash up the beans and muddy the colour. I’m surprised the eggs didn’t hold it together better, but hey!
    Choclette recently posted…Rustic Rhubarb Galette With Orange Spelt Flaky PastryMy Profile

    • Janice Pattie
      April 10, 2017

      Aw thanks,Choclette. It is a great base and helps hold everything together

    • Janice Pattie
      April 11, 2017

      Thanks Jac, we certainly enjoyed it.

  2. Chris @thinlyspread
    April 11, 2017

    Squash is the base for loads of my roasts – it’s brilliant for holding it all together and adds a lovely flavour to boot! Fava beans are a very underused legume – I love that you’ve used them here, they have such a good texture for loaves and falafels!
    Chris @thinlyspread recently posted…Sweet Chilli Beetroot Baba GanoushMy Profile

    • Janice Pattie
      April 11, 2017

      I’d never thought of using squash this way before, it works so well.

  3. Emma @ Supper in thr Suburbs
    April 11, 2017

    This looks delicious Im always on the look out for tasty vegetarian recipes for my other half! This will be ideal to serve him on Sunday!
    Emma @ Supper in thr Suburbs recently posted…Easter BlondiesMy Profile

    • Janice Pattie
      April 11, 2017

      Thanks Emma, it’s very versatile, you could add all sorts to the base.

  4. Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet
    April 11, 2017

    Minus the cheese, what a super duper healthy recipe! Love the balance of flavours and nutrients which makes this an ideal lunch.

    • Janice Pattie
      April 13, 2017

      Thanks Michelle. I guess you could add something else, perhaps some ground nuts and nutritional yeast to give that slightly ‘cheesy’ taste.

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