25+ Recipes That Make the Most of Butternut Squash

updated Oct 4, 2022
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butternut squash shrimp curry sits in a bowl on a table next to rice and another dish of curry

I grew up thinking the only way to eat butternut squash was to mash it with lots of butter, milk, and brown sugar. Although that’s a delicious way to enjoy it (it’s still one of my favorites!), I’ve learned there are many more possibilities when it comes to preparing the vegetable.

Here are a couple dozen butternut squash recipes, plus some basic prep (because it’s probably been a while, and helpful to have a refresh on the best way to cut and peel butternut squash) and cooking instructions — so you can make soups, salads, pastas, and even casseroles with this sweet, hearty fall vegetable.

Butternut Squash Basics

Cozy Soups

A steaming pot of butternut squash soup is the epitome of fall comfort. What’s great is most versions freeze well, too, so you can make a double batch for the future.

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Butternut Squash Soup
We upgraded the classic soup with a few key ingredients (like apples and pumpkin puree) that makes it even better than Panera's.
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Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
A hearty root vegetable soup that's incredibly versatile — and perfect for meal preppers.
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Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash, sage, and apple join forces in this easy Instant Pot soup that celebrates all the flavors of winter and fall.
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Bean, Bacon and Butternut Squash Soup with Swiss Chard

A little bit of bacon lends big savory flavor to this textured soup.

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Southwestern Butternut Squash Soup

Cumin and coriander add spicy warmth to this soup while a squeeze of orange and lime give it a hit of late-fall sunshine.

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Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup

You can roast vegetables with the intention of making this soup or you can use whatever roast vegetables you have leftover to make this soup a part of your next-day meal plan.

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Sides of All Kinds

No matter how it’s prepared, sweet and tender butternut squash is the ideal seasonal side dish for roast chicken, fish, and more.

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Air Fryer Butternut Squash
For crispy and tender butternut squash in a fraction of the time, use your air fryer.
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Mashed Butternut Squash
This root vegetable mash is velvety smooth, easy to prepare, and is a great alternative to potatoes at mealtime.
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Roasted Butternut Squash with Orange Tahini, Walnuts, and Za’atar
A citrusy tahini sauce, toasted walnuts, and savory za'atar lend big, bold flavor to this simple sheet pan of roasted butternut squash.
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Wild Rice Pilaf with Squash, Pecans, and Cranberries

This wild rice studded with butternut squash, pecans, and dried cranberries can be enjoyed warm or cold.

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Baked Butternut Squash
This timeless fall side dish is simple and versatile enough that you'll find yourself turning to it again and again all season long.
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Kale & Quinoa Salad with Roasted Squash and Sweet Potatoes
This hearty kale salad, packed with quinoa, roasted veggies, and a creamy tahini dressing, is absolutely perfect for fall.
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Orzo with Butternut Squash, Spinach & Blue Cheese

Blue cheese provides bold flavor in this orzo salad, though goat cheese can be substitutted, if you prefer.

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Main Dishes

Of course, turning it into the main event is never a bad idea, either — especially when it’s mac and cheese, pizza, and beyond.

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Vegan Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Shepherd's Pie
A plant-based alternative to a classic dish, this vegan version of shepherd’s pie boasts of a delicious filling of sweet potato, butternut squash, and "meat" crumbles.
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Coconut Shrimp Curry with Butternut Squash and Spinach
This South Indian-inspired curry is made with a paste of fresh coconut, ginger, shallots, and dried red chiles, and is best enjoyed over steamed rice.
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Crispy Sheet Pan Gnocchi with Mushrooms, Sausage, and Butternut Squash

This fall-inspired recipe for crispy sheet pan gnocchi comes together in 30 minutes.

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Butternut Squash Ravioli

This fresh pasta will satisfy all of your autumn cravings.

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Butternut Squash Rose Tart

Blossoms made of butternut squash ribbons, sage- and garlic-flecked ricotta, and a tender olive oil crust make for a dish that’s 100 percent worthy of the main event.

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Butternut Squash Risotto

This easy risotto is packed with tender butternut squash and flavored with fresh sage.

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Pizza with Crispy Kale, Butternut Squash, Bacon & Smoked Mozzarella

Smoked mozzarella ties together the sweetness of the squash and the heartiness of the kale ever so nicely.

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Here's how to make an easy butternut squash mac and cheese that is all flavor and no fuss.
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Butternut Squash and Broccolini Rice Bowl with Soy Chorizo

This easy vegetarian meal is made with some of Trader Joe's best (and cheapest) ingredients.

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Creamy One-Pot Butternut Squash Pasta with White Beans and Kale
This 30-minute vegetarian dinner is packed with protein, thanks to a can of white beans a dollop of Greek yogurt. It cooks all in one pot (sauce and all!), making for easy clean-up.
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Ricotta Toast with Cider-Braised Squash
Butternut squash is braised with apple cider, whole grain mustard, a splash of vinegar, and a pinch of brown sugar until tender, then piled atop ricotta toast for the ultimate vegetarian fall dinner.
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Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo

Here, roasted butternut squash is puréed with cream and Parmesan cheese to create a velvety Alfredo sauce that coats every inch of the al dente pasta.

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Rigatoni with Winter Squash and Kale
This hearty fall pasta is filled with kale, sausage, roasted squash and tossed in a sharp and cheesy white wine sauce.
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