Cooked butternut squash is a versatile ingredient I keep in my fridge all fall long. Sometimes I halve the squash, remove the seeds and roast the sides with olive oil and salt and pepper and once tender I scrape the meat from the skins and mash it with a fork. Other times I peel and cube the squash and simmer it in a pot of boiling water until tender. As soon as the cubes are fork tender, I drain the pot, add some butter and mash the squash just like I would potatoes.
Uses for Mashed Butternut Squash
The mashed squash is stored in my fridge for up to 5 days and I use it in a myriad of ways. My kids LOVE pasta with butternut squash “cheese” sauce (put the squash in a blender with some warm chicken stock, a splash of cream and a generous handful of cheddar or Parmesan cheese and blend until smooth and creamy) and soup, which I make with the mashed squash, warm chicken stock and a splash of cream. Then there are quesadillas, which I serve for both dinner and school lunches.
How to Make Butternut Squash Quesadillas
To make butternut squash quesadillas, you’ll need:
- Mashed butternut squash (using one of the above cooking methods)
- Whole wheat tortillas
- Grated cheddar cheese
- Fresh thyme
Spread the mashed squash over a tortilla, top with grated cheese, sprinkle with fresh thyme, cover with a second tortilla and cook in an oil-slicked skillet until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crisp and golden brown. You could also add thinly sliced apples or cooked bacon or sausage to the quesadillas. None of those options would be remotely disappointing.
These days I’m all about the 5-ingredient recipes, and this one fits the fall dinner bill perfectly.
Lest you think these are just for the kids, I’ve also made these for parties. Cut them into quarters and they’re the perfect party appetizers, or add bits of chicken and/or thinly sliced steak and they work for hockey and/or football viewing parties.