I’m probably pushing my limits here.

Caramelized Butternut Squash, Roasted Garlic + Coconut Butter Grilled Cheese I howsweeteats.com

Not just with the combo… but with the squash. SO MUCH SQUASH!

I can’t help it. I like it and I like to trash it up. Especially with lots of brown sugar. One of my favorite things about squash is that it works in a sweet or savory manner. Hence this mess of a grilled cheese.

I’m all about the autumn grilled cheeses. And obviously, just grilled cheeses in general. But grilled cheeses this time of year are perfect because everyone is all sweaters! leaves! leggings as pants! boots! comfort food!. Last year I made a caramel apple grilled cheese, which was pretty cool in it’s own right but definitely almost served as more of a dessert.

However, one of my favorite meals was this Brussels sprouts grilled cheese and I can’t even count the number of times I threw that thing together last year. Such a fab way to get in veggies and eat your cheese too. I love it.

Caramelized Butternut Squash, Roasted Garlic + Coconut Butter Grilled Cheese I howsweeteats.com

So this sandwich? It’s just asking for trouble.

Caramelized Butternut Squash, Roasted Garlic + Coconut Butter Grilled Cheese I howsweeteats.com

It has a ton of my favorite things stuffed inside of it. Roasted garlic – ugh. I can’t ever get enough. It’s so sweet and caramely and almost like butter. Like caramel butter. Like garlic caramel. Like… okay you get it. I’ve talked for years about how I like to keep roasted garlic on hand because it goes well with practically everything. Mashed up with some salt – it’s like a sweet garlic explosion.

The squash is caramelized in coconut oil, brown sugar and a hint of nutmeg. I sliced it into planks as opposed to cutting it into chunks or pureeing it into a spread. I wanted to be able to BITE through the squash, but just a thin layer of squash. A squash plank sandwich! It sounds so weird.

It is so weird. But FANTASTIC.

Caramelized Butternut Squash, Roasted Garlic + Coconut Butter Grilled Cheese I howsweeteats.com

I threw a bit of coconut butter on the sandwich because, well, honestly? I was reaching for my coconut oil and pulled out the coconut butter by accident. Happy, accidental-but-on-purpose accident. It is SUCH an awesome addition. Coconut butter is the pureed meat of the coconut so it has a bit more substance and flavor than coconut oil. You might remember that I made granola with it a few months ago (so insane) and it’s another one of my favorite… condiments, if you will… to add on both sweet and savory foods. Things from toast to ice cream to sweet potatoes. It doesn’t do anything for texture here, but it kicks the flavor up.

And finally, lotsssss of fontina cheese. I’m sure you’re wondering if I ever use other cheeses and the answer is… barely ever. Fontina is my life. It’s so melty and gooey, it’s soft and perfect for snacking, it works well on pizzas and in mac and cheese. It’s my go-to, never fail, reliable number one choice. I always have it on hand. With that being said – use whatever cheese you like. We can still be friends.

Now this is my quintessential fall meal until my next quintessential fall meal comes along. Which, given my food attention span, will probably be in five minutes.

Caramelized Butternut Squash, Roasted Garlic + Coconut Butter Grilled Cheese I howsweeteats.com



Caramelized Butternut, Roasted Garlic + Coconut Butter Grilled Cheese

Yield: serves 2 appropriately, 1 obnoxiously

Total Time: 35 minutes


2 bulbs roasted garlic
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into slices
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 slices whole grain bread
softened butter for spreading
6 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons coconut butter


Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into a bowl and mash them up well with a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Sprinkle the squash slices with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the coconut oil to the skillet and once it's hot, add the squash. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 5 minutes more. Sprinkle in the brown sugar and cook for an additional 5 minutes, flipping once or twice until the squash becomes caramely and golden in color.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread the outsides of each slices with softened butter. Spread the insides with the mashed roasted garlic. Add on a handful of grated cheese, then the squash slices and a drizzle of the coconut butter (or crumbles, if it's still at room temp). Top with another handful of cheese and a slice of bread. Cook in the same skillet over medium-lot heat until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Caramelized Butternut Squash, Roasted Garlic + Coconut Butter Grilled Cheese I howsweeteats.com

So much TEXTURE.

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68 Responses to “Caramelized Butternut, Roasted Garlic + Coconut Butter Grilled Cheese.”

  1. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — October 16, 2013 @ 6:56 am

    I’m not a garlic person (the only one on the planet I think) but I am a huge coconut butter (and oil) person and with that melty cheese, wow that looks so good. You make the best sandwiches (and perfect sunny sideup eggs!)


  2. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter And Onion — October 16, 2013 @ 7:02 am

    You can never trash it up enough.. more cheese, more garlic, I’m with you!


  3. #
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs — October 16, 2013 @ 7:07 am

    Not gonna lie, this sounds weird to me — but, I trust your opinion, so I’ll go with it! :)

    Have a great day!


