‘Tis the season to be weird.

Spiced Butternut Squash, Garlic Butter Mushroom and Fontina Nachos with Crispy Sage I howsweeteats.com

It’s like… how many things can I make with butternut squash that probably shouldn’t be made with butternut squash before you hate me?

I’m testing the limits.

By the way, happy Monday. We’re eating nachos.

Spiced Butternut Squash, Garlic Butter Mushroom and Fontina Nachos with Crispy Sage I howsweeteats.com

So, I’m freaking out. Usually by the time, like by November 1st, I can fully be on board with the “holiday season.” The years change and sometimes I’m all “give me all of the Christmas music in the land” the day after Halloween, and other times I am in full blown Thanksgiving mode until the end of this month. It differs, and since Thanksgiving is probably tied for my favorite holiday I like to give it the time it deserves.

BUT. This year? What the heck. Isn’t is still July? I almost had a heartichoke when I realized last Friday that it is now November and that it’s technically the holiday season. I am so not in that mode at all and it’s actually depressing me because it makes me feel old. Old old old.

Let’s stress each nachos to feel better. Cool? Cool.

Spiced Butternut Squash, Garlic Butter Mushroom and Fontina Nachos with Crispy Sage I howsweeteats.com

I can easily say that I’ve already bought more squash this fall than I bought last year total. I am in a major squash infatuation and have been simply roasting it for lunch or dinner, as a side or main meal, even as a freaking snack with maybe… some coconut butter. Who am I? It just tastes so good because it tastes like I’m eating a big fat harvest candle. You know what I mean. The epitome of autumn.

It’s no secret that I’m all about the squash and cheese combos, especially fontina because fontina is just heaven sent in my eyes. But the mushrooms? Oh my gosh. The freaking mushrooms. For some reason these just take this flavor mix over the edge. Plus, these aren’t any old mushrooms. They are garlic butter mushrooms. Garlic butter!!

Meaning nothing other that I cooked them in garlic and butter. But whatever. Still fantastic.

Spiced Butternut Squash, Garlic Butter Mushroom and Fontina Nachos with Crispy Sage I howsweeteats.com

When I was in Utah a few weeks ago, Heidi made this lasagna and my mind was blown. Butternut lasagnas are not new to me, in fact they are one of my favorite fall dishes. But these mushrooms totally completed the feast. The marriage of all that squash and cheese and shiitakes (which my mom hilariously pronounces as shit-takes, not on purpose) makes for one heck of a dinner.

I’ve been craving that like mad ever since I got home. In fact, I’m probably going to make a big pan of it this afternoon so we can have some for dinner and throughout the end of the week. Darn, darn good.

In the meantime, I took the lazy way and threw all this junk on top of some tortilla chips and broiled it until bubbly and melty. Nachos are definitely a favorite of mine (still sporting some 1989-microwaved-chips-and-cheese every now and then) and it should come as no surprised that it has to do with all the texture.

Spiced Butternut Squash, Garlic Butter Mushroom and Fontina Nachos with Crispy Sage I howsweeteats.com

Well, that and the cheese. I might actually turn into a brick of cheese someday. Eh, wait, I’d rather turn into a wheel instead of a brick. Sounds much more flattering. And I actually just wrote “fattering” by accident. Probably not by accident. How appropriate.

This is also the first time I’ve busted out my favorite little fuzzy herb this season and I believe that we are in it for the long haul now. I adore sage in all it’s weird and delicious glory. I obviously prefer it crispy but, uh, hello. Do you know who you’re talking to here?

Spiced Butternut Squash, Garlic Butter Mushroom and Fontina Nachos with Crispy Sage I howsweeteats.com

I finished the whole thing off with a big drizzle of balsamic glaze. It fit perfectly since the squash is a little sweet but it also provides a nice tart punch that leaned me towards devouring the whole pan.

But now that would just be embarrassing.

Spiced Butternut Squash, Garlic Butter Mushroom and Fontina Nachos with Crispy Sage I howsweeteats.com


Spiced Butternut Squash, Garlic Butter Mushroom and Fontina Nachos with Crispy Sage

Yield: serves 4 appropriately, 2 obnoxiously

Total Time: 30 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
a pinch of cardamom
1 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
8 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
6 ounces gruyere cheese, freshly grated
12 to 15 fresh sage leaves

for serving:
sour cream or greek yogurt
balsamic glaze for drizzling


Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chopped squash to the skillet and season it with the salt, pepper, nutmeg and cardamom, tossing well. Cover and cook until the squash is just fork tender, stirring once or twice, about 10 minutes. Remove the squash from the skillet and set it aside in a bowl.

In the same skillet, add another 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over low heat. Add the shallots and garlic, stirring well and cook for 2 minutes. Add in 1 tablespoon of the butter and once it's melted, add in the mushrooms, stirring to coat. Cook until the mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and stir in a pinch of salt and pepper. Scoop the mushrooms into another bowl and set them aside for a minute.

