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Maple Bacon Butternut Squash

One Thanksgiving, before I was married, I volunteered to make side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner. Back then, I was an unsure cook without substantial kitchen knowledge. It was the biggest culinary undertaking I’d ever had to date. I aimed for classic. I hunted around through cookbooks and the internet and came up with about a half-dozen recipes. Among them was southern butternut squash.

Um, yea. It look years before I got anyone in the family to eat butternut squash again. That dish was uber-thick, uber-sweet custard. Yes, custard. I still hear about the horrors of that now and again. It was that bad. (Coincidentally, it’s highly rated on All Recipes. Go figure. Totally wasn’t for us though.)

I’ve played it safe with squash since then. Each year, I roast a butternut squash with a dab of butter, some maple syrup and some brown sugar. When it’s done, I scoop it out, mash lightly and serve. It’s easy. And it has predictably good results.

I am so done with predictable and safe though. It’s time to break out.

This recipe is anything but predictable. It’s packed with flavor. The sweet, salty combination really brings out the sweetness of the squash — in a good way. In fact, it’s so good that you might just want to eat it all yourself. Make extra.

Maple Bacon Butternut Squash

Maple Bacon Butternut Squash

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups cubed and peeled butternut squash
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Boil the butternut squash until fork tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Drain the squash and set aside. Wipe out the pot, if necessary.
  3. Set pot over medium heat and warm. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp. Add the butternut squash and stir to combine. Use a potato masher to mash the squash. Add the maple syrup, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Serve immediately.
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Vacation « Confessions of a Hummus Lover

Tuesday 2nd of December 2008

[...] But, the highlight of our meal was so good that we didn’t even get a picture in. From Sarah’s Cucina Bella comes this amazing butternut squash with bacon recipe, and it couldn’t be easier to make. I [...]

Sandy S

Tuesday 25th of November 2008

Bacon! I wouldn't have thought to add it, but really, yum! Of course! Thanks for a great suggestion.

Happy Thanksgiving, Sarah!