Simple, yet show-stopping, this four-cheese stuffed butternut squash is just waiting to take center stage at your next meal. Perfect for serving vegetarian family members and friends something special as a main, or as a gorgeous side dish for the whole family. Why not spruce up your Holiday table with some cheesy goodness? Easily prepared ahead of time for seamless hosting.
What Ingredients Are Needed For Stuffed Butternut Squash
The combination of four different kinds of cheese, roasted squash, and baby spinach make this dish just burst with flavor without the need for any fancy ingredients.
You are going to need:
- 1 butternut squash (butternut pumpkin for us Aussies). You can use one large butternut squash or 4 smaller ones, depending on whether you are serving this as a side dish, or as an individual meal;
- fresh spinach;
- softened cream cheese;
- shredded parmesan cheese: grate the cheese yourself as pre-grated cheese can take on a grainy texture when melted which is not very appealing;
- shredded mozzarella cheese: same here, be sure to grate the cheese yourself to avoid the graininess of pre-grated cheese;
- gorgonzola cheese: if gorgonzola is too strong for you, or not available in your area, you can always sub in another blue cheese of choice;
- olive oil;
- salt and freshly ground black pepper.
As always, feel free to change the ingredients to suit what you have on hand.
I.e. if you do not like blue cheese, or it is not something readily available in your area, you can always sub in another easily meltable cheese of your choosing.
However, I find that the blue cheese works so well in contrast to the sweetness of the squash, so keep that in mind when making any substitutions.
Please do not use pre-grated cheese if you can help it. pre-grated cheese can take on a grainy texture when melted, which can be quite unappealing.
How To Make Four Cheese Stuffed Squash
Although it looks absolutely gorgeous, this four cheese-stuffed butternut squash is actually a breeze to make.
Simply roast the squash until the flesh is tender, scoop it out and mix it with the prepared cheese mixture and place back in the oven until the cheese becomes melted and bubbly.
We are simply going to:
- chop the butternut squash in half lenghtwise;
- roast it in the oven until the flesh is tender enough to be scooped out with a spoon;
- while the pumpkin is roasting we will sauté the garlic and baby spinach, and mix the cooled mixture with the four different kinds of cheese until well combined;
- once the squash is tender, we are going to scoop it out and mix the scooped out flesh with the prepared cheese mixture until well combined;
- sppon the mixture back into the hollowed out squash, pop it back into the oven, and bake until the cheese is melted and the mixture is heated through.
I like to ever-so-slightly overcook the mixture so that little brown bubbles appear on the melted cheese mixture.
It adds a great little extra pop of smokiness and flavor which works so well compared with the sweetness of the roasted squash.
Tips For Making Stuffed Squash Ahead Of Time: Meal Planning
Serving up at a dinner party, or even just a family meal, can sometimes feel like a huge task.
This stuffed butternut squash is the perfect side dish to prepare ahead of time, and simply pop into the oven shortly before you need to serve.
- roast the butternut squash until the flesh inside is tender enough to be scooped out;
- prepare the four cheese stuffing;
- arrange the whole butternut squash stuffed with the cheese mixture and store in the fridge until your guests are arriving, or meal time comes along;
- when it comes time to serve simply pop the stuffed squash into a pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, and serve when the cheese is all melty.
This is the perfect option if you have a lot of dishes on the go at the same time, or if you happen to be serving up multiple smaller butternut squash to guests as a main.
How To Serve Up Baked Four Cheese Squash
To serve a large stuffed butternut squash place the two sides of the squash on a large platter with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley and some ground pepper.
For smaller stuffed squash, being served as individual meals, serve on individual plates with a side salad.
Stuffed squash can be enjoyed as a filling vegetarian main meal or as a side dish with a simple protein such as one of the following so as not to overbear the flavors:
- Crusted Sage and Macadamia Nut Chicken Breasts
- How To Make A Rotisserie Chicken in the Oven
- Sous Vide Steak from Steam and Bake
Storing and Freezing Tips
Tips for preparing stuffed butternut squash ahead of time can be found in the above paragraph.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days.
To reheat, simply place in the microwave, oven, or air fryer and heat until the cheese is melted.
Cooked butternut squash does not freeze well, as the cheese mixture can take on a grainy texture, and the spinach may become soggy.
It is better eaten within about 3 days of being made and should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
Need More Show Stopping Sides?
To me, the sides at a dinner party, especially during the holidays, are hands-down the best part of the meal!
Check out these other amazing sides for your table if you want to make an impression:
- Smashed Oregano Lemon Garlic Potatoes with Feta
- Easy Smashed Potatoes With Garlic Butter and Rosemary
- Whipped Feta Dip
- Creamy Whipped Feta and Cauliflower Mash Recipe
- Warm Winter Vegetable Salad
Vegetarian Four Cheese Stuffed Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash (choose 1 med-large squash or 4 small squash)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4 cups packed fresh baby spinach
- ½ cup softened cream cheese
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese (grate your own cheese - see notes)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (grate your own cheese - see notes)
- ½ cup softened gorgonzola cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C).
- Chop the squash (pumpkin) length-wise in two.
- Season the inside with salt and pepper and place them with the inside down onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes and then turn them around (flesh side up) to bake for another 10 minutes, or until squash is fork-tender. The amount of time will depend on the size of the squash and you may have to add another couple of minutes if not tender.
- While the squash is roasting, prepare the filling.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Once hot, sauté the chopped garlic until fragrant. Add the baby spinach and sauté for one minute or until the spinach is tender and just wilted. Remove from the heat.
- Add the softened cream cheese, shredded mozzarella, shredded parmesan, and gorgonzola cheese. Stir to combine.
- Once the butternut squash is fork-tender (see notes), remove from it the oven. Use a spoon to scoop out some of the squash pulp in order to make a hole big enough for the cheese mixture.
- Mix the squash pulp with the cheese filling and fill the hole you have created in the squash with the mixture. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is evenly melted and heated through.
- Serve warm.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.