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12 Fabulous Fall Dinners Starring Butternut Squash

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Butternut squash’s smooth, easy-to-peel skin and dense, sweet orange flesh make it the go-to fall squash, so much that just saying “fall vegetable” conjures up a mix that surely includes the squash. These are some of our favorite dinner recipes, not necessarily vegetarian, but vegetable-forward, suitable for everything from a quick weeknight meal to Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Recipe

    Butternut Squash Risotto with Bacon & Sage

    Though what we commonly think of as comfort food is often slow-cooked, it doesn't have to be that way. This dish is what we like to call weeknight comfort food: a full-bodied squash risotto with crumbled bacon and flavor-boosting sage.  

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  • Recipe

    Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Lasagne

    Indulgently cheesy like a traditional lasagne but bursting with the autumnal flavors of squash and chard, this dish makes a satisfying Thanksgiving entrée.

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  • Recipe

    Butternut Squash Ravioli with Rosemary Oil

    Wonton wrappers make these plump, perfect for fall ravioli a cinch to prepare, and the dish works well for a family meal or a casual supper with friends.

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  • Recipe

    Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash, Chard, and Sausage Flatbread

    There’s a double dose of pure maple syrup in this hearty flatbread. It flavors the butternut squash and sweetens a vinaigrette that dresses an unusual topping: finely shredded raw chard leaves. The fresh-tasting chard in combination with the savory, salty sausage and creamy ricotta on the flatbread is heavenly.

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  • Recipe

    Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Pears and Stilton

    Using just the top half of the squash creates rounds of the same size for even roasting and a pretty salad.

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  • Recipe

    Butternut Squash and Smoky Black Bean Burritos with Queso Fresco and Pepitas

    Years ago, I often escaped from work at lunchtime to eat a favorite black bean burrito from a tiny Mexican restaurant down the street. I used that memory to inspire this burrito and added roasted butternut squash and a bit of spice. The combo is really satisfying, especially with the crunch of pepitas and the freshness of cilantro and queso fresco. Serve these cut in half on the diagonal—on their own for lunch, or with a side of rice and a green salad for dinner. And a cold beer or Mexican soda, of course.

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  • Recipe

    Turkey and Butternut Squash Chili with Apple-Cilantro Garnish

    With its orange color, this slightly sweet, mild chili is ideal for Super Bowl parties or Halloween, and it will please adults and kids alike. For variation, you can use chicken instead of turkey thighs and different types of canned beans; to up the heat, add minced jalapeño or increase the chipotle. To save time, buy precut squash, garlic, and onions. Prepare the garnish—so delicious, you might want to double it—within a couple of hours of serving.

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  • butternut squash galette
    Recipe

    Butternut Squash and Leek Galette

    Sautéing the leeks with crushed red pepper flakes gives this savory-sweet galette just enough heat to keep each bite interesting. Aromatic thyme makes it feel right at home alongside turkey, though some may choose to enjoy a slice as their vegetarian Thanksgiving main. The recipe is easily doubled.

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  • Recipe

    Whole-Grain Pasta e Fagioli with Butternut Squash and Sage Pesto

    Whole-grain orecchiette or shells star in this makeover of a classic Italian pasta and bean soup. With butternut squash, borlotti beans, and a bright sage pesto, it’s perfect for a chilly autumn evening.

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  • Recipe

    Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard Stew Topped with Puff Pastry

    Similar to potpie, this colorful, aromatic, and healthful stew is incredibly satisfying (with your eyes closed, you’d be hard-pressed to pinpoint the absence of meat). To refashion the dish as vegan, simply omit the puff pastry and instead serve your stew with a loaf of whole-grain country bread. If you’re watching your fat and calories, omit the pastry and top the stew with a dollop of Greek yogurt

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  • Recipe

    Autumn Vegetable Soup

    Besides their clear health benefits, vegetable soups are the perfect canvas for what's in season. This time of year, there's nothing better than hearty, warming soups loaded up with a variety of gorgeous fall vegetables. The foundation of onion and carrots is enhanced with chunks of butternut squash and ribbons of kale in a broth infused with herbs and spices. In two words: satisfaction guaranteed.

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  • Recipe

    Beef, Barley, and Butternut Squash Stew with Blue Cheese Croutons

    Cool nights call for a warming, satisfying stew. Top this one with the salty blue cheese and walnut croutons, breaking them up into the stew as you eat.

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