Serves a Crowd

ABC Kitchen’s Butternut Squash on Toast

October  1, 2014
10 Ratings
Photo by Eric Moran
  • Serves Serves 4 to 6, with leftover squash
Author Notes

This recipe’s bones come from ABC Kitchen in New York, and it’s too good not to share here. I’ve adapted it a bit, both in cooking method and in type of squash -- feel free to roast your squash instead of the way I do it, and also feel free to swap in another kind of winter squash. No one will be worse off for it. Whatever you do, don’t forget the chile -- without it, the squash tends to skew sweet. —Kenzi Wilbur

What You'll Need
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ABC Kitchen’s Butternut Squash on Toast
  • one 3-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes, more to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large loaf of Pugliese, or smaller, thick slices country bread
  • 1 heaping cup ricotta
  • Flaky salt, for finishing
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  1. Dump the squash into a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, add a 1/4 cup of olive oil, the chile flakes, and a hefty, 3-finger pinch of salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat, and cover it. Cook until the squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, lifting the lid occasionally to stir. (As per Amanda Hesser's method, the idea is that the squash quickly sauté and steam.) Adjust the heat if necessary so the squash doesn’t burn. (Alternatively, you can roast your squash at 425° F until tender.)
  2. While the squash is cooking, make the onion jam: In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat, and add the onions, stirring, and cook until they begin to soften and darken, about 15 minutes. Add the vinegar and syrup, and reduce until everything is jammy. Depending on the surface area of your pan, this could take as little as 15 minutes or as long as 30. When it looks as though it’s ready to be spread on toast and it tastes tart-sweet, it’s ready.
  3. Add the onion mixture to the cooked squash, stirring gently so as to preserve a few chunks of squash. Taste, and season with salt or more chile if needed -- the mixture should have a nice heat.
  4. Cut your loaf of bread in half along its equator, and lightly toast the bottom half. (If you’re using smaller slices, don’t worry about this step!) Save the top for all manner of things: breadcrumbs, croutons, cheese…
  5. Spread a thick layer of ricotta on the bread, and then the same of the squash-onion mixture. Sprinkle with a bit of flaky salt and a bit of olive oil, then scatter the chopped mint on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alma Delucchi
    Alma Delucchi
  • Nancy
  • Cheryl
  • Amanda Newman
    Amanda Newman
  • Erika Mayo
    Erika Mayo

26 Reviews

ARay May 10, 2020
Utter perfection. This method of doing squash on the stove is genius--a repeat! I agree with the reviewer below who mentions maybe dropping the olive oil a wee bit, and, I skipped the drizzle entirely and it was outrageously good. I also think it can take being very heavy-handed with the red pepper flakes. I swapped mint for sage and it was delightful.
Alma D. July 9, 2019
Thanks for this recipe. I’m an avocado toast fan. I had a beet toast recently but I was disappointed. I have some fresh baked sweet potatoes so I thought this recipe might work with those. I’ll try and report back.

