Butternut Squash

Roasted Butternut Squash Queso

January 18, 2018
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

Here's the deal: I know that classic queso is already extraordinary. It may seem silly (or even blasphemous) to incorporate a vegetable into an indulgent Tex-Mex cheese sauce, but I find that when you blend the traditional smokey-spicy queso with some roasted butternut squash, it becomes an extra silky-smooth, sweet-salty sauce that's incredibly addictive and, luckily, super simple to make. Ready? Break!

Note: The sauce can be made a day or two ahead of time and reheated in a pot when you’re ready to serve. It may need to be loosened with a little splash or extra milk and blended again to combine.

Featured In: Okay, So, You Put *What* in This Queso?Grant Melton

  • Serves 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pepper jack or Monterey cheese, shredded
  • 1-2 chipotle in adobo peppers (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • Cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • Scallions, chopped for garnish
  • Serrano pepper, sliced thin, for garnish
  • Sweet potato chips or tortilla chips, for serving
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. In a bowl, toss the butternut squash with olive oil, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Once coated, pour onto a parchment lined sheet tray and roast for 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender. Set aside.
  2. To make to queso, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Once the butter is hot, add the garlic and cook for about a minute or two until garlic is fragrant. Next, add in the flour and cook until just toasted, about two minutes. Using a whisk, slowly incorporate the milk to make a béchamel. Bring the béchamel to a bubble and let thicken just a bit. Remove from the heat and pour it straight into a blender.
  3. To the blender, add the roasted squash, both cheeses, and the chipotle peppers. Blend for a few minutes or until the sauce is very smooth and silky. Taste and season with more salt, if necessary.
  4. Pour into a serving bowl and serve immediately or put into a fondue pot to keep warm. Garnish the top with chopped cilantro, scallions and serrano pepper slices.

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Grant Melton is an Emmy Award-Winning Producer of the Rachael Ray Show, food writer and recipe developer. He's a contributor to Food52, NYT Cooking and Rachael Ray Every Day Magazine. He loves cookies, cocktails and kindness.