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Butternut Squash with Bacon, Blue Cheese & Candied Pecans

D'Artagnan | Yield: Serves 4
Here’s a pretty winter side dish that’s super easy to make. Butternut squash is oven-roasted in bacon fat before being tossed with crispy bacon bits and spicy-sweet pecans. We added a little crumbled blue cheese for a sharp bite but it’s totally optional.
New Butternut Squash with Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Pecans Recipe | D’Artagnan

Ingredients

  • 6 slices Hickory Smoked Bacon
  • 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup whole pecans
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, cored, and cut into 1” chunks
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, roughly chop and set aside; pour off the bacon fat into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl stir together sugar, water, 1 teaspoon of the bacon fat, a pinch of salt, and the cayenne pepper, if using.
  4. Place the skillet back over medium heat and toast the pecans, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar mixture to the pan and stir constantly until nuts are evenly coated, about 20 seconds. Remove from heat and spread in a single layer on a parchment lined plate. Set aside to cool.
  5. Spread squash and thyme sprigs in an even layer on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Toss to coat evenly; season with salt and pepper. Roast until squash is soft and lightly caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove sheet pan from oven and cool for about 5 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs.
  6. Break apart pecans if stuck together and roughly chop. Add pecans and bacon to the squash and toss gently to mix. Place mixture in a warm serving dish. Dot with blue cheese, if using; serve.