Warm Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Dip: The Perfect Fall Appetizer
Easy Warm Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Dip: Fall is here, meaning it’s time to break out the cozy sweaters, enjoy the beautiful changing leaves, and indulge in pumpkin spice.
It’s also time to start preparing some delicious fall appetizers to serve at gatherings with friends and family.
This easy butternut squash dip is the perfect recipe to make and serve this autumn.
The combination of vitamin-rich butternut squash, tangy goat cheese, and crunchy walnuts creates a creamy dip that will be a hit at any party or potluck.
This warm butternut squash and goat cheese dip takes minimal preparation but delivers maximum flavor.
It’s a vegetarian appetizer that even meat lovers will devour. The roasted butternut squash provides natural sweetness, while the goat cheese gives the dip a delightful tang.
Toasted walnuts add a nice crunch and extra protein. This dip pairs perfectly with crackers, bread, or fresh vegetables.
It’s easy to make ahead of time and can be served warm or at room temperature.
This recipe is also a great option for Thanksgiving since it can be made in advance. It provides a lighter, vegetarian choice alongside all of the traditional heavier foods.
The fall flavors will fit right in with the other dishes on your Thanksgiving table. Serve it as an appetizer before the main meal or set it out as part of a delicious appetizer spread.
No matter when or where you serve it, this squash and goat cheese dip will be a crowd-pleaser.
The recipe scales up or down easily, so you can adjust it for any size gathering.
Keep reading for the simple step-by-step instructions and ingredient list.
For the butternut squash:
- 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the dip:
- 8 ounces goat cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped sage leaves
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Crackers, bread, or fresh vegetables
For a creamier dip, use full-fat sour cream and whole milk. Low-fat versions can make the dip thinner.
To toast the walnuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat for 2-4 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned, stirring frequently.
The dip can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Let it sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before serving to soften.
Use vegan cream cheese or cashew cream cheese instead of goat cheese for a vegan version.
Other add-ins like caramelized onions, roasted garlic, or sun-dried tomatoes also pair nicely with the roasted squash and cheese. Get creative!
Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 379mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 10813IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 1mg
(Nutrition facts are per 1/4 cup serving of dip)
Why This Dip is Perfect for Fall
There are many reasons why this warm butternut squash and goat cheese dip is the ideal appetizer for autumn:
Uses seasonal produce
Butternut squash is a winter squash in peak season during the fall and winter months. It’s readily available and often less expensive this time of year.
Butternut squash is high in vitamin A, providing 108% of your daily value in just a 1/4 cup of this dip. It also contains vitamins C, B6, K, magnesium, and potassium.
Warms you up
The cozy roasted squash and a touch of spice from the sage are perfect as the weather gets cooler. This dip is warming and comforting.
Pairs with fall flavors
The earthy sweetness of squash and tang of goat cheese goes well with seasonal spices like sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Fits the fall color scheme
The colors reflect the autumn hues of leaves and pumpkins, from the orange squash to the cream cheese to the green sage.
Easy to make ahead
You can roast the squash and prepare the dip up to 4 days before serving. Perfect for party prep!
This meatless dip makes it a good option for vegetarians and anyone looking for a lighter appetizer.
Unique yet crowd-pleasing
This dip is unexpected yet delivers familiar flavors everyone loves! It brings something new to the usual cookie and cheese appetizer spread.
So get out your cozy sweater, make a batch of this seasonal dip, and settle in for the most wonderful time of the year!
The History of Butternut Squash Dip
Butternut squash may seem like a trendy new ingredient, but it actually has a long history.
Butternut squash belongs to the Cucurbita family, including pumpkins, zucchini, and other winter and summer squash varieties.
The butternut likely originated in Central America or Mexico. Squash varieties have been cultivated in this region for thousands of years, dating back as early as 9,000-10,000 years ago.
The butternut squash itself originated as a cross between the neck pumpkin and summer squash.
It’s believed that early European settlers in America first cultivated butternut squash sometime in the mid to late 19th century.
