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This jewel-toned fall appetizer (or fancy snack!) tastes as lovely as it looks. Butternut squash bruschetta has a lot going on, in all the right ways. It feels special but is easy to make and can be prepped in advance.
Why we love this recipe
Fall has so much to offer in the produce department. This recipe leans into it all with a cozy yet elegant vibe.
- Brown butter provides a toasty foundation to the flavor profile
- Gently sweet butternut squash gets a nudge toward complexity from a splash of sherry vinegar
- Walnuts add crunch and depth
- And you get to decorate it all with pomegranate arils, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and a sprinkle of flaky salt
What you'll need
Here's a quick glance at the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe.
- Dice the butternut squash nice and small so it cooks quickly and evenly.
- Good-quality ricotta always goes a long way. I prefer whole-milk to part-skim.
- You can buy pomegranate seeds (also called pomegranate arils) in a little container if you don't want to excavate them yourself.
- Sherry vinegar is wonderful, but you can substitute red wine vinegar in a pinch.
- You can make your own balsamic glaze by simmering regular balsamic vinegar until it's thick and syrupy, but I usually just buy it in a bottle. We like drizzling it over everything from pizza to steak, so it never goes to waste.
How to make it
Here's what you'll do to make this butternut squash bruschetta. You can see all the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post.
- Slice the baguette on the bias and brush with olive oil. Toast it in the oven for 10 minutes at 400°F, then leave the oven on.
- Brown the butter a bit with the olive oil and herbs. Then add the diced butternut squash and cook for ten minutes or so until lightly browned.
- Stir in the walnuts and transfer to the oven to cook until tender.
- Assemble the bruschetta by topping each toasted baguette slice with a bit of ricotta, some squash mixture, a few pomegranate arils, a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Or let people assemble their own. That's it!
Expert tips and FAQs
For sure! You can make the squash mixture well in advance and reheat it or bring it to room temperature to get it ready to serve. Assemble the bruschetta right before serving (or have people do it themselves).
You can store leftover squash mixture tightly sealed in the fridge for up to a week.
Other orange-fleshed winter squash with a relatively low moisture content would work well as substitutes in this recipe. Try kabocha, red kuri, or blue hubbard.
How to serve it
- It’s nice to eat this bruschetta warm on a chilly evening, but it also rolls perfectly well at room temperature, so it’s a flexible addition to a wide range of fall parties (and just good old fall days).
- Serve it as an hors d'oeuvre or, honestly, make it dinner (maybe add some lentils or white beans for protein).
- Toast the bread and cook the squash mixture in advance and assemble the bruschetta right before serving — or even put out the elements and have people assemble it themselves.
- The squash mixture is also great reimagined as a sauce for pasta. Thin it with a bit of broth or pasta cooking water if you like, and top each serving with a dollop of ricotta.
- Try it with a Fifteen cocktail.
- 1 baguette
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, picked from stems
- 1 ½ pounds small-diced butternut squash (see note)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 12 ounces fresh ricotta
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- Flaky salt (such as Maldon) for sprinkling
- Balsamic glaze, for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the center.
- Slice baguette on the bias into ¼-inch thick slices and brush with two tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, warm butter and remaining two tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan.
- Add sage and thyme and cook for a minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Butter will brown.
- Add squash, salt and pepper and cook, stirring only occasionally, until squash is lightly browned in lots of spots, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in walnuts and transfer pan to oven.
- Roast until squash is very tender and will fall apart when stirred, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and stir in sherry vinegar.
- Spread some ricotta onto each toast and top with some butternut squash mixture.
- Press a few pomegranate seeds into squash mixture.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with flaky salt.
- Serve warm or at room temperature
- Cut butternut squash into cubes of ½ inch or smaller so it will cook quickly and evenly.
- You can make the squash mixture well in advance if you like. Assemble bruschetta right before serving.
- Store leftover squash tightly sealed in a nice cold fridge for up to a week.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 357Total Fat: 21.2gCarbohydrates: 33.9gFiber: 3.7gProtein: 11.1g