By Jodee Weiland
For years candied sweet potatoes were a favorite in our home, especially around the holidays, but that’s changed in the last several years. Now Sweet Butternut Squash with Chopped Walnuts has taken first place and become the favorite.
I decided to make this recipe several years back during the holidays, and now we make it whenever we can get butternut squash. It’s basically the same recipe we used on the baked sweet potatoes, minus the miniature marshmallows for a topping that some people use. I was never a big fan of marshmallows, so I eliminated those long ago. I added chopped walnuts instead, and it turned out great!
When I first served this dish to my family, they were skeptical. First of all, it wasn’t sweet potatoes, but worse than that, I left out the marshmallows that I usually put on the holiday sweet potatoes. Then there were also those who thought adding walnuts was just crazy, but I told them just try it because they were going to love it. They did, and they do! They loved it, and now this recipe would be missed if I didn’t make it. On top of that, I now serve this dish more often when we get together for a family meal. It’s not just for holidays anymore.
Sweet Butternut Squash with Chopped Walnuts
2 pounds butternut squash diced/cubed
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
About a 1/4 cup whipped butter unsalted
3/4 to 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare your baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Blend together in a small mixing bowl the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Put a layer of diced butternut squash into the dish. Follow this with little dabs of the butter across the surface. Then sprinkle this layer with some of the brown sugar mixture. Finally, sprinkle some of the chopped nuts across the top of this layer. Do this again with each new layer until the baking dish is filled. I usually have about three layers total. When done, put the dish covered in the oven to bake at 375 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until tender. After 30 minutes of baking, remove the cover from the dish and toss the squash with a spoon mixing together the butternut squash, melted butter, and spices. Then finish baking uncovered. Be sure to test the potatoes with a fork to see if they are done.
Once done, serve your Sweet Butternut Squash with Chopped Walnuts with your main course and any other vegetable you have prepared. The lightly sweet taste of the butternut squash will enhance any meal and is sure to please everyone. This dish may even replace your traditional sweet potato recipe. Everyone in our family loves this dish! So try it, and enjoy!