Stuffed Butternut Squash with Feta Cheese, Spinach, and Bacon


Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash (2 halves) with Feta Cheese, Spinach, and Bacon - on a white plate.

Stuffed Butternut Squash with Feta Cheese, Spinach, and Bacon is an easy weeknight meal that can be served as a main or side dish. It will also make a beautiful addition to any holiday menu (including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve) during the Fall and Winter season. This recipe is gluten-free, high in fiber, and protein-rich! You can easily make it dairy-free by using vegan Feta cheese.

Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash (2 halves) with Feta Cheese, Spinach, and Bacon - on a white platter.

Feta and spinach stuffed butternut squash – easy side dish or main meal

This Fall-inspired recipe is ridiculously easy to make and is sure to become a family favorite! First, you will roast the butternut squash halves in the oven for about 30 or 40 minutes at 400 F.  While the squash is in the oven, you will prepare the delicious filling made with Feta cheese, spinach, smoked paprika, chili powder, and bacon!  Finally, stuff the roasted butternut squash with the feta cheese filling. Serve it as a side dish or main course. Easy enough to make it on a busy weeknight, fancy enough to share with your friends and family for a special occasion!

Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash Half with Feta Cheese, Spinach, and Bacon - on a white plate.

Main ingredients

  • Butternut squash is a highly nutritious winter squash with a beautiful orange color that has a sweet and nutty flavor. Tip: Ask the Deli Department of your local grocery store to cut your butternut squash in half for you. Butternut squash can be notoriously hard to cut and this is an easy solution!
  • Feta cheese has a soft texture and briny flavor – a great combo with the sweetness of the butternut squash! It adds creaminess and great texture to the filling.
  • 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. Cook the bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet in the oven at 350 F for about 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  • 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.

Substitutions

  • Winter squash. You can use butternut squash, acorn squash, or spaghetti squash with this recipe.  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.
  • Bacon. You can use prosciutto instead (crispy it up in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 F). You can also use turkey bacon or duck bacon.

How to serve it

  • Serve feta-stuffed butternut squash in a deep, high-sided pasta bowl or on a large plate. Use a spoon to scoop out the cooked squash along with the cheese mixture. Do not eat the hard outer shell.
  • You can also slice each stuffed butternut squash half into 2, 4, or more slices and serve it on a large serving platter. Use a sharp knife to slice the squash – it will help to keep the filling intact. Your family (or guests) can then use a serving spoon to transfer a smaller slice of stuffed squash onto their plate.
  • Serve it unstuffed. Scoop the cooked butternut squash flesh out of the shells and mix together with the spinach, bacon, and Feta cheese filling. Serve it in a large serving bowl.

Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash (2 halves) with Feta Cheese, Spinach, and Bacon - on a white plate.

Storage and Reheating Tips

  • Fridge.  Refrigerate the leftover feta-stuffed butternut squash in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat in the oven.  Reheat it on a rimmed baking sheet in the preheated oven at 350 F for about 30 minutes.
  • Reheat in the microwave oven. For the best and fastest results, remove the bacon, spinach, and feta cheese mixture from the butternut squash. Reheat the cheese mixture in the microwave oven separately from the roasted butternut squash halves. Then add the cheese mixture into the butternut squash. Or, scoop out the cooked squash flesh and mix it with the cheese and bacon mixture.

Other stuffed butternut squash recipes you might like

Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash (2 halves) with Feta Cheese, Spinach, and Bacon - on a white plate.

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Stuffed Butternut Squash with Feta Cheese, Spinach, and Bacon

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Stuffed Butternut Squash with Feta Cheese, Spinach, and Bacon is an easy weeknight meal that can be served as a main or side dish. It will also make a beautiful addition to any holiday menu (including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve) during the Fall and Winter season. This recipe is gluten-free, high in fiber, and protein-rich! You can easily make it dairy-free by using vegan Feta cheese.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Keyword feta stuffed butternut squash
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 466kcal
Author Julia

Ingredients

Butternut squash

  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground

Spinach, bacon, and feta cheese mixture

Garnish

  • fresh herbs rosemary, thyme

Instructions

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: 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, spinach, and bacon mixture

  • In a large, high-sided skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat and add chopped fresh spinach. 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, smoked paprika, and chili powder to the skillet and stir it with cooked spinach.
  • Add half of the chopped cooked bacon to the skillet. 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. Scoop out the flesh using a spoon, 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 larger cavities of the butternut squash.
  • Warm up the feta cheese, spinach, and bacon mixture in the skillet. Divide this mixture among the 4 halves and stuff the squash until the mixture is leveled.
  • Top with the remaining chopped cooked bacon.
  • Optionally, you can reheat the stuffed butternut squash in the oven at 400 F for 10 more minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh herbs.

Nutrition

Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 972mg | Potassium: 1829mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 46793IU | Vitamin C: 99mg | Calcium: 463mg | Iron: 5mg

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.

sliced butternut squash cut sides up on a baking sheet

2) Drizzle the cut sides of butternut squashes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

sliced butternut squash seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

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.

sliced butternut squash cut sides down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

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:
roasted butternut squash on the baking sheet

scooping out the flesh out of the roasted butternut squash on a baking sheet

roasted butternut squashed with the scooped out flesh leaving about a 1-inch border along the sides

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.

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