19 delicious butternut squash recipes

Butternut squash is a deeply orange winter fruit that is as used as a vegetable. It has a sweet, nutty flavor that is similar to pumpkin and can be substituted for pumpkin in many recipes. The hardest part of cooking with butternut squash is cracking the thing open with a sturdy knife. Its skin is thin enough to peel with a vegetable peeler. Or you can take a shortcut and buy peeled and pre-cut butternut squash sold in many grocery stores.

To roast a whole butternut squash, simply cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, brush with olive oil, and bake face down in a 400 degree F. oven until it can be pierced with a fork (about 30 minutes).

Once you have have roasted, toasted, puréed, or even microwaved (for just 8 minutes!) your butternut squash, use it to make salads, soups, pastries, pasta dishes, and even pie. Or simply mash it up, slather with butter, and serve it as a side dish on its own, like mashed potatoes.

In Praise of Leftovers
When roasting squash (butternut squash, pictured) keep it covered with foil for half the time. This will ensure it becomes tender without being too 'mushy.'

1. Butternut squash, leek, and hazelnut gratin

Beyond the Peel
Combine roasted butternut squash, leeks, cheese, and fresh herbs then top it off with hazelnuts to make a creamy baked gratin.

By France MorissetteBeyond the Peel

Roasted squash

1 medium squash (or 1 large, top part only, bottom saved for soup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Peel and slice the squash. Cut the top portion into 1/2 inch rounds or cube. The bottom part can be sliced in half, seeds removed and diced or sliced.

3. Brush rounds on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If using cubes, toss the whole lot with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. Lay the slices or cubes on a baking sheet and cook until tender, about 30-40 minutes.

Butternut Squash Leek and Hazelnut Gratin

1 batch of roasted squash, 12 rounds or equivalent (recipe above)
1 leek, whites only, cleaned and sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup grated Fruiliano or other mild cheese (Mozza, Gouda, Swiss, Monterey Jack)
1 cup heavy cream (or unflavored nut milk, for a lighter options)
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup sliced hazelnuts

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a medium frying pan over medium heat, cook the leeks with the butter until softened, about 8 minutes. Set aside.

2. Mix the cream with the chives, thyme and nutmeg and set aside.

3. Grease a 9×9-inch baking dish (I used a 6x11-inch). Put half the squash slices (or cubes) in a single layer at the bottom of the pan. Top with half the cooked leeks and half the grated cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a final layer of squash, top with remaining leeks, followed by the cheese. Pour the cream mixture over the squash. Sprinkle with almond meal and hazelnuts.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Serve as a meal with a tossed green salad or along side a Thanksgiving Dinner.

Recipe Note: Lighter cream or milk may curdle from the heat of the oven. Use heavy cream in this recipe or nut milk if you’re looking for a lighter option.

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