7 Essential Fall Recipes Made With Butternut Squash

Squash Soup

Photo: Unsplash

Butternut squash, a sweet and nutty vegetable, is in season and is the star of these creative and comforting recipes.

A Butternut squash casserole with wafter crumbly topping.

1. Sweet Butternut Squash Casserole

Some sugar and spice make this delectable wafer-topped Butternut Squash Casserole everything nice!

Ingredients

6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp melted margarine
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Vanilla Wafer Topping

4 cups coarsely crushed vanilla wafers
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup melted margarine

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 13×9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2) In a large pot, cover butternut squash with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium and continue to boil until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain well.

3) Place squash in a large bowl and mash until smooth. Add milk, sugar, margarine, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and eggs. Stir well to combine. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and bake 45 minutes.

4) For the topping, in a medium bowl, combine crushed wafers, brown sugar and margarine. Sprinkle over baked casserole and return to oven for 5 minutes until lightly browned.

Serves 8

Sweet Squash with meringue topping in a bowl.

2. Butternut Squash with Meringue Topping

“Eat your vegetables” has never sounded better, especially with this dreamy Butternut Squash recipe. The sweet vegetable is roasted, mashed with warm milk, melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and then topping with a billowy cloud of marshmallow meringue.

Ingredients

8 cups peeled, seeded and diced butternut squash
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp kosher salt

¼ cup milk, warm
3 tbsp butter, metled
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp kosher salt

Marshmallow Meringue

3 large egg whites
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup Marshmallow Fluff

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl toss squash with 2 tbsp melted butter, 1 tbsp brown sugar and ½ tsp salt. Place on baking sheet in a single layer. Roast 25-30 minutes until tender, stirring halfway through bake time. Transfer squash to a large bowl and mash until slightly chunky. Stir in warm milk, 3 tbsp melted butter, 2 tbsp brown sugar, cinnamon and ½ tsp salt. Place in a 2-quart baking dish. Increase oven temperature to 425°F.

2) For the marshmallow meringue topping, place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla on low speed. Gently fold marshmallow fluff into egg whites and spoon mounds of topping over the squash. Bake 5 minutes until meringue is lightly roasted.

3. Festive Butternut Squash Rice Pilaf

Boring rice can’t possibly compete for attention, and that’s why Lisa created this blaring and bejeweled rice pilaf. A trio of classic fall flavors – sweet roasted butternut squash, crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds, tart dried cranberries – jazz up bland white rice. Fragrant garlic and cumin further gussy things up, to say nothing of the unexpected kick delivered by a smidge of cayenne pepper. Forget politics and religion – everyone is going to be talking about this rousing rice.

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups peeled, seeded and diced butternut squash
1 small white onion, diced
1 small garlic clove, minced
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups vegetable broth
¼ cup raw green pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
½ cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ tsp kosher salt

Directions

1) In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add butternut squash and onion, cooking 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, cumin, salt, black pepper and cayenne, continuing to cook 30 seconds. Add rice and stir until well coated. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and cook 20 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

2) While the rice is cooking, place pumpkin seeds in a small skillet over low heat. Toast until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

3) Once rice has finished cooking, remove from heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir in cranberries, parsley, salt and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Squash soup in a white square bowl.

4. Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan Sage Croutons

I was tired of butternut squash soup either teeming with cream or lacking in flavor. How to supercharge my soup? Easy. I turned to Lisa and said, “Yo Dawg, Pimp My Soup.” And soup it up she did. First, the expert roasted the squash to bring out the sweetness and add depth of flavor. Second, she restored the health benefits of butternut squash by omitting fats, yet created a creamy and velvety-textured soup. Finally, the master brought sage to the party. Earthy in flavor, this herb worked beautifully in the silky soup and also atop the crunchy Parmesan croutons. Well done, Li’l Lee, well done.

Ingredients

Butternut Squash Soup

1 (2 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup peeled and diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
6 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp maple syrup

Parmesan Sage Croutons

3 thick slices rustic white bread
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
½ tsp kosher salt

Directions

1) For the soup, preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss butternut squash with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and roast 25 minutes until very tender and lightly caramelized. Remove from oven and set aside.

2) In a large soup pot, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery, cooking until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add shallots, garlic and sage, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add vinegar, stirring for 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth, maple syrup and roasted squash. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and using a handheld or countertop blender, puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3) For the croutons, preheat oven to 375°F. Tear bread into pieces, about 1-inch each. In a large bowl, toss torn bread with olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, sage and salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven 10-12 minutes, until golden. Serve atop soup.

