Twice Baked Butternut Squash

If you’re familiar with the twice-baked potato, then you’re already one step ahead on this dish. It’s a riff using a whole butternut squash that is steam roasted, stuffed with quinoa and cheese, then baked again. It’s a beautiful main dish that can easily be completed with a side salad or roasted vegetables. If you’re looking to save time when cooking, try roasting and stuffing the squash a day ahead of time or even a week or two and freezing until ready to eat.

Twice Baked Butternut Squash (with quinoa and gorgonzola)
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Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, plus extra for topping
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced rosemary, thyme, and/or parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Slice butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place each half cut side down in a 9x13 pan and pour 1/2" of water in the bottom. Place in oven and bake until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Once done, remove and set aside.
  2. Rinse quinoa and set aside. In a medium pan heat olive oil over medium low heat. Dice shallots, add to oil, and saute until shallots are fragrant. Stir in quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook until water is absorbed, 12-15 minutes.
  3. While quinoa cooks, scoop out butternut squash leaving a 1/4" to 1/2" on the sides and bottom. Drain water from pan and return butternut squash to the pan, cut side up.
  4. Mash butternut squash and stir in gorgonzola cheese. Once quinoa is done, add it to the butternut squash along with the salt, pepper, and any herbs you might like to use.
  5. Scoop filling evenly into butternut squash halves. Sprinkle with extra gorgonzola cheese and return to oven. Let bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and the tops begin to brown. Remove from oven, cut eat half in half, and serve.

Variations for the Twice Baked Butternut Squash

My favorite thing about this twice baked butternut squash is how easy it is to change of the filling based on what you may like or happen to have on hand. I chose quinoa and gorgonzola because that was the kick I happened to be on when making this recipe but since then, I’ve made countless variations.

Grains: Quinoa is a great choice if you don’t have any grains precooked but if you’re like me and prep grains ahead of time, anything will go. I like farro or sorghum if I’m looking for a slightly chewier texture. Or, a great one to one swap for quinoa is quick cooking millet.

Cheese: Choose a flavorful cheese like goat cheese, smoked gouda, or something similar to gorgonzola.

Beans: Occasionally I’ll do something similar to this twice baked sweet potato where I’ll add a bit of curry powder and chickpeas into the filling. It’s a great boost of flavor and filling.

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