31 Butternut Squash Recipes That Will Make You Wonder Why Pumpkin Gets All the Attention

Always the supporting role, never the star. The opening act, but never the main event. When it comes to fall ingredients, butternut squash often gets sidelined in favor of its orange sibling. Not that we’re knocking pumpkin (we’ve proven our love for it time and again), but it’s time butternut squash got its moment in the spotlight. Check out these 31 breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes that prove butternut is kind of a big deal.


1. Butternut Squash Waffles

Photo: Kara Lydon

This recipe uses white whole-wheat flour as the base, but the addition of puréed butternut squash adds even more fiber (and a gorgeous golden color). There’s already some maple syrup in the batter, so you might not need more on top. Just a scattering of chopped nuts and fruit ought to do it.

2. Butternut Squash Noodle Hash

Photo: Hold the Grain

Spiralized butternut noodles make it easy to feel like you’re eating pasta for breakfast, without sending you into a carb coma first thing in the morning. Add kale for some prenoon produce and top with an egg for the carbonara effect.

3. Kale and Butternut Squash Breakfast Bowls

Photo: The Organic Dietitian

Butternut squash is a lower-carb alternative to sweet potatoes but pairs just as well with eggs. Tossed with a nutrient-rich mix of veggies and spiced with a unique blend of cinnamon, turmeric, and oregano, it’s a funky (and fiber-rich) way to start your day.

4. Caramelized Onion Butternut Squash Crustless Quiche

Photo: Physical Kitchness

In the absence of a crust, chunks of butternut squash add a great texture contrast to the smooth egg and coconut milk mixture in this quiche. The oven does most of the work here, leaving your hands free for a mimosa.

5. Butternut Squash Maple Oat Pancakes

Photo: Skinny Fitalicious

No butter in these pancakes, but plenty of butternut! There’s also a flax egg option if you’re vegan. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla make this basically fall in flapjack form.

6. Butternut Squash Toast With Fried Eggs

Photo: Naturally Ella

Take a break from peanut butter or avocado, and slather this whipped butternut squash on your morning toast instead. The slightly buttery, naturally sweet, and just-peppery-enough spread gets even better with caramelized onions and a runny egg on top.

7. Butternut Squash and Banana Oatmeal

Photo: Breakfast Drama Queen

If pumpkin oatmeal is a thing, butternut squash oatmeal is the natural next step. Oatmeal is already known as a pretty smart breakfast, but powering it up with vitamins and beta-carotene from the squash makes it nothing short of a genius morning meal.

8. Breakfast Risotto With Greens

Photo: Autoimmune Paleo

Unlike regular risotto, this breakfast version needs just 12 minutes of cooking time thanks to pulsed butternut squash “rice” instead of the Arborio kind. Sautéed until just tender, with swirls of rainbow chard running through, this veggie-packed dish may be better than the original grain-based one.


9. One-Pan Tempeh Butternut Squash Bake

Photo: Eating Bird Food

Butternut squash isn’t a common ingredient in Asian cuisine, but it really should be given how well it pairs with the soy-garlic-ginger sauce in this recipe. Oven-roasted tempeh adds a hefty portion of vegan protein to make it a complete meal.

10. Easy Tuna Bake With Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Feta

Photo: Everyday Healthy Recipes

This is one of those don’t-knock-it-’til-you-try-it dishes. Butternut squash, tuna, and feta is quite the unlikely trio, but you’ll be amazed at how well the flavors complement each other after they’ve had an hour or so to get acquainted in the oven.

11. Butternut Squash Tacos

Photo: Bijoux & Bits

You really can’t have too many taco recipes up your sleeve, and trust us, you want this one in your repertoire. Fill corn tortillas with cumin-dusted butternut, spinach, and black beans, then drizzle with a maple-tahini dressing that you’ll want to put on everything. This vegetarian dish covers you for Meatless Monday and Taco Tuesday.

12. Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchilada Skillet

Photo: Ambitious Kitchen

Given the protein in the cheese and beans, the starchy corn tortillas, and the squash and onions filling the veggie quota, this is a fantastic, well-balanced one-skillet meal for a weeknight. Considering it comes together in less than 30 minutes, we’d go so far as to say it’s easier to make this than to go out for dinner.

13. Curried Beef and Butternut Squash Stuffed Peppers

Photo: Fed and Fit

Stuffed peppers usually consist of mostly ground beef, but this recipe replaces half the meat with a purée of butternut squash, so you’re still getting the protein—but with some extra veggie action thrown in. Kicked up a few notches with red curry paste, it’s a new spin on an old concept.

14. Maple Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta With Kale

Photo: Fork Knife Swoon

As the weather cools down and hot meals start sounding more appealing, be sure to make this. Delicate angel-hair noodles are tossed with hearty pieces of chicken and butternut squash, then sprinkled with sage and a touch of maple syrup. It’s the perfect fall pasta.

15. Roasted Butternut Squash Sandwiches With Balsamic White Bean Spread

Photo: Connoisseurus Veg

Packed with panko-crusted butternut squash and slathered with a thick, garlicky bean spread, this isn’t your typical brown-bag sandwich. Eat it hot or cold; it’s super tasty and filling either way.

