Cheesy Butternut Squash and Yellow Split Pea Stew

Greenletes / Recipes / Cheesy Butternut Squash and Yellow Split Pea Stew

Last updated on June 14th, 2021 at 09:10 am

When I saw this month’s Recipe ReDux challenge, I knew it would be a  piece of cake (well, not literally).

“How low can you go? Can you make a meal for less than $3 per serving? Whatever your budget, show us your healthy entree recipe to help keep food spending in check in 2017.”

People tend to think healthy eating is expensive, but as a vegetarian, my grocery bills are usually quite low. Whereas meat-eaters spend the majority of their money buying expensive proteins, like meat, chicken or fish, I’m lucky enough to only eat low-cost proteins like beans, legumes, grains and dairy. So when this month’s challenge asked us to create a cheap dish, I knew I wouldn’t even need to think twice about my protein. Legumes were calling my name!

Cheesy Butternut Squash Stew from Nutrition a la Natalie

Yellow split peas are a type of dried legume, that you can purchase in a bag for less than $2. Split peas are hulled and split in half along their natural seam. They cook faster than dried beans and don’t require a presoak. With a cooking time of 20-30 minutes, yellow split peas are a bit more starchy and less sweet than green split peas. They are also high in protein and fiber and they have a nice bite to them.

Cheesy Butternut Squash Stew from Nutrition a la Natalie

This stew is a nice combination of the chewy yellow split peas, soft and sweet butternut squash, ooey-gooey cheese and stewed kale for some added nutrients and bite. It’s perfect on any winter day, and it’s an extremely affordable way to feed the entire family. While I didn’t do the math (because I had all of these items on hand), I know that I can get all of these ingredients for less than $10.

Cheesy Butternut Squash Stew from Nutrition a la Natalie

Makes 3 servings (each serving is 1.5- 2 cups)

1 medium butternut squash, sliced in half with seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup yellow split peas
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 cups kale, roughly chopped
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

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A recipe for a cozy vegetarian Cheesy Butternut Squash & Yellow Split Pea Stew


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet with skin side down and orange fleshy side facing up. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until butternut squash becomes very soft. Set aside to cool
  3. Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic and sautee for 1-2 minutes. Add the split peas, vegetable stock, water and salt and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. After the squash is cool, take a spoon and scoop out the inside from the skin. Discard the skin. Mash the squash with a fork until it’s in large chunks, and then add it to the peas.
  5. Add the chopped kale, cheddar, parmesan and lemon juice to the pea and squash mixture and simmer for 5 more minutes. Mix until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.


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I’m Natalie Rizzo, an NYC-based Registered Dietitian.

My mission is to help everyday athletes fuel their fitness with plants.

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