Butternut Squash Timbales, Mushroom Sauce; butternuts

We eat a lot of vegetables.

This time of year we eat a lot of winter squash.

Occasionally, on the weekends when we are being leisurely, I’ll make a first course that is substantial enough to work as the vegetable as well.

We like leisurely meals…. We can enjoy the wine more.

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Butternut Squash Timbales, Mushroom Sauce

The savory onions and mushrooms are a nice contrast with the slightly sweet butternut squash.

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: First Courses


  • 1 1/2 cups (10oz, 300gr) butternut squash, shredded
  • pinch of nutmeg, salt
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4oz (120gr) mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
  • 1/4 cup (2ozm 60gr) beef broth
  • 1 tbs whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 ‘1 cup’ ramekins


  • Butter 2 ramekins and put a small circle or square or parchment paper in the bottom – pressing to fit.
  • Beat egg lightly.
  • Add butternut squash, cheese, mustard, nutmeg, salt, milk and mix well.
  • Spoon into prepared ramekins.
  • Put into a roasting pan with deep sides and add hot water (hot tap water is fine) so that it comes half way up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake in 400F (200C) oven for 30 minutes, until set – top will be firm.
  • Mushrooms:
  • Heat oil in a medium skillet.
  • Add onions and sauté over high heat for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until very tender and starting to caramelize, about 15 minutes longer.
  • Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium.  Sauté 5 minutes.
  • Add broth, mustard, heat until reduced and thickened.
  • Keep warm until needed.
  • When timbales are done, remove from oven and carefully remove ramekins from hot water.
  • Run a knife around edges of timbales and invert onto small plates.  Remove paper.
  • Spoon Mushrooms on the side and serve.


I used Gruyere cheese but Swiss or Parmesan would work – or your favorite.
Shred the squash using small holes on a grater – or use a food processor. You want enough to fill the ramekins loosely.
A bread pan is the right size for a roasting pan for the ramekins.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
  • Calories: 267
  • Sugar: 5.9 g
  • Sodium: 435.3 mg
  • Fat: 16.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.4 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.4 g
  • Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Cholesterol: 115.9 mg

Keywords: butternut squash, mushrooms, timbales

Another fall first course we like is an easy stir-fry of Butternut Squash with Pecans & Shallots.

Butternut Squash Timbales, Mushroom Sauce

When I was a child my mother, who grew up on a farm up in the hills above our town, used to take the family out to gather nuts.

She knew all of the best spots.

We used to gather hickory nuts, which I loved and my mother insisted on for the holiday baking, They’re small nuts, about an inch in diameter (2.5cm) and hard. My mother had a small section of railroad rail that she used, coupled with a hammer, to crack the nuts.

She would crack a basket full and the family would then pick the nutmeats out in the evening while watching TV. We needed a lot of nuts for the holidays.

We also gathered butternuts. They were bigger and required more work,

They were also wonderful, as the name implies.

My father would arrange some boards on the roof of the garage and my mother would spread the nuts out to cure in the sun before removing the outer husk and using the nut.

My mother liked the hickory nuts for cookies and the butternuts for Christmas breads and cakes. They were a little softer.

Why am I telling you this?

Because when someone uses the term ‘butternut’ rather than ‘butternut squash’ to refer to the vegetable I always have to stop and think if they mean the nut or the pumpkin…..

When my mother was too old to go nut-gathering, the young guys in the village used to do it for her. Naturally, she thanked them with sacks of cookies.

4 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Timbales, Mushroom Sauce; butternuts”

  1. We don’t have many nut trees in our area. Hickory, Thing 1 has five or six black walnut trees she constantly complains about because the few tolerant plants that will grow near them, she’s not fond of, a couple others. Not a ‘nutting’ area. A great morel area, no nuts. 🙂

    • I can’t stand black walnuts. My older brother started adding them to cookies – he said that way no one but him would touch them. He was right lol. They (the walnuts) do make great weapons for kids, tho….

  2. Whoa! That looks so so good. Before reading the whole post, my first question was, what can I use as a substitute for butternuts? Then I looked at the recipe again and saw that they weren’t included.

    I’ve heard of butternuts but never, to my knowledge, tasted them. Now that I know your mother neeeeeeeded them for Christmas baking, suddenly I want to try them.

    (Don’t you think a few butternuts – or reasonable facsimile – would be good in that mushroom sauce?)

    • I haven’t seen a butternut since I was a kid. If my memory is accurate I think pecans would work… but it’s been more years than I’ll admit too. Absolutely they would be good with the mushrooms. We love nuts. We keep a basket of nuts in the shell on the counter for snacks. One can’t eat as many as fast if one has to crack and pick first lol

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