  4. #
    veronicabbee — October 16, 2013 @ 7:12 am

    I love all things squash, but never thought of doing a grilled cheese…. this looks so yummy. The other night I made a butternut squash lasagna with leftover pumpkin ravioli noodles and some cranberry cinnamon cheese I had just found… happily delicious!


  5. #
    Molly — October 16, 2013 @ 7:24 am

    This looks amazing! I love the idea of b-nut on a sandwich. And I am TOTALLY on the same page as you with the fontina. It goes on everything in my house. So dang good.


  6. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 16, 2013 @ 7:39 am

    Dam Girl, now that’s a sandwich! Yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


  7. #
    Ali @ Peaches and Football — October 16, 2013 @ 7:41 am

    Mmm I love grown-up grilled cheese. I think this would be perfect alongside a bowl of piping hot soup this fall/winter. Delicious!


  8. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — October 16, 2013 @ 7:44 am

    As usual I would have never thought of this combo myself but you make it look and sound SO amazing! I’m all about the squash right now. The b-nut is my reigning fave and I love it in all sorts of ways. On the weekend I had it for breakfast sprinkled with lots of cinnamon and it was SO divine!


  9. #
    Tieghan — October 16, 2013 @ 7:50 am

    Pushing your limits? No freaking way! This is my dream grilled cheese. :)


  10. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — October 16, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    I could eat roasted garlic in everything. All this melted cheese goodness is killing me!!


  11. #
    Jessie — October 16, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    I feel sick with hunger. This looks so good.
    The bread looks so good too. GIVE ME!


  12. #
    Christina — October 16, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    You are so awesome. I love your obsession with cheese! This grilled cheese sandwich looks like a combo from a restaurant. Work it girl!


  13. #
    Jenna — October 16, 2013 @ 7:55 am

    Now this is a grilled cheese!!! Dreamy!!


  14. #
    Christina Gathright — October 16, 2013 @ 8:06 am

    Is there really anything better than fontina? I think not :) This sandwich is so crazy in an amazing way!


  15. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — October 16, 2013 @ 8:09 am

    Roasted garlic….one of my favorite things in life. And coconut BUTTER?!? I must be living under a rock. Must get some ASAP…along with the chocolate swirl cookie butter. ;)


  16. #
    Vanessa — October 16, 2013 @ 8:12 am

    Yum, what a fabulous-looking (and tasting I’m sure) sammich! Hnnnngggg…



  17. #
    cheyenne — October 16, 2013 @ 8:34 am

    dear god, this sounds delicious!


  18. #
    Ali @ Inspiralized — October 16, 2013 @ 8:36 am

    I’m drooling… this is all kinds of goodness. I have two butternut squash I need to use and it’s my boyfriend’s birthday in two weeks, I think I may give this a try to practice. Beautiful!


  19. #
    Simone — October 16, 2013 @ 8:39 am

    I am making butternut squash, chicken, and spinach soup tonight and I hope I have leftovers to make this. My mouth is watering!!!!!!!!!!


  20. #
    Katie @ Veggie and the Beast — October 16, 2013 @ 9:04 am

    It’s not even 8:30 here, and I now feel like I NEED a bulb of roasted garlic… just to eat straight up, by myself, at my desk.


  21. #
    Belinda @themoonblushbaker — October 16, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    This looks so mouth watering! Nothing better than garlic and cheese, why do you think they can melt so well together?


  22. #
    Kylie — October 16, 2013 @ 9:12 am

    But actually.. Are you perfect? Are we best friends? I can’t, I just can’t. I’m jealous of a picture right now. If I was standing in a picture next to that grilled cheese it would get more love than I would. Gimme.


  23. #
    Maria — October 16, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    Oh. My. Heavens.

    *runs out to purchase all the fontina and squash*


  24. #
    Ashley — October 16, 2013 @ 9:34 am

    Literally had the same thought the other day about making a sandwich with squash that you could bite through, not all mashed up. This looks outrageous!


  25. #
    Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — October 16, 2013 @ 9:37 am

    not only is this amazing, but I would highly recommend serving yourself up some garlic toasts! kinda like your past avocado toasts obsession, but perrrrfect for fall!

    smashed up roasted garlic & salt + plain toasted bread = heaven!! a glass of wine should also be included, too :)


  26. #
    Angela @ Health's Angel — October 16, 2013 @ 9:53 am

    I NEED this in my life right now.
    I have been a coconut butter kick for a few weeks now (I JUST discovered it…no idea how it took me so long) and obviously, can’t get enough squash these days either. Another blogger posted a grilled cheese recipe yesterday so I’m taking all of this as a sign!


  27. #
    Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness — October 16, 2013 @ 10:52 am

    Oh my gosh. Me and squash are best friends and I have never thought of putting it in a sandwich…with cheese…and coconut…and garlic. Gimme! Looks sooo good!


