Baked "Risotto" with Butternut Squash, Sage and Parmigiano

Photo: Susie Cushner

A Cold-Weather Dinner That Tastes as Great as It Looks
Bright orange cubes of butternut squash add a lovely burst of color to this Italian comfort food, as well as a subtly sweet note that plays out wonderfully with grated Parmigiano and fresh sage. And while most risotto recipes call for standing over the stove and getting an upper-body workout, this low-effort version has you bake the rice in a casserole; the grains soak up the hot broth and melted butter without you having to constantly stir.

Get the recipe: Baked "Risotto" with Butternut Squash, Sage and Parmigiano
Lemony Raw Kale Salad with Egg

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D

The Kale Salad That Feels Like a Meal
We love dark, leafy kale, but it can be challenging to make an entire bowl feel completely satisfying as a main course. Add thick slices of roasted butternut squash, though, and suddenly you've got a hefty entrée salad that's also brimming with phytonutrients and antioxidants. The dish includes a lemony dressing, a chopped hard-boiled egg and sunflower seeds, too.

Get the recipe: Lemony Raw Kale Salad with Egg
Curried Butternut Squash Stew

Photo: Teleginatania/iStock/Thinkstock

A Warming Stew Without the Usual Suspects
You may be surprised to learn how well butternut squash complements ingredients common in Asian cuisine, such as cilantro, curry, lime, ginger, coconut milk, lemongrass and tofu. This vegetarian stew is a tasty example; it includes the squash, as ell as tomato and bok choy, all enhanced by Southeast Asian flavors. Serve it over rice for an unexpected and quick weeknight supper.

Get the recipe: Curried Butternut Squash Stew
Curtis Stone's Quinoa Bowl with Pork Tenderloin and Butternut Squash

Photo: Alison Gootee

A Customizable Bowl for Even the Pickiest Eaters
If you've ever had to cook for a crowd with varying tastes, you'll appreciate this idea from chef Curtis Stone. He prepares a simple pork tenderloin, baked butternut squash, roasted brussels sprouts and a big batch of quinoa and lets everyone create their own bowl, with an optional apple-cider dressing. We consider butternut squash the ingredient that brings everything together; its creamy texture and sweet flavor are perfect with each component.

Get the recipe: Curtis Stone's Quinoa Bowl with Pork Tenderloin and Butternut Squash
Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart

Photo: Thinkstock

A Mellow, Cheesy, Anytime Course
Savory tarts are so versatile; you can serve small slices as an appetizer or side dish, or cut big wedges for brunch, lunch or dinner with a salad. And while we're used to seeing these workhorses stuffed with vegetables, from asparagus to zucchini, butternut squash is less popular—yet outrageously good. This recipe has you stir together roasted, mashed squash with heavy cream and egg; the ingredients make a smooth and rich base for earthy mushrooms and tangy goat cheese.

Get the recipe: Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart