Butternut Squash Pilaf – just 87p per serving

Just 87p per portion – you’re having a pilaf!

Butternut squash is a brilliant vegetable to have in your fridge – it keeps for ages and it’s really versatile. You can roast it for tray bakes, mash it to include as a filling when making fresh pasta or ‘squash’ bruschetta, blend it to make a tasty, buttery sauce or dice it and chuck it in a wok to include in curries.

Butternut Squash Pilaf from BBC Good Food came to my rescue recently when my fridge was bare. I’ve always got some ginger, garlic and rice knocking about and when I found some fruit and nut mix leftover from Christmas I was sorted. I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to buy these ingredients to make this especially, but it was an enjoyable vege curry that had a nice mix of sweet and savoury flavours, plus the heat from the harissa paste. And all this for just 87p – you’re having a pilaf!

If you’re a non-vegan or vegetarian and wondering what to do with any leftover squash, make Beef Kofta Curry – it’s delicious and my favourite recipe of May 2020.

Recipe: Butternut Squash Pilaf

Calories: 417 calories per serving

Serves: 4

Book: BBC Good Food – eatwell, cheap & healthy

Prep time: Approx 15 mins

Cooking time: Approx 30 mins


  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 350g diced butternut squash (peeled weight)
  • 225g basmati rice
  • 2 ½ cm piece of root ginger (peeled and finely grated)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 100g fruit & nut mix
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp ready-made crispy onions (optional)
  • Chopped parsley to serve (optional)

Cost per portion: Approx £0.87


Place a large pan over a medium heat. Add the oil and onion, and cook gently until softened, around 5 mins. Tip in the spice blend, butternut squash and rice, and fry until everything is sizzling and coated in the spices. Add the ginger and garlic, fry for 30 secs more, then scatter in the fruit & nut mix. Stir in the stock and put the lid on the pan. Keep covered but stir regularly, every 5 mins or so, for 20 mins.

Once the rice is tender and the stock has been absorbed, serve at once on a large platter topped with crispy fried onions and chopped parsley, if you like.


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