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Three Cozy Fall Recipes Featuring Squash

Autumn has arrived. Leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and with the season comes a fall harvest full of hearty crops. Butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash are only a few on the list of fall squashes offering plenty of nutrients including vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. A versatile crop, squashes make their way into savory soups, cozy drinks and spiced desserts. To enjoy all there is to love about squashes this fall, try these nutrient-dense vegetarian recipes:

  • Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash pasta with Crispy Sage
  • Crispy Hasselback Butternut Squash
  • Iced Pumpkin Cold Brew

Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Pasta with Crispy Sage

Serves 4

This creamy pasta relies on nutrient-rich butternut squash along with ricotta for creaminess. This cozy fall meal is infused with fall herbs such as thyme and sage. Crispy sage leaves add a nice contrast to the creamy pasta and complement the butternut squash’s nutty flavor.


  • 1 head garlic
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • About 25 fresh sage leaves, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
  • Red pepper flakes to taste 
  • 1/3 cup ricotta
  • 4 cups cooked pasta, preferably rigatoni or bucatini 
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup pasta water


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Cut off the top of the garlic head and place on a foil-lined sheet. Drizzle olive oil, and salt and pepper on top of the garlic and wrap in foil.
  3. On a lined baking sheet, place wrapped garlic, squash, 5 sage leaves and thyme. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste on top. Roast for 20 minutes, flip butternut squash and roast for another 15-20 minutes, or until tender. 
  4. While the squash roasts, make fried sage leaves. Coat the bottom of a skillet with extra-virgin olive oil, heat until shimmering then add sage leaves in a single layer. Allow to crisp up for about 30 seconds, then remove them with a slotted spoon or tongs. Place sage leaves on a plate lined with paper towels then place on top of pasta when ready to serve.
  5. While squash roasts, boil pasta and reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.
  6. Add ricotta and roasted ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth. Add pasta water to get the sauce to desired texture. Add salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Toss the mixture from the blender with the pasta and divide it into pasta bowls. Top each bowl with 1 tablespoon of the parmesan cheese and 5 crispy sage leaves.

Crispy Hasselback Butternut Squash

Move over potatoes, hasselback squash is in. The thinly cut slices of butternut squash allow the edges to crisp up and pair perfectly with the creamy garlicky drizzle on top.  


  • 1 butternut squash
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh sage, divided, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut squash hasselback style: cut the squash in half longways and remove guts. Place wooden chopsticks on the sides of the squash and cut one-eighth-inch slices down to the chopsticks are reached, leaving the squash slices connected at the bottom.
  3. Mix olive oil, maple syrup or honey, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon chopped sage. Brush onto butternut squash, saving half of the mixture.
  4. Let roast for 30 minutes, then brush again with olive oil mixture. Add panko breadcrumbs and roast for 20 more minutes. 
  5. While the squash is roasting, combine light mayonnaise with garlic powder and lemon juice.
  6. Once squash is done, drizzle with mayonnaise mixture and top with grated parmesan cheese and the rest of the sage.

Iced Pumpkin Cold Brew

Serves 4

Autumn has arrived, leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and pumpkin spice can be found in most coffee shops. Unlike many pumpkin recipes, this one uses pumpkin puree rather than syrup – offering up real pumpkin flavor with more nutrients. 


  • 1 cup oat milk
  • ¼ cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, plus extra for garnish
  • Whipped cream


  1. In a blender, add oat milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup and pumpkin spice. Blend until smooth.
  2. Fill a glass with ice and pour over cold brew, leaving room for the desired amount of mixture. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan based in Detroit. Passionate about the science of nutrition and behavior, Shanthi has experience working in clinical nutrition, public health and teaching in the university setting. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, exploring the outdoors, working on art and spending time with family. For more health tips and information, visit

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