Butternut squash is like the orange-headed stepchild of autumn and winter foods. While pumpkin recipes get all the attention — I’m talking pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie cheesecake — butternut squash is often passed over. That’s a shame because this variety of winter squash is loaded with nutritious benefits and is endlessly versatile — and even though it’s often thought of as a cold-weather food, it’s available year-round, making butternut squash recipes good for any season.
If you’ve stayed away from the vegetable because you’re not sure what to do with it besides roast it, this recipe list is for you. These butternut squash recipes highlight the sweet, underrated taste of butternut squash. You’ll want to make these meals year-round!
21 Butternut Squash Recipes
These vegan tacos are just as hearty as their meaty counterparts and portable for a healthy, on-the-go meal. If you’re avoiding gluten, choose gluten-free tortillas, or enjoy the fillings and toppings as a burrito bowl instead.
These burgers are so substantial, it’s hard to believe there’s no meat involved. The variety of seasonings adds a ton of taste, while adding flaxseeds and black beans means you’ll feel full for hours. Serve these with a side salad or sweet potato fries for an awesome, kid-friendly dinner.
You know those chili recipes that take a full day to cook? This butternut squash recipe isn’t one of them. When the craving for chili strikes, you can have this one on the table in under 90 minutes.
It’s slightly sweet with just enough heat to wake up your taste buds. I love topping this vegetarian dish with lots of fresh, benefit-rich avocado.
Photo: Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado / Cookie + Kate
This one-skillet meal is perfect for busy weeknights. Essentially a deconstructed taco or burrito, this butternut squash recipe uses your favorite Tex-Mex flavors, like chili powder, cumin and coriander, for a simple, satisfying dish.
Make extra — the leftovers taste great, too!
Tired of your normal salad of leafy greens and sad-looking veggies? Get inspired by this fresh autumn salad.
Adding quinoa to a salad gives it a huge protein boost while cranberries provide a dose of antioxidants. Say goodbye to that wilted lettuce, and make this ASAP.
When you need an easy side or a quick snack, these butternut squash fries are excellent. They’re a great way to switch things up from the usual sweet potato and introduce your children (or picky spouse) to a new vegetable.
Photo: Butternut Squash “Fries” / My Fussy Eater
These pizzas are a healthier take on English muffin pizzas. The butternut squash stands in as the dough, ensuring you get a bite of antioxidants in every bite. These are an awesome healthy snack for kids that they can prepare themselves!
Have you tried risotto before? It’s a creamy Italian rice dish — delicious but quite decadent.
This squash version keeps things super nutritious while retaining that creamy consistency. Served alongside chicken or beef and garnished with fresh herbs, this side dish is a standout.
Photo: Butternut Squash Risotto / Paleo Grub
Forget buying canned soup. This recipe puts steaming hot soup on the table in just 45 minutes, and with apples and coconut milk included, it’s great for you, too.
I love this as a light lunch, an opening course, or paired with a salad or sandwich.
This vegan-friendly fakeout “mac and cheese” is genius. Instead of the powdered stuff that comes in boxed macaroni, the “cheese” sauce in this version is made entirely from butternut squash. When mixed onion, garlic, thyme, curry and broth, this sauce is out of this world.
If you want to make this a hearty main dish, you could even add some veggies, like broccoli or spinach, and a little protein, too. Both kids and adults will love this one.
Photo: Butternut Squash “Mac and Cheese” / Baby Foodie
This Indian-inspired curry is bursting with flavor and good-for-you ingredients, like chickpeas, spinach, coconut milk and peas. It’s also mild enough to serve little ones without irritating them.
Cold nights call for a comforting stew, and this one’s it. If the idea of apples and butternut squash sounds strange, this recipe will change your mind.
Along with fresh ginger, spinach and carrots, the ingredients bring out all the autumn flavors. The lentils make this super filling as well.
The best part? This stew is ready in about an hour with little hands-on time.
