Come home to layers of sweet roasted butternut squash, hearty herby tomato sauce, and salty feta in this Butternut Squash and Feta Parmigiana. This easy, veggie packed, one dish meal is on the table in under 45 minutes – perfect for a weeknight meal!See that cheesy, tomatoey mess up there. Yep, that is my favourite, favourite dish this winter. And I am invested in winter cuisine that makes me feel warm because I am not a winter gal. I live in Queensland, Australia for a reason. Winter? Nope. So when our mild winter does blow in I am more than ready to whip up any dish that will warm my belly and keep the chills away. This one dish meal is my go-to during for weekday dinners in winter, or lazy weekend lunches. And while it’s not the most photogenic dish, I promise, you are going to love it too! This parmigiana is a wintry twist on the traditional eggplant-based parmigiana replacing layers of eggplant (or aubergine <- I love that word) with sweet, seasonal golden butternut squash. Without the fuss of salting and draining the eggplants you can have a warming parmigiana on the table in under 45 minutes. Now that’s my kind of winter meal. This dish is also heavy on the vegetables, which is perfect for supporting a healthy body through winter cold and flu season!It all starts with a can of your favourite tomatoes. I love these baby romas that I picked up last weekend – bonus they are from Parma, Italy, where the famous, and delicious, parmigiana cheese comes from! These tomatoes are combined with onions, garlic, thyme, oregano, and a little tomato paste to form a hearty tomato sauce that will smother our sweet butternut squash in savoury love. While your sauce is bubbling away you simply peel and slice the butternut squash, crumble some feta, and grate a little parmigiana. Then, we layer, and layer, and bake.When you pull it out of the oven the tomato sauce will be bubbling, the cheese will be molten and gooey, and the tippy tops of the feta bits will be just a little crispy black. This is hearty, vegetarian comfort food at its best (*note: my omnivorous friends, this would go great with some baked chicken breasts or meatballs).
I made my first tray of this while Chris and I were enjoying our staycation last week. I made the second tray on Sunday when we got home from an hour long dog training session held outside in the rain. It was just what the
doctor dietitian ordered for warming us up and settling us in for the night. Each bite is sweet baked butternut squash coated in tomato sauce and strung together with cheese. Served with a side salad this is just what your winter nights need.
Butternut Squash and Feta Parmigiana
| Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium brown onions
- 4 cloves garlic
- 400 gram tin tomatoes (your favourite)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 medium butternut squash (~500 grams/ 1 pound)
- 100 grams Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiana cheese
- Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Have a 6 x 8 inch baking dish ready.
- Dice onions and crush garlic.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent, then add garlic, tomatoes, oregano, thyme and tomato paste. Turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering peel your butternut squash and chop into thin slices, about 5mm (1/5 inch) thick.
- Remove sauce from the stove.
- Place a layer of butternut squash slices in the bottom of your baking dish. Top with a quarter of the tomato sauce and a quarter of the feta. Repeat layers until you have used all the squash and the sauce. Top with remaining feta and parmigiana.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the butternut squash is soft when poked with a skewer.
- Serve with a salad or some crusty bread!