31 best butternut squash recipes for all the fall feels

Bring on the cozy!

Published October 29, 2022 1:30PM (EDT)

 (Julia Gartland / Food52)
(Julia Gartland / Food52)

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I have a complicated relationship with these best butternut squash recipes. When I was 15, I attempted to cook my first-ever pot of butternut squash soup from scratch. I was using a dull chef's knife to cut the squash in half when, in the blink of an eye, I sliced the tip of my pointer finger. The mediocre knife was no match for the tough root vegetable.

If you're wondering how to cut a butternut squash without losing a finger, we've got you covered with tips and tricks. (My 15-year-old self would appreciate the how-to guide). But if you want delicious butternut squash recipes to make during the cold weather months, here are 31 of our very best. From butternut squash soup to pizza to fall pasta recipes galore, these mains and sides will get you through the chilliest months of the year.

1. Apple Cider Chicken with Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad in a Multi-Cooker

If you have a pressure cooker with air fryer functionality, put it to use with this apple cider-glazed chicken served with fluffy quinoa and roasted butternut squash. Simply toss the squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper before cooking it on the "Steam & Crisp" setting of your machine.

2. Caramelized Butternut Squash Pizza

Friday night pizza just got a delicious upgrade thanks to this vegetarian pizza. No meat is needed when the squash is so flavorful: Slice it thinly, then drizzle it with olive oil, maple syrup, coriander seeds, and ground cayenne. The all-white pizza includes a duo of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, plus a little extra maple syrup on top, for good measure.

3. Brown Butter Pasta with Butternut Squash, Walnuts, and Sage

This simple pasta recipe has everything we'd want in the perfect fall pasta — butternut squash, walnuts, sage, and freshly grated nutmeg.

4. Autumn Vegetable Tian with Cheddar

We're all about this gorgeous golden casserole featuring layer after layer of root vegetables like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, waxy potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and beets. Fresh thyme lends earthy notes to every bite, and sharp cheddar ties it all together.

5. Butternut Squash Soup

Emma Laperruque wowed us once again with this comforting soup recipe, which calls for butternut squash two ways. Roast one portion with yellow onions, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Boil the other with salt and garlic until just tender. Purée the lot of it into a smooth, creamy purée.

6. Coconut and Chile Braised Winter Squash

Here's a cozy dish that packs a surprisingly spicy punch. Any winter squash works here, but we'll always advocate for butternut since it's delicious and readily available. First, broil it until crispy, then slowly cook it in a Dutch oven with coconut milk, harissa, coriander, and rosemary until fork-tender.

7. Squash and Brown Butter Tortelli with Brussels Sprouts and Balsamic

Somewhere in between a traditional Thanksgiving feast and a northern Italian specialty is this autumnal pasta recipe. The filling comprises a combination of butternut squash, ricotta, and nutty brown butter; a plate of the tortelli gets tossed with roasted Brussels sprout wedges.

8. Squash Panzanella with Bagna Cauda

When you picture panzanella, the first thing that comes to mind is a summery iteration bursting with juicy tomatoes, basil, and crunchy cucumbers. But the Italian bread salad shouldn't expire after Labor Day. We gave it an autumnal spin with assorted root vegetables, squash, and bagna cauda.

9. Butternut, Apple, and Spinach Baby Food

Give your littlest ones something delicious to eat with this sweet, nourishing recipe for a butternut squash purée laced with apples and spinach.

10. Roasted Winter Squash Soup with Sfoglia Lorda

You know that feeling of walking outside in such frigid temperatures that you feel like your face will be permanently frozen? This soup recipe is the cure. Use any kind of squash you can find, but we especially love it with butternut squash. Sfoglia lorda — bite-sized ravioli filled with goat cheese — hop in the soup near the end of the cooking process.

11. Potato Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Pancetta, and Sage from Rōze Traore

You can pair butternut squash and sage with any pasta, but we love the cozy nature of pillowy gnocchi. Dollop fresh ricotta cheese on top, because why not?

12. Orecchiette Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale, and Caramelized Red Onion

Orecchiette seems like it's always paired with sausage and broccoli rabe. While that's certainly part of our fall dinner rotation, this recipe is a refreshing change. For starters, it's totally vegetarian, but gets plenty of heft from the squash, kale, and sweet red onions. It comes together in just under an hour, which makes it a weeknight winner.

