Sublime, buttery and over-the-top delicious. That’s how I describe butternut squash and spinach quesadillas.
And, to think that I might not have experimented with this recipe but for this special #SundaySupper showcasing all types of wonderful recipes using different kinds of squash. 🙂 Up until now, I’ve been a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to squash recipes and only recently ventured into butternut squash bisque.
I was intrigued by the Pioneer Woman’s Butternut Squash and Kale Quesadillas recipe. A squash-filled flour tortilla would be in keeping with for our weekly Tex-Mex Tuesday tradition, yet was the perfect fall twist. (And, I’m always looking for ways to keep our Tuesday menu fresh and new.)
I switched out the kale for spinach and left off the chili powder (otherwise, I would have to eat ALL of the quesadillas at our house.) So, I can’t speak to the deliciousness of the original recipe, although I’m sure it is awesome. But, these buttery fried tortillas filled with sauteed butternut squash, spinach and mozzarella cheese (or a vegan substitute for my darling daughter) are divine.
I absolutely adore the Pioneer Woman’s step by step commentary. But, I do have a few tips to add to for my version that may make the preparation of this sensational squash dish a little easier…and less messy.
The longest part of this process is peeling and dicing the squash. It will take a few extra cuts of the knife, but I highly recommend cutting the squash in cubes that are smaller than 1 inch, like a half inch. The smaller the cubes, the quicker they cook and the final product is less bulky. A lot less of the filling falls out when the cubes are small too. Ergo…less mess.
Note that you can peel and dice the squash up to 2 days ahead of time.
Saute the diced butternut squash, about 4 cups, in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of butter over medium-high heat. The squash is done when it is “just about” fork tender. (Start checking the squash at about 5-7 minutes.) By the way, “just about” is my technical term to indicate that you still want the squash to be a little firm because it’s going to cook a little longer when you add the spinach.
When the squash is just about done, add the spinach. By the way, I love how raw baby spinach overwhelms the pan when you add it and then in a blink of the eye (or about 2-3 minutes later,) the spinach wilts down and is perfectly proportioned to the squash.
To assemble the butternut squash and spinach quesadillas, butter one side of a flour tortilla and lay the butter side down in a hot pan. Top the tortilla with about 1/2 cup of butternut squash and spinach and then sprinkle about 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese (or vegan substitute) over the top. Butter a second flour tortilla and plop it on top. When the cheese begins to melt and the bottom is just a little toasty, flip the quesadilla over and toast the other side.
This leads me to my second big tip. Small 6 inch round flour tortillas are much easier to flip than larger tortillas, unless you have a really large spatula. 🙂
Also, by using smaller tortillas, everyone will get two. And two is always better than one. Right? I made 8 small quesadillas in total.
- 4 cups of butternut squash, peel and diced into small ½ inch size cubes
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon butter (or vegan substitute) + more for frying flour tortillas
- 6 ounce bag baby spinach leaves
- 16 six inch flour tortillas or 8-12 eight inch ones
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese (or vegan substitute), shredded
- Heat olive oil and 1 teaspoon of butter over medium-high heat.
- Add butternut squash and saute for about 5-7 minutes or until squash is just about fork tender.
- Add spinach leaves and saute for about 3 minutes more or until spinach has wilted. Remove from heat.
- Butter one side of the tortilla and place it butter-side down in a clean pan that has been heated over medium heat.
- Spread about ½ cup of butternut squash and spinach mixture over the tortilla.
- Sprinkle about ¼ cup of cheese over the top of the squash and spinach.
- Butter one side of a second tortilla and place it, butter-side up on top of the cheese.
- When the bottom layer is toasty and the cheese has begun to melt (about 1-2 minutes), flip the tortilla over and toast the other side.
- Remove from pan and repeat process to make the rest of the quesadillas.
- Cut quesadillas into triangles using a pizza cutter.
A big thank you to Heather at Girlichef for hosting this squash extravaganza. Be sure to check out all of the amazing squash recipes from the #SundaySupper contributors:
Breakfasts and Breads
- Maple Butternut Squash Donuts from Mess Makes Food
- Pumpkin Sweet Rolls from Basic N Delicious
- Vegan Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Appetizers, Starters, and Condiments
- Butternut Squash and Couscous Patties-Indian Inspired from Soni’s Food
- Pumpkin Hummus with Spiced Lamb from girlichef
- Quick Pumpkin Butter from Shockingly Delicious
Soups, Sandwiches, and Salads
- Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili from Supper for a Steal
- Black Bean Pumpkin Soup from What Smells So Good?
- Butternut Squash and Bacon Grilled Cheese from Ruffles & Truffles
- Butternut Squash Soup from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Hearty Quinoa Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash from Citronlimette
- Roasted Buttercup Squash and Black Bean Soup (Dairy free) from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Vegetable Soup from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
- Roasted Squash and Mexican Black Bean Salad from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Roasted Squash and Sesame Noodle Salad from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Quesadillas from The Dinner-Mom
- Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Balsamic Brown Butter from Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Butternut Squash Lasagna from Hip Foodie Mom
- Butternut Squash-Sage Cream Sauce with Sausage Spaghetti from Daily Dish Recipes
- Carnival Squash with Maple Sausage Stuffing from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Chorizo-Stuffed Acorn Squash from Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Butternut Squash with Spicy Wild Rice and Queso Fresco from Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Pumpkin Alfredo from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Pumpkin Enchiladas from La Cocina de Leslie
- Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon, Goat Cheese, and Pecans from The Weekend Gourmet
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprout Pizza from Curious Cuisiniere
- Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash from The Messy Baker
- Spaghetti Squash in a Creamy Sausage Sauce from Cookin’ Mimi
- Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi from Pescetarian Journal
- Acorn Squash with Cinnamon and Cranberries from Noshing With The Nolands
- Butternut Squash and Apple Crumble from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Butternut Squash Gratin with Sage Pesto & Gorgonzola from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Chorizo and Craisin Stuffed Acorn Squash from Family Foodie
- Parmesan-Roasted Acorn Squash from The Urban Mrs
- Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese from Big Bear’s Wife
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Balsamic Vinegar Honey Butter from Food Lust People Love
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Wilted Kale, Mushrooms and Garlic from Take a Bite Out of Boca
- Skillet Buttercup Squash with Bacon from Magnolia Days
- Slow Cooker Squash and Apples from Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Sweet N Spicy Baked Chipotle Butternut Squash Fries from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Twice Baked Pumpkin Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Butternut Squash Cupcakes with Browned Butter Frosting from Treats & Trinkets
- Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars from Pies and Plots
Wine Pairing Recommendations for Squashin’ Winter #SundaySupper from Enofylz Wine Blog
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