25 Butternut Squash Recipes That Are Anything but Boring

Braised Beef and Root Vegetables with Butternut Squash Polenta

Butternut squash isn't just for soups and salads anymore! Get creative in the kitchen with these new, delicious butternut squash recipes. You can use the vegetable in a variety of ways, from dips to pasta sauces or even as a replacement for pasta. Recipes like Butternut Squash Queso Fundido and Braised Beef and Root Vegetables with Butternut Squash Polenta are healthy, flavorful and fun.

01 of 25

Apple & Pecan Stuffed Butternut Squash

Apple & Pecan Stuffed Butternut Squash

Let this cute little vegetarian stuffed squash side dish steal the show at the dinner table! Butternut squash is stuffed with a sweet and savory filling that gets a crispy finish under the broiler. If you can't find small butternut squash, honeynut squash is a great alternative. Shaped much like a butternut squash (but smaller), the honeynut squash has a deep orange skin and sweet flesh.

02 of 25

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti Carbonara with Butternut Squash

We give classic carbonara a healthy spin using nutty whole-grain pasta and infusing a more traditional carbonara sauce with sweet butternut squash. Use pre-chopped squash to streamline the prep for this recipe--and be sure to brown the squash to deepen the entire dish's flavor. Don't forget to reserve some pasta water--it adds silkiness to the sauce.

03 of 25

Butternut Squash Queso Fundido

Butternut Squash Queso Fundido

This cheesy dip recipe is lightened up by subbing mashed butternut squash for some of the melted cheese. We also loaded it with chili-spiced caramelized onions. Serve this healthy makeover with tortilla chips or sliced jicama for dipping.

04 of 25

Quick Stovetop Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Precut butternut squash in your grocery store's produce section makes this healthy mac and cheese recipe come together in a flash. For extra flavor, try smoked Gouda cheese.

05 of 25

Baked Frittata with Butternut Squash, Kale & Sage

Baked Frittata with Butternut Squash, Kale & Sage

This easy frittata recipe is full of fall flavors, thanks to creamy butternut squash, plenty of fresh sage, and earthy lacinato kale.

06 of 25

Butternut Squash Noodles


Butternut squash noodles make a great low-carb stand-in for pasta or can be an easy side dish that complements just about everything. We kept this recipe simple with just a hint of fresh thyme and savory Parmesan cheese. Look for fresh or frozen butternut squash noodles or spiralize them yourself using the long, thin neck of a large squash.

07 of 25

Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Dip

Sweet squash gives French onion dip a colorful nutrition boost (namely, vitamins A and E). Serve with chips and crunchy crudités.

08 of 25

Braised Beef and Root Vegetables with Butternut Squash Polenta

Tender pot roast and tasty root vegetables are served on a bed of creamy butternut squash polenta. If you aren't a fan of polenta, you can serve this recipe with mashed sweet potatoes. Peel and cube 2 medium sweet potatoes; cook in boiling water until tender. Drain and mash, adding fat-free milk, then season with salt.

09 of 25

Butternut Squash Ravioli


Roasting the vegetables to fill this homemade ravioli yields a more intense flavor.

10 of 25

Baked Spiralized Butternut Squash Fries

Sweet spiralized butternut squash is encased in a salty, extra-crunchy exterior for a serving of slightly sweet curly fries. You can pair these baked butternut squash shoestring fries with any protein of your choice, but we're partial to grilled fish or chicken. Look for pre-spiralized squash in the refrigerated produce section.

11 of 25

Slow-Cooker Creamy Butternut Sauce & Tortellini

Butternut sauce is an innovative alternative to traditional tomato sauce for pasta-based recipes. This sauce is smooth and rich with complex flavors from the squash, onion, garlic, tomatoes and wine. The half-and-half makes it extra creamy.

12 of 25

Kale-Butternut Squash Gratin


This colorful gratin dish livens up any holiday plate. Creamy melted Gruyère is comforting, while a blend of cumin, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper lends a warm, spicy note.

13 of 25

Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Carbonara


Carbonara, traditionally bathed in eggs, gets a vegan makeover using roasted and pureed butternut squash instead to make it ultra-creamy. A topping of ground almonds, garlic and sage gives it texture and an herby, savory flavor in place of the cheese and bacon.