Serves 6

Eggplant and butternut squash bruschetta on a white background.

5. Eggplant & Butternut Squash Bruschetta

We all know what not to bring a hostess: fresh-cut flowers, a bathroom scale, a re-gifted plastic pink flamingo. However, as the hostess, do you know what, apart from refills, you can give your guests? How about that welcoming, warm-and-fuzzy feeling that comes with delicious eats? This bruschetta will do all the work for you. Crusty French bread is rubbed with garlic, toasted and then topped with smooth, creamy ricotta and a chunky mixture of caramelized eggplant and butternut squash. Easily prepared in advance and assembled just before guests arrive, nothing says “gracious gourmet” more than a tray of these tasty bruschetta.

Ingredients

Toasted Garlic Bread

25 slices of French bread, ½ inch thick
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove
¼ tsp kosher salt

Eggplant & Butternut Squash Topping

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
2 cups diced, unpeeled eggplant
2 cups diced butternut squash
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 cup ricotta cheese

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Place bread slices on a non-stick baking sheet. Brush one side with olive oil. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the cut half on the oiled bread. Sprinkle bread slices evenly with salt. Bake 4 minutes, flip slices and bake 3 minutes more. Remove from oven and set aside.

2) For the topping, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, cooking for 2 minutes. Add eggplant and butternut squash, continuing to cook for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and continue cooking for 30 seconds. Add balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, cooking 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

3) To assemble, spread each toasted slice of bread with a spoonful of ricotta cheese topped with eggplant/butternut squash mixture. Serve immediately.

Yield: 25 pieces

Butter nut squash and sweet potato soup in an orange cup.
Butter nut squash and sweet potato soup recipe

6. Roasted Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup

This incredible recipe for roasted butternut squash and sweet potato soup covers off our 3 S’s of soup: satisfying, scrumptious and simple. Not only does this delicious fall soup warm us from our nose to our toes, but it also brings with it an elegance (making it a perfect party soup recipe) and ease. Topped with crunchy cinnamon sugar croutons, every spoonful is a winner.

Ingredients

Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

2lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 5 cups)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)
1 large carrot, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp melted butter
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
6 ½ cups vegetable broth

Cinnamon Sugar Croutons

2 cups French bread cubes, ½-inch cubes
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

1) For the butternut squash and sweet potato soup, preheat oven to 400ºF. Toss butternut squash, sweet potatoes and carrots with the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet covered with aluminum foil and coated with non-stick cooking spray. Roast for 30 minutes stirring midway through until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

2) In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, cooking until softened about 3 minutes. Add minced garlic, maple syrup, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Continue cooking 1 minute more. Stir in squash mixture, add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree the soup using a hand held blender.

3) For the cinnamon sugar croutons, preheat oven to 350ºF. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, toss the bread cubes with melted butter. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Add cinnamon-sugar mixture to the bread cubes and toss thoroughly. Spread bread cubes on baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes, stir and continue to bake 4 minutes more, until bread cubes are crispy. Top each serving of soup with a couple of croutons.

Serves 8-10

A colourful Squash, pecan and pear salad in a white bowl.

7. Squash, Pecan, and Pear Salad

One bite of sweet roasted squash, spicy pecans and juicy pears and you won’t be able to put your fork down.

Ingredients

Spicy Pecans

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional

Sweet Squash

3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
3/4 tsp kosher salt

Vinaigrette

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
8 cups loosely packed mixed salad greens
2 large pears, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.

2) For the pecans, in a small bowl, toss pecans with olive oil, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder and cayenne. Spread pecans out on prepared baking sheet. Bake 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.

3) For the squash, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non- stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, toss cubed squash with olive oil, syrup and salt. Spread on prepared baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, stir and continue to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until squash is tender and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

4) For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk vinegar, Dijon mustard, brown sugar and salt. Continue to whisk, slowly adding olive oil until combined.

5) In a large serving bowl, gently toss salad greens with 2 tbsp of dressing to lightly coat. Add pecans, squash, pears and dried cranberries. Drizzle salad with remaining dressing.

Serves 6-8

Authors of bestselling cookbooks Bite Me, Bite Me Too and Lick Your Plate, saucy sisters Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat love eating, feeding, entertaining and dishing up easy recipes at BiteMeMore.com.