Cheesy Butternut Squash Bake

Cheesy Butternut Squash Bake

I’ve thought a lot about this – and I’m pretty sure that I’m right… Butternut Squash was made for the cheesy bake recipe that I’m sharing with you today. That saucy, slightly acidic marinara combined with the buttery, melty cheese and the sweet, nutty, earthy butternut squash is truly a heavenly combination.

all the ingredients

This recipe isn’t just delicious, it’s so easy. Especially if you know how to tell the awkwardly shaped butternut squash who’s boss.

Tell the awkwardly shaped butternut squash who’s boss!

Emily, FFAY

How to prep butternut squash

Butternut squash can be down-right difficult to handle unless you know these 2 simple steps.

  1. pierce the squash, every 2″ with the tines of a fork (only go skin deep)
  2. place the squash in a microwaveable baking dish and microwave for 2 minutes on HIGH

Once you’ve done steps 1 and 2, allow the squash to cool for 2-3 minutes. Then, cut it in half (leaving you with 2 portions : the neck/top and the seed-filled bottom). Peel both portions with a vegetable peeler, then quarter and scoop out the seeds. In a matter of minutes you’ve subdued the squash and now you’re ready to proceed with any recipe you want.

How to bake butternut squash

For this recipe, you’ll need to cut the prepped squash into 1″ cubes and place the cubes in a prepared baking dish (I used the same dish from the microwaving step). Layer half of the squash – marinara – broth – cheese – seasoning – in that order and then repeat, topping with more cheese and a sprinkle of fried red peppers or fried onions. The key to this recipe is to bake until the squash is tender and the sauce is slightly thickened, approximately 45 minutes. (Oh and be sure to save some for leftovers – they’re glorious!)

served bake

Cheesy Butternut Squash Bake

  • 2 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 16 ounces prepared marinara sauce
  • 6 oz chicken broth
  • 1/2 t garlic salt
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t cracked black pepper
  • 8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 2 T fried red pepper bits*, or fried onions

Preheat oven to 400°. In a medium oven-proof baker (prepared with nonstick cooking spray), layer half of the butternut squash – marinara sauce – cheese and seasonings.

Repeat process for the remaining ingredients and seasonings. Top with cheese and fried pepper bits.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 10-15 additional minutes or until the squash is tender and the cheese is lightly golden.

Allow the squash bake to cool for 5 minutes before serving, this allows the juices to thicken slightly.

Serves 6

*I used a packet of fried red peppers leftover from my Chick-fil-A salad order.