Squash Stuffed Herby Fennel Rice and Pesto

I created this lovely squash recipe last week. The first of the season and I its good one I think.

Soft, tender and caramelising squash filled with a delicious mix of rice, fennel, thyme and crunchy toasted hazelnuts.Lovely autumnal flavours, made even more delicious with the addition of fresh basil pesto drizzled on top.

I love to serve this with a fresh rocket salad or creamy hummus and fresh bread.
Feel free to use any squash or small pumpkin – they all work really well for this recipe. 

I really hope you love this delicious dish as much as I do; make sure to post and tag with @rebelrecipes #rebelrecipes if you make this dish so I can see and repost your gorgeous creations!

I'd love to know if you made this recipe.

Use #RebelRecipes and tag @RebelRecipes



  2 servings
  15 minutes preparation time
  1 hr cook time


  • 1 medium squash or pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion chopped 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb sliced finely
  • 125g cooked rice of choice
  • Juice 1/2 lemon plus zest
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • Pinch chili flakes 
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • Black pepper
  • 50g hazelnuts 


  • Pesto;
  • 30g Basil 
  • 50g Pine nuts 
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive 
  • Juice 1/2 lemon 
  • Pinch sea salt 
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast 
  • 50g water – more if you’s like it looser


  • Fresh thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt flakes


  1. Pre- heat your oven to 180c.
  2. Cut of the top of the squash then slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and score the flesh.
  3. Pop on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Roast for 45 -50 mins or until tender.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before scooping out the inner flesh. But make sure you leave a layer around the outside.
  6. Add the flesh to a bowl.
  7. Meanwhile, add the onion and olive oil to a pan and fry gently for 8-10 minutes until nicely soft and caramelised.
  8. Now add the garlic and fennel and cook for a 5-6 minutes until soft.
  9. Now add the remaining ingredients plus the squash flesh and stir to combine.
  10. Dry toast the hazelnuts in a small pan, crush a little then add half in.
  11. Cook for a further minute or so then turn off the heat.

To make the pesto;

  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blitz to combine.
  2. To serve;
  3. Add the filling mix back into the squash outers.
  4. Top with pesto, more toasted hazelnuts and fresh thyme.

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  1. Julie O'Sullivan on September 24, 2020 at 10:07 am

    What is nutritional yeast? I live in France and wouldn’t have a clue if it is sold here. Is there an alternative?

    • Niki on November 25, 2020 at 12:31 pm

      Hi Julie
      You can just leave it out.
      It adds a cheesy taste to the pesto

    • Cath on December 1, 2020 at 7:22 pm

      Hi Julie,
      I’ve found nutritional yeast in Monoprix and a Carrefour hypermarché — it’s called levure diététique or levure de bière, and it’s made by the Gerblé brand. Hope you can find it!

    • Marion on October 17, 2021 at 5:22 pm

      You can also find it as “levure maltée” in organic shops. This one has more cheeezzzzzz taste than the originial levure de biere or levure alimentaire we have in the supermarkets

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