butternut squash

Butternut Squash Appetizer – Pesto Rounds

Posted: November 15, 2017 by NaturalDeets

Butternut Squash Appetizer – Pesto Rounds

Butternut Squash

This was the first year we did our Thanksgiving Clean eating challenge! If you aren’t familiar with the challenge, readers were asked to submit one of their favorite Thanksgiving recipes that was in need of a make over.  In exchange, I would adjust the recipe to make a clean eating compliant recipe. This recipe for Butternut Squash Rounds are the first recipe in the challenge!

The Original Thanksgiving Recipe

When a reader submitted a recipe for Sweet Potato rounds, I was very excited! They sounded delicious and they were relatively simple to make. The reader described these as an alternative to sweet potato casserole. We used to make Sweet Potato Casseroles for Thanksgiving but no one ever ate it! We gave up on different recipes and just eliminated sweet potatoes from the spread.

The original recipe consisted of a slice of sweet potato baked with a melted marshmallow and pecan on top. I love that this would be easy to eat at a party. But with the marshmallow, this dish was in need of a make over.

Butternut Squash Appetizer

butternut squash

This Butternut Squash appetizer recipe uses the same concept as the one originally submitted. I couldn’t come up with a good substitute for the marshmallow so I decided to go a different direction! Rather than sweet, this dish is savory, but still delicious and equally impressive.

The very first step is to toast 1/2 cup of pine nuts in a pan over medium low heat. Toast for about 5 minutes or until browned. Be very careful not to burn the nuts. Place on a plate and cool.

Using a vegetable peeler or knife, peel the butternut squash. Slice the neck of a butternut squash in to rounds. Save the bottom of the butternut squash for a different recipe.

butternut squash

Add a spoonful of pesto to to top of each round and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and Romano Cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the butternut squash is tender.

butternut squash

Serve as an appetizer or a side dish! These butternut squash rounds are sure to be a hit. I know we couldn’t stop eating them…

butternut squash



  • Anonymous November 16, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Wow, what a combination. I would guess the pesto is the dominant flavor. Will have to try it!

  • Melina November 16, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    I want to try these appetizers!

  • Lisa November 16, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Nice to offer healthier options but I’m still about the potatoes and stuffing!

    • NaturalDeets November 25, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      I know what you mean…the carbs are my fav!!

  • Melissa Parcel November 16, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    My husband and I would both love these, but I don’t think I could get anyone else to join us. My kids are very adventurous eaters but both hate squash with a passion.

  • Melissa November 16, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    These look tasty and seem simple enough for me to master! Pinning for later!

  • Maggie November 16, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    I agree, best to dispense with the overly saccharine Sweet Potato Casserole side dish few folks seem to care for. This looks like a very tasty substitute!

  • Kara November 17, 2017 at 12:50 am

    Yum! Looks so tasty. I love butternut squash and pesto, but never thought of combining the two.

  • Mollie November 17, 2017 at 2:02 am

    What a great appetizer and it looks lovely on the serving dish!

  • Heidi November 17, 2017 at 2:27 am

    mmmm I just love butternut squash. I might have to try this!

  • Christy November 17, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Yummy! Looks like a good recipe for Thanksgiving!

  • Deanna November 17, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Those look amazing!! Definitely going on my recipe list.

  • Laura Belle November 17, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Those look delicious.

  • Stacey Billingsley November 17, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    I’ve never thought of doing that with squash. They look so good, and they are pretty to serve at a party, too! I will have to try these this holiday season.

  • Monica November 17, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    I’ve never seen anything like this before. You’re right they would make a great Thanksgiving appetizer. so festive and fancy looking. I love pesto too

  • Jessica November 17, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Yum! Looks good and sounds easy to make with only a few ingredients.

    • NaturalDeets November 17, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      I’m all about simple ingredients! 😊

  • Kimberli November 17, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Looks delicious 😋!

    • NaturalDeets November 17, 2017 at 8:39 pm


  • Elizabeth Miller Sliwa November 18, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    These look amazing! I’m always on the lookout for healthier alternatives to the same old same old carb laden food. I wonder if the kids would eat these…

    • NaturalDeets November 25, 2017 at 11:38 pm

      The kids probably won’t eat them 🙂 But at least the adults won’t feel as guilty indulging!

  • Lisa November 18, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    These look delicious! And super easy, which is basically a requirement for anything I make. Lol!

    • NaturalDeets November 25, 2017 at 11:38 pm

      Lol, same here! It doesn’t need to be complicated!

  • Shanna November 21, 2017 at 1:59 am

    I’m not a huge fan of butternut squash. I’ll have to give this a try and see if it changes my mind.

    • NaturalDeets November 25, 2017 at 11:37 pm

      Let me know if you change your mind!

  • Melissa November 21, 2017 at 6:42 am

    These look so pretty and tasty!

  • Jen November 25, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    This look so delicious and beautiful! We have a lot of gatherings coming up, I’ll definitely keep these in mind to make!

  • Fermin December 2, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    very good put up, i certainly love this web site, keep on it

    • NaturalDeets December 3, 2017 at 11:48 pm

      Thank you! I appreciate your comment! 🙂

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