Tag Archives: butternut squash

Roasted Butternut Squash with Hoisin and Chives

Hands down, our favorite new roast squash recipe! Here, hoisin mixed with rice vinegar and sesame oil makes a salty-sweet-tangy-nutty dressing for tender chunks of roasted butternut squash that provides a creamy and tasty mouthful.

You can purchase already peeled and cut squash from the grocery store, but keep in mind that if the pieces are smaller or larger than specified here, you may need to adjust the cooking time. Use a broiler-safe rimmed baking sheet, as the squash chars for about 10 minutes under the broiler.

Peeling squash was never a favorite prep step. But our new Milk Street Precision Peeler makes it so easy! Few peelers actually do what they are designed to do: shave away the skins and peels from fruits and vegetables. At a cost of $29.95, it is pricey, but so well worth it.

The ovoid shape fills the palm for comfort when gripping tight and the graceful pinch grip provides a precision hold for controlled peeling even the toughest peels, skins and zest. The blade has a wide pivot to accommodate ingredients of all shapes and size, from butternut squash and eggplant to Parmesan and chocolate. Comes with extra blades.

The weight of our two butternut squash exceeded the required 3 pounds. We decided to roast all of it (in two baking sheets) and use the remainder to accompany another meal, and make butternut squash soup. Don’t crowd the baking sheets with squash flesh otherwise it will steam and not obtain the light char that is preferable.

As far as cooking time, our sheet of squash chunks roasted in the hot oven for 15 minutes instead of 10. Then a total of 15 minutes under the broiler while turning and moving the baking sheet a few times—even so, some squash obtained more a of a char than others.

With cooler temps rolling in for the autumn and winter months, this side dish is a welcome accompaniment to grilled meats, braised dishes, vegetarian meals, and roasted poultry.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Hoisin and Chives

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 3 lbs. peeled and seeded butternut squash, cut into 1½- to 2-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp. neutral oil
  • 2 tsp. packed brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives OR 3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal


  1. Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack 6 inches from the element.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the squash with the neutral oil, sugar, 1 tablespoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until just shy of tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Turn the oven to broil and broil until charred and fully tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the hoisin, vinegar and sesame oil. When the squash is done, immediately add it and the chives to the bowl, then toss.


Recipe courtesy of Milk Street

Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup with Sage Pesto

Soup isn’t typically a dish that comes to mind during hot weather spells. But I couldn’t help myself when I saw this fiber-rich recipe from America’s Test Kitchen (ATK). So on a rare cool, cloudy day in mid-summer, I spent some afternoon time preparing this Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup with Sage Pesto, with the intentions of having it for dinner on the following night.

Instead of the usual creamy, rich, puréed style of butternut squash soup, this heartier version can stand on its own as a meal. It features chunks of squash paired with creamy cannellini beans to give the soup some heft.

Because the bulb portion of the squash is difficult to cut into cubes that will cook evenly, and because it naturally cooks faster than the dense neck portion, ATK suggests cutting the bulb into wedges, cook them in the broth until soft, and then mash them to make a “squash stock”—giving the soup base body and flavor.

A swirl of freshly-made sage pesto made in a mini food processor, lends the right bright, fresh finish. The pesto is so good, you may be tempted to eat it directly from the bowl. If you have any leftover, use it as a condiment on any number of other edibles; or stir into pasta.

Since The Hubs detests walnuts, I opted to use pine nuts—a common ingredient in pesto. If you are intent on keeping it vegetarian, use vegetable broth. Keep in mind, whatever stock you use, a homemade version is always a better bet because of the depth of flavor it offers.

Purchasing precut chunks of squash allows for ease of preparation although you may have to dice some of those chunks into 1⁄2-inch pieces for Step 5. To bulk up the meal further, serve with a slice of toasted crusty rosemary olive oil loaf.

Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup with Sage Pesto

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • ½ cup fresh sage leaves
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 oz. (1/2 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra for serving
  • Salt and pepper


  • 1 2- to 2 1/2 lb. butternut squash
  • 4 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade; or vegetable stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 15-oz. cans cannellini beans
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • Grated Parm for serving


  1. FOR THE PESTO: Pulse pine nuts and garlic in food processor until coarsely chopped, about 5 pulses. Add parsley and sage; with processor running, slowly add oil and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to bowl, stir in Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. FOR THE SOUP: Using sharp vegetable peeler or chef’s knife, remove skin and fibrous threads just below skin from squash (peel until squash is completely orange with no white flesh remaining, roughly 1/8 inch deep). Cut round bulb section off squash and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds; cut each half into 4 wedges.
  3. Bring squash wedges, broth, water, and soy sauce to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer vigorously until squash is very tender and starting to fall apart, about 20 minutes.
  4. Using potato masher, mash squash, still in broth, until completely broken down. Cover to keep warm; set aside. (For a creamier base, you may want to use an immersion blender.)
  5. While broth cooks, cut neck of squash into 1/2-inch pieces. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add leeks and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks have softened and tomato paste has darkened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add squash pieces, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add squash broth and bring to simmer. Partially cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Add beans and their liquid, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is just tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing pesto and extra Parmesan separately.


Adapted from a recipe by Steve Dunn for America’s Test Kitchen

Is It Really “Pumpkin” Pie?

Technically, who knows? The FDA can, and has, given the OK for any orange-colored squash to also be labeled pumpkin. So that can of pumpkin you’ve been buying all these years? BINGO, it doesn’t have any actual Halloween pumpkin in it at all! So now let me rock your world…

Scoop that autumnal glop out of a can, even one labeled “100 percent pure pumpkin,” and you just may be cooking up a delicious little lie. Libby’s Pure Pumpkin—the quintessential American canned pumpkin brand—is responsible for 85% of canned pumpkin sold in the world.

Libby’s grows a proprietary strain of tan-skinned Dickinson squash, which looks like a pale, slightly misshapen butternut squash. And although Libby’s does refer to its fruit as “pumpkin,” in appearance, taste, and texture, it more closely resembles squash. In fact, its closest high-profile relative is butternut squash. Who knew?

If it’s a real deal breaker for you, go ahead and make your own pie filling from scratch. Or, you could just pop open a can and accept the fact that if it was good enough for mom, it’s good enough for you…. and that’s exactly what The Hubs did…

He made the pie from scratch, including the crust, and used butternut squash instead of canned pumpkin. According to chef/auther Melissa Clark, “Making your own fresh purée from sweet winter varieties will give you the best possible pumpkin pie, one that’s both ultracreamy and richly flavored. Just don’t be tempted to halve the whole squash and bake it still in the skin. Cutting it into cubes allows for the most evaporation and condensation for the best texture and taste.”

If using a glass or ceramic pie pan, you might want to parbake the crust. Since glass doesn’t conduct heat as well as metal, the crust may not cook through if you don’t parbake.

Let it just be said, I am not a pie person, nor do I ever eat dessert, but I did taste a sliver just to know what I was going to write about. The Hubs claims it was very light and up there with some of the best he’s ever eaten; and while I did like the flavors and creamy texture, I am no pie convert yet…

To make it even more special and really rock your world, why not top it with an extravagant Bourbon Whipped Cream from Cook’s Country? Recipe follows.

The Ultimate Pumpkin Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 lbs. butternut squash (1 small squash), peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling out the dough
  • Dough for a single 9-inch pie crust
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice or pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. bourbon or dark rum, or use 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt


  1. Place two racks in the oven: one in the lower third and one in the upper third. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the lower oven rack and heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line another rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread butternut squash on it. Drizzle squash with 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream, sprinkle with granulated sugar and dot the top with butter. Roast on the upper rack, stirring once or twice, until squash is very tender, 40 to 50 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch metal pie pan. Fold over any excess dough, crimping the edges. Transfer to the freezer for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. (This helps the crust hold its shape so the edges don’t slump.)
  4. When the squash is soft, transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes (and up to a few hours). Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees.
  5. In a food processor or blender, purée the squash with the remaining cream until smooth. Add eggs, brown sugar, spices, bourbon and salt, and pulse to combine. The mixture should be very smooth.
  6. Pour mixture into the chilled pie shell. Carefully transfer pie to the hot baking sheet on the bottom rack. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 300 and continue to bake until the crust is golden and the center jiggles just slightly when shaken, 35 to 45 minutes longer. Transfer pie to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving. Pie can be baked up to 24 hours ahead of serving; do not refrigerate before serving.


