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.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
6 cups


  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/4 pounds), halved and seeded

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder or cayenne pepper

  • 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

  • cup pico de gallo or fresh salsa, drained

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons toasted pepitas


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place squash cut-side down on the prepared pan. Bake until tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Turn over and let cool slightly. Scoop the flesh into a food processor and add salt. Puree until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of puree (reserve any remaining squash for another use). Set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, combine oil and onion in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the onion is very soft and browned, 8 to 10 minutes more, reducing the heat and adding 1 tablespoon water at a time, as needed, if the onion begins browning too quickly. Stir in chili powder and chipotle (or cayenne). Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

  4. When the squash is done, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Coat a medium cast-iron skillet (10-inch) with cooking spray.

  5. Toss Cheddar and Monterey Jack in a large bowl. Stir 1 cup of the cheeses into the reserved squash puree. Spread about half of the remaining cheese in the prepared pan. Top with the squash. Spread half of the caramelized onions over the squash. Top with the remaining cheese and onions.

  6. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling along the edges, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Top with pico de gallo (or salsa), cilantro and pepitas.

    a cast iron skillet with a cheesy dip


To make ahead: Refrigerate the dip (Steps 1-5) for up to 6 hours. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in Step 6.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

107 Calories
7g Fat
7g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 32
Calories 107
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 5g 10%
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Vitamin A 4100IU 82%
Vitamin C 9mg 9%
Folate 19mcg 5%
Sodium 212mg 9%
Calcium 159mg 12%
Iron 1mg 3%
Magnesium 20mg 5%
Potassium 168mg 4%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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