In the same skillet, add the remaining olive oil and butter over medium heat. Once it's melted and sizzling, drop in the sage leaves and cook for about 30 sections per side. Remove the leaves and place them on a paper towel until ready to use.

Preheat the broil in you over to the highest setting. I like to assemble the nacho by layering half of the chips, a handful of cheese, some squash, mushrooms, another handful of cheese, and so on until I have 2 or 3 layers. This way it's all cheesy! Pop the nachos in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the cheese melts and is bubbly and golden. Top with the sage leaves. Serve immediately with sour cream/yogurt and a drizzle of balsamic glaze if desired.

Spiced Butternut Squash, Garlic Butter Mushroom and Fontina Nachos with Crispy Sage I howsweeteats.com

Can you even? Ah. So good.

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80 Responses to “Butternut, Mushroom and Fontina Nachos with Crispy Sage.”

  1. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — November 4, 2013 @ 8:00 am


    And browned butter + sage is so YOU! As is fontina. I love this combo! I would like it right now. Pinned!


  2. #
    BKK — November 4, 2013 @ 8:05 am

    Oh sound good, love post


  3. #
    Belinda @themoonblushbaker — November 4, 2013 @ 8:07 am

    NOOO!!! Mushrooms and cheese have always had a special place in my heart!
    I would not want to share this too.

    Simply a girls better friends nachos, cheese and pumpkin. Can not wait for Mexican night to come


  4. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — November 4, 2013 @ 8:29 am

    Keep the butternut coming! I’ll never get enough of it. You’ve also just reminded me that I’ve yet to make a butternut squash lasagna, even though it’s been on one of my pinterest to-do boards for a while now. This weekend was a non-cooking weekend because I had a bunch of other stuff to do, but I’d love to fast forward to Friday so I can get back to creating things in the kitchen. Until then… let’s eat nachos! :)


  5. #
    Tieghan — November 4, 2013 @ 8:41 am

    Haha! I just made nachos with butternut yesterday! It is the best thing ever, but I wish I would have included some mushrooms and fontina! These look awesome!


  6. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — November 4, 2013 @ 8:47 am

    Yum! I would love to make dishes like this, but my Husband would not touch it and it leaves me to eat it all! However, maybe that isn’t so bad! I just LOVE this recipe!!


  7. #
    Stephanie @cookinfanatic — November 4, 2013 @ 9:13 am

    These look so so good! And that last pic, stunning. Put this girl in Food&Wine someone — please!! ;)


  8. #
    Christina — November 4, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    You’re awesome.


  9. #
    Jenna — November 4, 2013 @ 9:27 am

    Wow i must try this!! Photos are stunning today Jessica!


  10. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — November 4, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    We just had your fontina and butternut squash enchiladas last night! Such a killer combo and It’s the one meatless meal I can serve without getting a “Can we add chicken to this?” lol. Bring on the squash!


  11. #
    Natasha @ The Cake Merchant — November 4, 2013 @ 9:45 am

    I can never get enough butternut squash, and I would probably eat the whole thing myself. Could this serve 1 gluttonously?


  12. #
    Ashley — November 4, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    Why yes I can. Forget stacking it on a plate, I will shovel it into my mouth straight from the pan standing at the stove.


  13. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — November 4, 2013 @ 9:48 am

    This is amazing–seriously, I’m dying over these! Love the dark, moody photos too!

    PS. Glad you didn’t have a heartichoke ;)


  14. #
    Marissa@ohhhsolovely — November 4, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    i feel the same way at the moment about the holidays. i went to the mall this weekend & it was Christmas EVERYWHERE! this year, i seem to just not be “in the mood” quite yet. i think it’s because we’ve had some really warm weather & it just doesn’t feel like the holidays to me yet. normally, the day after hallloween, i’m annoying everyone with my Christmas tunes!


  15. #
    Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — November 4, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    that last picture – howw do you drizzle so perfectly?! tips must be shared ;)


  16. #
    DeLallo Foods — November 4, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    Looks oh so good, Jess! Lovin’ the savory fall flavors!


  17. #
    Larissa — November 4, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    Wow, you had me cracking up at “fattering”. I really love your posts. And these nachos look amazing, even though I do not eat mushrooms (no fungi, sorry). Too bad my family would look at me as if I had eight heads if I tried to serve them butternut squash in any form. I believe “regular” nachos are in the cards for us this evening. Thanks for the beautiful pics and inspiration!


  18. #
    Jara C. — November 4, 2013 @ 10:31 am

    “Fattering”…that’s hilarious! Love your writing AND your recipes…will def be making this with leftover squash from the butternut, fontina, coconut butter grilled cheese recipe you posted recently! Omg YUM!


  19. #
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate — November 4, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    This is weird but in the best of ways! Plus it is vegetarian!


  20. #
    Wendy@ All Kinds of Miles — November 4, 2013 @ 10:50 am

    Whoa, this is like fall exploded into something that sounds incredible! I don’t know how you constantly come up with these recipes.


  21. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — November 4, 2013 @ 11:17 am

    Holy (insert every swear word here)! This is insane! LOVE!


