Craving a deliciously decadent new way to enjoy butternut squash? My cheesy butternut squash dip with spinach is a hot, bubbly and cozy appetizer that's a colorful pick for the fall. A spin on classic spinach dip, this butternut squash dip recipe is brimming with roasted butternut squash, caramelized onion, garlic, spinach and Italian four cheese blend for lots of cheesy flavor, perfect for dipping crackers or toasted bread into!
A Hot and Cheesy Dip Perfect for Fall
When the evenings become cooler and the fall season makes its way in, my hubby and I begin to crave hot and cheesy appetizers to bring in a bit of extra coziness on our weekend nights.
We just love my hot and cheesy artichoke dip with kale and roasted garlic, but when we start seeing lots of squash appearing in the markets, I like to play around with a comforting appetizer recipe for us to enjoy, and get a little taste of fall!
A favorite hot and bubbly dip to enjoy during the autumn is my cheesy butternut squash dip with spinach, a colorful and tasty twist on classic spinach dip, only more flavorful and colorful.
Brimming with finely diced cubes of butternut squash roasted off until sweet and tender, some caramelized onion, garlic, Italian four cheese blend and herbs, my cheesy butternut squash dip is absolutely mouthwatering to whip up and share with friends and family (or just devour on our own!), along with flavorful crackers or toast for dipping.
It's the perfect hot and cozy appetizer fit for squash season, and a scrumptious way to enjoy butternut squash!
My Recipe for Cheesy Butternut Squash Dip with Spinach
For this hot and ooey-gooey butternut squash dip, I'm taking some inspiration from traditional spinach dip, as well as my artichoke dip.
For the base, I use softened cream cheese, a touch of sour cream for rich tang, plus a hint of mayo to round things out. Those three ingredients help to create the thick, rich “body” of this type of dip, and I simply add in my flavorful bells and whistles to this base.
Since my star here is butternut squash, I use a package of pre-cut, organic butternut squash and simply dice it up into slightly smaller, more manageable (and bit-size) pieces of squash. Then, I season and roast the squash just until tender.
Other savory additions to this cheesy dip are bits of caramelized onion, some garlic, baby spinach, Italian seasoning, plus lots of Italian four cheese blend to melt throughout the dip, as well as on top.
The result is a hot dip that's cozy, comforting, perfect for the fall, and irresistibly delicious!
Here's a sneak peek at my cheesy butternut squash dip with spinach: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I roast off my diced butternut squash just until tender, about 20 to 22 minutes, then allow it to cool a bit.
- While the squash roasts, I caramelize my onions, and very quickly blanch my baby spinach leaves.
- Then, I mix together my base ingredients (cream cheese, sour cream and mayo), then fold in my cooled butternut squash, my caramelized onions and garlic, my dried herbs, and a portion of my four cheese blend.
- Finally, I spoon the mixture into a baking dish, top with the rest of my four cheese blend, and bake until hot and bubbly.
- I serve the dip with my favorite garlic crackers, or toasted bread for dipping.
Cheesy Butternut Squash Dip with Spinach
by Ingrid Beer
This cheesy butternut squash dip with spinach is a tasty fall appetizer, filled with caramelized onion, garlic, and Italian four cheese blend!
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 486 calories per serving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
- 6 ounces peeled and finely diced butternut squash (roughly 1 ¼ cups)
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 3 ounces (about half of a 6 ounce bag) baby spinach
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 ¼ cup shredded Italian four cheese blend
- Chopped parsley or chives, for optional garnish
- Cracker or toasted bread, for dipping
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Preheat your oven to 400°, and line a baking sheet with foil. Also, prepare a small/medium baking dish (roughly 2 quart) with a light misting of cooking spray.
- Toss the diced butternut squash with a drizzle of the oil, plus a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Turn out onto the baking sheet, and roast for about 20 to 22 minutes, until tender.
- While the squash is roasting, place a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the oil. Once hot, add in the diced onions, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and allow the onions to caramelize and soften until brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
- Once caramelized, add in the garlic, and stir just until it becomes aromatic, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and allow the onion/garlic mixture to cool.
- When the squash is roasted, allow it to cool (I like to put mine in the fridge to expedite the chilling process), and turn the oven up to 425°.
- Blanch your spinach by adding it into salted, simmering water for about 20 to 30 seconds, then shock it in ice water for a moment. Squeeze the water out of it, and use a paper towel to dry it well. (You can omit this step of blanching and just chop up raw leaves, but blanching helps to lock in the vibrant green color.)
- Roughly chop the spinach, and set it aside for a moment.
- Next, add the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of the salt, ¾ teaspoon of the black pepper and the Italian seasoning into a large bowl, and using a hand mixer, mix on a medium-high until completely smooth and creamy.
- Then, fold in the cooled butternut squash, the onion/garlic mixture, the chopped spinach and ¼ cup of the shredded cheese blend with a spatula to completely combine.
- Spoon the dip mixture into the prepared baking dish, and smooth out the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden on top, and melty and gooey.
- Allow to slightly cool just slightly before serving with your favorite crispy crackers, and sprinkle with chives or parsley to garnish, if desired.
Tips & Tidbits for my Cheesy Butternut Squash Dip with Spinach recipe:
- Pre-cut organic butternut squash for convenience: To keep things cleaner and easier, I just purchase a package of pre-cut, organic butternut squash for this recipe, and then dice those larger chunks into smaller, more bite-size pieces. This way, there's no peeling and seeding required, and any leftovers can be used for another recipe such as my harvest stew with smoked sausage.
- Italian four cheese blend, or your favorite “melty” cheese: I love the added flavor of Italian four cheese blend for this dip, but feel free to use Gruyere, mozzarella, jack cheese, or cheddar, if you prefer. Any cheese that easily melts will do—you can even experiment!
- Make this butternut squash dip ahead: This cheesy appetizer can easily be prepped ahead of time for ease, then baked off when ready to serve. Simply follow all steps in the recipe, fold all ingredients together, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or with foil. Keep in the fridge, then when ready to enjoy, allow the dip to sit at room temp for a couple of hours, then proceed with baking until bubbly.
Craving more delicious and cozy dips? Check out this Artichoke Dip, this Cauliflower Dip, this Sour Cream and Onion Dip, this Mexican Corn Dip, this Warm Eggplant Dip with Spiced Yogurt, this light and cool Spinach Dip, or this White Bean Dip!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2014, and has been updated with even more love!