Butternut Squash with Bacon and Spicy Maple Syrup

Thanksgiving is coming up quickly! One of the most frequent questions I’m asked every year is: “Alexis are you cooking for Thanksgiving?” NO! I never host Thanksgiving. Well, except a Friendsgiving years ago because I had literally never cooked a whole turkey myself. Maybe I should bring that back!?…

Anyways, I’m sure in many years I will host, but for now my parents enjoy hosting that holiday. It’s my dad’s favorite! One year he himself could not decide on which sides and we ended up with 26 different sides. They didn’t even all fit on our table (we don’t typically buffet style it but I think we kind of did a bit that year.)

Even though I am not hosting a thanksgiving feast myself we are occasionally asked to bring a side. I think it’s now a way to keep my dad from going wild with his side ideas. So I’m always looking for new and exciting dishes to bring! As I’m writing this I realize now how much of my fathers daughter I am, always looking for the next delicious recipe and fun food to share with our friends and family! I guess it’s the reason for the season!!

Last year, I had a brand partnership with Bushwick Kitchen’s Spicy Maple Syrup and was asked to make a dish to pair it with, if I chose. Obviously, I CHOSE. I love a challenge! This butternut squash looks nice and tastes amazing. I don’t know why but lately I’m really into hasselback styling potatoes, sqaush everything! I think it adds a fun look, texture and makes its easier to incorporate flavors throughout a dish. The spiciness in their syrup is subtle enough that it just gives it the right amount of zip but isn’t overpowering for the typical non-spicy fan. You can easily sub in a regular maple syrup of your choice too! It’s almost syrup season here in New England so be sure to stock up on your local farms products as well and test them out!

Hasselback Butternut Squash with Bacon & Spicy Maple Syrup

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • Olive Oil
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 2-3 springs of fresh thyme (more for garnish)
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2-3 Tbsp spicy maple syrup (or regular if you really don’t like spicy)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the thick outer layer of the butternut squash. Cut off the ends. Slice the squash lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds.

On a baking sheet, place butternut squash flat side down. Brush top and bottom with oil. Bake for 10 minutes to soften the flesh. Make slices on the rounded side of the squash about 1/4-inch apart, cutting partially through without slicing all the way…it needs to stay connected. Sometimes putting a 1/2″ blocky -style item next to it can help create a uniform cut and stop you from going through. You can even use a low plate or short ramekin so your knife stops at a uniform spot without cutting through.

Cut bacon slices into about 10 pieces per slice. Randomly tuck the bacon and thyme into the squash slices. Brush with melted butter, ensuring it gets in between slices. Drizzle with spicy syrup. Bake for 45 minutes.

Garnish with more fresh thyme and syrup. Serve immediately.

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