UPDATED ON 03-09-2014 WITH NEW PHOTOS!
As soon as I saw this Butternut Squash and Kale Quesadilla recipe from the Pioneer Woman, I knew that I had to give it my own healthy twist. As a newbie to butternut squash, I was also inspired to try a great looking soup recipe (Butternut Squash and Apple) from my Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook. For those of you new to Butternut Squash, I highly recommend looking at the Pioneer Woman’s step by step tutorial on how to chop it (easier said than done!). Otherwise, slice it in half and roast it in the oven before attempting to peel & chop (this is my method).
Butternut Squash Chicken Quesadillas
I decided to add chicken to the Pioneer Woman’s recipe to make them more filling and protein packed. I also discovered these awesome multigrain tortillas from Trader Joe’s to use. They are pretty large tortillas (nutritionally equivalent to about 2 small slices of whole grain bread), so 1 tortilla folded in half produces 1 quesadilla . Lastly, I oven roasted the butternut squash, rather than pan frying it in butter (for obvious health reasons).
Butternut Squash Chicken Quesadilla (serves 1)
- 1 large (about 1.5-2 oz)
whole grain tortilla (such as Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Flour Tortillas with Rolled Oats and Flax Seeds, pictured below)
- 1/3 cup
Butternut Squash, cubed and cooked
- 1/4 cup
Shredded Chicken (white meat, no skin)
- 1/3 cup
Leafy Greens (I have had success with both fresh arugula and frozen kale, both pictured below)
- 1/4 cup
Shredded Part skim Mozzarella cheese (gouda or jack would be great too!)
- Make sure that all of your ingredients are prepared and ready. If you are starting with raw chicken breast, bake it in the oven. Store bought rotisserie chicken would work in this recipe as well. If you are starting with raw butternut squash, I recommend cutting it in half and then oven roasting it, before cutting the squash into small cubes.
- Place your tortilla on a nonstick skillet. Fold the tortilla in half to create a crease, and then lay it back open on the skillet.
- Layer the greens, butternut squash, chicken and cheese onto one half of the tortilla. Then fold the other half over and hold it closed with your spatula if need be.
- Now turn the stove onto medium high heat. Continue holding the quesadilla closed with your spatula if it doesn’t stay shut on its own.
- Cook on the same side until the cheese begins to melt. Use the spatula to lift a corner of the quesadilla.
- Peek and make sure that the bottom tortilla is sufficiently browned, and then flip the quesadilla onto the other side.
- Cook for just a few minutes more to brown the other side.
- Transfer to a plate and serve immediately. Serves 1.
Nutrition: 247 calories, 6.3g fat (1g saturated), 30mg cholesterol, 405mg sodium, 267mg potassium, 29g carbohydrates (6g fiber, 2g sugar), 16g protein, 168% Vitamin A, 20% Vitamin C, 28% Calcium, 10% Iron
Nutrition Facts estimated via My Fitness Pal using ingredients below.
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
I followed this recipe for Butternut Squash and Apple Soup from from the Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook (page 221). Unfortunately, my food processor gave out so I had to puree the soup little by little in my knock-off Magic Bullet… quite a lengthy process!
In the end, it was worth it. I am a huge fan of Ina Garten! Her recipes always turn out delicious, and her TV show has an understated elegance that I can’t get enough of. Coming from her, this soup is surprisingly healthy. I took both the butter & oil down from 2 Tablespoons to 1 Tablespoon, but other than that, I followed the recipe to a T. See below for all of the wholesome ingredients that I used.
Ina Garten’s Butternut Squash and Apple Soup: Makes about 12 1-cup servings. Nutrition facts estimated via My Fitness Pal.
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 102 calories, 2.2 g fat (0.7g saturated), 8.8mg sodium (I didn’t add salt), 347mg potassium, 20.3g carbohydrates (1g, 11.5g sugar), 1.2g protein, 201% Vitamin A, 28% Vitamin C, 5.4% Calcium, 4.0% Iron
I still have one small butternut squash left. Here are some other recipes that are catching my eye. Which one would you choose?
Check out other seasonal recipes on my Winter Recipes Pinterest page.