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
- 2 butternut squash medium
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- black pepper freshly ground
Spinach, bacon, and cheese mixture
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 oz spinach fresh
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 6 strips bacon cooked and chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh 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.
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.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I have made this so many times in the last year. I share with friends all the time and thru Facebook. I love love love this recipe!!
Debbie, your comment really made my day! ❤️ Thank you for taking the time to share such a positive review - it means a lot to me! ❤️
This is so delicious! It was very flavorful and we will be having it again soon!! We had it as a side to pan fried chicken breasts with grape tomatoes. YUMM!!
Heidi, I am so glad you gave this recipe a try and that it was a success! 🙂 Thank you for the comment and the 5-star review! ❤️❤️
The larger squash were not even close to being done in 40 minutes you should use 2 small squash. mixture is good but very disappointed it was all not ready at same time...
Bob, larger squashes would probably take longer to bake. Also, make sure to wait until the oven is preheated (at 400 F) and only then add the squash.
This is definitely a keeper! I am not a fan of squash normally, but this is delicious!!
I did mix the extra squash back into the mix because I hated to waste it!
Kelley, I am so happy you loved this recipe. Thank you for the 5-star review! 🙂
This is an outstanding recipe! When I went to make it I discovered that I was out of cream cheese and substituted 4 oz of feta. I also used twice as much turkey bacon as the recipe called for. I did mix the extra squash with the cheese and spinach mixture. It was fabulous! I will definitely make it again. I may even try it with goat cheese!
I am making this now and thought the same to add the squash into the cheese mix. =)
Shannon, yes, just mix the scooped-out squash with the cheese and spinach mix!
Michelle, glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 So good to know that it tasted great with feta. I am sure goat cheese would be very delicious, too!
Hi!! Trying to make this today.. I've read the recipe several times, but don't know what to do with the squash that is scooped out after roasting?
Sheryl, I added the squash that I scooped out into the large cavity and then topped it with the spinach and cheese mixture. Or, you can just mix the scooped-out squash with the cheese and spinach mixture and then stuff the squash.
I made these with a few changes. I left out bacon, added dried cranberries and chopped walnuts with a drop of orange flavoring and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Awesome
Faye, I love your version! I bet dried cranberries and nuts tasted so good with the melted cheese!
Do you peel the squash first?
Christine, no, I don't peel it. But then I don't eat the skin of the roasted squash. I would serve the stuffed squash in a deep enough bowl to fit it (you can slice each stuffed half in half to serve). Use a deep pasta bowl.
what do you do with the extra squash that is taken out after roasting before adding the cheese mixture. I incorporated it into the cheese mixture but wanted to know what you do with it?
Donna, I did a similar thing. I added back the scooped-out squash to the cavities and then topped it with the cheese mixture! This way, the cheese mixture stayed "pure" and looked pretty!
I just made this last night and was very good. I would broil a little next time to get that better presentation. I would also recommend you consider addressing the "left over" squash in the recipe - either add in or toss/eat separately. I cut it up and left it in the cavity and added the cheese mixture on top.
Bonnie, I am so happy you've enjoyed this! 🙂 Yes, the presentation is better if you broil this briefly. And, yes, I should update this recipe about what to do with the scooped-out squash - I did the same - put it back in the cavity and added the cheese mixture on top.
I added the scooped out squash to the cheese mixture and just mixed it all together before putting back in the shells.
Faye, that works!
This recipe is amazing! This will be my go to, for the holiday season!! My family will go crazy…my husband just did!
Pat, thank you so much for such an enthusiastic comment - it truly makes my day! 🙂