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Recipe corner: butternut squash

Sep 24, 2018


As we transition from summer to fall so does our seasonal produce. During the summer we get to enjoy zucchini and yellow squash. Now that fall has arrived, we can enjoy butternut squash. This wonderful squash can provide us with many nutrients and health benefits. Just to name a few, butternut squash is a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamins A, C and B6. Butternut squash is also heart healthy and beneficial for both the nervous and immune systems. It can be enjoyed as a savory dish or baked into sweet treats. The recipes below are both easy to prepare and absolutely delicious!

Fiesta Stuffed Butternut Squash


  • 2 Whole butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 15 ounces black beans
  • 2 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400⁰F. Wash the outside of your squash with warm water, scrub the skin with a brush if necessary. Cut each squash in half down the middle from the stem to the root end. Scoop out only the seeds and place on a baking sheet with the inside of the squash face up. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and brush a little on each squash. Sprinkle each squash with a pinch of kosher salt and roast in the oven for 50 – 60 minutes. You will know they are down when they are very soft and can be pierced with a fork. Once squash is soft remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Once cool scoop out the inside, leaving a border all the way around. Remove as much or leave as much squash as you prefer! Feel free to enjoy the squash you remove as is, or use for another great treat such as cookies!

While your squash is roasting prepare brown rice per box instructions. Once your rice is done add ½ cup cheddar cheese, black beans, 2 cups salsa, 1 cup corn kernels, ¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Mix everything together then add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the rice mixture into the squash bowls to fill, try to divide it evenly. Depending on the size of your squash you may have leftover rice mixture. Save and enjoy any leftovers for later. Top each stuffed squash with shredded cheese and bake in the over at 400⁰F for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and serve! Try adding sour cream and/or guacamole for some additional fiesta flavor! This is a meatless dish however feel free to add shredded chicken or ground beef to the rice mixture prior to adding it to your squash bowls. This dish was tailored from


Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts Salad


Roasted Butternut Squash:

  • 4 cups butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

  • 3 cups Brussel sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt to taste

Remaining Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  •  2-4 tablespoons maple syrup


Roasted Butternut Squash
Preheat oven to 400⁰F. Line baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Peel butternut squash, slice in half from stem to root and remove seeds. Dice squash into 1 inch cubes. Approximately 1 medium to large size squash should provide about 4 cups diced. In a mixing bowl combine cubed squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Toss well and place squash in a single layer on foil lined baking sheet. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes, turning once half-way through. Squash should be nice and soft when finished.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Preheat oven to 400⁰F. Line baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts then slice in half. Make sure all yellow leaves have been removed. In a mixing bowl combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt to taste. Toss well and
place Brussels sprouts cut side down on foil lined baking sheet. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes, turning once with 5-10 minutes remaining. The cut sides should be partially charred but not blackened when finished.

Final Assembly
In a large mixing bowl combine roasted butternut squash, roasted Brussels sprouts, 2 cups of pecans and 1 cup dried cranberries. For additional sweetness add 2 to 4 tablespoons of maple syrup. Add slowly and taste to determine the amount desired. Mix well and enjoy! You can pair this salad with pork, chicken or turkey. This dish was inspired by

Recipes prepared by Allie Farley, M.S., R.D., L.D., registered dietitian at VCU Health. Visit Allie's blog on Diet and Nutrition for more recipes and information about the role that diet plays in cancer.

Written by: Massey Communications Office

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