Giant stuffed squash

With cheesy leeks

Giant stuffed squash

Giant stuffed squash

Serves Serves 10
Time Cooks In2 hours
DifficultyNot too tricky
Nutrition per serving Plus
  • Calories 369 18%
  • Fat 15.8g 23%
  • Saturates 6g 30%
  • Sugars 16.4g 18%
  • Salt 1.1g 18%
  • Protein 13.4g 27%
  • Carbs 45.8g 18%
  • Fibre 6.2g -
Of an adult's reference intake
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  • 1 French or porcelain princess pumpkin (26-28cm in diameter) , or 3 butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
  • 1 kg leeks
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 10 g unsalted butter
  • ½ a bunch of thyme , (15g)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 375 ml milk
  • 200 g mix of melty cheeses , such as Gruyère, Red Leicester, Cheddar
  • 200 g stale bread
  • 50 g walnuts
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage , to garnish
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The cost per serving below is generated by and is based on costs in individual supermarkets.  For more information about how we calculate costs per serving read our FAQS

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  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Carefully cut the top off the squash and remove all the pulp and seeds. Place in a large roasting tray, cut side up, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add a few gratings of nutmeg and season with sea salt and black pepper. Rub all over the flesh, cover with foil and roast for 1½ hours or until tender (if you’re using butternut squash, scoop out some of the flesh to make a gully for the sauce all along the length of the squash).
  2. Meanwhile, cut the leeks in half lengthwise and slice. Peel and finely slice the garlic. Place a large pan over a medium heat, melt the butter, and then add the garlic. Once foaming, then strip in most of the thyme leaves and add the bay leaves. Before the garlic takes on any colour, add the green part of the leeks, some salt and pepper, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the white part of the leeks and cook, until starting to soften. Cover, cook for 30 minutes, stirring every now and then. The environment of heat and steam will make them soft, tender and gorgeous.
  3. Check the seasoning, then turn it into a super-charged white sauce. Stir in the flour. Add about 375ml of milk and stir until it thickens, then simmer and blip away, until thick and gorgeous.
  4. Remove from the heat, grate in the cheeses, then stir until melting and gorgeous. Carefully pour into the squash.
  5. Tear the bread into a food processor, blitz into breadcrumbs and tip into a bowl. Blitz the walnuts and then tip into the crumbs and scatter over the sauce.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, blipping and delicious.
  7. When there’s 5 minutes to go, pick the sage leaves into a small frying pan on a medium-high heat with ½ a tablespoon of oil and fry until crisp.
  8. Pick the remaining thyme leaves over the baked squash and decorate with the crispy sage, just before serving. Take it to the table with a big spoon, for everyone to dig in.


– Use any leftover sauce for cauliflower cheese, mac ’n’ cheese or a lovely gratin.
– Feel free to swap in gluten-free bread and flour, if you need to.

You can make this on Christmas Eve, before the second bake. Let it cool down, cover and leave somewhere cold. Cook for 40 minutes, until it’s hot all the way through.