How to Turn a Butternut Squash Into a Week's Worth of Meals With Over 15 Grams of Protein

Get into the fall spirit with these butternut squash recipes packed with protein.
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Come fall, butternut squash is all the rage. OK, so it's not ‌quite‌ at the level of pumpkin spice, but it's up there. Unlike most things pumpkin spice however, butternut squash is inherently healthy.


A cup of cooked butternut squash has just 82 calories but provides more than 6 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein, per the USDA. It also contains more than 10 percent of the Daily Value (DV) of potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, thiamin, niacin, folate and vitamin E. Butternut squash is also an excellent source (provides at least 20 percent of the DV) of vitamins A and C and beta-carotene.

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To get more of this super-veggie on your plate this autumn, try these delicious butternut squash recipes — all with more than 15 grams of protein per serving.

1. Plant Protein-Powered Butternut Mac and 'Cheese'

You can make this a completely vegan dish by using vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
  • Calories:‌ 350
  • Protein:‌ 22 grams


The "cheese" here is a combination of butternut squash and nutritional yeast, along with broth and spices to season. This plant-based swap adds beta-carotene and gives this dish a major boost in B vitamins like vitamin B12, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin and folate.

The 22 grams of protein are thanks to the nutritional yeast and the chickpea pasta that is called for in place of regular semolina pasta.


Get the Plant Protein-Powered Butternut Mac and 'Cheese' recipe and nutrition info here.

2. Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Lentil Moroccan Stew

This Morrocan-inspired stew is warm, spicy and sweet.
  • Calories:‌ 431
  • Protein:‌ 27 grams


When the squash is roasted as it is here, it becomes sweeter, which offers a nice balance to the Moroccan spices in the dish. Lentil and chickpeas are the major protein providers here.


Peeling and chopping a butternut squash can be labor some so if you're running short on time, look for pre-cut squash. You'll typically find it in the refrigerated area of the produce section.


Get the Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Lentil Moroccan Stew recipe at Ambitious Kitchen.

3. Butternut Squash Gnocchi With Italian Sausage

A tasty indulgence that is still good-for-you.
  • Calories:‌ 396
  • Protein:‌ 18 grams


There's so much to love about this dish. First, it's a one-pot recipe, which means you'll save tons of time on clean-up. The thing we love most, however, is that it's such a decadent and filling Italian-inspired dish (think: sausage, squash, gnocchi and cheese) and it still comes in under 400 calories.

Plus, you're getting almost an entire cup of spinach per serving. This dish holds up well so keep it in the fridge for three to four days as you enjoy the leftovers.


Get the Butternut Squash Gnocchi With Italian Sausage recipe at Well Plated.

4. Roasted Butternut Squash Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Couscous

Kids will love this, too, making it even easier for them to get their vegetables.
  • Calories:‌ 396
  • Protein:‌ 19 grams

The cheese, broccoli and chicken trio is already a winner but this recipe incorporates butternut squash and couscous to help round out the meal as well.


What's great about this recipe is that you can easily make it vegetarian by adding in chickpeas or a white bean. Need it gluten-free? Swap out the couscous for brown rice instead.

Get the Roasted Butternut Squash Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Couscous recipe at Ambitious Kitchen.

5. Butternut Squash Bacon Spinach Quiche

Quiche makes it easy to get a protein boost in the morning.
  • Calories:‌ 203
  • Protein:‌ 18 grams

Most of us should be aiming to eat more protein at breakfast: July 2020 data from the USDA shows that our first meal of the day tends to be higher in carbs and lacking in protein.

Because this delicious quiche can be made in advance, it makes getting more protein all that much easier. The recipe includes bacon but it also calls for an entire bag of fresh spinach and butternut squash, which provide nutritional balance. In fact, each serving is just around 200 calories and is loaded with nutrients.

Get the Butternut Squash Bacon Spinach Quiche recipe at Ambitious Kitchen.

6. Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili

Taking chili up a notch with this winter squash.
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  • Calories:‌ 172
  • Protein:‌ 16 grams

Sure, traditional chili is a hit on its own but why not give it a little nutritional boost by adding in butternut squash? The sweetness from the winter squash adds a nice flavor balance to the black beans, tomatoes and chili. Despite swapping out the meat, which chili is traditionally made with, and adding in the squash, this recipe still packs the protein with 16 grams per bowl.


Get the‌ ‌Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili recipe and nutrition info here.

7. Vegan Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cashew Crema

These flavor-packed enchiladas pack a healthy dose of protein, too.
  • Calories:‌ 396
  • Protein:‌ 19 grams

This one's a real winner. Plant-based? Check. Nutritious? Check. Delicious? Most definitely.

There is so much flavor pouring out of these enchiladas from the sweet and savory squash and black bean combo, to the spicy and creamy cashew crema drizzle. It's also just a really well-balanced dinner with a mix of healthy fats, complex carbs, fiber and protein.

Get the Vegan Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cashew Crema recipe at Ambitious Kitchen.