This is one of my family's favorite Thanksgiving (and Christmas) side dishes. The recipe is easy, and the mixture is colorful and incredibly tasty. You simply bake/roast butternut squash with some herbs, pull the hot pan from the oven, and mix into the hot squash some fresh spinach, dried cranberries, and, if you like, pumpkin seeds or walnuts. The dish is low fuss, nutritionally fantastic, and full of the flavors of the season. The squash can bake alongside a turkey or other side dishes, and adding in the other ingredients takes only a few minutes. You get a colorful dish with multiple vegetables and great taste. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash and Spinach Bake -- Serves 6
2 pounds of cut (1-2 inch pieces) butternut squash
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1-2 teaspoons of dried thyme
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of lemon pepper
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
8-10 ounces of fresh spinach
1/4 cup of shelled roasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line the sheet with foil and spray the foil. Add the squash, onion, olive oil, thyme, salt, garlic powder, and lemon pepper and toss all the ingredients together to coat the squash and onion with the oil and seasonings. Bake/roast the vegetables for 30-45 minutes or until the squash is tender and a little browned, turning the vegetables mid-way through the cooking time. Once you pull the squash and onions out of oven, add the dried cranberries and spinach, tossing everything together. The hot squash will wilt the spinach, so you can add a little spinach at a time, if it's easier for you. Serve the squash and spinach topped with the roasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts, if you like.