While Native Americans were already growing winter squash varieties like pumpkins when Europeans arrived, the butternut hybrid was likely developed later on in America.
Butternut squash became more popular in the US during the second half of the 20th century.
It gained favor for its sweet, nutty flavor and longer storage life compared to other winter squash.
Using winter squash like butternut squash for dips, soups, and baked goods grew in popularity recently as people looked for new ways to use its sweet flesh.
Blending vitamin-rich squash with creamy, tangy cheese is a contemporary twist on butternut squash.
This combination highlights the best qualities of the butternut squash.
While butternut squash dip recipes vary, they often include baking the squash to concentrate its sweetness and blending it with cheese like goat or cream cheese for tang and richness.
Nuts like walnuts or pepitas and fresh herbs like sage or rosemary complement the squash nicely.
This warm butternut squash and goat cheese dipsticks to those classic flavors, pairing roasted butternut squash with soft goat cheese, sage, and walnuts.
It brings together both traditional and current flavors for the perfect autumn appetizer.
Difficulty Level of This Recipe
This warm butternut squash and goat cheese dip recipe is easy to moderate in terms of difficulty.
Here are the factors that contribute to this recipe’s ease of preparation:
Limited ingredients – The ingredient list is relatively short, without too many components to prepare separately.
Straightforward roasting – Roasting the butternut squash is simple with no complicated techniques. Just chop, toss with oil and seasonings, and throw into the oven.
Quick processing – The dip comes together fast in the food processor. Just blend all ingredients until smooth.
Make ahead friendly – You can roast the squash up to 4 days ahead. The dip also keeps in the fridge for several days.
Simple finish – To serve, transfer the dip to a bowl and add the toasted walnuts on top.
Relaxed timing – No need to worry about precise ingredient temperatures or timing when blending and serving.
Easy substitutions – The recipe is flexible. Swap goat cheese for cream cheese or cashew cream cheese for a vegan option.
Simple serving – Serve as is with crackers or veggies. No special plating or presentation is required.
Kid-friendly – Squash and cheese are generally safe flavors for kids. Adults and children both enjoy this dip.
The most time-consuming part is roasting the squash, but the hands-on work is minimal.
If you can use a knife safely to prep the squash and follow a basic recipe, you can make this dip successfully.
The finished result looks impressive and tastes amazing for a recipe with relatively little active effort.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of goat cheese works best?
Fresh, soft goat cheese provides this dip’s best texture and flavor. Log, chèvre, or brie styles are all good options.
Avoid crumbled goat cheese, as the texture doesn’t blend as smoothly.
Can I use cream cheese instead of goat cheese?
Absolutely! Cream cheese makes a great substitution and yields a very similar dip.
Is this dip spicy?
No, this dip gets just a touch of spice from black pepper. The sage provides earthy flavor but not heat.
Add a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes if you want to spice it up.
What makes the dip so creamy?
Combining the rich roasted butternut squash and added milk gives this dip its ultra-creamy consistency without needing heavy cream.
Goat cheese also has a naturally creamy texture.
Can I prepare this dip in advance?
Yes! Roast the squash up to 4 days ahead and store it in the fridge until ready to use. You can also make the full dip up to 4 days in advance.
Store it in the fridge until ready to serve. Let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before serving to soften.
How long will the dip keep?
The dip will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The flavors meld even more as it sits.
Can I freeze any leftovers?
You can freeze the leftovers for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving. Add milk or cream to thin it out as needed after thawing.
How do I make a vegan version?
Instead of goat cheese, use an equal amount of vegan cream cheese, cashew cream cheese, or soft tofu blended with nutritional yeast and lemon juice.
What should I serve with the dip?
This dip pairs well with crackers, bread, pretzel crisps, bagel chips, or fresh-cut vegetables.
Carrots, celery, radishes, zucchini, and other veggie sticks work great.
Can I use kabocha or pumpkin instead of butternut squash?
Yes, kabocha squash can be substituted 1:1 for a similar flavor. Pumpkin is also an option but provides a slightly different, more stringy texture when roasted.
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