  22. #
    bridget350@gmail.com — November 4, 2013 @ 11:27 am

    You are THE BEST!!! Most creative, delicious food on the internets!


  23. #
    erin @hooleywithaz — November 4, 2013 @ 11:38 am

    holy crap. this is everything weird and delicious at once.


  24. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — November 4, 2013 @ 11:42 am

    I could eat these flavors on ANYTHING, and you’re a total genius to make them into nachos! Weird and I love it!


  25. #
    Jodi — November 4, 2013 @ 11:49 am

    Oh wow…YES, please! I’m not a fan of sage, but would definitely forgo my disliking for a pile of those fab nachos! Love it!


  26. #
    Kylie @ immaeatthat — November 4, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

    Thanksgiving nachos should be a thing. Loving this!!!!


  27. #
    Anne Marie — November 4, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

    These look fabulous! What a great idea! …and the apparent change in the relative speed of time has me feeling old too. I hope you don’t mind if you and I feel old together! :)


  28. #
    Alexe @ Keys to the Cucina — November 4, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

    What an inventive dish! I need some brown butter sage in my life right about now too!


  29. #
    Larry — November 4, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

    NACHOSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! I literally could eat nachos everysingledayofmyLIFE and be a total (fat) happy camper.

    “This is a taco and burrito conversation, NACHOS!” bahahah ♥


  30. #
    Rachel — November 4, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    WHAT. Honestly, this is the most inspired thing I think I’ve ever seen. Brilliant.


  31. #
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs — November 4, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

    Um, yes please. Delicious!


  32. #
    Ruthy @ Omeletta — November 4, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    Yup: super, totally, balls-to-the-wall weird, and I like it. Mushrooms on nachos? Sure! Garlic butter on mushrooms on nachos? Sure! Balsamic glaze on nachos? Why the hell not. I love it.
    Also “shit-take” made my day.


  33. #
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — November 4, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

    Genius. I have a crazy nacho obsession and this is just going to put it right over the edge.


  34. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — November 4, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

    SO, so good.! I love it!!


  35. #
    nanette — November 4, 2013 @ 8:32 pm


    just… omg. amazing.


  36. #
    Lauren @ Will Run for Boston — November 4, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

    Butternut Squash and Fontina together is so delicious! This is a must try in our house (minus the mushrooms on my half, haha)


  37. #
    Mariah and Coty@quirksandtwists — November 4, 2013 @ 9:12 pm

    This is a perfect little Friday night dinner. Loooove it!


  38. #
    Lauren — November 4, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

    Wow…I love nachos and this is such an interesting spin! I can’t wait to try it!


  39. #
    Catherine Schultheis — November 4, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

    Such an interesting spin- here is another take on butternut squash!



  40. #
    Brittany — November 4, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

    I’m feeling the same way about Thanksgiving / Chanukah (which crazily overlap this year!) and Christmas right now. I’m not ready for the cold weather or the holiday season yet — although I did stumble upon Anthropologie’s holiday playlist on Spotify today. It’s a good one. :)

    These nachos look delicious. I love b-nut squash!


  41. #
    jennifer — November 4, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

    it is officially the fall season. you posted a recipe with fried sage. :)


  42. #
    Frances — November 4, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

    First time I’ve visited here…Love the complexities of this recipe and your candor. This sounds like an amazing Friday night nibble…with movies and a big blanket! Thank you for sharing.


  43. #
    Peter — November 5, 2013 @ 2:45 am

    You have a passion for food & photography. I can’t express enough to you how much I love your cuisine and you


  44. #
    Sandy @ RE — November 5, 2013 @ 8:36 am

    Amazing. That’s all I have to say.

    Oh, and I love you! Have a great day, Jess!


  45. #
    Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg — November 5, 2013 @ 8:38 am

    Oh my, this looks good. I could eat the whole thing myself…obnoxiously. :)


  46. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter And Onion — November 5, 2013 @ 9:05 am

    I am so not tired of butternut squash yet… thanks for the new recipe!


  47. #
    Anne — November 5, 2013 @ 9:39 am

    Gorgeous and so clever! Love this idea :-)


  48. #
    Shelley — November 5, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    You may be the only person in the running for already consuming more squash than me this fall! Side note/confession: it has all been with your recipes – Thai Butternut Lettuce Wraps were amazing, any version of your Butternut Squash Lasagna is always good, + we had the bacon/squash/syrup concoction to top off our pumpkin pancakes recently.
    I had a thought this morning about doing a warm bowl dinner deal of: quinoa, butternut squash, garlic + herb goat cheese (or fontina!), sage, toasted walnuts (texture, of course!), + balsamic glaze topper!


  49. #
    Elinor — November 5, 2013 @ 10:11 am

    Sage + fontina = best combo ever (and I’ve learned this from you)


  50. #
    Beth @ bethcakes — November 5, 2013 @ 10:30 am

    I’m all about some nachos! These look fantastic. I want to eat them all day long! I really love your writing style too. :)



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