Roasted Butternut Squash Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Figs, and Pesto

Roasted Butternut Squash Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Figs, and Pesto

Butternut squash is one of my favorite foods on the planet, but peeling and chopping it can be a real drag. Sometimes I'll actually avoid cooking it if I'm not feeling up to the challenge -- and I'm also not willing to pay 5x more for the pre-chopped version at the grocery store. Any butternut squash lovers out there feel my pain?

If so, you're going to love this butternut squash hack that I've recently discovered that totally eliminates the need for peeling and chopping - and most importantly, it's ridiculously delish.

ps - if you are peeling and chopping your squash for a recipe, here's a great how-to.

Roasted & Stuffed Butternut Squash filled with Pesto, Figs, & Goat Cheese

How to roast a butternut squash without peeling or chopping:

Start by standing the squash upright on a cutting board, then stick a sharp heavy chef's knife straight into the middle, and make one long cut down the middle from top to bottom.

Use a metal spoon to scrape out the seeds and the stringy pulp from the squash cavity, then you're ready to roast - peel and all!

Roasted & Stuffed Butternut Squash filled with Pesto, Figs, & Goat Cheese

The roasted squash halves are delicious as a simple side dish, served with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh herbs and seasonings of your choice. OR you can stuff them with yummy ingredients: either vegetarian like I did here, or you can get super hearty with an enchilada-inspired stuffing.

Roasted & Stuffed Butternut Squash filled with Pesto, Figs, & Goat Cheese Roasted & Stuffed Butternut Squash filled with Pesto, Figs, & Goat Cheese

The end result is beautiful enough for a dinner party or the Thanksgiving table, and no one will know you only spent about 10 minutes of hands-on time and spent the rest of your prep time sipping pinot noir and reading cookbooks. Err, that was just me, but you get the idea. Scroll on for the recipe.

Roasted & Stuffed Butternut Squash filled with Pesto, Figs, & Goat Cheese Roasted & Stuffed Butternut Squash filled with Pesto, Figs, & Goat Cheese