Warm Butternut Squash and Cheddar Dip Recipe

Warm Butternut Squash and Cheddar Dip Recipe

Bubbly browned cheddar cheese and sweet roasted butternut squash create a must-make warm dip for the holidays. [Photograph: Morgan Eisenberg]

Cold weather doesn't seem so bad when there's a warm dish of butternut squash and cheddar dip on the table. Flavored with caramelized onions, sage, garlic, and plenty of cheese, this roasted squash dip will be your favorite appetizer of the season.

Why It Works

  • Roasted squash and caramelized onions add sweetness, while cream cheese and sour cream lend richness and tang.
  • Microwaving the squash first makes peeling extra easy.
  • Yield:Serves about 10
  • Active time: 1 hour
  • Total time:1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling and greasing
  • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 1/2 pounds; 1.6kg)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick; 57g), plus more if needed
  • 20 sage leaves (from about 3 sprigs)
  • 1 large onion (about 8 ounces; 225g), thinly sliced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package cream cheese (8 ounces; 225g), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (4 ounces; 113g)
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese (about 2 cups; 230g), shredded
  • Crackers or pita chips, to dip

Directions

  1. 1.

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Grease a small baking dish with olive oil and set aside.

  2. 2.

    Peel, seed, and dice the squash into 1-inch cubes, using this guide.
    Alternatively, use the microwave: Poke holes all over the squash with a fork or make shallow slits in the skin with a knife. Microwave squash for 3 minutes or until the skin and flesh have softened slightly. Peel squash and cut into cubes. Discard seeds.

  3. 3.

    Place squash cubes on the prepared sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper.

  4. 4.

    Roast squash until fork-tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

  5. 5.

    Meanwhile, melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add sage leaves and fry in butter until lightly crisped and beginning to darken slightly. Remove pan from heat and remove sage leaves using a slotted spoon. Set aside.

  6. 6.

    Return pan to heat, add onion, and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion has caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add more butter if onion begins to stick to pan. Stir in garlic at the very end and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  7. 7.

    Place roasted squash, caramelized onion mixture, and about 2/3 of the crispy sage leaves into the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined. Add cream cheese and sour cream and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

  8. 8.

    Transfer squash mixture to prepared baking dish and mix in half of the cheddar cheese throughout. Top with remaining half of cheese. At this point, the dip can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days before baking and serving.

  9. 9.

    When ready to serve, bake dip at 400°F until cheese is entirely melted and browned in spots, about 20 minutes. Top with remaining crispy sage leaves and serve warm with pita chips or crackers for dipping.