Can you name the orange-hued fall ingredient — found in both sweet and savory dishes — that offers a heavy dose of sight-saving vitamin A and has just 60 calories per cup? Nope, it’s not a sweet potato. In fact, a cup of the spuds have more than double the calories and carbs of this superfood. The answer: Butternut squash.
It’s time to stock up on the slightly sweet and nutty veggie this season. Then hit the kitchen to prepare these healthy butternut squash recipes made with the autumn ingredient MVP.
12 Butternut Squash Recipes to Fill You Up
You don’t have to stick solely to omelets for a Paleo morning meal. Pair a couple of poached eggs with a short stack of butternut flapjacks for breakfast and you’ll leave the table well-fueled to take on the day. Top with pure maple syrup or raw honey if you prefer a little more sweetness. Photo and recipe: Renee / Raising Generation Nourished
Meet the next big thing in vegetable pasta: squoodles aka squash noodles. They’re the star in this healthy gluten-free, vegetarian hash. A pinch of crushed red pepper offers the ideal dash of heat, while the runny egg yolk acts as a “dressing” to pull the brunch dish together. Photo and recipe: Tess Forneris / Easy GF Recipes
A pinch of pumpkin spice makes this banana-bread-in-disguise taste like fall. A one to six ratio of bananas to butternut squash guarantees that you’ll still get enough of the nutty vegetable flavor — and a drizzle of maple coconut guarantees you’ll satisfy your sweet tooth. Photo and recipe: Giselle Rochford / Diary of an Ex Sloth
Light coconut milk gives this soup a rich texture without loads of fat — just 14 grams per cup compared to 44 grams per cup when you use cream. The recipe calls for a mix of chicken and vegetable broth, but you can easily make this nutritious starter vegan by doubling up on the veggie variety. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn
Multitasking is key to getting this colorful, seasonal side on the table in about 15 minutes. While the quinoa cooks on the stove, roast the shaved sprouts and sauté the squash with a bit of brown sugar. Since everything has the same cooking time, after 15, you can turn off the heat, toss it all together and top with some cheese. All that’s left to do is enjoy! Photo and recipe: Kristin Porter / Iowa Girl Eats
Marinara had its moment. But it’s a new day! Top your pizza with a garlicky butternut squash sauce, plus a handful of toppings that perfectly complement the slightly sweet ingredient. To amp up the nutrition even more, opt for a whole-wheat or cauliflower crust. Of all the butternut squash recipes on this list, this one wins for most creative. Photo and recipe: Lestraundra Alfred / The Balanced Berry
The toughest part of this recipe? Slicing the squash into fry-shaped pieces. Beyond that, you just need a spoonful of olive oil, a pinch of salt and about 30 minutes of roasting time to complete this simple, vitamin A-loaded side. Photo and recipe: Ciara Attwell / My Fussy Eater
This hearty one-pot meal is the perfect dinner to whip up when your spice cabinet gets a bit too crowded. Chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, oregano and coriander team up to infuse each bite of butternut squash, black beans and ground turkey with layers of flavor. Photo and recipe: Amy Dong / Chew Out Loud
Squash noodles get the dinner treatment in this takeout-inspired recipe. While the butternut squash is hard to beat, the real star of this dish might just be the sauce. How can you resist a drizzle that’s equal parts sweet (honey), salty (almond butter), and umami (coconut aminos)? Photo and recipe: Amy / Wholesomelicious
Get this: a cheesy casserole that doesn’t do major diet damage! Each serving of this butternut and bean Mexican meal offers more than 60 percent of your daily fiber requirement so you’ll feel full for hours. Be sure to rinse the beans thoroughly before adding them to the baking dish to keep the sodium level in check. Photo and recipe: Sarah / Making Thyme for My Health
Stir together this whole grain salad before going to bed, then chill overnight so each and every cube of squash (and grain of quinoa) will taste like sweet balsamic dressing. It’s the perfect lunch to make at night and bring to work the next day. Photo and recipe: Katya Kurmayev / Little Broken
Since squash’s flavor is pretty subtle, it’s the perfect main ingredient for spice-filled recipes like this vegetarian curry. Red curry paste, curry powder and fish sauce are just some of the ingredients that have earned this entree five out of five stars. Photo and recipe: Marzia Aziz / Little Spice Jar