There are a lot of reasons to look forward to fall—the colorful foliage, the woodsy candles, and the cozy décor to name a few—but it's the seasonal produce we wait all year for. When those oddly shaped gourds start filling the aisles at our local grocery stores and farmers markets, we know autumn has officially arrived. Now that the produce we've (impatiently) waited for is finally here, we're breaking out our roasting pans, preheating our saucepans, and sharpening our knives to cut into fall's bounty.
As far as we're concerned, no fall grocery list is complete without one ingredient: butternut squash. Nothing says autumn like the sweet, slightly nutty gourd—and it's surprisingly versatile, too. From a spicy vegan stew to a sweet pizza sauce to a savory pasta dish, we've rounded up recipes from some of our favorite food bloggers to put this piece of seasonal produce to good use. Ahead are four butternut squash recipes that'll make you want to stock up on the gourd.
Tomato and Butternut Squash Dal
The Recipe: Tomato and Butternut Squash Dal
The Standout Ingredient: The spicy tomato oil. Drizzle this oil, made with cherry tomatoes, coconut oil, herbs, and spices, over the dal just before serving.
The Pro Tip: This flavorful vegan recipe is surprisingly easy to make. "Everything gets mixed up in one pot and simmered on the stove for about thirty minutes," says Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. Serve with rice and naan for a satisfying meal.
Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas
The Recipe: Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas
The Standout Ingredient: The enchilada sauce. The smokiness of the chipotle chile peppers balances out the sweetness of the butternut squash, making this a meal you're going to make on repeat for as long as the gourd is in season.
The Pro Tip: "The toppings make all the difference," says Dana of Minimalist Baker. "I opted for ripe avocado and cilantro, but red onion would also add a burst of color and a slight crunch. Also, pumpkin seeds! The options are endless."
Butternut Squash Veggie Pizza
The Recipe: Butternut Squash Veggie Pizza
The Standout Ingredient: The five-ingredient butternut squash sauce. It's savory, sweet, and not to mention, packed with good-for-you nutrients too. Trust us, it'll be "love at first bite," as Dana of Minimalist Baker aptly states in her recipe.
The Pro Tip: Don't let this gourd's tough exterior intimidate you. "The best way to cube butternut squash is to start with a large, very sharp knife, cutting off the top and bottom ends," advises Dana. "Then cut in half where the small, cylinder shape and round, bulb-shape meet," she explains. "Use the knife to carefully remove skin. Then remove any seeds with [a] spoon or ice cream scoop, [and] cut into small cubes."
Butternut Squash Goat Cheese Pasta
The Recipe: Butternut Squash Goat Cheese Pasta
The Standout Ingredient: The butternut squash noodles. That's right—this dish calls for noodles made from fall's most popular gourd. If you're a fan of zoodles (aka zucchini noodles), you'll want to give this recipe a whirl.
The Pro Tip: Whip up this recipe for an easy, healthy weeknight meal. "Start to finish, this pasta dish takes about 30 minutes to make," says Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest. "The spiralizer makes quick work of cutting through that tough butternut squash."