Stuffed Butternut Squash with Spinach, Bacon, and Cheese is a perfect recipe to make in the Fall and Winter. The stuffing is creamy and cheesy and pairs well with the sweet flavor of the butternut squash. This gluten-free recipe is a perfect addition to the holiday menu and is also great for an easy weeknight meal.
Stuffed Butternut Squash - easy side dish or main meal
This is an incredibly easy recipe that will for sure be a crowd pleaser! The butternut squash is first roasted in the oven for about 40 minutes. In the meantime, you will prepare the delicious filling made with cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach, and bacon! After the butternut squash is roasted, stuff it with the cheesy filling and reheat it in the oven (or under the broiler) briefly. That's it! It's a simple recipe that a whole family will love! Easy enough to make it on a busy weeknight, yet the presentation is so appealing that you can serve it when you have company over. You can serve it as a side dish or as a meal in itself!
What can be more attractive on a holiday table than a colorful, festive dish featuring seasonal ingredients? Butternut Squash stuffed with Cheese, Bacon, and Spinach is a great side dish to serve for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even New Year's Eve! It will surely please almost every taste because this dish combines both savory and sweet flavors in a perfect combination!
- Butternut squash is the star of the show! It's 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?
- Cream cheese adds creaminess and great texture to the filling. Use softened cream cheese by heating it in the microwave oven briefly.
- Parmesan cheese - use shredded or grated parmesan. It's always best to shred or grate the cheese yourself!
- Spinach - I used 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.
- Bacon - use chopped, cooked bacon. It's easy to cook the bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet in the oven at 350 F.
How to make stuffed butternut squash (step-by-step photos)
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.
Drizzle the cut sides of butternut squashes with olive oil and season 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 it for 40 minutes
Then, roast the butternut squash in the preheated oven at 400 F for 40 minutes.
Prepare the cheese mixture
Next, combine cooked spinach with softened cream cheese and shredded Parmesan cheese. Mix everything well. Fold in chopped cooked bacon. Tip: save a few bacon pieces to arrange on top of the cheese mixture.
Stuff the 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. See photos for more clarity:
Divide the spinach, bacon, and cheese mixture among the 4 halves and stuff the squash until the mixture is leveled.
Top with the chopped cooked bacon.
Bake it some more and broil
Roast the stuffed butternut squash in the preheated oven at 400 F for 15 more minutes until the cheese mixture melts.
Optionally, broil for 3 or 5 minutes to get golden crust over cheese.
- 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).
- You can use Asiago cheese or Gruyere cheese instead of Parmesan.
- Other greens besides spinach that will work well in stuffed butternut squash are kale and arugula.
Storage and Reheating Tips
What I love about this recipe is that it stores well and reheats well!
- Fridge. Refrigerate the leftover stuffed butternut squash in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Reheat in the oven. Reheat it in the preheated oven at 350 F for about 30 minutes.
- Reheat in the microwave oven. You can also microwave the stuffed butternut squash. For best and fastest results, you can take the spinach, bacon, and cheese mixture out of the butternut squash, and reheat this mixture and the butternut squash separately. Then add back the cheese mixture into the butternut squash.
What to serve with stuffed butternut squash
Serve something equally simple and easy-to-make, such as these delicious holiday side dishes:
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Toasted Pecans, and Dried Cranberries
- Cheesy Baked Asparagus with Gruyere cheese, Garlic, and Bacon
- Green Beans with Pine Nuts
More butternut squash recipes you might like
- Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage and Spinach - This easy and flavorful recipe is packed with veggies and will become your favorite Fall and Winter family weeknight dinner!
- Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce and Pecans - you can use store-bought ravioli and just use the recipe for the delicious sauce!
- Creamy Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sausage, Thyme, and Sage is the ultimate Autumn comfort food.
Stuffed Butternut Squash
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.
Make spinach, bacon, and cheese mixture
- While the butternut squash is roasted, prepare the cheese mixture.
- In a medium skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat and add fresh spinach. Cook for about 5 minutes until the spinach wilts. If there is any liquid in the pan, drain it.
- Add cream cheese to a microwave-safe large-sized bowl. Soften cream cheese briefly in the microwave oven. Make sure the cheese does not actually melt, just softens.
- Add shredded Parmesan, cooked spinach, and half of the chopped cooked bacon to the same bowl. Mix everything well. Tip: save the remaining half of the bacon pieces to arrange on top of the cheese mixture.
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, above the recipe card).
- Divide the spinach, bacon, and cheese mixture among the 4 halves and stuff the squash until the mixture is leveled. Top with the remaining chopped cooked bacon.
- Roast the stuffed butternut squash in the preheated oven at 400 F for 15 more minutes until the cheese mixture melts.
- Optionally, broil for 3 or 5 minutes to get golden crust over cheese. Watch closely and be very careful not to burn the squash and the cheese mixture. Tip: Broil on the second oven rack from the top - not on the very top rack so that it doesn't burn. Do watch carefully because all ovens are different. My squashes were fine broiled for 5 minutes on the second oven rack from the top.
- Top with freshly ground black pepper and fresh thyme.
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.