IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

40 butternut squash recipes for cold weather meals

Cozy up with these autumnal recipes.
Lucy Schaffer

Butternut squash is one of those vegetables that immediately conjures up images of cozy recipes on chilly nights. Think: butternut squash soup, ravioli and silky squash purée. Thanks to its mild, sweet taste, it can be easily paired with so many different flavor profiles. It’s a great addition to vegan or vegetarian meals, but also works well with protein like pancetta and sausage. While grown in the fall, butternut squash can be found year-round, making it one of our favorite vegetables to cook. 

It’s no lie that butternut squash can be cumbersome to break down. Since this is such a sturdy vegetable, we recommend prepping it on the weekends so that it’s ready to go for any preparation your heart (er, stomach) desires all week long. Just store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator and it’ll hold up for at least a week. Or, skip the prep work and buy it ready to go, especially if you’re planning to cook with it right away. 

There are so many ways to use up this versatile vegetable. If you’re looking for appetizers, try butternut bruschetta or butternut squash fries with a punchy aioli. For weeknight dinners, we love glazed pork chops with butternut squash purée, butternut squash quesadillas or a fall take on pasta salad. For something a little more festive that feeds a crowd, try butternut squash lasagna roll-ups or risotto. And of course, we’ve rounded up a soup for every taste. Read on to see our top 40 butternut squash recipes.

This hearty salad is all about balancing sweet and savory flavors with crunch and acidity. Toss roasted butternut squash with greens, crispy shallots, pecans and pumpkin seeds before dressing it with a punchy vinaigrette. It’s ideal for serving family-style when you’re looking to impress. 

Roasting butternut squash brings out the natural sweetness of this versatile vegetable. And while it’s good all on its own, we love Daphne Oz’s upgrade, thanks to a few pantry staples. Garlic-infused olive oil, pecans and Parmesan cheese get draped over the planks of squash before baking, turning this into a complex textural delight. 

While autumnal recipes tend to lean heavy, this salad keeps it light and bright, making it suitable for year-round consumption. Here, peppery arugula is studded with roasted cubes of butternut squash, crispy chickpeas, hazelnuts and dried cranberries. Dress the salad in a simple lemon vinaigrette for a burst of acidity. 

Store-bought gnocchi is one of our favorite ingredients to get dinner on the table during the week. Along with butternut squash, fennel and red onion, it’s roasted on a sheet pan crispy tender. This colorful vegan dish is sure to become part of your weeknight dinner rotation. 

Butternut Squash Quesadillas

We’ll never say no to a quesadilla. This recipe takes things up a notch by tucking roasted butternut squash, tomato salsa, and melty into flour tortillas. The addition of vegetables makes this a more nutritious meal option, while still ensuring cheesy goodness in every bite. 

Squash and sage are a classic cold weather duo. This simple recipe combines the two, along with a Granny Smith apple, for a bit of sweetness and chili powder for some spice, into a smooth and creamy soup. Serve it as an appetizer or a full meal along with some crusty bread. 

Frittatas are one of those dishes that are endlessly versatile, depending on what you have in your fridge. They can be served for any meal of the day, ranking them high on our list of must-make recipes. This version is loaded with caramelized roasted butternut squash, spinach and garlic-herb cheese spread for the ultimate vegetarian frittata. 

With less than ten ingredients, this soup packs a ton of flavor. The secret is Better than Bouillon Sofrito Base, which gives you a leg up in the flavor department with little effort. This creamy spiced soup is perfect on chilly nights when you’re short on time. 

There’s no question that pancetta makes everything better. This salt-cured pork belly adds instant flavor to all ingredients. Here, roasted squash, penne and Pecorino are cooked together in pancetta fat until a creamy sauce forms. 

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

This is a far cry from your everyday pesto. Laden with toasted pepitas, parsley and roasted squash, this pesto transforms into a savory spread in no time. Since the flavors skew towards colder weather, we love serving this with a big bowl of pasta or as a vegetarian dip on game day

This hearty chili recipe combines butternut squash with black beans, canned tomatoes and shredded rotisserie chicken, which balances a variety of texture and flavors. It’s nutritious enough for a weekday dinner and satisfying enough to be a crowd-pleaser on game days. We love it topped with sour cream, tender herbs and avocado. 

