Butternut Squash Filled with Spinach and Ricotta

I have used this recipe many times since my mom pointed it out to me, and it has always been very well received.  It’s really not at all difficult, and it seems to impress people at parties.  What’s not to like?

Ordinarily the rule for picking butternuts is to choose squash with long fleshy necks and small “bells.” For this recipe, you’ll want a squash with an ample cavity for filling.


1 medium or large butternut squash
1  egg
2  tablespoons and 4 tablespoons coarsely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
2  tablespoons heavy cream or milk
1/2  cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2  teaspoon coarse salt
1/8  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
chopped spinach, see note below
1  tablespoon canola oil

Prep Time – 10
Cook Time – 60

Note on spinach:  The original recipe calls for a 10 oz package of frozen spinach, which you thaw and then squeeze the water out of.  This is easier than using fresh spinach, but I have used fresh spinach once.  In that case, use 10 oz of fresh spinach, and blanch it by dropping it into boiling water for 30 seconds.  Then strain the spinach out, let it cool, and squeeze the water out of it.


Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut squash into halves lengthwise.  Scoop out seeds with a spoon.  Place squash, cut sides down, in shallow baking dish. Add about 1-inch water.  Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until tender.
Combine egg, 2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano, cream, ricotta, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Stir well. Stir in spinach.
Remove squash from oven and turn cut sides up. Brush with oil and fill cavities with spinach mixture. Return to oven and bake 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in spinach mixture comes out barely clean. Let cool 5 minutes. Cut each half lengthwise into halves. Top with remaining Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Recipe by Jean Kressy, published here on Relish.com.

Nutritional Info (per serving)

Calories 310
Fat 14g
Saturated Fat 6g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 80mg
Sodium 470mg
Potassium 1310mg
Carbohydrates 38g
Fiber 8g
Sugars 7g
Protein 14g

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