Our garden was fruitful this year when it came to butternut squash! One plant produced three giant butternut squash fruits, so we have been looking for creative ways to enjoy them.
This dish brings together all the flavors of fall, and quickly became a family favorite. Trust me when I say, don’t skimp on the 1 tsp. cinnamon. I did when I first saw the recipe, and I took one bite and thought – this is kind of bland! So, I added the rest of the cinnamon and wow, it took the dish to a whole different level. So, don’t skimp on the cinnamon. Lesson learned.
Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Casserole – Adapted from Simply Healthy Family
- 1 C cooked wild rice
- 1/2 lb. ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, chopped (or 1 T minced onion)
- 1 medium butternut squash, cubed
- 1 C frozen spinach (or 2 C fresh)
- 1 C apple juice
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of thyme (up to 1/2 tsp)
- 1 tsp. parsley
- 1/2 C shredded Monterrey jack or mozzarella cheese
Place the cubed butternut squash into a large glass baking dish. Pour in 1 C apple juice, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and cook at 400 for about 20 minutes, until cubes are slightly soft.
Meanwhile, brown the ground turkey and season it with salt, pepper, and a pinch of thyme. Add in the 1 T minced onion, if you are using that instead of diced.
When the meat is browned, drain any excess grease. Add in the onion and spinach, cooking until the spinach is wilted and all the water has evaporated and the onions are translucent.
Stir in the cooked wild rice and remaining 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Don’t skimp, really. Add the cubed butternut squash and 1/4 C shredded cheese. Stir well.
Transfer the mixture into a large, lightly greased 2-3 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 C cheese over the top and garnish with parsley.
Bake, covered, at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes.