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Butternut Squash with Kale, Cranberries, Hazelnuts, and Candied Bacon

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6 to 8

If bacon makes everything better, then candied bacon makes it better still. Lemon juice plus toasty hazelnuts help to balance the sweetness of the bacon and the squash. For a simpler, more casual variation of this recipe, try the Butternut Squash with Kale and Dried Cranberries.


  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 10 oz. thick-sliced bacon, preferably uncured
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 lb. butternut squash, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb. Lacinato kale, trimmed and cut crosswise into 2-inch-wide pieces (about 16 cups)
  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots (from 3 medium shallots)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 290
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 160
  • Fat (g): 18
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Cholesterol (mg): 15
  • Sodium (mg): 540
  • Carbohydrates (g): 28
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 8


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Toast the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet until fragrant and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place a rack over the foil. Arrange the bacon slices in one layer on the rack and sprinkle 2 Tbs. of the brown sugar evenly over the bacon slices. Bake until the sugar melts, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the same side of bacon. Continue to bake until the bacon is brown and glazed, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Remove the bacon from the oven and heat the broiler on high. Broil the bacon until the sugar bubbles, watching closely to prevent burning, 1 to 2 minutes. Let the bacon cool. Turn off the broiler and return the oven to 400ºF.
  • Mix the allspice, coriander, paprika, and 1 tsp. salt in a small bowl. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 2 Tbs. of the oil and the spices; spread in a single layer. Roast, stirring once about halfway through, until browned and tender, 22 to 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Add the kale to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to the bowl of ice water. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a large heavy-duty skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the kale and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale and garlic are coated. Reduce the heat, add the squash and the lemon juice, cover, and cook until the squash is heated through, about 5 minutes. Add the cranberries and stir gently to combine. Chop the bacon coarsely. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish the squash and kale with the bacon and hazelnuts, and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

The bacon can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover loosely and keep at cool room temperature.


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