Butternut Squash Dip

Baked butternut squash plus some cheese and spicy stuff makes for a perfect fall appetizer!


Butternut Squash Dip

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So, I have a kind of crazy week next week and this dip will play a part in it.

Betsy and I have a few friends that are getting married in Boulder next weekend and through an interesting turn of events, I’m going to be catering their wedding!

Yes.  You read that correctly.  I will be feeding 100ish people with delicious Macheesmo food.

I’m mildly nervous about it because A) I’m not a caterer and B) I’m not a caterer, but I think it’s going to be fantastic.

We decided on a menu that’s going to be very doable for me to make (think upscale BBQ) and I’m going to have a few helping hands.

What’s the worst thing that happens?  I ruin two people’s special day?  Probably not the first time!

I plan on writing more about the wedding and the menu that I came up with after the event, but I was very excited that you guys voted for a butternut squash dish in last week’s poll because it gave me the chance to test a dip that will be on the menu next week!

Butternut Squash Dip

1.5 quart dish
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Baked butternut squash plus some cheese and spicy stuff makes for a perfect fall appetizer!


3 cups butternut squash flesh
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces Gruyere (or swiss) cheese, grated
1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon hot sauce (opt.)
Salt and pepper
Panko breadcrumbs
Butter (for the dish)
Pita chips (for serving)


1) Slice butternut squash in half and bake at 350 degrees for an hour.  let cool slightly before handling.

2) Scoop out seeds from squash and measure out flesh.  Add to other ingredients and mix well.

3) Add dip to a buttered casserole dish and top with Panko.

4) Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

5) For pita chips, cut pita into sixths and split each sixth in half.  Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and kosher salt.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes and stir once halfway through.

6) Serve dip with the chips!

Chopping Goards

A whole butternut squash is kind of a daunting thing.  It seems kind of impenetrable.

I’ve found that the best way to get into it is just to attack it from the top.  Take your largest knife and carefully stab it right in the center.  Push the knife down as far as you can.


Then just kind of push the knife down and it should easily slice open half of the gourd.  This is a safe and fast way to slice this guy open rather than sawing away at it for hours.

The safest way…

Repeat the process on the other side and the squash should pop open and reveal some delicious orange flesh.

Pretty thing.

Add these two halves to a baking sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for about an hour.  They should soften up a lot, but you don’t want them to get completely soggy.

These were mine after an hour of baking.  You’ll want to let them cool for a few minutes before trying to handle them!

After a long bake.

Mixing the Dip

It’s important that you actually measure your squash when you mix it in with your other ingredients.  Butternut squash can vary hugely in size so don’t just toss in the whole thing and call it good.  It’ll mess up the ratio.

But the flesh is pretty easy to scoop out so just measure it along with all your other ingredients.  Stir this together and you’ll be in business.

All the other tasty stuff.

Once you get the dip mixed together well, add it to a baking dish that has been buttered.  If you don’t butter your dish, the dip will stick pretty badly to the edges.

I love the color on this stuff.

Don’t forget the butter!

While you could just bake it like this, I decided to add a crispy topping to the dip.

I did make a small mistake though (which I swear I will not make during the actual wedding).  I accidentally used Italian Panko instead of just regular Panko.

Don’t make this mistake.  Just use the normal stuff.

Try to avoid Italian breadcrumbs…

Bake this at 400 degrees for about 30-40 minutes.  The Panko should brown a bit and the dip should be hot and delicious.

Pita Pita Pita

You can definitely buy pita chips, but I’m a big fan of making them.  I find that they are sturdier and more flavorful.  Just chop up a few pitas into sixth and then separate the two layers.

Add them to a baking sheet and drizzle on some olive oil and kosher salt.

Easy to make at home.

Mix them all together and bake them for about 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees.  Check them halfway through and stir the chips to make sure they are being cooked evenly.

You’re finished chips should be lightly browned and crispy.

So good!

It’s not rocket science at this point.

The chip goes in the dip.

A first dip…

I feel great about this dip.  The flavor is really nice and it goes well with crispy chips.  Plus it’s pretty low maintenance and easy to make in bulk which makes it a winner for my wedding day menu.

This time next week I’ll be prepping this dip for a hundred hungry wedding guests.

19 Responses to “Butternut Squash Dip” Leave a comment

  1. I feel the desire to mention some fresh green sprinkled herbs on top after baking? Mint or dill or oregano…something for "eye candy". What do you think?

    1. Definitely. I was thinking of throwing in some rosemary with the breadcrumbs. I generally don't like to garnish dishes just for the sake of it, but I agree this dish could use an herb or two.

  2. Butternut Squash is such a great vegetable.

    Now as for your wedding gig – good luck – last summer for the expereince I hired myself out as a "Camp Cook" – 800 meals 3x a day. Cooking for 100 or 800 takes time and facility…….be thirsty my friend and drink Dos Equis ;-)

  3. That's so cool Nick, good luck with the catering! I can't wait to read your write-up about it, I bet it will be amazing! I think stepping up to cater for a large group when you don't have much experience doing that is a perfect example of "macheesmo"! :-)

  4. I can't wait to try this! You will do a fantastic job and can't wait to try and your fantastic food.

  5. This is definitely getting made for the next party I attend. Notice I didn't say "host". We're still cleaning drink stains out of our carpet from the last one of those..
    Good luck with the wedding, I'm sure you'll do great! :)
    My recent post Short & Sweet

  6. AweSOME* I know you'll do a fantastic job and make everyone think it was a breeze. You're just that kind. The Bride will kiss you and you'll be the hero of the Reception.
    You already have the repertoire, now will come the experience.

    Best of Luck and Best of all Wishes to the Bride and Groom

  7. Good luck my friend! I have gotten myself into some tough cooking situations that I thought I would never be able to complete and always have succeeded with flying colors! A wedding is some serious pressure but I'm sure you will do fine.

    My recent post Matcha Pancakes with Ginger Butter

  8. thanks for the great idea!
    do you think it would work the same with other winter squash? (acorn, delicata, etc…?)

  9. Good luck with the wedding catering! I just bought a butternut squash to puree and bake with parmesan cheese and pesto…but now, I think I'll make your dip instead. It sounds wonderful — especially the Gruyere cheese. Thanks for the recipe.
    My recent post Chow-Chow

  10. I made this and it was great! I added rosemary to the breadcrumbs and then laid a sprig of it with some lemon zest on top for garnish. I also placed some red bellpepper slices around the edges. It went well at my little Christmas party!

  11. Just made this yesterday for football and it was delicious, the pita chips really complement it well. Not ashamed to say I ate the whole thing throughout the day!

  12. The dip looks good and I like the idea of panko on top. When making pita chips, it is easier to brush olive oil on each side of the pita before cutting, every chip gets nice and crispy.

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