Recipe from Melissa Clark

Bourbon Whipped Cream

Keep the heavy cream cold until you start whipping. Confectioners’ sugar produces a more stable whipped cream than granulated sugar.

Bourbon Whipped Cream

  • Servings: Yields 3 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 Tbsp. bourbon
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, mix all ingredients together on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute.
  2. Increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes.


Recipe from Cook’s Country

Herb-Rubbed Pork with Squash and Grapes

So simple, with minimal ingredients, using only one sheet pan, but packs a lot of flavor. Do I have your interest now? Here, fruit, vegetables, and pork tenderloin all roast on one pan for this hands-off dinner recipe. The sweet, wine-y flavor of grapes intensifies while roasting, a perfect pairing for the natural sweetness of pork.

I tweaked the recipe a tad by purchasing already-prepped butternut squash. I mean, who really likes peeling those things? Plus, the original directions had you buy a 2-pound squash, peel it, but only use half of it. Save yourself time and aggravation and buy it already cubed.

In addition, the original amount of grapes was 1 cup. If you try to measure 1 cup of whole grapes, it doesn’t amount to many. Therefore, I changed the quantity to 8 ounces, which ended up being a perfect amount.

During the last step of roasting, make sure to check the meat after 10 minutes. I waited the full 15 minutes and our pork was a little more done than we prefer. After resting and slicing, pour any accumulated juices back over the meat.

Herb-Rubbed Pork with Squash and Grapes

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 tsp. dried herbs, such as thyme, oregano, basil, and/or rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1, 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin
  • 1 lb. butternut squash, already peeled and cut in 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. seedless red grapes


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  3. In a small bowl combine herbs, chili powder, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Rub all over pork.
  4. Place pork on one side of prepared pan. Add squash and onion on other side of pan; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Drizzle pork, squash, and onion with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast 15 minutes.
  5. Stir squash and onion; add grapes. Roast 10 to 15 minutes more until pork is done (145°F). Remove pork to a moated cutting board, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  6. Turn off the oven and leave the veggies in to keep warm while meat rests.


Recipe found in Better Homes & Garden Magazine

Roasted Rosemary Butternut Squash and Shallots

Butternut squash is a fall heavyweight in my opinion. It pairs well with a variety of flavors and can reinvent itself either sweet or spicy. In this case, we are talking naturally sweet which really develops as it roasts. And you all know that butternut squash is very nutritious with the flesh full of vitamins A and C.

It was a gift from our compost. I noticed squash vines starting to grow in our herb bed backed by a trellised fence. We hadn’t planted any squash so I knew it came from when we composted the garden earlier in the season. Plus the rosemary was freshly picked from our herb garden. Thank you Mother Nature!

Oops, I completely forgot to add the 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar. It really wasn’t needed taste-wise because our squash was naturally sweet, but the sugar was more a conductor for caramelization. Although our cubes were lightly browned without it.

This recipe calls for a specific amount of squash, so you may have some leftover. Ours weighed in at 3.3 pounds—a good bit larger than the recipe called for. After peeling and seeding, your squash will lose 2-3 ounces of weight. For example, a 3-pound squash will yield about 2 pounds 13 ounces of flesh. This recipe calls for 2 pounds of diced squash, you’ll want to look for a squash that is around 2 pounds, 3 ounces in weight.

If you have leftovers like us, you may want to sauté the extra cubes and use them in a future frittata, salad or side dish. The toughest part of this recipe is peeling the squash, so it is permissible to buy already cubed, just make sure they are cut to 3/4″ cubes and uniformly sized.

Roasted Rosemary Butternut Squash and Shallots

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 3 cups 3/4-inch-diced, peeled butternut squash (from about a 2-pound squash)
  • 4 medium shallots, peeled, root end left intact, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin oil
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Put the squash cubes on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet. Add the shallot quarters to the squash.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables; toss to coat. Sprinkle the rosemary, salt, sugar and pepper over the veggies. Toss to coat again and distribute evenly over the baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes. Stir, then continue rosting until the veggies are tender and lightly browned, 10-15 minutes more.
  5. Before serving, taste and season with more salt if desired.


Adapted from a recipe found on finecooking.com