Hasselback Squash with Vegan Feta, Lemon & Thyme Recipe | Abel & Cole

Hasselback Squash with Vegan Feta, Lemon & Thyme

Cooking time
Serves4 people
Vegetarians Vegans Gluten-free diets
Hasselback Squash with Vegan Feta, Lemon & Thyme

Turn hasselbacked butternut squash into a vegan showstopper. Thinly slicing the squash looks stunning. And ensures the middle is tender while the tops are crisp and caramelised. Baked on a tangy tomato sauce base. It's topped with a fragrant mix of lemon, thyme, chilli, pine nuts and Greek-style feta alternative. A beautiful dish for special occasions.

1 rating


  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 187ml red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 butternut squash, weighing approximately 1kg
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 15g pine nuts
  • A handful of thyme
  • 1 lemon
  • 120g Greek style feta alternative
  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes

Prep: 40 mins | Cook: 1 hr 45 mins

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1. Peel and finely chop the onion. Warm 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over a medium heat, then add the onion. Season with salt and pepper. Pop a lid on the pan. Gently fry, stirring often, for 10 mins till the onion has softened but not picked up any colour. Peel and finely slice the garlic. Add the garlic and fry, stirring, for 1-2 mins till fragrant.
2. Pour the wine into the pan. Turn the heat up and bubble for 4-5 mins till the wine has reduced by half. Drop in the bay leaf and stir in the dried oregano and cinnamon. Tip in the chopped tomatoes. Fill a tin with water and pour that in. Stir to mix. Bring the pan to the boil, then turn the heat down and pop on a lid. Simmer for 15-20 mins, stirring every so often, till the sauce has thickened a little.
3. While the sauce cooks, halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. Place a squash half on a chopping board flat-side down. Place wooden spoons on either side of the squash – they will stop the knife slicing all the way through the squash. Slice down into the squash, horizontally, at ½cm intervals. Repeat with the other half.
4. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C/Fan 6. Take the sauce off the heat. Remove the bay leaf. Taste and add a pinch of salt, pepper or sugar, if you think it needs it. Pour the sauce into a large ovenproof dish. Top with the squash halves, placing them flat-side down. Loosely cover the dish with foil, crimping it to the sides. Slide into the oven. Bake for 30 mins.
5. After 30 mins, remove the squash from the oven. Remove the foil. Drizzle 1-2 tbsp maple syrup over the squash. Return to the oven and bake for 40 mins till golden brown and the squash is tender all the way through.
6. Meanwhile, tip the pine nuts into a dry frying pan and toast for 1-2 mins, shaking the pan, till golden. Tip into a bowl. Pick the leaves off 2-3 thyme sprigs. Finely grate the zest from the lemon. Break the Greek style feta alternative into chunks.
7. When the squash is ready, remove from the oven. Scatter over the Greek style feta alternative, pine nuts, thyme leaves, lemon zest and a pinch of chilli flakes. Take to the table and serve. Delicious with potatoes or rice and your favourite green veg.
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