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Butternut Squash Rolls from Vegetarian Sushi Secrets

Butternut Squash Rolls

Butternut Squash Rolls

Why We Love This Recipe

With tender steamed butternut squash and ginger, these sushi rolls are perfect for fall. And if you haven’t tried making sushi at home, this is a good recipe to start with!

About Vegetarian Sushi Secrets

We are super excited about this cookbook! If you’re tired of going out for sushi and having two choices on the menu (avocado rolls and cucumber rolls are good, don’t get us wrong—but sometimes you want something different!), Vegetarian Sushi Secrets will be a game-changer. There are 101 fish-free sushi recipes in this book—finally, you have choices! And because making sushi at home can be intimidating for beginners, the book contains information about ingredients and equipment, and lots of step-by-step photos.

Some of our favorite recipes include:

  • Eggplant Dengaku
  • Miso Asparagus Salad
  • Shiitake Nigiri
  • Pomegranate and Basil Rolls
  • Coconut Tempura Tofu Rolls
  • Roasted Poblano and Avocado Rolls

Purchase This Book

Vegetarian Sushi Secrets: 101 Healthy and Delicious Recipes by Marisa Baggett is available on

Butternut Squash Rolls

Excerpted from Vegetarian Sushi Secrets. Copyright © 2016 by Marisa Baggett. Reprinted with permission from Tuttle.
Servings: 6 rolls (36 pieces)


For the Brown Sushi Rice

  • 2 ½ cups 500 g long grain brown rice
  • 4 cups 1 liter water
  • 2/3 cup 160 ml rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup 80 ml raw honey or sorghum
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt

For the Butternut Squash Rolls

  • 3 cups 600 g prepared Brown Sushi Rice
  • 8 oz 250 g butternut squash, peeled and deseeded
  • 2 ½ cups 635 ml Vegetarian Dashi or low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • One 1 in 1.25 cm length fresh ginger root, unpeeled
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 sheets nori 4 x 7 in/10 x 18 cm
  • 3 teaspoons crystallized ginger finely chopped
  • 3 green onions scallions, sliced
  • Eel-Free Eel Sauce for dipping if desired


Prepare the Sushi Rice

  • Place the rice in a medium bowl and cover it with cool water. Let the rice soak for 15 minutes. (Some rice hulls may float to the top. I like to keep them as the darker flecks give the finished rice character.) Drain the rice in a fine mesh strainer.
  • Place the rice and measured water in a rice cooker. Cook for exactly 50 minutes. At some point before, the rice cooker may indicate that the rice is done. Do not lift the lid or stop the cooking process before 50 minutes.
  • While the rice cooks, prepare the dressing. Stir together the rice vinegar, honey or sorghum, sugar, and salt in a small non-metal bowl. Whisk it vigorously until most of the sugar and salt dissolve, about 2 minutes. Set the mixture aside.
  • Spoon the steamed rice onto a flat cutting board. It should seem a bit moist and starchy. Spread the rice into a thin layer across the cutting board. Drizzle ? cup (80 ml) of the dressing over the rice. Gently toss it. Add the remaining ? (80 ml) of the dressing and toss well.
  • Allow to cool, uncovered for 10 minutes. Flip the rice over and let it cool for 5 minutes. Place the rice in a large non-metal bowl and cover with a damp, lint-free dishcloth until ready for use. Use it within 4 hours.

Make the Butternut Squash Rolls

  • Cut the butternut into 12 strips about 4 x ½ inch (10 x 1.25 cm) and set aside. Combine the Vegetarian dashi, garlic, and fresh ginger root in a small pot. Bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and add soy sauce. Place the squash onto a wire basket or strainer and lower into the simmering liquid. Allow the squash to simmer until soft, but not too mushy, 5-7 minutes. Lift the basket from the simmering liquid and allow pieces to cool completely.
  • Place 1 sheet of the nori rough side facing upwards horizontally on a bamboo rolling mat. Wet your fingertips in water then spread about ½ cup (100 g) of prepared Sushi Rice in a thin, even layer across the bottom ¾ of the nori.
  • Arrange 2 of the butternut squash sticks horizontally in the center of the rice. It is okay if the ends overlap some in the center. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon crystallized ginger over the top. Add some of the green onions.
  • Dip your fingertips in water again. Place your thumbs underneath the bamboo rolling mat. Fold the bottom of the mat so that the bottom edge of the nori fits just over the butternut. (Do not allow the edge of the mat to get stuck in the fold!)
  • Lift the edge of the mat. (The nori should stay in place.) Continue rolling until the roll is complete. Gently shape the roll into a rectangle by pressing your forefingers on top of the mat while simultaneously pressing your thumbs and middle fingers into the sides.
  • Allow the rolls to rest seam side down on a cutting board. Meanwhile, repeat the steps to complete the remaining rolls. Cut each roll into 6 pieces using a very sharp knife dipped lightly in water. Serve immediately.
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