  28. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — October 16, 2013 @ 11:01 am

    Love the idea of squash and cheese – I had butternut squash pizza recently and it was amazing!

    A bit intrigued by the addition of coconut butter. Will have to give it a try.


  29. #
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate — October 16, 2013 @ 11:15 am

    This looks too good to be true. I’m liking all of your recipes with savoury applications of squash, I’m getting kind of sick of pumpkin this, pumpkin that in every and all desserts. Did I just say that? Oops…


  30. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — October 16, 2013 @ 11:44 am

    I want to dive into these photos!


  31. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — October 16, 2013 @ 11:56 am

    I use coconut oil a bunch but I haven’t heard of coconut butter yet. Must find, love this!


  32. #
    CathyKarr05 — October 16, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

    My Uncle Nicholas recently got an awesome red Volvo S80 from only workin part-time on a pc at home. useful reference Bow6com


  33. #
    Larry — October 16, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

    Can I hire you so you can just make me grilled cheese sandwiches allthetime? I can’t afford to pay you in money… but maybe in bedazzled denim vests?!


  34. #
    Ashley@BakerbyNature — October 16, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

    Push-it-to-the-limit!!! I friggin love this, mama! xo


  35. #
    Lisa — October 16, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

    Oh my god this looks amazing. Just what I am craving right now!


  36. #
    Sara — October 16, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

    YUM. This looks incredible!!


  37. #
    Alison (Fueling for Fitness) — October 16, 2013 @ 2:31 pm

    What is it about stretchy cheese that is so magical?


  38. #
    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes — October 16, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

    I don’t think you are even one bit weird. These flavors must got together! That’s all there is to it. Love the planking.


  39. #
    Bethan — October 16, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

    So apprently grilled cheese can get better….


  40. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — October 16, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    You are a freaking genius!!


  41. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — October 16, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

    Bring on the squash plank forever! And coconut butter as a condiment? Heck yes.


  42. #
    Jesse — October 16, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

    the only thing missing? bacon.
    ps this is the answer to too much pumpkin.



  43. #
    Megan — October 16, 2013 @ 4:58 pm

    It’s like you don’t even want me to be able to fit into my leggings-as-pants! Hah. That looks so good



  44. #
    Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps — October 16, 2013 @ 6:59 pm

    I’m sick and haven’t had any hunger pains all day — until now. This is why I love this place and you!


  45. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — October 16, 2013 @ 7:20 pm

    There is a whole new world with sandwiches like this. Killer!


  46. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — October 16, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

    I love butternut squash and roasted garlic, epic sandwich!


  47. #
    ATasteOfMadness — October 17, 2013 @ 1:32 am

    I have never even heard of that cheese before, but I’ll definitely look it up. This looks so super fantastic!


  48. #
    La Torontoise — October 17, 2013 @ 7:23 am

    I’m the garlic person that is the perfect recipient of this recipe!! Love garlic so much and this recipe is right for me!! Love the texture! Can hardly wait for the end of the work day to go home and do this meal.


  49. #
    Prudy @ butter, basil, and breadcrumbs — October 17, 2013 @ 7:30 am

    Pushing your limits? No way… this is so, SO creative. I’m loving the fact that this generation is not afraid to think totally out of the box. Years ago, if I wanted to eat a butternut garlic and coconut butter grilled cheese, I would have had to do it in the confines of my own home, by myself, and never EVER tell anyone about it!!

    This is so amazing… and I’m so excited to try it!

    Now, on to coconut oil. I just ordered some spices from Spice Sage (tried them for the first time), and with an order of $30 or more, they sent me this huge jar of coconut oil. I looked at it for a few minutes, didn’t open it, because I know absolutely nothing about it, as in… do I refrigerate it after opening? What kind of a shelf life does it have? Etc..etc… What will I use it for? I figured I would Google it to see what it’s all about, but then totally forgot about it until your post.
    Do you use it a lot? Is it coconutty? I know… Prudy just open the darn jar and taste it for yourself! Right? :-)

    Thanks for letting me jibber jabber here for a minute… I hope you have a beautiful day.. <3


    • Jessica — October 17th, 2013 @ 9:20 am

      i loooooove coconut oil! you can find it in a ton of my recipes. i’m not exactly sure of the shelf life (is there an expiration date???) but i don’t refrigerate mine. unless you live in a super warm climate and want it solid, it is fine to be left in the pantry. i sort of think of it as butter – solid at room temp, liquid when melted, and i used it like butter in many things. if i bake with it, i always melted it first. or i just throw it in a skillet before sautéing something!

      you can also use it as moisturizer – it’s incredible. you just want to have a separate jar. :)


  50. #
    Sara @ Dear Skim — October 17, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    I think I may be tearing up at how perfect this is.



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