26 Butternut Squash Recipes for Weight Loss
Add a healthy seasonal vegetable to your table with these butternut squash recipes. Butternut squash is full of nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin C. It’s also low in calories and high in fiber, which is great if you’re looking to slim down. Whether it’s a side dish or the main meal, recipes like Roasted Butternut Squash & Root Vegetables and Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash are nutritious and flavorful.
Mashed Butternut Squash
For this mashed butternut squash recipe, we start by roasting the squash, which really intensifies its flavor and sweetness. That means you don't need to add much--just a few pinches of spices and a little butter and salt--to make the perfect healthy Thanksgiving side dish or partner for any other fall meal. If you want to dress it up more, add some honey and warm spices, like cinnamon, for a sweet profile; for a savory profile, add a teaspoon or two of rosemary, sage or thyme (or a combination) and sprinkle with Parmesan. Or go sweet and savory, with bacon fat (or bacon crumbles), maple syrup and additional cayenne. Using a food processor gives this mash a very smooth texture, but you could certainly mash it with a fork or potato masher for a more rustic texture.
Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Layering apple slices into grilled cheese sandwiches adds a little crunch to a favorite soup dipper. And creamy butternut squash soup with ginger, cumin and turmeric is a nice change of pace from grilled cheese's usual tomato soup partner. Serve the duo for a comforting and easy weeknight dinner for the family. The soup keeps well in the fridge, so save leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week.
Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash
The sweetness of the butternut squash tames the kick from cayenne in this healthy turkey chili, making this easy crock pot chili just right for kids and adults alike, whether for weeknight dinners or tailgating parties. For those who prefer a spicier chili, just pass hot sauce at the table. This chili also freezes well, so save leftovers for hearty and healthy dinners and lunches for weeks to come.
Roasted Butternut Squash & Root Vegetables
This easy roasted butternut squash and root vegetables recipe is incredibly versatile. Pile the squash and veggies onto grain bowls, add to sandwiches, toss in soup, serve as a side dish--you name it. Roasting vegetables in the oven gives you 20 minutes of hands-off cooking time to assemble the rest of your meal.
Fall Chopped Salad with Spinach, Butternut Squash, Apples & Cheddar
Who says spinach salads are only for spring? Use autumn's tender crop of fresh spinach and other seasonal vegetables to make this fall salad with roasted butternut squash, apples, cheddar and pecans. This colorful and healthy salad would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving menu, but there's no reason to save it for holidays--serve it along with chicken or pork for a healthy weeknight dinner, or turn it into a main course by adding some chickpeas or chopped chicken or turkey.
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.
Butternut Squash Soup with Avocado & Chickpeas
Jazz up a can of soup by adding protein with chickpeas and flavor with curry powder. Stir in a little Greek yogurt to make it creamy.
Baked Butternut Squash
Baked butternut squash has a caramelized flavor, which is delicious if you use the cooked squash in soups and sauces. It's simple to bake a butternut squash; just cut it in half and roast it in the oven.
Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chili with Black Beans
Black beans and tender, sweet butternut squash make this healthy vegetarian chili truly satisfying. Load up bowls and top with Greek yogurt, cilantro and minced red onion for game night or a Meatless Monday meal. Or skip the yogurt and keep this healthy dinner vegan.
Slow-Cooker Vegan Butternut Squash Soup with Apple
You'll never guess this crock pot butternut squash soup recipe is just dump-and-go simple. The boost of flavor from maple syrup, apple-cider vinegar and spices makes all the difference! Serve this light soup as an appetizer for a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast or with a salad and crusty bread for weeknight dinners.
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.
Roasted Butternut Squash
Simple roasted butternut squash--just tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper--makes a classic fall side dish. This recipe is delicious with roasted meats, or toss the roasted squash into pasta or salad.
Butternut Squash Salad with Piquillo Peppers
Sour celery pickles, tangy goat cheese, spicy peppers and sweet roasted butternut squash seasoned with fragrant coriander and cumin create a flavor explosion for a tasty alternative to leafy greens in this healthy salad recipe from chef Steve McHugh of the restaurant Cured in San Antonio. The salad is not just delicious--it also contains anti-inflammatory foods, including the squash, pecans and black pepper.
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
Use your Instant Pot--or any other pressure cooker--to whip up this healthy butternut squash soup. Anjou pears add sweetness, while the soup gets creaminess and a wonderful flavor from light coconut milk, and a bright, fresh kick from ginger, cilantro and lime. Finishing the soup with whole-milk yogurt adds a nice richness, but you can skip it to keep the soup vegan. (Allow the soup to cool slightly before stirring in the yogurt so it doesn't curdle.) This soup would be equally delicious chilled.
Barley Risotto with Butternut Squash
Use your slow cooker to make this easy and delicious risotto recipe.
Sautéed Butternut Squash
Sautéeing butternut squash in olive oil quickly yields perfectly cooked results and slighly caramelizes the squash for extra flavor. This recipe makes a delicious vegetable side dish to pair with roasted meats.
Butternut Squash & Tomato Posole
Posole is a traditional Mexican stew most often made with pork and hominy (dried corn kernels that have been treated to soften the hull) cooked in a fragrant chile-based sauce. In this quick vegetarian recipe, we rely on the meatiness of pinto beans and butternut squash combined with hand-crushed whole tomatoes to make a satisfying stew.
Butternut Squash and Quinoa Pilaf
Quinoa, butternut squash, and almonds combine to make this hearty vegetarian side dish. It's perfect for a family dinner or to delight your vegan friends on Thanksgiving.
Butternut Squash Gratin
Roasted butternut squash slices layered with a creamy sauce and topped with golden breadcrumbs makes a hassle-free side dish that just about everyone loves. Our healthier version skips the heavy cream and butter found in most recipes--saving about 160 calories and 12 grams of saturated fat compared to a traditional version.
Persian-Style Butternut Squash Soup
Swap out your basic butternut squash soup for this fragrant version that includes sweet potato and a medley of spices like cinnamon, cumin, coriander and saffron. A drizzle of maple syrup and a few drops of orange water brighten the flavors, while a sprinkle of sumac adds a pop of color and a tangy edge. This healthy butternut squash soup would be a wonderful starter for your Thanksgiving meal.
Bean & Butternut Tacos with Green Salsa
Beans and roasted butternut squash make an outstanding vegetarian taco filling. For the best flavor, use fresh, good-quality chili powder and Mexican oregano. Look for both at Latin markets or in the bulk spice section at well-stocked natural-foods stores.
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.
Roasted Turnips & Butternut Squash with Five-Spice Glaze
In this delicious side dish recipe, turnips and butternut squash are glazed with a mixture of molasses and flavorful five-spice powder. Try the dish with garlic-rubbed roasted chicken or pork.
Creamy Rye & Butternut Squash Soup
This creamy rye and butternut squash soup recipe is a healthier take on a traditional squash and rye bread soup from the Valle d'Aosta region of Italy, usually made rich with milk and cheese. This healthy butternut squash soup variation gets its richness from the creamy starches released by the bread and winter squash. If you like caraway, be sure to use rye bread with caraway seeds.
Mushroom & Butternut Squash Lasagna
Earthy mushrooms and sweet squash are layered in this tasty fall lasagna. Adding reconstituted dried porcini to the sauce adds an additional layer of flavor.
Baja Butternut Squash Soup
This silky-smooth butternut soup gets a hit of spice from chipotle, cloves and cumin. Adapted from Chef Jesús González, Chef of La Cocina Que Canta at Rancho La Puerta.