Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Crostini (and How to Chop a Butternut Squash)

Tender butternut squash and bright cranberries top off tangy goat cheese in this perfect holiday appetizer.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Crostini

Are you guys getting pumped for eating 9 different kinds of pie turkey and gravy this week?

When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was always at my great Aunt Pauline’s house. It was The Event of The Year in my 7-year-old eyes. (Never trust me when I say I was 7 years old. The truth is that I can’t remember anything chronologically before roughly the age of 12, so all childhood memories fall under my favorite number, 7.)

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Crostini

Anyway, Thanksgiving at Pauline’s was awesome. Even though all I liked was the mashed potatoes and white turkey meat. I would literally fill my entire plate with white meat, potatoes, gravy, and a roll. Then I would wait around impatiently for all the old people to finish eating their third plates so that we could get on with dessert.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Crostini

But before dessert we always went on our annual walk. You only have 2 options after eating that much food: Sink into the couch in a turkey-induced coma, or walk it off. We chose the walk. We always brought a football to toss around (and I always avoided it. Footballs and I do not get along. I mean, balls of any kind are horrible, but footballs are painfully pointy. On both ends. It’s a sport-phobic’s worst nightmare.)

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Crostini

One year we couldn’t find a football but couldn’t kick the tradition, so we tossed around a roll of toilet paper. (I played that year. I mean, it was Quilted Northern. It’s like getting a blanket thrown at you. I can handle that.)

So what did you guys do for Thanksgiving when you were kids? Don’t pretend you were the kid eating the salad and token green vegetables. I know you’re lying.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Crostini

This fun little appetizer would be perfect for all your guests to munch on while you put the finishing touches on your turkey. If you have the butternut squash chopped beforehand, it is really easy to throw together. (There is a tutorial on how to chop butternut squash below the recipe, check it out.) You could even toast the crostini the day before to have even less work to do the day-of. I love butternut squash, but when you combine it with goat cheese something magical happens…magical, I tell you!

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Crostini

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Crostini

Yield: Serve 8-10


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (12”) sourdough baguette, thinly sliced (1/4” pieces)
  • 3 to 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • For the topping:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash (3/4 inch cubes)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Start by chopping the butternut squash. See tutorial below.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Set out the goat cheese to soften. Slice the baguette thinly. (Quick tip: if you're baguette is stale, wrap it in a damp tea towel and microwave for 5-15 seconds. Works like a charm.)
  3. Use a pastry brush to coat each side of the sliced baguette pieces with the 2 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, flip each sourdough, and continue to bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Don't worry if they have not browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
  5. For topping: Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons oil into a large, heavy bottom skillet, and place over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Add squash and continue to sauté for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and 2 tablespoons of thyme and stir together.
  7. Cook mixture for 5 minutes, then add cranberries. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Cook for another 4 to 10 minutes, or until squash is fork tender. (If the squash is chopped large, it will take longer.)
  9. To assemble: Spread some goat cheese onto each crostini and top with a spoonful or two of the squash mixture, pressing it in slightly to make it stick. Sprinkle with remaining thyme and serve!

Source: Spoon Fork Bacon

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese CrostiniThere she is. She’s a beaut.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese CrostiniPlace a super-sharp chef’s knife straight down into the top. Carefully push straight down, then start to move down the side.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese CrostiniGo all the way down then back up the other side.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese CrostiniPlace both halves down and chop off the tops and bottoms.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese CrostiniClean out the gunk. Use the lid of a canning jar, it’s sharper than a spoon.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese CrostiniPeel that baby up. Make sure you get off all the tough skin, you want it to be nice and orange.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese CrostiniChop em in half.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese CrostiniFlip it up vertically and slice.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese CrostiniThen slice it…like that.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Goat Cheese CrostiniThen dice! Cutting it like this will get you the fine dice that you need for this recipe. I recommend dicing like this for the cup and a half you need, then chopping into one-inch cubes to freeze and/or save for another use, like butternut squash soup.





  1. says

    I loved thanksgiving as a kid. We always had an annual football game. I played as a child, but then as I got older I just sat inside with the girls. It cracks me up every year when the guys go play. They come in dirty, and wet… and someone has tackled someone too hard. This is the only time all year they play.. maybe they are inspired by the Lions or something :) These appetizers look fabulous!
    Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent recently posted…Turkey TetrazziniMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Laura! That is awesome that they always play football! I hope this is all going on before the food is eaten. Playing tackle football after a Thanksgiving feast doesn’t sound very fun to me :)

  2. Misty says

    We’ve decided to try soccer this year. We normally play football but since most of the kids are in soccer, some of the girls are pregnant and all the men are crippled, it seemed like the safer choice. :)

  3. Chelsea V. says

    Hey, I made this today and it was delicious! The squash did take a bit longer to cook than the recipe states, but I guess I didn’t cut it as small as needed. Excellent recipe!

    • says

      I’m glad you loved this Chelsea! Thanks so much for your comment. Yeah, if your butternut squash is not chopped pretty small, it takes a bit longer. I will go back and change the recipe to say that. Thanks again for the feedback! Happy Thanksgiving, I hope it was the best!

  4. Dazzlemama says

    My husband I have an ongoing joke (based on some hormonal tears one day): “goats cheese makes everything gourmet!” And it does! Each of my kids picks a Tgiving dish to make with us. They are so invested that they are willing to eat it whether its a healthy green veggie or the ever popular pie. (Some years we have to limit the pies to 2 kinds/2 kids can make, so the meal isn’t simply pie…not that that would be bad…. Don’t forget to rinse and low-roast the squash seeds while you are at it!

    • says

      I agree, goat cheese DOES make everything gourmet!! Love it! And I love your family T-day tradition, what a great idea. I’ve never tried roasted butternut squash seeds! I feel like I’m missing out, so trying that next time!

      • says

        I didn’t have time to make it for our Christmas party, but I made it last night for a New Year’s party. Everyone absolutely LOVED it. I replaced the thyme with fried sage and used honey goat cheese. Thanks again for the amazing recipe.

        • says

          Fried sage!! Love it! Oh my gosh that would be so good. I’ll have to try that next time. I’m so glad you guys liked it. Thanks for commenting Lindsey, I love hearing from you! (PS I just looked over at your blog and can I just say there is nothing cuter than your Grandpa in that elf hat dancing it up. haha!)

  5. Kathryn Lott Neumann says

    This is the second time in two weeks that I have made these. All I can say is WOW. And they couldn’t be easier–so impressive–and I love to EAT them. They have inspired me to have dinner parties. My husband is actually eating butternut squash. Is it overstating to say that this is a game changer?

    • says

      That’s awesome Kathryn! Aren’t these crostini the best? I’m super impressed that you got your husband to eat butternut squash :) Have fun at your dinner parties!! Thanks for commenting Kathryn, I love it.


  1. […] Butternut Squash, Dried Cranberry, and Goat Cheese Crostini – Our friend, Karen, at TheFoodCharlatan.com, just posted this little gem to hold over the masses while getting the finishing touches ready. Chop the squash in advance so you can throw this together quickly. And if you are like me and just can’t do Goat Cheese (so weird – I like some of the stinkiest cheeses known to man, but Goat Cheese just doesn’t do it for me), you can probably substitute Boursin spread, ricotta cheese, cream cheese (plain or some flavored variety), or any other soft spreadable cheese. […]

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