13. Caramelized Onion and Butternut Squash Tart

Does anyone really host fall harvest dinner parties outside of Stars Hollow? Probably not, but if they did, this stunning tart would be at the center of the table. It's packed with caramelized onions, roasted butternut squash, Gruyère, and crème fraîche.

14. Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Galette

Galettes are often, though not always, sweet — pear and almond; apples and honey. But why not take advantage of colorful root vegetables like butternut squash for a savory version?

15. Butternut Squash Risotto with Mushrooms

There's no reason not to add butternut squash to a creamy, cheesy risotto. This recipe makes a lot of risotto, and you can easily scale it up for a crowd.

16. Roasted Butternut Squash Queso

Upgrade your game day feast with this autumnal queso. "I find that when you blend the traditional smoky-spicy queso with some roasted butternut squash, it becomes an extra silky-smooth, sweet-salty sauce," writes recipe developer Grant Melton.

17. Butternut Squash Wellington

Move aside, mushrooms — we'll call you back in a couple of months. For right now, we're all about utilizing this orange vegetable every which way, which means using squash in place of the usual beef tenderloin for this vegetarian version of the holiday staple.

18. Butternut Squash Pie-Cake

If you're just as torn as we are about what to serve for Thanksgiving, this dessert is the answer. It's a cozy hybrid of two beloved treats, and fall's finest vegetable is at the center of it all.

19. Ricotta Crostini with Butternut Squash and Crispy Sage

You can put pretty much anything on crostini and I'll shove them in my mouth faster than Edwin Díaz's fastballs. However, this duo might just be my new favorite topping yet.

20. Fettuccine Alfredo with Butternut Squash and Mushrooms

Fettuccine Alfredo, a decidedly not Italian recipe, is one of our number-one comfort foods. But it's incredibly rich and oftentimes, one-note. That's why we love the combination of butternut squash and mushrooms here. They add plenty of heft for a vegetarian bite, and make it just a little more interesting.

21. One-Pot Butternut Squash Stew with Fresh Mozzarella

Fresh mozzarella has a life beyond pizzapasta, and cheese boards. This creamy stew is made with a combination of squash, potatoes, edamame, and corn. It's a sweet, stick-to-your-ribs recipe that we want to scoop up all season long.

22. Roasted Butternut Squash and Toasted Farro Salad with Curried Brown Butter

Enjoy this for a meal on the lighter side, or serve it as a side to a cozy roast chicken for a satisfying fall dinner.

23. Butternut Sage Scones

Start your morning on a savory note with these scones, which boast butternut squash purée for color and moistness. Drizzle them with a cinnamon-sugar syrup to enhance the flavor of warming spices like nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.

24. Fall Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash and Bacon

Butternut squash and bacon? Sign us up! In this recipe, cubes of tender squash are folded into creamy mac and cheese. It's all baked in a casserole dish until browned and bubbling. For an even easier recipe, try this stovetop version.

25. Butternut Squash with Chile Yogurt and Cilantro Sauce from Yotam Ottolenghi

Ottolenghi's simple side dish may be our favorite way to cook and serve butternut squash (but don't tell that to the other 30 recipes on this list!)

26. Fall Weeknight Pasta

Even when you're crunched for time, this family-friendly, autumnal pasta recipe is totally manageable. Most of the prep time involves roasting the kale, so you have plenty of time to do other chores around the house while it cooks.

27. Thomas Keller's Butternut Soup with Brown Butter, Sage, and Nutmeg Crème Fraîche

This is the most luxurious butternut squash soup we've ever tasted, which is all thanks to the spiced crème fraîche and nutty brown butter.

28. Roasted Autumn Vegetables with Walnut-Miso Sauce

An any day, anytime side dish. The nutty, umami-rich sauce has enough might to hold its own against the seasonal root vegetables.

29. Butternut Squash and Saffron Risotto

Saffron not only adds a delicate, slight floral flavor to this squash risotto, but it also creates a stunning yellow hue, which makes the resulting dish appear even more vibrant.

30. Caramelized Butternut Squash Wedges with Sage-Hazelnut Pesto

Sage and butternut squash are truly like peanut butter and jelly — you can't really enjoy one without the other. Here, butternut squash is tossed with a sage pesto, rather than the usual basil-based version.

31. Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

An uber-creamy soup that is totally dairy-free. You're welcome.

By Kelly Vaughan

MORE FROM Kelly Vaughan

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