This recipe was originally a Rachael Ray recipe which I adapted. The first time I made it I ‘twice’ baked it back in the original shell of the squash. It came out wonderful. Delicious. Filling.
The 2nd time I made this I was all ready to put it back in the shell/skin to ‘twice’ bake it when I decided to try it in a casserole dish instead. Maybe it wasn’t as fancy or unique as baking in the skin but it was easy and less of a hassle.
I think both ways came out excellent. Both delicious. Both filling. This was the entire meal for John and I. It was more than enough. It can easily be used as a side dish as well. If using as a side dish I would say it serves 4 people but as a meal, 2 people.
The recipe is a little time-consuming but it is well worth it. It’s a simple dish with lots of flavors. Butternut squash is also low in calories and just plain delicious so give it a try! Actually the most difficult part of this is cutting the squash in half. Make sure you have a strong knife and sturdy counter!
1 butternut squash
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
salt and pepper
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided in half (leave out if you wish)
¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese, divided (or use any kind of sharp cheese you want, I used a combo of horseradish cheddar and regular cheddar last time)
8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese (feel free to use full fat one also)
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided. (we use Locatelli)
½ cup chopped finely red onion
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced (use less if too much for you)
2-3 scallions chopped (all parts)
Heat oven to 425°. Halve the squash lengthwise. Be very careful! Like I said this is the hardest part of the recipe. Scoop out the seeds and mushy stuff. (you’ll see what I mean)
Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a little fresh nutmeg. If using powdered just lightly sprinkle a little bit on top. Honestly this will not make it taste like a cake or anything weird.
Roast till fork tender, 30-40 minutes. Let it cool so you can handle it easily.
Carefully scoop out the inside of the squash into a bowl, trying to keep the skins intact. (if you’re not going to use the skins than don’t worry about it)
Mash the squash. I have a pretty lame masher so I put the squash flesh in my food processor and blended it till smooth.
Put the squash in a large bowl and add half the cheddar, half the bacon, half the parmesan cheese, all of the ricotta, red onions, garlic and scallions. (you can save some scallions for topping if you wish)
Mix all completely. If using the shells place the filling back into the two shells. It will be a lot but don’t worry it’s fine. If not using the shells place into a casserole dish. (I sprayed the casserole dish with cooking spray just in case).
Top the squash with the remaining cheddar, parmesan and bacon. Put back in oven for 5-10 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.
Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a side dish