Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Dip.
It’s totally dip season.
Dip season is when you have seven holiday parties to attend or that dreaded potluck at work and you’re just like, what the heck can I bring other than a sandwich ring? Or the I-forgot-about-the-party-cookies that you grabbed on the way that come in a plastic container with lots of red and green sprinkles. Or that bottle of wine, to go with the 17 other bottle of wine at the party. Or! That saltine chocolate cracker toffee stuff that you make yourself sick eating because you literally don’t stop eating it. The entire time.
Is there a secret drug in that toffee? There has to be.
Spinach artichoke dip definitely had it’s moment (decade?) and while it still appears on most bar food menus, it always leaves me wanting more. More of what, besides cocktails, I don’t know.
It’s just so blasé these days, you know? Probably because we are so busy pumpkin spicing everything and clogging our aterties with bacon in every recipe that exists in life. It’s not like regular old spinach dip can even taste good anymore.
Unless it has the pound of bacon. Then, yes. That’s why there is a pound of bacon here, duh.
Also, I’m just kind of too engaged to think about the best party appetizer I can bring to your house, because I am buying my soon-to-be-toddler nicer clothing than I have, shoes he can wear for the next 15 minutes before he grows again and oh! – making a list of gifts for everyone at Christmas which ultimately will end up as “one for you, two for me.’
See also: why I’m the worst.
This may not be the most aesthically appealing dish but HOLY COW is it ever packed with flavor. Three days later, we were still talking about this dip. It’s not just the butternut squash.
It’s the bacon!
And the caramelized onions.
And the mushrooms.
And I guess the spinach.
Oh and the cheese. Of course. Of course! Can I just go one day without telling you about cheese. God why it is so good?
Soooooo, this will make an appearance on your holiday table, yes? Or perhaps on Friday afternoon when you have already been shopping for eight hours and need some comfort food? I think that’s the best idea ever. Twinning.
Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Dip
2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 sliced bacon, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms, chopped
12 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
8 ounces fontina cheese, freshly grated
4 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the squash cubes on top. Toss with olive oil and maple syrup. Toss with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Roast for 15 minutes, then toss, roasting for 15 minutes more until fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
When the squash is roasting, heat a large skillet (or even a pot!) over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until it is slightly crispy and some of the fat has rendered, then stir in the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 15 minutes so they onions begin to caramelize and the bacon is crispy. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes. Add the fresh baby spinach to the skillet and gently toss. Cook until the spinach completely wilts.
In a large bowl, mash three quarters of the squash (saving a few cubes for garnish) until it resembles mashed potatoes. Add the softened cream cheese and mascarpone to the bowl and stir and mash until combined. Add the contents of the skillet - the bacon, onions, mushrooms, spinach and garlic, and stir until completely combined. Fold in the grated cheeses. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden and melty. Serve immediately with chips and crackers!
P.S. you could do double duty with this butternut goat cheese dip too. Just sayin’.