Butternut Squash Casserole
A hearty and healthy butternut squash casserole.
Filled with squash, rice, spinach, and ricotta cheese, this butternut squash casserole is a cross between a baked risotto and lasagna and makes a hearty vegetarian meal. This casserole works equally well as a main course or a side dish and keeps well in the fridge or freezer making it a great make-ahead meal for busy weekdays.
I’m totally obsessed with the flavours and textures in this casserole. The combination of squash and sage, along with the creamy texture from the cheese, make this butternut squash casserole a heart-warming, comforting, stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal that is perfect for a fall or winter day. Inspired by a baked risotto and a vegetarian lasagna, this casserole has everything you love about both of these classic dishes and so much more.
Not only are the flavours in this recipe on point but this dish is equally as delicious as it is nutritious. The use of ricotta cheese helps to add some high-quality protein to the casserole, while the squash and rice provide some complex carbohydrates, and the spinach adds a boost of greens and fibre. This savoury butternut squash casserole is perfect for a cold-weather dinner and works equally well as a meal prep idea for a week’s worth of healthy lunches.
More Butternut Squash Recipes:
This healthy butternut squash casserole works equally well as a vegetarian main course or a hearty side dish.
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and 1/4″ dice (about 4–5 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio or short-grain rice, dry
- 1 tablespoon sage, dried or freshly minced
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a medium pan on medium heat, add chopped spinach with 2 tablespoons of water. Using a wooden spoon or tongs, gently toss and turn the spinach until spinach wilts, ensure all of the raw leaves make contact with the pan. Once wilted, turn off the heat and set it aside to cool slightly.
- In a large 2 or 3-quart baking dish (I used a 9 x 13 baking dish), add the butternut squash, rice, sage, nutmeg, and salt, and stir to combine. For the best results, ensure that the squash is cut into small, bite-sized, 1/4″ cube pieces. Doing so will ensure it cooks evenly with the rice and provide a more consistent texture to the dish.
- In a medium bowl, add ricotta cheese and wilted spinach, stir with a wooden spoon or spatula and mix until well combined.
- Transfer the ricotta cheese mixture to the baking dish with the squash and rice, dollop it evenly across the top. Add broth and then give everything a good stir until everything is well incorporated and evenly dispersed in the baking dish.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminium foil and then transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Once complete, remove the baking dish from the oven, remove the aluminium foil, and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Return baking dish to the oven, uncovered, for a final 5-10 minutes until cheese has melted and is slightly golden.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and serve with fried sage (optional). Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 394 calories
- Sugar: 4 grams
- Fat: 9 grams
- Carbohydrates: 59 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Protein: 21 grams
Keywords: healthy, savoury, cheesy, rice, spinach