Pasta salad gets an autumnal twist in this colorful recipe. Start by mixing bowtie pasta with homemade pumpkin seed and parsley pesto, which adds a vibrant green color and savory edge. Then, stir in roasted butternut squash for even more texture while continuing to channel all those fall flavors. 

It’s hard to beat digging into a pot pie on chilly nights. This one has an exciting addition to the usual chicken mixture — cubes of roasted butternut squash. Thanks to rotisserie chicken and pre-cooked squash, the whole thing comes together in under 30 minutes, making it a weeknight dinner contender. 

Butternut Squash Lasagna Roll-Ups

If you’re looking for a vegetarian crowd-pleaser, this is it. Instead of getting layered in a casserole dish, lasagna noodles are filled with a cheese and butternut squash mixture and rolled up. The final result is somewhere between lasagna and ravioli in all the best ways. 

Butternut Squash Soup

We promise your guests will never stop talking about this recipe. Served in a hollowed out small pumpkin, this butternut squash soup is a total showstopper. The soup toes the line between sweet and savory, thanks to ingredients like honey, apples and vanilla bean, which play off the natural sweetness of the squash. Vegetable stock and aromatics keep it decidedly in the savory category. 

Best-of-Fall Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s pie is the ultimate one-pot meal. Rather than traditional mashed potatoes, this one is topped with sweet potatoes. The filling highlights some of the best cold-weather ingredients like turkey, Brussels sprouts, onions and sage. 

Don’t let the name fool you — this soup is totally savory. Dates bring out the natural sweetness of the butternut squash, without being overpowering. Combined with spices, turmeric and coconut milk, this vegan soup has an almost tropical flair. 

Toast isn’t just for sandwiches. Here, gussied up toasts make for an elegant vegetarian appetizer that will have people coming back for more. Slices of baguette are layered with ricotta cheese, roasted butternut squash, sautéed leeks and drizzled with a balsamic glaze. 

Sausage and Butternut Squash Pasta

When it comes to weeknight dinners, pasta never fails. One of our favorite weeknight dinner hacks is using frozen squash, which comes pre-cooked. Combine it with sausage and cheddar cheese for a quick-cooking creamy sauce. 

Autumn Ravioli

If you have an afternoon free, there’s nothing quite like making your own ravioli at home. This version leans on fall flavors, combining roasted butternut squash with pancetta and spices. To cut down on assembly time, the filling can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. 

Pork chops are one of those ingredients that do double duty for festive occasions and weeknight dinners alike. Glazed in a maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, mustard and rosemary mixture, the pork chops are incredibly juicy and toe the line between sweet and savory. Serve them over a bed of butternut squash purée for a well rounded meal. 

Macaroni and cheese is a perennial favorite for good reason. This version is all about not-so-secretly infusing butternut squash into every bite. The squash delivers a good portion of nutrients while also creating that classic boxed macaroni and cheese color.

The joy of butternut squash is that it works with so many different flavor profiles. Here, it’s paired with chipotles in adobo, paprika and maple syrup for a sweet-meets-savory spin. This flavorful soup can be easily doubled to serve a crowd, making it a great option for holiday get-togethers. 

Grain salads are beloved for their versatility. They’re a great option for meal prep, can be served on their own or even as a side to bigger proteins. This wild rice version is studded with roasted butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, kale and pomegranate seeds for color and crunch. 

The key to the multi-layered flavor of this dish is using one ingredient two-ways. Puréed butternut squash is mixed with the risotto, shrimp and sage, while roasted cubes get stirred into the mix. These two methods ensure creamy, caramelized butternut squash in every bite. 

We love leaning on store-bought ingredients in order to get dinner on the table quickly. Start by buying pre-made butternut squash ravioli and gussy it up with a homemade brown butter sauce infused with sage. With only four ingredients, this is the ultimate weeknight dinner. 

