Butternut Squash Sandwich

by Laurel on November 4, 2012

This time of year I love to experiment with fall/winter squashes. It’s true they are heavy to carry home from the grocery store, but I love how resilient they are. I can leave them on my counter for a week or two before deciding to use them.

This week I whipped up a butternut squash sandwich that was thankfully an experiment gone awesome. After researching other sandwich recipes online, I found that most people pair cheese and butternut squash when making a sandwich. Since I typically avoid cheese, I figured this is one of those situations where avocado comes in to save the day. I added romaine lettuce and chopped almonds for crunch, garlic and olive oil rubbed on the bread, and caramelized onions for rich savory flavor. All of that and we have a winner my friends.

This time I only had regular sliced whole grain bread in the house which was fine, but next time I’d like to pick out some fresh fluffy bread from the bakery to make it extra special.

Butternut Squash Sandwich
(makes 2 sandwiches)

Butternut Squash Sandwich
1/2 butternut squash
1/2 avocado
4 slices whole grain bread
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
2 leaves romaine lettuce
1/4 yellow onion
1/4 cup roasted almonds
1 handful fresh basil
1 garlic clove
Salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut off the top half of a butternut squash, trim away the thick skin, and cut it into thin slices or wedges (you can reserve the bottom heavy half of the squash to use another day). Spread the squash out on a sheet pan and sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes until the squash is soft, turning once half way through cooking. Remove pan from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, thin slice the onion and place in a small sauté pan over low heat. Add a sprinkle of salt, a tiny drizzle of olive oil, and then stir. Allow the onions to cook slowly until they caramelize, stirring frequently in the pan. It can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes to achieve the brown color you want.

While the onions and squash are cooking, cut the avocado into thin slices, give a rough chop to the romaine, and chop up the almonds into small pieces or slices. Now spread out the toast on a piece of foil and drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on each side of the slices. Toast in the oven until they just turn golden brown. Right when the bread comes out of the oven, smash the garlic clove (removing the skin) and rub it on each side of the bread to infuse the garlic flavor.

When the squash and onions are done cooking, begin to build the sandwiches. Start with laying out thin slices of avocado on one piece of toast for each sandwich (1/4 avocado for each). Use a fork to mash up the avocado and spread it out evenly. Top with whole basil leaves, slices of squash, a layer of caramelized onions, and a sprinkle of almonds. Finish with a handful of romaine, and then close up with the other pieces of toast. Cut the sandwiches half and they’re ready to eat.

Toasted bread with olive oil drizzle

Slices of whole grain bread with a thin drizzle of olive oil on each side, ready to be toasted

Caramelized onions

Thin-sliced onions in the pan, slowly reaching that caramel color

Roasted butternut squash

Slices of butternut squash, roasted on a sheet pan

Romaine, basil, and chopped almonds

Chopped romaine, fresh basil leaves, and chopped roasted almonds ready to add to the sandwiches.

Sliced avocado

Half an avocado, peeled and sliced

Mashed avocado on bread

Slices of avocado mashed into the bread with a fork

Butternut squash sandwich, open face

A peek inside the butternut squash sandwich, right before I ate it

Butternut Squash Sandwich
Butternut Squash Sandwich
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Iris November 5, 2012 at 10:46 am

Interesting! I wouldn’t think to pair avocado with squash. But yeah I’m with you–looove squash and love that it doesn’t go bad fast.

Ramon Chiropractor November 9, 2012 at 12:42 am

The ingredients made me a certified fan of this recipe. I love how this sandwich contains avocados which are widely known for preventing a lot of diseases. Do the almonds have an essential role in the interplay of flavors or do they just chunk up the texture?

Laurel November 14, 2012 at 10:20 am

Hi Ramon,
I added the almonds primarily to give the sandwich some crunch (since the avocado and squash are very soft), but the roasted flavor of the almonds also adds a nice dimension of flavor along with the caramelized onions. Hope you like it!

Laurel November 14, 2012 at 10:21 am

Thanks Iris! Yeah this was a creative experiment that went well (they don’t always).

Jen McCarthy November 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm

I would never have thought of making a sandwich with butternut squash! Thanks for a great idea; I’ll have to give that a try sometime. I love the idea of the addition of almonds as well.

Laurel November 28, 2012 at 9:10 am

Thanks Jen! Let me know how you like it. It was a fun experiment that thankfully turned out delicious. I love the added crunch with the almonds given that the squash and the avocado are so creamy. Happy holidays!

Katerina December 1, 2012 at 11:31 am

Oh wow, yum! Because winter squash is so big I usually have leftovers, but I never thought of putting squash in a sandwich, what a brilliant idea!

Squash is such an important food for vitamin A and easy digestion. I recently wrote an article on this: http://della-terra.com/2012/11/06/winter-squash/, check it out if you’re curious!

Thanks for the great idea!

Laurel December 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Thanks Katerina! I appreciate your comment. :)

Jen McCarthy December 2, 2012 at 7:43 am

Well, I tried it. On my own homemade bread.. it was delicious! I have to say that I added a good sprinkle of oregano though – because I love it, and it goes well with basil. It’s also a really amazing healthy spice.

Thanks again!

Laurel December 2, 2012 at 10:53 am

Nice addition Jen! Thanks for your feedback and I’m happy you enjoyed it.

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