Butternut Squash

Lasagna, soup and salad—these basic dishes are all made more delicious by adding super sweet butternut squash. Butternut squash is packed with vitamins, calcium, iron and fiber, and also brings vibrant color to any meal. This aptly named squash has a buttery, nutty flavor that’s similar to yams and sweet potatoes. Because it’s so sweet, butternut squash can even be used for beautiful tarts, decadent brownies and refreshing sorbet. Its sweetness tempers a spicy curry dish, and its texture balances out the crispy, fatty pancetta in this soup. Whether you’re looking for a healthy side dish or decadent main course, butternut squash proves its versatility in this veggie-packed guide from Food & Wine.

Roasted Butternut Squash Parmesan

Cooking smarter—not harder—is my mantra these days, and when I get an idea in my head, I tumble it around until I have it honed, rounded, and polished. I knock off the excess, shave off the gratuitous frills, and try to pare down the idea to the essentials: how can I make it delicious, make it easy, and cook it as simply as possible? The idea for this Roasted Butternut Squash Parmesan occurred as I was making butternut squash schnitzel. Cut into planks, dipped in egg, dredged through panko, and fried, this was more or less the base layer for parm, except I used squash instead of eggplant (or chicken). I started thinking about how the sweetness of the squash paired with the acidity of marinara and the decadence of the melted cheese … I mean, what could not be amazing about this partnership? And flavor aside, if I could make a really great vegetarian parm without the hassle and mess of frying, it more or less qualifies me for sainthood, right? I decided to try roasting the squash sheet pan–style from the bottom up, layering it with marinara, cheese, and finally a super, umami-packed toasted breadcrumb topping (thank you garlic, Parmesan, and nutritional yeast!). First, the squash: I roasted it until just tender—about 15 minutes—and then slicked it with soy sauce–spiked marinara (a trick I discovered when I was working on my book, Umami Bomb). Then it got showered with generous amounts of shredded fontina, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Back into the oven it went until the cheese was molten, golden, and browned. It was so good (I mean, those breadcrumbs … I could eat them by the handful like granola). But there was one problem—since I made it all on a sheet pan, the squash was in a single layer and gave off side-dish vibes. So the next time, after sheet-panning the squash, I layered it traditional-style in a baking dish. So instead of an open-faced parm, this was now a double-decker of squash–marinara–oozy cheese with main-dish gravitas. It was hearty, way less fussy than making a traditional parm, and my stovetop didn’t need to be degreased post-cooking.
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Winter Squash and Savoy Cabbage Gratin with Garlic Crema

San Francisco chef Matthew Accarrino of SPQR looks to cornstarch to thicken the creamy milk-based roasted garlic sauce here. It’s a rich but healthy combination of winter squash with cabbage, all topped with crunchy hazelnuts. Slideshow: More Squash Recipes
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Curried Squash Galette

With a superflaky crust (the secret: frozen grated butter) and a lightly spiced sweet-savory winter squash filling, this rustic galette from Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple makes a perfect vegetarian meal; serve it with a green salad. Slideshow: Squash Recipes
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Butternut Squash Steaks au Poivre

In a vegetarian play on steak au poivre, F&W’s Justin Chapple swaps in butternut squash steaks for the beef and serves them with the go-to steakhouse green, sautéed spinach. Slideshow: More Butternut Squash Recipes
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Red Kuri Squash Soup with Ancho Chile and Apple

“Kuri squash has a unique, concentrated sweet flavor that’s beautiful in soup,” says Rick Bayless, chef at Frontera Grill in Chicago. (Butternut is a fine substitute.) He adds more layers of flavor with apple, cinnamon and raisiny ancho chile, and even blends in the squash seeds for nuttiness. Slideshow: More Warming Soup Recipes Recipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners.
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Roasted Squash with Tamarind-Chile Glaze and Crispy Quinoa

Top Chef winner CJ Jacobson glazes winter squash with a fragrant, tangy mix of annatto, tamarind, chile and lime juice. Crispy quinoa gives the dish great crunch.         Slideshow: More Vegetarian Recipes
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More Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Roasting the butternut squash makes for a tender and creamy sauce. Slideshow: More Lasagna Recipes
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Gluten-Free Butternut Squash, Kale, and Quinoa Crumble

The beauty of this savory crumble is that it’s vegetable-heavy enough to be served as either a starter or a main course. The topping is a combination of cooked quinoa, a touch of quinoa flour, finely ground almonds, and grated Parmesan cheese making it gluten free. It’s also great served over a bed of salad greens. Slideshow: More Gluten-Free Recipes
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