Tonight’s dinner is brought to you by spinach and butternut squash.  Two of our more-favorite foods.

They’re not foods I normally pair together, but they seem to be this season’s new couple.  I figured it was time to jump in and play.

My original thought was to just make a gratin of sorts, but my friend Marie suggested stuffing chicken breasts.  I decided to do both.  But with two different recipes.

Chicken Stuffed with Bacon, Butternut Squash, and Spinach

  • chicken breasts
  • bacon
  • garlic
  • butternut squash
  • spinach
  • chicken or beef broth
  • sage
  • S&P

Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness.  Place in small oven-proof dishes.

Dice bacon and cook in fry pan until crisp.  Drain off excess fat.  Add minced garlic and thinly-sliced and diced butternut squash and cook about 3 minutes.  Add about 1/4 cup broth – or wine or other liquid.  Add spinach.  Cook down.  Add sage and cook just a minute more – until squash is fairly well-cooked. Check for seasoning and add S&P, as desired.

Stuff into chicken breast and bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes at 375°.

I resisted adding cheese because I added it to the gratin and I didn’t want the two dishes to be the same, but you can easily add any type of cheese you like – from a blue or gorgonzola to parmesan or a melty cheese like fontina.

The second dish was a layered butternut squash and spinach gratin.  I used a mandoline to slice the squash into thin pieces.  A sharp knife and a steady hand will do the same.

Spinach and Butternut Squash Gratin

  •  butternut squash
  • onion
  • garlic
  • spinach
  • heavy cream
  • pecorino romano cheese
  • S&P to taste

Mince onion and garlic.  Saute in skillet until translucent.  Add spinach and cook until wilted.  Add a bit of heavy cream, shredded cheese, and a bit of salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Lightly grease casserole dish.  Layer thinly-sliced butternut squash on bottom.  Add one-fourth of spinach.  Continue layering squash and spinach, ending with squash.  Add a bit of S&P.  Cover with foil and bake at 375° about 40 minutes.

Two ingredients. Two different dishes.  One very easy meal.