Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gluten-free Cheesy Garlic Butternut Squash

Christmas Menu - Are you including healthy, gluten-free recipes?

The holidays are just around the corner! I bet, like me, you are thinking about your Christmas menu. We'll have traditional turkey, of course, but the side dishes are where you can get a bit creative. I look for sides that can be prepared ahead of time and then just thrown in the oven when the turkey is pulled out of the oven.

Are you or any of your guests following a gluten-free diet? If so, you may have to think a bit harder and scrutinize labels for gluten in the ingredients. Of course, sensitivity to gluten means things like wheat, rye and barley are off limits. Avoiding it can be tricky as wheat is often used in many processed foods and items you may not think of as containing gluten such as most soy sauces!

Gluten-free foods include:

  • meats
  • eggs
  • most dairy products
  • beans
  • fish
  • veggies
  • fruits
  • natural seeds, nuts 

Luckily, gluten-free products are getting easier to find on grocery store shelves. A great gluten-free product is Hidden Valley Ranch dressings - original, spicy and cheese are all gluten-free!

I created this gluten-free, cheesy, garlicky and delicious side dish using gluten-free ingredients including Hidden Valley Ranch Cheese dressing. Not only does it add great flavour and some zip to salads and dips, it is also an easy way to add quick and easy flavor to this creamy vegetable side dish.

I love this dish pureed but you could mash it for a chunkier consistency. Be careful with how much sage you use -it's powerful stuff that can easily take over the flavor. Roasted garlic on the other hand is quite mellow so you can use a whole head of it without fear!

Pick butternut squashes that are heavy for their size.

Cut in half and scoop out seeds.

Lightly coat with olive oil, and sprinkle with spices & herbs.

Roast squash for about 40-45 minutes.

Puree squash with butter, gluten-free Hidden Valley Ranch cheese dressing,
garlic, ginger, salt and pepper.

Place your puree in a baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan and pumpkin seeds.

Bake until heated through.

Broil for a minute or two until cheese bubbles.





Your guests will love it!


2 medium to large butternut squash (about 6-7 cups)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 head garlic, separated and peeled
1 tsp salt, divided in half
4 fresh sage leaves
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup Parmesan-reggiano, shredded, divided (2 tbsp for the puree and the rest sprinkled on top)
1/2 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Cheese dressing
1/3 cup unsalted and toasted pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut two butternut squashes in half lengthwise.
  3. Scoop out seeds and discard.
  4. Rub the olive oil over the cut flesh and skin of squash. 
  5. Sprinkle cut flesh with salt and pepper. In the scooped out hole of the squash place a sage leaf, 2 twigs of thyme, and equally distribute the peeled garlic cloves.
  6. Carefully, place the squash cut side down on a large baking sheet.
  7. Roast in oven for approximately 45 minutes, until the thickest part of squashes are tender.
  8. Let rest for 15 minutes to cool slightly.
  9. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  10. Remove thyme but place sage, and garlic in blender or large bowl.
  11. Scoop out squash and place in blender.
  12. Add butter, Cheese Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing, 2 tbsp Parmesan and 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp salt.
  13. Puree mixture until smooth.
  14. Place mixture in 9 or 10 inch baking dish with low sides.
  15. Smooth squash and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and remaining Parmesan.
  16. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and squash is warmed through.
  17. Serve.

Hidden Valley Ranch products and other promotional consideration were received in exchange for providing the above recipe as part of a submission in a contest sponsored by Hidden Valley Ranch.

Hidden Valley Ranch Dressings are gluten-free.


  1. I love butternut squash!! This looks like it would be a real winner in my house! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Gluten can sneak it's way into so many things isn't? And butternut squash is *such* a fantastic ingredient. Love it, and this recipe!