Roasted Butternut Squash with Feta and Spinach is a healthy, meatless, gluten-free, high-in fiber, and vegetarian meal that your whole family will love! For a vegan version, use vegan Feta cheese. This easy recipe will make a healthy addition to the holiday menu (Thanksgiving and Christmas) and is also great for an easy weeknight meal.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Feta and Spinach
This stuffed butternut squash recipe couldn't get any easier. The butternut squash is first roasted in the oven for about 40 minutes. In the meantime, you will prepare a simple yet delicious filling made with feta cheese and spinach (seasoned with smoked paprika and chili powder)! After the butternut squash is roasted, stuff it with the cheesy filling and top it with toasted pine nuts! That's it! It's healthy, meatless, gluten-free, high-in fiber, and vegetarian. Serve it as a meatless main or side dish.Easy enough to make it on a busy weeknight, yet the presentation is so appealing that you can serve it when you have guests or company over.
Holiday side dish
If you're looking for a healthy, meatless, and vegetarian side dish to add to your holiday menu, this stuffed butternut squash with feta and spinach fits the bill! Make it for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even New Year's Eve! This vibrant dish will add colors to any holiday menu.
Butternut squash nutrition
Butternut squash is a very healthy vegetable that should definitely be part of your menu, especially while it's in season. This winter squash is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C, and E, as well as several minerals, including magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Butternut squash is also rich in dietary fiber.
- Butternut squash is a winter squash with a beautiful orange color that has a sweet and nutty flavor. Fun fact: Did you know that in Australia it's called butternut pumpkin?
- Feta cheese has a soft texture and briny flavor - a great combo with the sweetness of the butternut squash!
- Spinach - I cooked fresh spinach, but frozen spinach can certainly be used! Make sure to thaw it and drain it from any liquid. I would even pat it dry with paper towels.
- Pine Nuts. For best results, toast the pine nuts briefly in the preheated oven at 350 F for about 5 minutes until they turn golden. Toasted pine nuts taste so much better than raw. But be careful and watch them at all times as they can burn really easily.
- Seasonings include smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Olive oil is used to brush butternut squash for roasting it in the oven. I also used it to cook spinach.
Can you make it ahead?
Of course! Follow these tips:
- You can assemble the whole dish (excluding the pine nuts) in an oven-safe large pan, cover it with the lid (or foil), refrigerate it, and bake it within 3 days. Because all the ingredients are already cooked, this dish is perfect for meal prep!
- Another option is to roast the butternut squash up to 3 days in advance and then proceed with the rest of the recipe when you're ready.
- Winter squash. You can use either butternut squash or acorn squash. When using acorn squash, keep in mind that they are smaller in size and bake faster in the oven (about 30 minutes in the preheated oven at 400 F).
- Greens. You can use spinach, kale, or arugula. Or a mixture of these greens!
- Cheese. You can use Parmesan, Asiago, or Gruyere cheese instead of Feta. Or, shredded Mozzarella cheese.
Storage and Reheating Tips
- Fridge. Refrigerate the leftover stuffed butternut squash in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Reheat in the oven. Reheat it in the preheated oven at 350 F for about 30 minutes.
- Reheat in the microwave oven. For best and fastest results, remove the feta and spinach mixture out of the butternut squash. Reheat the cheese mixture in the microwave oven separately from the roasted butternut squash halves. Then add back the cheese mixture into the butternut squash.
What sides to serve with stuffed butternut squash
- Store-bought or homemade bread. Serve it with a slice of warm Italian bread, garlic bread, or olive bread loaf. Baguette or sourdough bread will also be delicious.
- Salad recommendations. If you're looking for specific salad recommendations, try this simple spinach salad with pine nuts and Parmesan or cranberry spinach salad with cashews and goat cheese. Or, pair the spinach and feta cheese stuffed butternut squash with the colorful and easy-to-make arugula salad with apples, cranberries, and pecans or Fall-themed arugula salad with pears, apples, cashews, and homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Other stuffed butternut squash recipes you might like
- Stuffed Butternut Squash with Spinach, Bacon, and Cheese
- Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash with Spinach, Pecans, and Cranberries
- Southwestern Ground Beef Stuffed Butternut Squash with Black Beans and Corn
Roasted Butternut Squash with Feta and Spinach
Feta cheese and spinach mixture
- fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme)
How to roast butternut squash
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Prepare the butternut squash. Slice each one in half lengthwise. Keep fingers away from the knife to avoid injury. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and fleshy strands tangled with the seeds.
- Place butternut squash cut sides up on a baking sheet. Drizzle the cut sides of butternut squashes with olive oil and rub the oil into the squash. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Turn the squash over, and place it cut sides down on a baking sheet. Tip: you can line the baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- Roast in the preheated oven at 400 F for 40 minutes.
- Proceed with the rest of the recipe while the squash is in the oven.
Make feta cheese and spinach mixture
- In a large, high-sided skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat and add chopped fresh spinach, smoked paprika, and chili powder. Cook for about 5 minutes until the spinach wilts. If there is any liquid in the pan, drain it. Remove from heat.
- Add crumbled feta cheese to the skillet and stir it in very well with cooked spinach.
- Season with more smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, and freshly ground pepper, if desired.
How to stuff butternut squash
- By this time, you have roasted the butternut squash for 40 minutes. Remove it from the oven and turn cooked squash halves cut sides up.
- Let it cool slightly. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh leaving about a 1-inch border along the sides. (For reference, I provide the step-by-step photos, including for this step, below this recipe card).
- Add back the scooped-out squash into the indentations of the butternut squash.
- Warm up the feta cheese and spinach mixture in the skillet. Divide the feta and spinach mixture among the 4 halves and stuff the squash until the mixture is leveled.
- Top the stuffed butternut squash with toasted pine nuts and fresh herbs.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
How to roast butternut squash (step-by step photos)
This is a quick overview with step-by-step photos. For a complete and detailed recipe, use the recipe card above.
1) Slice each butternut squash in half lengthwise. Keep fingers away from the knife to avoid injury. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and fleshy strands tangled with the seeds.
2) Drizzle the cut sides of butternut squashes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3) Roast the squash for 40 minutes in the preheated oven at 400 F. Turn the squash over, and place it cut sides down on a baking sheet. Tip: you can line the baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
4) Prepare the squash for stuffing. When the butternut squash is done roasting, cut out small indentations in the cooked squash to prepare it for stuffing. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh leaving about a 1-inch border along the sides. See photos for more clarity:
5) Stuff the squash. Add back the scooped-out squash into the indentations of the butternut squash. Add feta cheese and spinach mixture. Reheat in the oven at 350 F for about 15 minutes, if needed.