Looking for a perfect fall appetizer? Butternut Squash Cranberry Crostini with Goat Cheese is perfect for fall parties, pre-holiday dinner snacks, or just as an appetizer before dinner. This butternut squash toast assembly combines all of the perfect fall flavors, with sweetness from cranberries and butternut squash met with the tanginess and softness of goat cheese spread on a toasted baguette.
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When I first tried butternut squash, I had no idea what it tasted like and didn’t want to have a huge batch of it in soup or something similar and hate the taste.
That is how this recipe for Butternut Squash Cranberry Crostini was born!
November 2021 Update: I added some new tips for making this recipe the absolute best for your next party!
Butternut Squash Cranberry Crostini recipe
Bruschetta, crostini, toast. Whatever name you want to give the perfect style of appetizer served on a slice of toasted bread is my favorite kind of appetizer.
This crostini is also the perfect appetizer for parties or pre-holiday meals. Plus the addition of goat cheese makes this an all-time favorite recipe of mine.
There’s something about the combination of all of these flavors that just sings for fall.
The cranberries and butternut squash both have a sweetness that combines perfectly with the slight tanginess of goat cheese.
I actually find that this combo brings out some of the sweetness within the goat cheese itself.
You could even add a drizzle of honey over the top of these butternut squash toast bites and it would probably just about melt in your mouth!
Ingredients for Butternut Squash Cranberry Crostini
You will only need to pick up a few ingredients for this easy fall appetizer:
- 1 baguette, cut in ¼” slices — you’ll toast this right before you prepare the toasts
- 1 small butternut squash — peeled with seeds removed and diced (more on this below)
- Spreadable goat cheese — bring it out to room temperature so it’s easier to spread (feel free to use feta, ricotta or cream cheese if you like)
- Dried cranberries
- Sage — you can use fresh or dried
- Thyme — you can use fresh or dried
Tips for the best crostini
A few things to remember with this appetizer recipe:
1. Save a step — buy diced butternut squash.
You can actually buy pre-peeled and diced butternut squash in the produce section of some grocery stores.
Preparing a butternut squash isn’t difficult. In fact, my friend Erin has a great tutorial.
However, if you’re intimidated by the steps, it’s totally worth buying the prepacked version to give a try.
2. Don’t buy frozen butternut squash.
Do not buy the frozen kind of butternut squash.
I know it seems like a great shortcut, but it’s just too soft and cooked through for this recipe!
3. Buy spreadable goat cheese.
You want to buy the kind that is spreadable, but it can be flavored if you’d like.
I suppose crumbled goat cheese sprinkled in with the butternut squash would also work, but spreadable goat cheese works as a sort of “glue” to hold onto the butternut squash so that it doesn’t all fall off the bread when you pick it up.
If you’re not into goat cheese (there are apparently some people out there!) you can use spreadable cream cheese, ricotta cheese or feta cheese instead!
4. Get fresh bread.
Hit up your favorite bakery or the bakery section of the grocery store the day you plan to make this recipe for the freshest taste.
The day before will work as well, but baguettes tend to dry out quickly so you want to save this for the last minute if possible.
Look for a baguette, and ask them to slice it for you. They will likely have a slicing machine to do it for you so you don’t have to struggle at home. (If you do have to slice it yourself, make sure you use a serrated bread knife!)
If they don’t have any baguettes, you can use a small loaf of bread, but you might not have the cute rounded ovals.
Butternut squash recipes
Or my friend Liz’s butternut squash soup?
We even talked about having this butternut squash mixture on top of a bed of spinach for a fall salad. If we do, I’ll be sure to report back on how it is!
The mixture itself is delicious, but if you’re a carb lover like me, you’ll definitely prefer it on a few sliced and toasted pieces of baguette.
Scroll down for the recipe for this Butternut Squash Cranberry Crostini appetizer!
- 1 baguette, cut in ¼" slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon sage (dried or fresh roughly chopped)
- 1 tablespoon thyme (dried or fresh roughly chopped)
- 6 oz goat cheese at room temperature
- Slice baguette into ¼-inch pieces and place on a baking sheet. Use a basting brush to spread 1 tablespoon olive oil on slices. Toast at 350°F for 5 minutes or until golden on top. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, peel butternut squash and then slice in half vertically. Remove seeds and pulp, then dice it into 1-inch cubes.
- Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a stainless steel frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash.
- Sauté until squash softens. Turn off heat.
- Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
- Add in cranberries and spices, toss to combine.
- After bread is toasted, spread room temperature/softened goat cheese on each slice. Top with squash mixture.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 2 crostini
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 191Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 304mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 7g