This stuffed butternut squash recipe will easily become one of your favorite fall dinners! First, the squash gets oven roasted and caramelized to perfection and then it is stuffed with a flavorful combination of bacon, spinach, mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and some almonds for the ideal crunch. And yes, my kids love this recipe just as much as I do 🙂
About 10 years ago, I didn’t think I like butternut squash because I had only had it in a soup and thought it was too sweet. Then a few years later, I was exposed to roasted butternut squash and I have never looked back. In fact, one of our most regular vegetable side dishes in our family is my Roasted Butternut Squash Gratin 🙂
How to safely cut a butternut squash for roasting
Having to cut a butternut squash in half can be intimidating for anyone, let alone someone who may not be the most confident in their knife skills. To safely and successfully cut your squash down it’s length for roasting, be sure to keep the following tips in mind:
- Use a large, sharp chef’s knife. You need the larger size for some leverage when cutting but even more important, you need a very sharp blade. Most knife accidents in the kitchen are the result of a dull blade slipping.
- Cut off a thin slice off the bottom of the squash. Once you have this flat surface on the bottom, it provides a stable surface to press down on when you stand it up and cut down the length of it.
- Take it slow. There is no rush so take your time, cutting an inch or so at a time as you go down.
- Soften it in the microwave. If it is too intimidating for you to cut the whole squash raw, put it in the microwave for 5-8 minutes until it begins to soften. That will allow it to be easier to cut in half and then finish cooking it in the oven as directed. Just shorten the roasting time.
Variations on this stuffed butternut squash recipe
As with all recipes, have fun and play around with flavors and variations that fit what you and your family love! Here are a few additions and substitutions you could easily make! Let me know what your variations are in the comments.
- Add 1/2 chopped and peeled apple
- Substitute sausage for the bacon
- Add 1/2 cup raisins, craisins, or dried cherries
- Substitute walnuts or pecans for the almonds
- Want a creamier filling? Add a 1/4 cup of heavy cream to the finished filling in the skillet before stuffing.
- Substitute kale for the spinach
- Add some cooked rice, orzo, or quinoa to filling
Can I use acorn or spaghetti squash instead of butternut?
You bet! The acorn squash will give you a very similar flavor profile as the butternut squash so feel free to use them. Obviously, they are a smaller squash so the roasting time will be shorter so keep an eye on the softness to know when they are finished.
Spaghetti squash would also work very well but I would probably add about a 1/4 cup of heavy cream to the filling once it is done cooking in the skillet so it creates more of a sauce for the “noodles” of the squash.
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2 butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pound thick cut bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces baby spinach
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place squash on sheet pan, cut side up. Brush on olive oil and season with the salt & pepper. Roast until the squash is fork tender, about 35-45 minutes depending on size.
- While squash roasts, heat large skillet over high heat and add diced bacon. Cook until crispy, then drain pieces on paper towel, reserving 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the pan.
- Add the onion and mushrooms to the bacon drippings and sauté on high until the onions soften and mushrooms begin to brown. Add the garlic and stir well.
- Add the spinach in batches and allow it to wilt as you mix it in.
- Remove from the heat. Add the almonds, parmesan cheese, and parsley. Taste and add any needed salt and pepper.
- Fill the roasted squash with the filling and if desired, add a bit more cheese over the top. Place under the broiler for a few minutes and serve.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Main dish
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 322 calories
- Sugar: 6 g
- Sodium: 460 mg
- Fat: 18 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 31 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 11 g
- Cholesterol: 27 mg
Keywords: butternut squash recipe, fall dinner ideas