Butternut squash becomes buttery, slightly sweet, and soft and tender when baked. But when mixed with seasonings and Parmesan and baked again, Butternut squash becomes an impressive, yet EASY side dish that is perfect for the holidays.
¼cupfreshly grated Parmesan cheeseplus more for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut bottom of squash and cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds.
Place squash, cut sides down, in a large rimmed baking dish. Pour water into dish around squash halves, until half way up the sides of the squash.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until flesh is fork tender.
Remove squash from oven and turn oven up to 375 degrees.
Let squash cool for 10 minutes. Scoop out flesh of the squash, being careful to leave one shell of squash intact, Mix the flesh of the squash with butter, salt, pepper, and cheese.
Scoop mixture back into one half of the squash. Sprinkle with more cheese and return to oven.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is golden and melted.
Leftovers: Store leftover baked squash in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Dietary Modifications: Omit the Parmesan cheese and use vegan butter for a dairy-free version of this recipe.
Preparing in Advance: Bake the squash up to 2 days before serving. Scoop out the flesh of the squash, mix the warm filling with the butter, cheese, and seasonings and restuff the squash. Place the stuffed squash in a baking dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours before baking again. To bake before serving, remove from the fridge, and uncover. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until warmed through.
Is it necessary to bake the squash twice? NO! While it makes for a beautiful presentation and a delectable side dish, you can certainly opt to just bake the squash once until tender and either mash up the flesh to use in recipes or serve with butter and salt and pepper.