16. Vegan Mac and Cheese With Butternut Squash Noodles

Photo: Food Faith Fitness

Mac ‘n’ cheese cravings don’t spare anyone—not even vegans. This cashew-based “cheese” sauce is a great way to satisfy that hunger without resorting to dairy. And since butternut squash noodles replace the pasta, you get a bonus serving of veggies.

Salads and Sides

17. Butternut Squash and White Bean Dip

Photo: Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

With olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini, this dip contains hints of hummus, but the squash and white beans give it a flavor all its own. Serve with veggie sticks or pita wedges, and enjoy as a solitary snack or party appetizer. Gotta love a recipe so versatile!

18. Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Onion, Goat Cheese, and Pecan Salad

Photo: Bourbon & Brown Sugar

Salads are a great way to celebrate the seasons, since each one comes with its own distinct ingredients. Usher in autumn with this recipe, which shows off the flavors of fall with buttery squash, savory goat cheese, and crisp pecans.

19. Roasted Butternut Squash and Cauliflower With Tahini

Photo: Savourmania

When there’s a chill in the air, you may be more in the mood for a warm side instead of a cold pile of mixed leaves. In that case, try this easy squash and cauliflower mix, roasted until tender and topped with a lemon-tahini dressing. It’ll totally turn you on to lettuce-free salads.

20. Baked Butternut Squash Fries

Photo: Sweet Cannela

At first glance, they seem like typical sweet potato fries, but with a spoonful of orange juice and zest tossed in, these stand out for their sweet-citrus tang. They’re so tasty that even if you serve them as a side, they’ll probably end up stealing the show.

21. Roasted Butternut Squash, Beets, and Walnut Salad

Photo: My Poppet

Beets and butternut are a match made in farmer’s market heaven, and both are featured in this colorful vegan salad. Topped with walnuts and parsley, it’s simple enough for a side and hearty enough for a main meal.

22. Honey Orange-Glazed Brussels Sprouts With Butternut Squash

Photo: Jessica Gavin

The butter, orange, and honey coating makes this caramelized squash dish sweet, but not too sweet, thanks to the slight bitterness of the Brussels sprouts, the tart dried cranberries, and the kick of black pepper. It’s the perfect variety of flavors to cozy up to fall with.

23. Butternut Squash Crisps

Photo: Sugar Free Londoner

Move aside, potato chips. With four basic ingredients—none of them weird preservatives—these homemade crisps are a healthy snacker’s dream come true.

24. Easy 15-Minute Maple-Spice Squash

Photo: The Scrumptious Pumpkin

Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to make this quick and easy butternut mash. Flavored with almond butter, maple syrup, and quintessential fall spices, we won’t even blame you if you curl up with a big bowl of this sweet, addictive stuff for dessert.


25. Butternut Squash Pie

Photo: Reformation Acres

If pumpkin can go into pie, why can’t butternut squash? Seasoned with the usual suspects (ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon), this pie is just as tasty but has even more vitamin E and potassium benefits than the original.

26. Vegan Butternut Squash and Orange Cake

Photo: Wallflower Kitchen

This isn’t just one of the prettiest homemade cakes we’ve seen, it’s also vegan and wheat-free, with only a 1/4 cup of oil in the whole thing. Then there’s the butternut squash purée—and the orange-almond “cream” in the middle. Basically, there’s a whole lot to love about this festive fall dessert.

27. Butternut Squash Tart With Gingersnap Crust and Maple Coconut Whipped Cream

Photo: Lively Table

Don’t let the homemade crust here scare you off. It’s easy to make, and if gluten isn’t an issue for you, you can easily use a store-bought version. Besides, it’s what’s on the inside that counts: a butternut squash filling, made luscious (and dairy-free!) from coconut oil and almond milk. And if you can’t imagine a tart without the whipped topping, there’s a nondairy recipe for that too.

28. Vegan Gluten-Free Apple Crisp With Butternut Squash

Photo: Avocado Pesto

If you’ve already had dinner but are still low on your produce intake for the day, catch up with dessert. More than two whole apples and half a large butternut squash are packed into this warm crisp, making it the sweetest way to eat your fruits and veggies.

29. Butternut Squash Brownies

Photo: Meals Our Kids Love

There’s just one tablespoon of butter in this entire recipe but plenty of butternut squash. Not to mention lots of cocoa and chocolate chips, so these brownies don’t taste anything like vegetables.

30. Butternut Squash Chocolate Chip Cookies

Photo: Edible Imagination

There’s no sugar in the batter, so the natural sweetness from the butternut squash goes a long way, even though you won’t be able to tell there’s any hint of the veggies in the final product. As a bonus, this recipe makes a small batch of cookies for easy portion control.

31. Caramelized Butternut Squash With Cacao Butter and Coconut

Photo: Healthy Sweet Eats

The good thing about butternut squash is that it’s subtly sweet on its own, so it really doesn’t need much jazzing up to be a great dessert. Take this recipe: All it needs is a bit of cacao butter to caramelize the squash chunks, honey stirred in, and shredded coconut on top. Nothing too fancy, but oh so good.

This article was written by Anisha Jhaveri from Greatist and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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