Butternut Bruschetta

This festive fall take on bruschetta is bound to be your new favorite cold weather appetizer. Instead of tomatoes, baguette slices are topped with a caramelized onion and butternut squash purée. Before serving, top with balsamic vinegar and mint leaves for a little bit of acidity. 

Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprout Panzanella

Panzanella — aka bread salad — can take on so many different flavor profiles. Here, the queen of Italian cooking Lidia Bastianich makes a version highlighting the best of fall produce. Toss kale with torn bread, roasted Brussels sprouts and squash, walnuts, dried cranberries, then drizzle it all with balsamic vinegar. 

Giada's Butternut Squash Lasagna

Despite being a crowd-pleaser, lasagna always feels a bit cumbersome to execute. Knowing this, Giada developed a recipe that can be fully assembled ahead of time, making it that much easier to throw a big dinner party. To make it, layer no-bake noodles with butternut squash purée, bechamel sauce and cheese before topping it all with a layer of crispy panko. 

The key to getting this fried chicken so tender is brining it in sweet tea for a full 24 hours. After brining, the chicken is roasted in the oven, then deep-fried until golden brown and crispy. Serve the chicken on a bed of butternut squash purée for an interesting balance of texture and a well-rounded meal. 

If you’re craving lasagna but want something a little lighter and brighter, this white version is a great alternative. It comes packing a ton of flavor, serves a crowd and happens to be vegan. To make it, lasagna sheets are layered with butternut squash purée, spinach and two varieties of vegan cheese. 

Similar to ravioli, agnolotti is another type of stuffed pasta. This recipe highlights the classic flavor combination of butternut squash, sage and brown butter. The joy of this recipe is that the various elements can be made ahead, making assembly a breeze. 

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seed Yogurt Parfait

While yogurt parfaits tend to lean sweet, there’s no reason this breakfast food can’t be savory. This recipe toes the line of both. Roast butternut squash to brings out its natural sweetness, then layer it with yogurt, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and maple syrup. 

Everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving side gets an exciting twist in this recipe. Here, JJ Johnson swaps sweet potatoes for butternut squash and carrots. To make the casserole even more exciting, serve it alongside a sweet cherry and pineapple compote. 

Maple Glazed Hasselback Butternut Squash

This showstopper can stand on its own as a vegetarian main or serve it as an unexpected side dish at your next party. The technique of hasselbacking requires some finesse, but the result is a tender butternut squash that packs a ton of maple butter flavor in every bite. Top it with a layer of herbed feta to add a depth of savoriness. 

Potato fries, who? These crispy fries are all about butternut squash. To get that classic crunchy exterior, the fries are baked first, then deep fried. Serve them with a punchy lemon aioli to add a welcome boost of acidity. 

Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili

This vegan chili highlights the joys of vegetables in a cozy, comforting dish. Tender cubes of butternut squash, tomatoes, bell peppers and beans are flavored with garlic and chipotle in adobo. Thanks to the use of a pressure cooker, this dish comes together quickly, making it ideal for a weeknight. 

Rollatino Raviolo

If you’re a ravioli lover, you have to try this recipe. Rather than squares, a pasta sheet is filled with a piping bag to create a long continuous tube. The filled tube is wrapped in a circle, creating one giant bite. Despite the less-than-conventional shape, this recipe keeps it classic with a brown butter, squash and sage filling. 

This riff on minestrone highlights some of our cold weather favorites like kale, leeks and squash. To gussy it up, add a drizzle of horseradish gremolata, a riff on the Italian green sauce made with parsley and garlic. While the soup is delightful on its own, serving it alongside Parmesan-crusted toast makes it totally craveable. 

Whether served as the main dish or a side, this hearty salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Roasted butternut squash, carrots, delicata and sweet potato are roasted before they’re tossed with a maple Dijon dressing. A sprinkling of feta, parsley and crunchy quinoa round out the salad.