Awesome Roasted Squash Recipes

Roasted Squash

It's the fall season: jack 'o lanterns on doorways, leaves falling from trees, and a chill in the air. It's also the season to roast some delicious fresh squash that's just come from the farm. Squash can be a sweet, tender side dish that provides valuable nutrients and minerals. It's easy to roast and it's fairly inexpensive at your local grocery store. A versatile appetizer or vegetable course, it's also fun to serve cubed on little toothpicks at parties. It gives your guests a sweet taste without adding on saturated fats or extra calories.

Basic Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is so sweet that you barely need any spices or seasonings. This simple recipe enhances the taste with just a few ingredients.

  • Cut up a butternut squash and discard the seeds and stems. Cut the squash into one-inch cubes.
  • In a large bowl, toss the squash cubes with two minced garlic cloves and a few tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Sprinkle a little salt or pepper over the squash before roasting.
  • Spread the squash on a baking sheet and bake at 400 F for between 25-30 minutes.
  • Your squash should be golden, brown, and tender. That will indicate it's ready to eat.

Easy Roasted Acorn Squash

This side dish is ideal for family dinners. Kids love it too- it provides adventurous and sweet eating while giving your little ones plenty of vitamins. Who doesn't love little cups of sweet squash?

  • Cut the acorn squash in half and scrape out any seeds, stems, or strings.
  • Arrange the halves on a baking sheet.
  • Dab two tablespoons of butter on each squash half until they're coated well.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on the squash.
  • On each squash half, add two tablespoons of butter and a teaspoon of brown sugar into the center.
  • Bake on 400 F for between 45 minutes to an hour.
  • The squash should be tender and have little melted pools of butter and brown sugar in the center.

Parsley and Garlic Roasted Squash

For this recipe, you can use any type of squash. We recommend a good winter squash like butternut, kabocha, or hubbard.

  • Cut your squash into one-inch cubes, discarding the stem and seeds.
  • Toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spread on a baking sheet and roast on 375 F for 30-45 minutes.
  • In a skillet, roast a few cloves of minced garlic in some olive oil. This should only take a minute or so until the garlic becomes browned.
  • In a large bowl, toss the garlic and parsley oil with the roasted squash.

Essentially, roasted squash requires three basic steps: cubing or cutting, seasoning, and baking. It's a versatile vegetable that you can season to taste with your favorite ingredients. You can create your own roasted squash recipes using particular seasonings like chili powder, pesto, or rosemary. Just cut up the squash, season it with your favorite spices, and bake in the oven for thirty minutes to an hour. Presto! You've got a new family favorite.

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Acorn Squash

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Acorn squash makes the perfect side dish for the holidays and family dinners. It can also be used as an ingredient in everything from soups to pies. Here are some squash recipes and tips for the busy mom.

Baked Squash

Step One

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet.

Step Two

Wash and dry the outside of your acorn squash. Cut it in half. Scoop out the strings and seeds. Level the pieces by slicing a little bit off the bottom of each half.

Step Three

Put the halves, skin side down, on your prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes. Poke some holes with a fork or knife. Rub 1 tablespoon of butter on each of the halves. Sprinkle each half with about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar; add a little real maple syrup if you like it. Salt and pepper to taste. Continue baking until it's soft and can be pierced easily with a fork. This is perfect to serve a half acorn squash to each family member for dinner.

Steamed Squash

Step One

Wash and peel your acorn squash. Cut it into pieces.

Step Two

Fill a pot with about 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil. Put the pieces in a steamer basket. Sprinkle salt on the pieces and toss. Put the steamer basket in the pot and cover. Steam the pieces for about 10 minutes or until soft. Eat them as is, adding a little butter or pepper if desired. Or you can freeze them at this point, to be used later.

Squash Puree

You can make and freeze this puree ahead of time to later be used for making a soup or pie of your choice. Do a few at once to make it more worth your effort.

Step One

Cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and strings. Place the halves, skin side up, on a baking pan. Pour 1 cup of water into the pan.

Step Two

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until soft.

Step Three

Put 4 tablespoons of butter in a bowl. Scrape out the filling from the skin, then spoon it on top of the butter. Mash it until it's smooth. Add salt to taste. Put the mashed mixture in a blender. Mix it until it's pureed. Note:  Plan ahead - if you will be freezing some to be used in a specific recipe, skip the salt and butter and freeze in the appropriate portions for your recipe.

Step Four

Spoon the puree into containers. Leave about a 1 inch space between the puree and the top of the container. You can also freeze the puree in tightly sealed freezer bags. This puree can be frozen for up to one year.

Tips

1. Acorn squash can be stored in a dark, cool area for about one to three months.

2. Make peeling the skin easier by cutting it into pieces first. After the pieces are cut, take the skin off with a vegetable peeler.

3. Select the perfect acorn squash by choosing one that's heavy for its size, firm and has a dull skin.

 

Winter Squash is Here!

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Fall is here, and that means that squash season is in full swing! Whether you get your winter squash from the grocery store or the farmer's market, you'll find that pumpkin, butternut squash, and others - such as acorn, kabocha and hubbard - are healthy make ahead options that your entire family will love. By cooking and freezing these delicious gourds, you will be able to plan out meals and dishes well into the winter. Squash will also keep a long time when stored in a cool place.

