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Butternut Squash with Spinach, Raisins, and Pine Nuts

Featured in our 2020 Thanksgiving Guide
Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Elegant yet comforting, this side dish has layers of flavor thanks to the earthy-sweet squash and raisins, the fresh spinach, and the rich salty toasty top notes from the cheese and nuts.


  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 small lemon, finely grated to yield 1/2 tsp. zest and squeezed to yield 2 tsp. juice
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-3/4 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 5 oz. mature spinach leaves, thick stems removed (about 5 packed cups)
  • 1 oz. coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. toasted pine nuts

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 290
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 160
  • Fat (g): 18
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 20
  • Sodium (mg): 280
  • Carbohydrates (g): 32
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 6


  • Melt the butter in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the milk solids turn light brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest and juice, and swirl to combine.
  • Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and 1/2 tsp. salt; toss well to coat.
  • Cover the pan with the lid ajar by about 1 inch. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until the squash begins to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. As the mixture cooks, you should hear a gentle sizzle.
  • Turn the heat down to low, add the onions and raisins and cook, stirring occasionally and then gently pushing the vegetables back into a single layer so that most have direct contact with the pan, until the vegetables are tender and browned, 12 to 15 minutes more.
  • Add the spinach and lemon butter and toss gently until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese and pine nuts. Season to taste with salt. Serve right away or let sit off the heat, partially covered, until ready to serve, and then reheat gently over medium-low heat.


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Reviews (5 reviews)

  • bessieheath | 05/13/2014

    Love this recipe. It's so much more than you'd imagine from looking at the recipe. The lemon, the pine nuts... oh yum. After the first time I made it, I roasted the squash in the oven on parchment instead of sauteing it because it was messy and a bit of a nuisance. Do the squash ahead of time if you like. (I use romano in place of parmesan.)

  • Lynxiebrat | 01/23/2014

    Just made this tonight, it was interesting. Would definitely make again. I used craisins instead of regular raisins, (Personal preference.) I think that next time I will make the butter a while before hand and just heat up when I need it. I think that orange or lime zest would do just as well with this recipe. Since I only had raw pine nuts, I toasted them quickly before I started, so I think also next time I will do that sometime before I actually start cooking. (In a pan without anything but the nuts...it only takes a few minutes.)

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