First things first, I’m gonna need y’all to step out of your comfort zones for this one. If you’re already a fan of butternut squash, you’re gonna love me for sharing these Roasted Butternut Squash Quesadillas! If you’re on the fence about squash, I promise that you’re still in for a treat!
So let’s break these Roasted Butternut Squash Quesadillas down real quick. Obviously the butternut squash is the featured ingredient but I can’t give the squash all the credit. The other ingredients definitely deserve their shine! After all, a quesadilla just isn’t a quesadilla without the queso!
Let’s talk cheese!
I use two types of cheese in this recipe, softened goat cheese, and shredded manchego cheese. We should all be familiar with goat cheese. I love it for it’s earthy flavor and creamy texture. It’s a great complement to sweet foods, so it pairs really nicely with butternut squash.
Second up is manchego cheese. Think of manchego as parmesan’s Spanish cousin. Manchego is less salty, more moist and stands better on its own than parmesan though. The two cheeses are very similar in texture when shredded. Manchego is one of my favorite cheeses because it’s great to serve with crackers and pairs nicely with fruit and spreads.
Lot’s and lots of onions!
Before you get freaked out, I know that not everyone is a fan of onions. Truthfully, I do go heavy on the onions with these Roasted Butternut Squash Quesadillas, but you don’t have to. You can choose to load them up with onions, include a little to even out the texture (these are some soft ingredients!) or omit them completely.
I slice the onions thin, and caramelize them with a some sugar, and cook them down in balsamic vinegar. The result is candied, slightly crunchy onions that further enhance the sweetness of the quesadillas and give them a nice bite. Do I highly suggest using the onions? Absolutely. Are the quesadillas still good without? Yes.
Carl and Shane are anti-onion guys, so I know from experience that this recipe still works without. If you’re surrounded by onion haters, don’t let them rain on your parade, you can easily prepare theirs without!
Some final tips:
Roast your squash! Butternut squash is one hard mf’er. It takes a long time to roast. I get it. There are certain dishes where boiled squash works fine, but for these Roasted Butternut Squash Quesadillas, you really should roast your squash. Roasting gives a nice earthy flavor that enhances the flavor of the rest of the ingredients.
Buy diced! One shortcut that I do use is to buy my squash already peeled and cubed. It saves a ton of time and muscle, neither of which I have!
Bring the goat-cheese to room temperature. While your squash is roasting, let that goat cheese sit out. This will make it easier to spread. Don’t worry, it won’t go bad during this time. Just do it. You don’t want to tear your tortillas.
Fold the quesadillas! I use the half-moon technique when I make quesadillas, which is when you use 1 tortilla folded in half versus layering 2 tortillas on top of each other. It just helps to keep the filling in the quesadilla, and makes it easier to flip.
You just layer the goat cheese, squash, onions and manchego on the face-up side of the tortilla, fold over and grill on each side.
Good luck trying to get your family to not demolish these beauties! I’m warning you, these will go fast! These are meant to be shared whether you want to serve them as an appetizer or meatless-lunch!
Be sure to check out my other share-worthy recipes!
Roasted Butternut Squash Quesadillas
- 1 medium butternut squashed peeled and cubed (yields about 2 cups before pureeing)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 red onions
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- 1 cup shredded manchego cheese
- 4 oz. of goat cheese
- 4 large flour tortillas
- Cooking spray
- Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray the parchment with an even layer of cooking spray.
- Place the cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at for 1 hour and 15 minutes, flipping the squash half-way through.
- Cut the onions into thin slices and set aside. Shred the manchego cheese, and refrigerate until ready to use. Let the goat cheese sit out at room temperature.
- Heat 2 tsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, and granulated sugar. Saute for 6-7 minutes, tossing every few seconds. Onions will start to brown and become tender. You want the onions to be soft, but you don’t want them to burn so be sure to watch them closely. Once they start to brown, add the balsamic vinegar and let cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Remove squash from the oven and transfer to a food processor bowl. Add butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, salt and pepper and pulse for 1 minute until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, a potato masher works fine.
- Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread a generous layer of goat cheese on each tortilla. Add a layer of squash, caramelized onions and shredded manchego cheese, and fold each tortilla in half.
- Spray a clean cast iron or non-stick skillet with a light coating of cooking spray and grill each quesadilla over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. You want the cheese to be melted and tortillas to be golden brown.
- Transfer quesadillas to a cutting board, cut into thirds and serve.