Fill your Thanksgiving with a healthy, fiber filled, vegetarian stuffing that will please everyone, including the meat eaters!

Dish Count :: 1 Sauce Pan, 1 Skillet, 1 Baking Dish

Butternut Squash and Barley Stuffing -

This is the first Thanksgiving that Ben has been a nurse. We’re really lucky that this first holiday he  gets the day off. So we are going to make the most of it. It will be a low key year this year, and thanks goodness for that. It’s been a year of ups and downs with our schedules and both of us burning the candle at both ends so one day set aside for both of us, is going to be absolutely what the doctor ordered.

Butternut Squash and Barley Stuffing -

Kinda like this uber healthy butternut squash and barley stuffing. See what I did there? Haa!

This stuffing is packed with fall-tastic butternut squash, swiss chard, and barley. It’s definitely not the traditional route of stuffing, but it’s worth it! And best of all, with all the busyness of the day, this can be made the day before the holiday and then placed in the oven on Thanksgiving to heat up. How perfect!

If you’re feeding a herd of vegetarians or vegans, this dish is perfect. Instead of using chicken stock as I did in my original recipe, use vegetable stock, and opt for a vegan cheese if that is your style. It’s a win win all around.

Butternut Squash and Barley Stuffing -

And PS – this makes wickedly delicious cold leftovers the next day.

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Butternut Squash and Barley Stuffing 25 Amazing Squash Recipes That Aren't Pumpkin Pie

Butternut Squash and Barley Stuffing

  • Author: Country Cleaver
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


Fill your Thanksgiving with a healthy, fiber filled, vegetarian stuffing that will please everyone, including the meat eaters!


  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 Bunch Chard, stems discarded
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Pearl Barley
  • 1 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock*
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, or vegan alternative cheese*



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan bring water and chicken stock to a boil. Add in the pearl barley and cook according to package directions, until the barley has soaked in all the liquid and the barley is soft.
  3. While the barley is cooking, peel the butternut squash and cut the ends off the squash and discard. Slice the squash in half and using a spoon remove the seeds from the squash and discard. Cut the squash into 1/2″ cubes and set aside.
  4. Peel and dice the onion and set aside.
  5. Preheat a skillet and melt butter and olive oil together. Add the butternut squash cubes and onion, garlic and pepper into the skillet and sauté until the squash is fork tender.
  6. Using a knife remove the chard leaves from the stems and roughly chop. Add the chard to the squash mixture and let the leaves wilt slightly.
  7. When the barley is cooked, add it to the skillet and gently mix it all together.
  8. Pour half of the butternut squash mixture into a baking dish, sprinkle with half of the cheese. Cover with remaining butternut squash mixture and finish with the other half of the cheese.
  9. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes until heated through and the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.


* Notes vegan alternative options

If preparing ahead of Thanksgiving, bake covered with foil for 20 minutes, and then uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until it is heated through.