5 Squash Recipes to Warm up Your Winter Meals
It’s that time of year when beautiful, ripe squash are piled high in bins throughout our favorite grocery stores and farmers’ markets. To help you take advantage of the bounty, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite recipes featuring fall’s most beloved ingredient.
Stuffed Shells with Butternut Sauce
From Low-So Good by Jessica Goldman Foung, photographs by John Lee
Serves 4 to 6
- One 12-oz [340-g] box jumbo pasta shells
- 1 tsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 4 oz [115 g] ground pork, or 1 cup [100 g] grated zucchini
- 2 cups low-sodium ricotta
- 1/2 cup [15 g] chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 4 cups [960 ml] Roasted Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup (recipe below)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F [190°C]. Lightly oil a 9-by-12-in [23-by-28-cm] baking dish.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add the pasta shells. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta shells in a colander and rinse with cool water.
3. Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a medium skillet or sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ground pork and cook until browned and no longer pink, stirring frequently, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the fat and set the cooked meat aside in a small bowl.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the cauliflower “ricotta,” basil, cooked pork, and allspice and mix well. Set aside.
5. Spread 1 cup [240 ml] of the squash soup in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with the “ricotta” mixture, about 1 Tbsp per shell, and place in the baking dish in a single layer, seam-side up, over the squash soup. Cover the stuffed shells with the remaining 3 cups [720 ml] soup. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top, cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake until the shells are tender, 15 minutes. Uncover the dish and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler for the final 3 minutes to crisp the pasta shells. Garnish with basil, and serve hot.
To make the Roasted Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup:
Makes 5 to 6 cups
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup [120 g] chopped yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups [560 g] cubed butternut squash
- 1/4 tsp salt- free garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 cups [960 ml] water
- Preheat the oven to broil and line a small baking pan with aluminum foil.
- Cut the bell pepper in half and remove the stem and seeds. Lay the pepper halves cut-side down in the prepared pan. Broil until charred, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and, using tongs, put the halves in a medium bowl. Use the foil to cover the bowl and let steam, about 15 minutes. After they are cool to the touch, remove and discard the charred skins. Set aside.
- In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter begins to turn a golden brown color, about 2 minutes, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add the squash, garlic powder, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Add the water, stir, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Roughly chop the roasted red pepper and add to the pot. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup in the pot until smooth. Return the soup to medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the soup is reduced to your liking, another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
Whole-Wheat Penne with Pumpkin, Rosemary, and Pine Nuts
From Feast by Sarah Copeland, photographs by Yunhee Kim
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 to 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 or 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb/455 g whole-wheat penne
- 4 cups/960 ml marinara sauce
- Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese for grating
- ¼ cup/15 g toasted pine nuts (note below)
- Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, pumpkin, red pepper flakes, and rosemary and cook until the pumpkin is tender, 7 to 10 minutes, adding the remaining 1 tbsp of oil if needed. After the pumpkin absorbs all the oil, add 2 tbsp boiling water and continue cooking. Season with salt and black pepper. If you like, chop up a few of the crispy rosemary sprigs for garnish, or remove and discard them.
- Add the penne to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup/60 ml of the pasta cooking liquid for the sauce.
- Warm the marinara sauce in a large pot over low heat. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss gently to coat, adding the pasta cooking liquid as needed, 1 tbsp at a time, to your desired consistency.
- Scoop the dressed pasta into shallow bowls and spoon the pumpkin mixture over the top. Grate or shave Parmigiano Reggiano over the top with a vegetable peeler and sprinkle with the pine nuts. Serve warm.
Note: To toast the pine nuts, spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350°F/180°C gas oven until they have darkened in shade just slightly and are fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through baking to roll the nuts around. Let cool completely.
Roasted Acorn Squash with Hazelnuts, Brown Butter & Rosemary
From Gjelina by Travis Lett, photographs by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
- ¼ cup [30 g] roughly chopped hazelnuts
- 4 Tbsp [55 g] unsalted butter
- 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- ¼ cup [60 ml] water
- 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- ½ cup [120 ml] Vegetable Stock
- ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F [220°C].
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt and cook the butter, skimming the solids from the surface until the butter is clear. Turn the heat to low, and cook until the butter develops a nutty aroma and turns from yellow to a deep brown. Remove from the heat and let cool. (Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
- Put the squash halves in a large roasting pan, cut-side down. Add the water to the pan, cover with aluminum foil, and roast for 25 minutes. Remove the foil, and continue roasting until the squash is lightly browned, about 10 minutes longer. Cut the squash halves into bite-size pieces and transfer to a serving platter.
- In a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the brown butter. Add the toasted hazelnuts and brown sugar and season with salt. Stir in the rosemary and cook until the rosemary becomes fragrant and the sugar has dissolved into the butter, about 3 minutes. Add the stock, a little bit at a time, and continue to cook until you have an emulsified, slightly thickened pan sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Pour the brown butter sauce over the squash and season with pepper. Serve warm.
Moroccan Freekeh with Butternut Squash and Kohlrabi
From One Pan Two Plates: Vegetarian Suppers by Carla Snyder, photographs by Jody Horton
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 leek, white part only, cleaned and sliced
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ras el hanout or other Moroccan spice blend
- 1 cup [150 g] cracked freekeh
- 2 cups [480 ml] vegetable broth
- 2 cups [230 g] diced butternut squash 2 cups [230 g] diced kohlrabi
- 1/4 cup [40 g] raisins 1/4 cup [30 g] slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup [7 g] chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more juice as needed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a 12-in [30.5-cm] skillet over medium- high heat, and add the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the leek and cook until it begins to soften, about 1 minute. Add the cumin, cinnamon, ras el hanout, and freekeh and cook, stirring, until the grain is lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Add the vegetable broth, butternut squash, kohlrabi, and raisins and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the freekeh and vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Stir the almonds, parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice into the pan and drizzle with more olive oil. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if it needs it.
- Spoon the freekeh into shallow bowls. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Crusted Pumpkin Wedges with Sour Cream
From Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, photographs by Jonathan Lovekin
- 1½ lbs pumpkin (skin on)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- 3 tbsp dried white breadcrumbs
- 6 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 2½ tsp finely chopped thyme grated zest of 2 large lemons
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed salt and white pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp chopped dill
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the pumpkin into ³ 8-inch-thick slices and lay them flat, cut-side down, on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
- Mix together in a small bowl the Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, half the lemon zest, the garlic, a tiny amount of salt (remember, the Parmesan is salty) and some pepper.
- Brush the pumpkin generously with olive oil and sprinkle with the crust mix, making sure the slices are covered with a nice, thick coating. Gently pat the mix down a little.
- Place the pan in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender: stick a little knife in one wedge to make sure it has softened and is cooked through. If the topping starts to darken too much during cooking, cover loosely with foil.
- Mix the sour cream with the dill and some salt and pepper. Serve the wedges warm, sprinkled with the remaining lemon zest, with the sour cream on the side.
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