Healthy Recipes

Pesto Butternut Squash with Oats

I’ve been hanging onto the right time to share this recipe and in doing so, I fell into spring. So consider this my last winter recipe. From here on out it’s all asparagus and strawberries. However, I wanted to share this recipe just incase you happen to have one last lonely squash hanging around.

This is a riff on a sandwich I had but instead of sandwich form, I tossed everything into a grain bowl with oat groats. I don’t use whole oats enough. Their flavor is a bit more than other grains but can be perfect for adding a touch of warmth to the overall meal.



An easy and delicious whole grain butternut squash salad with fennel and pesto. A great side dish or picnic salad!


½ cup uncooked oat groats

1 ½ pounds butternut squash

½ medium fennel head

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

3 to 4 tablespoons homemade or store-bought pesto

Vegetarian parmesan, for serving


  • Heat a pot over medium-low heat. Add the oat groats and toast for 2 to 3 minutes. Cover the oats with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the oats are tender; 45 to 55 minutes.
  • While the oats are cooking, peel and cut the butternut squash into ½” cubes and the fennel cored and chopped into ½” sized slices. Place on a roasting pan with olive oil and salt. Toss to coat. Roast until the squash is tender; 30 minutes or so.
  • When the oats and squash are done, place together in a bowl along with the pesto. Toss until everything is well combined. Grate parmesan on top before serving. Serve warm or save and place in the refrigerator to serve as a cold salad.

Pesto Butternut Squash


Vegan: Drop the cheese from the pesto and the topping.

Sweet Potatoes: Swap out the butternut squash for sweet potatoes.

Grains: Use any hearty grains in place of the oat groats. Farro, Spelt, or sorghum are my top choices for replacing the oats.

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