You know twice baked potatoes? Yeah, that amazing invention that takes all the goodness of a baked potato and multiplies it by itself. They’re the star of every dinner party, potluck, football game, and pregame.
Unfortunately, when you double the goodness of a baked potato, chances are you’re doubling it’s less flattering qualities too. Yep, fat, calories, carbs, and everything else that makes our relationship with potatoes so complicated.
But fear not, there’s a solution.
Enter: Twice baked butternut squash.
I know, I know, but hear me out. I admit, I have never been a huge butternut squash fan. In fact, as a child, I literally cried on more than one occasion because of butternut squash. True story, my parents still make fun of me for it.
While I no longer shed tears over winter squash, it’s still not a favorite. And as a lifelong potato lover, I was skeptical of this recipe to say the least. Do I really want to replace one of my favorite foods with one of my least favorites? Can I really trick myself into thinking that’s a good idea?
So imagine my surprise when I loved it. Loved. It.
It was so far from the half-hearted, mediocre substitute I expected, in fact, that it wasn’t a substitute at all. Make no mistake, this twice baked butternut squash is no substitute for the original, but rather, a rich and delicious dish all on its own.
If you are looking at this recipe as a substitute for traditional twice baked potatoes, however, let’s see how they measure up. Butternut squash packs tons of vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and E. It is also high in potassium, fiber, and other key nutrients. Meanwhile, it is low-cal, but still filling enough to be the base of so many hearty winter meals.
Unfortunately, as most of my fellow potato lovers have also had to admit to themselves, traditional white potatoes don’t offer quite so many health benefits. Don’t get me wrong, potatoes still pack vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. But, ultimately, any time you can swap a white starch for a colorful veggie, it’s usually a good idea.
Meanwhile, when it comes to twice baked potatoes, heavy cream and cheese all but annihilate any redeeming qualities of potatoes in the first place. This twice baked butternut squash recipe changes all that. Packed with delicious, clean ingredients twice baked for twice the deliciousness, this recipe is a nutritious take on the classic.
For this recipe, we’ve ditched heavy sour cream and soft cheese for Greek yogurt and parmesan. This recipe also plays up the rich, savory butternut squash flavor with honey, cinnamon and pecans. But don’t worry, this recipe still has a classic twice baked potato staple: bacon. Topped with parsley, this dish is rich, flavorful, and even elegant.
Perfect as an entrée or sliced as a side, this versatile recipe is great for a weeknight meal or a dinner party or potluck. Once you try this twice baked butternut squash, you may never need a baked potato again. However, if your potato cravings do come knocking, you may also want to try these Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes for another healthy and flavorful twist on the original.
Yields: 4 servings | Calories: 313 | Total Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 678mg | Carbohydrates: 33g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Protein: 14g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 12
- 1 large butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup fat-free Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 strips turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
- 2 tablespoons pecans, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Poke the skin side of the squash with a fork and place the squash skin side down on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes or until the squash is tender and remove from the oven.
- Scoop the flesh out of the skin into a mixing bowl, leaving the skin on the baking sheet as a shell. Set the shells aside. Combine the Greek yogurt, half the Parmesan, honey, salt, and cinnamon with the squash flesh and mash until smooth. Spoon the mash squash into the reserved shells. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. Return to the oven and bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and top with bacon, pecans, and parsley. Serve and enjoy!