14 of 25

Coconut Curry Cup of Noodles with Spiralized Butternut Squash Noodles

This untraditional spin on Thai red curry features spiralized butternut squash noodles in a cup-of-noodles-style mason jar soup, but you could also use spiralized sweet potatoes or fresh egg noodles.

15 of 25

Slow-Cooker Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash

It's hard to believe this filling dish that's full of rich flavor is also good for you! This recipe creatively combines "melted" butternut squash with tender cooked barley for an ultra-creamy, ultra-comforting risotto.

16 of 25

Penne Pasta with Sausage, Butternut Squash & Chard

penne pasta with sausage, butternut squash & chard

Get dinner on the table even faster by using precubed butternut squash in this creamy pasta recipe. Found in the produce section of large grocery stores, the cut butternut is a little bigger than you need here, so you will have to do some chopping--but the peeling and gutting has been done for you. That means this easy healthy dinner takes just 35 minutes to prep. Score!

17 of 25

Butternut Squash & Cauliflower Enchiladas

The butternut squash and cauliflower in these easy layered enchiladas are frozen and don't need to be thawed, making this a healthy and quick dinner. Look for canned tomatillos, sometimes labeled green tomatoes, in the international aisle of your grocery store.

18 of 25

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Fontina Cheese Sauce

This is a great fall dish--warming nutmeg pairs deliciously with sweet, roasty butternut squash gnocchi and a rich alfredo-like cheese sauce. Although the gnocchi aren't as pillowy as your classic white potato gnocchi, they're still light-tasting and come with the added benefit of a little extra fiber and some eye-healthy vitamins.

19 of 25

Butternut Squash Risotto


This creamy butternut squash risotto with sage and thyme is a cozy fall dinner that's easy enough for a busy weeknight. The tender steamed squash gets added to the risotto at the last minute to retain just enough of its texture, while still breaking down slightly into the rice. To simplify the prep, buy precubed squash. It's often available in the produce department of large supermarkets. Serve with a simple green salad and a glass of white wine, if you'd like (after all, you'll need to open a bottle for the recipe).

20 of 25

Noodle-Less Butternut Squash Lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna in a dark casserole dish

Slices of butternut squash stand in for noodles in this veggie-packed lasagna with spinach, mushrooms and a creamy Parmesan cheese sauce. You can make the Parmesan cheese sauce with regular flour or swap in gluten-free flour to make this dish gluten-free. Look for a squash with a long, straight neck for the best results. Serve with a green salad for a vegetarian meal that you'd be happy to serve to company.

21 of 25

Butternut Squash Pilaf

Grated butternut squash adds color and nutrients to this brown rice pilaf. This is a riff on a traditional Greek dish that calls for Greek pilaf rice and pumpkin; here we've substituted instant brown rice and butternut squash.

22 of 25

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Chicken Sausage & Kale

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Chicken Sausage & Kale

What's the secret to making store-bought butternut squash ravioli even more delicious? Add apple-chicken sausage, tender greens and lots of caramelized onions. We add a bit of sugar to help the onions caramelize faster, but feel free to omit it (just cook the onions a bit longer if you do). Buy prewashed chopped kale to cut down on prep time. It all adds up to an easy dinner that's ready in just 20 minutes.

23 of 25

Butternut Squash Alfredo with Chicken & Spinach

Butternut Squash Alfredo with Chicken & Spinach

If you're not feeling like regular pasta tonight, turn to butternut squash noodles. These delicate veggie strands are a great base for any number of sauces and toppings, like this creamy and decadent Alfredo sauce with chicken, garlic and silky spinach.

24 of 25

Squash & Oyster Stuffing


This healthy stuffing recipe with oysters and butternut squash is a lightened-up version of the must-have holiday side. Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, you can make it moist or crispy. If you're an extra-moist-stuffing type, bake it covered for the full 50 minutes; if you like some crispy bits on top, follow the recipe as written: bake covered for about 30 minutes, then uncovered for an additional 20 minutes.

25 of 25

Butternut Squash Carbonara with Broccoli

Butternut Squash Carbonara with Broccoli

You've never had carbonara quite like this! Loaded with veggies, this spiralized veggie noodle recipe is a healthy copycat of a traditional carbonara recipe. Butternut squash gets spiralized into long, tender noodles for a lower-carb version of this creamy, cheesy pasta dish. Look for a squash with a large, straight neck to make the longest veggie noodles.

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