Mica G. October 9, 2018
This was so dang delicious, I used the garlic naan from trader joes as my base and switched the ricotta for goat cheese (cause I already had it on hand). They were more like individual pizzas than an app. It was a HUGE hit, everyone kept telling me how yummy it was. Will make again, maybe next time with sage instead of mint:)
ghainskom November 15, 2017
Chili is a must. Harmonizes well with the ricotta. Great for breakfast.
Nancy December 8, 2016
Completely agree with Karen, this was a knockout. People kinda grumbled at first (squash haters!) and were then blown away. I made it a day ahead. Next time I will freeze it, great idea! I think the mint is a must so don't skip that. Making again for Christmas apps. I just love this recipe!
Karen D. November 25, 2016
Literally one of the best things I've ever made. I made the topping 2 weeks ahead and froze it. I don't even like squash all that much and it was wonderful. Making it again for a second Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday
Nancy November 15, 2016
Please! Any reason this couldn't be made a few days ahead? This sounds so amazing but I have no last minute time this year!
Kenzi W. November 15, 2016
Yes! I've made the squash mixture up to two days ahead before.
Nancy November 15, 2016
Wow Thank you for the quick reply!
Kenzi W. November 15, 2016
Here for you :)
Cheryl November 13, 2016
Totally delicious. Can't wait for a second serving. I already had roasted Delicata squash in the refrig. Made the onion jam and subbed Agave for maple syrup. Next time I would use just 1 Tbsp. Agave. Put red pepper flakes in the onion jam and when done, mixed in the squash to heat it. I had vegan cashew cream/creme fraiche previous prepared so used that for the cheese. No mint, which I'm sure would be good. I read that sliced green onions would be good to sprinkle on top. My bread was GF: Whole Foods Prarie Bread, which is substantial when toasted. Yum!
Cheryl November 13, 2016
Oh dear. I posted this in the wrong recipe: meant to post in: ABC Kitchen’s Butternut Squash on Toast
Cheryl December 6, 2016
Next time I would caramelize onions in about 2 Tbsp oil and cook on low heat.
Amanda N. October 5, 2016
Anybody have any ideas of a vegan substitute that would work instead of the ricotta? Thanks!
Cheryl November 13, 2016
I know there are commercially prepared vegan cheeses, including ricotta. You can also make your own cashew cream or cashew creme fraiche (I probably got this from somewhere on this site).
2 cups raw cashews
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1. the day before using, put the cashews in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover them. Cover and let soak overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Drain the soaked cashews, rinse under cold water and drain again.
3. Transfer to a blender. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, water and salt and process until smooth. The mixture will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I find it is better the next day when flavors have blended.
Erika M. November 23, 2015
I love this recipe! I made loads of it as a snack/side dish for a party—it looked and tasted professional. Leftovers for breakfast? Yes, please.
andrea S. January 5, 2015
This is nearly the same as SmittenKitchen's recipe, however she roasts in the oven for a good carmalized flavor. Yours and her pictures are even very similar (I thought this was a link to her recipe at first)
Kenzi W. January 5, 2015
Hi Andrea,
This recipe actually comes from neither of us -- it's from Dan Kluger at ABC Kitchen, with very slight adaptations. And it's been circling the internet for quite some time now -- we're both just faithful toast disciples.
sarah S. December 31, 2014
This is so yummy! But, after having made it, I think that there is way too much oil in it. I would recommend roasting the squash in the oven instead, so that you seriously cut down on the oil level.
Smaug November 11, 2016
No reason you couldn't do it stovetop with much less oil- you might have to be a little more careful about the temperature.
Rachel C. December 20, 2014
This is the best. I made it for dinner for 2 of us and it lasted for a few meals, getting better each tip. About to make it on small toasts for a party!
Natalie B. December 2, 2014
Soooo good!
chez_mere November 8, 2014
Just made this and wow!! Loved it. I couldn’t make up my mind on what cheese to use, so I stirred a little feta into my whole-milk ricotta (I’ve finally come to realize it isn’t worth it to buy anything else), along with just a wee bit of fresh sage. It is a squash dish after all! Excellent meal for the harried med student, and a nice addition to my collection of “Things on Toast for Dinner” recipes
lydiaencyclopda October 28, 2014
Made this for dinner recently and drizzled chile oil on top. Later I repurposed the leftover squash in The Minimalist Baker's vegan pot pie recipe -- it was absolutely delicious with a nice kick. This is a recipe worth writing down for the recipe box.
LauriL October 26, 2014
I hate when squash skews sweet...chile flakes are my friend(s).
jamcook October 1, 2014
Hi Kenzi, I can't wait to try this. Martha Stewart has a similar recipe called "Spicy Squash Pasta" which is served over spaghetti ( which is sort of like toast, right? ) with some ricotta on the side. Toast is ,of coarse, a crunchier profile.