Squash will need to be cooked and mashed before you can freeze them. You can do this by washing them and removing the tough outer skin and any inner pulp or seeds. Cut the squash into even cubes, and boil or steam them until a fork easily goes though the flesh. You can use a potato masher if the chunks are soft enough, but you will get the best results from a food processor, a hand blender or food mill. Make sure that you have a large enough bowl in which to mash the squash, as they tend to become rather messy! When the squash is cooled, you can put it into freezer-safe Ziploc bags or tubs. This is a great way to evenly portion your puréed squash for future meals, as you can freeze the exact amount for specific recipes. Plastic containers will work well for ease of pouring in your squash and many even have measurements. All squash tends to freeze well, aside from spaghetti squash, which should usually be eaten fresh.

Frozen squash purée has a number of uses. You can use it as a base for soups and stews, or add it to delicious baked treats. For example, you can use frozen puréed pumpkin to make your Thanksgiving pies special with little extra effort. (Tip:  sugar pie pumpkins are a good choice.) Butternut squash can be mashed and used as a unique topping for shepherd's pie. You can also make delicious quick-breads with a variety of frozen squash purée, as well as homemade ravioli filling. The delicate flavor of squash pairs well with nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar. If you love risotto, you can set aside some cooked squash chunks to dice instead of mashing.

As a rule of thumb, properly sealed frozen squash will last up to a year in the freezer. (Don't forget to label with the date.) You can enjoy winter squash all year round if you try some make ahead ideas. These wonderful veggies are a great way to feed your kids filling and nutritious meals.

 

Buttnernut Squash Lasagna

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Butternut squash has a unique and robust flavor which plays well with other vegetables. It has a deep, starchy taste with a very mild hint of sweetness. Butternut is a great dish by itself, but it can be used creatively to add a deeper dimension of flavor to common dishes. This recipe for a vegetarian butternut pasta dish can be made with several variations depending on your preferences and the amount of time you wish to spend cooking this vegetarian dish.

First you should select your ingredients. Whenever possible, fresh, high quality, locally grown ingredients should be selected. A local farmers market can be a great place to find a wide selection of fresh vegetables. When selecting a butternut, you should find one that is very firm to the touch and which feels heavy for its size. This dish can be made with regular or whole wheat noodles in order to take a traditional pasta dish to an entirely new level, or you can use fresh vegetables to create an entirely new take on lasagna. Replacing traditional semolina noodles with fresh vegetables will create a dish which is lower in carbohydrates and gluten-free.

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
1 cup chopped baby Portobello mushrooms
Olive oil
Salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
5-7 fresh basil leaves (shredded)
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
Dry lasagna noodles or fresh vegetables (1 pound eggplant and 1 pound zucchini)

Once you have your ingredients, begin by prepping your butternut. Place it firmly on the cutting board, and split it in half lengthwise with the chef's knife. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them. Rub olive oil on the squash halves and sprinkle them with salt. Place them in a 400° oven for 15 minutes.

While your butternut is cooking, boil your noodles in 1 gallon of salted water. Drain them and set them aside. If you have chosen to use fresh vegetables in place of noodles, slice your eggplant and zucchini into 1/4 inch thick slices. Set the zucchini aside and liberally salt the eggplant slices on both sides. Leave them on paper towels or cooling racks for about 30 minutes. The salt will draw excess water out of the eggplant. Squeeze them slightly and rinse off the excess salt, patting dry.

The next step is to prepare the filling. Sauté the chopped mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until they feel spongy. Allow them to cool and add them to the ricotta cheese. Scoop the squash from one of your butternut halves out of its skin and add it to the ricotta. Add the spinach and oregano, then stir the filling thoroughly.

Chop the other half of the butternut squash into small cubes and mix them into a bowl with the jar of pasta sauce. In a large baking dish, alternate layers of the pasta sauce, noodles or vegetables, and ricotta filling. Finish with a final layer of pasta sauce and top with mozzarella cheese. Cover and keep in the refrigerator overnight if you're making it a day ahead, and allow it to warm up for an hour. Place in a 350° oven for 45 minutes (or up to an hour if still cool from the refrigerator). After removing from the oven, allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

 

It’s Getting Chili: Harvest Chili Recipe

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Chili is the perfect fall food. Full of harvest vegetables, this recipe is easy to make, nutritious and filling. In just 45 minutes, you can have a hearty vegetarian meal that the whole family will enjoy and leftovers to freeze for a day when you just don't feel like cooking.

Spicy Butternut Squash Harvest Chili

Ingredients:

4 small roasted jalapeno peppers
4 cups of peeled and chopped butternut squash
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 cup of chopped onions
½ teaspoon of minced chipotle peppers
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons of ground cumin
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of corn kernels
1 can of red kidney beans
1 ½ tablespoons of oregano
1 can of white kidney beans
olive oil
brown sugar and sea salt to taste

Instructions:

Preheat the broiler and slice the jalapeno peppers in half. Spoon out the seeds, then place them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Broil them for about three minutes or until the skin is just charred. Remove them from the heat, then wrap them in foil for about five minutes to steam. Peel the peppers and chop the flesh. Set them aside to use later.

Next, preheat the oven to 475. Add the chopped butternut squash to a foil-lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Bake for about ten minutes per side (turn over with a spatula or tongs) or until the squash is golden brown.

While the butternut squash roasts, coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil. Over medium heat, add the onions and garlic. Cook for about four minutes or until the onions turn slightly brown. Toss in the chopped roasted jalapenos, chili powder, chipotle peppers and cumin. Cook for one minute, then add the butternut squash, corn, tomatoes and kidney beans. Simmer for about ten minutes, then add the salt, oregano and brown sugar.

Leftovers can be frozen and served later. Do not over-stir as it is thawing. Doing so will result in mushy beans. For easy freezing and thawing in the microwave, fill coffee mugs with small servings of the chili. When you want to enjoy the vegetarian meal again, just pop the mugs in the microwave and enjoy the fall treat straight out of the cup.