Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Bake

This is a tasty dish with a less-than-descriptive name. Sorry about that. I tried Googling “types of casseroles” and “terms for baked dishes” in hopes of the brilliant minds of the Internet giving me something better, but…”bake” was the best I could come up with. And to think I sometimes consider myself a decent writer.

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Bake

But anyway. For some reason, I couldn’t get the combo of butternut squash, red onion, and goat cheese out of my head this afternoon. I thought of making some sort of pot pie but didn’t feel like making crust. I thought of just roasting some together and calling it a side dish but then I didn’t know what to make as the main. So I decided, well, why not make the veggies the main tonight? It’s a departure from our normal Sunday dinner with Scott’s family, which is almost always meat-pasta-veg-dessert.

I added a (diced, cooked) chicken breast at the last minute just because I had it, but some slices of sausage would taste even better. This could so easily be vegetarian, too. Really, you could add more types of veggies or a different kind of cheese and totally change the timbre of the dish, but I loved how each flavor was delicious on its own yet tasted even better in combination — the sweetness of the squash, the caramelized onion, the tang of the goat cheese, the crunch of the croutons. Some sauteed spinach or red pepper would be a nice addition.

Because goat cheese is quite necessary.

Because goat cheese is quite necessary.

And what about those homemade croutons? Oh man, do not skip that part. I sauteed mine in a skillet before adding to the casserole, but I’d be willing to bet you could coat them with a spray of oil and bake them with the squash and onions with equally delicious results.

With the time change today and a nice warm, snow-melting weekend, it might, just might, be starting to feel like spring. But I’m wary of getting my hopes up…and with a dish like this, I don’t mind a tiny bit more winter.

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Bake

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Bake

It goes without saying you could use another variety of winter squash here if that’s what around. I sauteed the croutons in a skillet before adding to the casserole, but I’d be willing to bet you could coat them with a spray of oil and bake them with the squash and onions with equally delicious results.
  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-2″ pieces
  • half a red onion, sliced into thick half-moons and separated
  • 2 thick slices of a county-style loaf (whole-wheat preferred), cut into 1-2″ cubes
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: diced chicken breast or cooked, sliced sausage
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash and onion with olive oil, salt, and pepper and place in a 9×14 casserole dish. Bake until squash is fork-tender, about 45 minutes, tossing a couple of times while cooking.
  2. Add croutons, meat (if using) and toss to combine. Top with goat cheese and place under broiler for a minute or two, until cheese is bubbly and croutons are browned. Enjoy!
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