This easy appetizer features a butternut squash and goat cheese spread on homemade crostini, topped off with a crispy prosciutto and sage crumble. It’s perfect for fall or holiday entertaining!
If you’re looking for a new and exciting appetizer to bring to your fall or winter gatherings this year, look no further than this Butternut Squash Crostini with Crispy Prosciutto and Sage. While all of the ingredients are pretty common, it’s rare that you see them all featured together – in two-bite form no less! Pair the crostini with a crowd-pleasing batch cocktail or as a lead-up to a showstopper of a dinner.
Why This Recipe Works
- It’s got the ultimate flavor trifecta – butternut squash, prosciutto and sage – all in a couple of tasty bites.
- It can be made in stages and simply composed before serving.
- You’ll have extra butternut squash-goat cheese spread for all your sandwich and crudité needs.
- It’s easy to make while still being a showstopper of an appetizer.
- Even the kids will love it!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Let’s break down the list by the three different components you’ll be making. We’ll first talk about the butternut squash and goat cheese spread:
Fresh rosemary – This adds the perfect extra dimension of flavor to the spread.
Butternut squash – To save time, buy the squash pre-cut. You can also sub in a different type of squash if you want to mix things up.
Goat cheese – Be sure to use the creamy goat cheese so it blends effortlessly into the spread.
Cayenne – While the spice adds a nice kick, feel free to lessen the amount or omit it altogether if you’re not a fan of heat.
Nutmeg – A classic pairing for butternut squash!
Garlic – This really rounds out the flavor of the spread.
Now on to the crostini!
Baguette – While fresh baguette is always best, you could even use one that’s a couple of days old since you’re toasting it anyway.
Olive oil – Be sure to brush both sides of your bread to get an even crunch.
Finally, top everything off with some crispy sage and prosciutto.
Prosciutto – This will be crisped up and then chopped with the sage to make the ultimate topping.
Fresh sage – The ultimate fresh herb to use in everything during fall!
We’ll break the instructions down in the same order we talked about the ingredients. So let’s start with the butternut squash-goat cheese spread.
Start by tossing the butternut squash with the oil and seasonings and roasting it in the oven until it is fork tender.
After the squash is roasted, combine it with all of the other spread ingredients in a food processor until the mixture is nice and creamy. Set aside (if assembling the crostini the same day) or refrigerate (if assembling the crostini on a different day).
Once your spread is made, you can move on to making the crostini. Slice the baguette into thin slices (1/4- to 1/2-inch thick) and brush or spray olive oil on each side. Toast the slices under the broiler on a baking sheet, keeping a close eye on them. They can go from golden to burnt in a matter of seconds! After the first side is golden, you’ll want to flip the slices over so the other side can brown. WARNING: The second side may brown more quickly than the first!
Finally, the finishing touch: crispy prosciutto and sage. Start by first frying the prosciutto in a little bit of olive oil, then add the sage to the same pan until it crisps up nicely.
Once cooled, chop the prosciutto and sage together.
To assemble the crostini, spread the butternut squash-goat cheese mixture on the crostini and then sprinkle on the chopped sage and prosciutto. Enjoy!
The butternut squash-goat cheese spread can be made up to three days in advance and should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let it come down to room temperature before assembling the crostini so it spreads more evenly.
The crostini can be made up to a day in advance and stored in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container at room temperature.
I recommend making the crispy prosciutto and sage right before assembling the crostini.
I recommend assembling the crostini and then serving them lined up on a large, flat platter. You do not need to worry about keeping them cold or warm which makes them great for entertaining!
Absolutely! Any other hard squash – like kabocha, acorn, delicata or even pumpkin – would work just fine. Avoid using spaghetti squash, yellow squash or zucchini as these types are much more watery and won’t have the same consistency. Alternately, you could substitute sweet potato for a totally different take.
I’m not going to lie, this recipe has a nice kick to it thanks to all the cayenne. If you’re not a fan of spice, use less cayenne or omit it altogether.
Luckily, this recipe yields more butternut squash spread than you’ll need for the crostini. So what else to use it with? Try serving it with crackers on a cheese and charcuterie board, dipping in raw veggies, or spreading it on your favorite sandwich (butternut squash grilled cheese anyone??)
More Butternut Squash Recipes
Tried this recipe and loved it?? Be sure to leave a comment and five-star rating in the recipe card below!
Butternut Squash Crostini with Crispy Prosciutto and Sage
For the butternut squash-goat cheese spread:
- 2 ½ cups cubed butternut squash about ½ of a medium squash
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- ½ teaspoon salt divided
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne Lessen or omit completely if you don't want as much spice.
- 2 ½ ounces soft goat cheese
- 1 large clove garlic peeled
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
For the crostini:
- 1 baguette thinly sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
For the crispy prosciutto and sage:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 4 ounces sliced prosciutto
- 1/3 cup fresh whole sage leaves
- First, make the butternut squash-goat cheese spread. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, combine squash, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Pour onto prepared jelly roll pan and roast in oven for 20 minutes, or until squash is fork tender.
- Place roasted squash in a food processor with goat cheese, garlic, rosemary, and additional ¼ teaspoon salt. Once mixture has begun to break down, slowly stream in additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil and pulse until mixture is nice and creamy with minimal lumps.
- Next, make the crostini. When you remove the squash from the oven, turn the broiler on high. Place baguette slices on a large cookie sheet and brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Place under broiler for about 1 ½ minutes per side, or until both sides are a nice golden color. Keep a close eye on these, as they can go from golden to burnt very quickly.
- Finally, make the crispy prosciutto and sage. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once olive oil is heated, add prosciutto. Depending on the size of the pan, you may need to do this in batches. Cook the prosciutto in the oil until crispy, about three minutes per side. Remove prosciutto from pan and place on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.
- Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the saute pan (still over medium-high heat) and then add sage leaves. Cook until crispy and fragrant, two to three minutes. Remove the sage leaves to the same plate that the prosciutto is on to drain excess oil.
- Transfer prosciutto and sage to a cutting board and chop up roughly.
- Now we’re ready to assemble the crostini. Spread a generous amount (about a tablespoon) of the butternut squash-goat cheese mixture over each piece of crostini, then top each piece with prosciutto and sage. Enjoy immediately.
- The butternut squash-goat cheese spread can be made up to three days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let the spread come to room temperature before assembling the crostini.
- The crostini can be prepared up to a day in advance and stored in a resealable plastic bag or airtight container at room temperature until ready to assemble.
- It’s best to prepare the crispy prosciutto and sage right before assembling.
- This appetizer is great served at room temperature.
- Feel free to lessen or completely omit the cayenne if you don’t like much spice.
- Delicata, acorn or kabocha squash would all work in this recipe as well. You can even try sweet potato!