Get a load of vitamins K and A with the benefit-loaded kale in this elegant, tasty salad. Tahini adds a sesame flavor to the dressing, while candied pecans add a sweet crunch. When you need to pull together dinner in a flash, this butternut squash recipe is a great choice.
Stuffed vegetables are genius: You get a delicious filling packed in a healthy package. This Mediterranean dish doesn’t disappoint.
After scooping out the insides of the squash (save it for another recipe!), the halves are roasted while you prepare a tasty quinoa-veggie mix in a pan. Drop in the filling, top with feta and Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!
Photo: Mediterranean Quinoa-Stuffed Butternut Squash / My Food and Happiness
This Parmesan gratin makes an excellent, veggie-filled side dish for holiday parties, a roasted chicken or whenever the mood for gratin strikes. If you can’t eat gluten, opt for gluten-free breadcrumbs, or make your own. This recipe is so good you might find yourself making it without a main dish.
Photo: Parmesan Butternut Squash Gratin / Cooking Classy
How do you make two things that are outstanding on their own — enchiladas and casseroles — even better? Combine ’em.
First, you’ll roast the butternut squash along with onions and jalapeno and poblano peppers for heat. Then, you’ll layer brown rice (and gluten-free!) tortillas with the roasted veggies, plus fiber-rich black beans, cilantro and salsa and cheese.
The result is a melty, healthy Tex-Mex dish the whole family will want seconds of.
Photo: Roasted Butternut Squash Enchilada Casserole / Making Thyme for Health
One-skillet meals are lifesavers for busy evenings. This pasta is an example of why they’re so great: few dishes to wash, loads of flavor and it all comes together in a short amount of time.
The cooked squash adds a creaminess to this dish without the need for dairy, and the chicken sausage adds great flavor. Don’t skimp on the sage, either — use fresh for maximum taste!
Come home to a hot, homemade meal with this slow cooker stew. There’s no prep aside from peeling and cutting the squash. Just dump the rest of your ingredients — chicken, quinoa, diced tomatoes and seasonings — in the cooker, and let it work its magic.
It’s tasty, filling and good for you. What more do you need?
This is one of those butternut squash recipes you have to make to believe. Turkey tenderloins burst (literally) with fall flavors — butternut squash and figs — while remaining super juicy. Other fruits, like pears or apples, would work well, too.
Serve this with roasted vegetables, and make extras to use in sandwiches. You’ll be happy you did!
Photo: Stuffed Turkey Breasts with Butternut Squash and Figs / Skinnytaste
I love how creative these wraps are. Instead of boring old veggies wrapped in lettuce, this recipe caramelizes butternut squash and tops it with a Thai peanut butter sauce. (Be sure to use organic, one-ingredient PB.)
This one will make it onto your regular menu rotation for sure.
Photo: Thai Butternut Squash Lettuce Wraps / How Sweet Eats
Ready in roughly an hour, this butternut squash bake combines the flavors of onion, apple and pecans with goat cheese, cinnamon and coconut oil. It’s a hearty meal that can serve a family four, and it’s healthy too boot!
Candied pecans may not sound too healthy, but in this homemade version, they are … thanks in no small part to the squash. In less than an hour, you can have a tasty treat that has the sweetness of maple syrup, the crunch of pecans and the taste of butternut squash, all topped with a dressing that includes avocado oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger and more.
Forget the gluten-heavy pasta — use squash instead! Butternut squash ravioli combines so many delicious flavors and textures into one dish.
The main ingredient is flavorful butternut squash, but that’s not all! This gluten-free dish also contains creamy goat cheese, zesty garlic and an array of brightening herbs, including thyme and sage.
Talk about a unique recipe. Not only is it a vegan version of ice cream, but it also combines pumpkin and butternut squash for a truly delicious summertime treat.
This one takes a while to make, but boy is it worth it. The best part? There isn’t an icky ingredient in sight.