Apparently I’m all about the butternut squash this week!
To be fair, it was somewhat on purpose. I feel like by now all of you, my dear readers, might be feeling a little overwhelmed with all the pumpkin recipes currently populating the web and social media. I also feel that butternut squash is a delicious yet often overlooked fall ingredient and I wanted to be sure to give it its fair share of attention before we go too far down the pumpkin recipe rabbit hole. Enter this Herbed Butternut Squash Gratin with Amaretti Crumble!
I realize I haven’t posted a ton of vegetable side dish recipes on the site, and I honestly can’t tell you why. Maybe it’s because I like to incorporate as many vegetables as possible into my main dishes, or maybe it’s because often our “vegetables” are prepared simply and easily without a lot of flourish. But every once in a while I think we can all agree it’s nice to have a fancy veggie side dish to contribute to a get-together or family dinner, especially during the holidays when group gatherings are in full force.
And let me tell you – this Herbed Butternut Squash Gratin with Amaretti Crumble is seriously one for the books. I mean, anytime you combine a super-healthy vegetable, tons of fresh herbs, crunchy amaretti crumbles, pancetta and CHEESE, I call it a surefire winner.
I may have come up with this recipe in the middle of September when it was still blazing hot out, but I sure as heck haven’t stopped making it since and plan to continue to make it whenever our little babe allows me the time to get in the kitchen and cook. I may also subtly share the recipe with my family so they can make it for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. I mean, it would only be appropriate, right?
I’m also going to go out on a limb and guess that said Herbed Butternut Squash Gratin with Amaretti Crumble is going to please even the pickiest of little eaters. After all, what kid doesn’t want a nutrient-filled side dish that also happens to include CHEESE and COOKIES and taste out-of-this-world? I dare you to give it a shot.
The great thing about this holiday-appropriate recipe is that it’s very much a “set it and forget it” recipe, meaning you prep everything in a baking dish, pop it in the oven and forget about it until it’s ready to eat. So sure, you may need to coordinate the oven time with other important holiday things – like turkey! – but once it has it’s moment, it’ll be ready to shine along with everything else gracing your feasted table.
I don’t have too much else to say about this Herbed Butternut Squash Gratin with Amaretti Crumble, except that you really need to make it ASAP, even if it’s just for a trial run before the big day when you plan to wow all your family and friends. I guarantee it’s going to be a huge hit!
This butternut squash side dish is full of flavor with fresh herbs, Gruyere cheese and crispy prosciutto. Perfect for the holidays!
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
- 2 cups amaretti cookies
- 7 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 4 ounces pancetta
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place butternut squash slices neatly in a rectangular baking pan, drizzle on olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Follow by sprinkling on the thyme, sage and grated Gruyere.
Combine the amaretti cookies, softened butter and orange zest in a food processor and pulse until a crumble forms.
Sprinkle the crumble over the squash and then sprinkle on the pancetta.
Place pan in oven and bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Then increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and bake an additional 5-10 minutes longer, or until butternut squash feels tender when pierced with a fork and pancetta is slightly crispy/bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving.