Italian roasted butternut squash, deliciously nutty quinoa, creamy mozzarella cheese, salty prosciutto and flavorful basil pesto are all combined in this delicious butternut squash bowl. The entire recipe is made in just 30 minutes, it's gluten free and easily made vegetarian by leaving off the prosciutto!
These buddha bowls are perfect for an easy weeknight dinner and a healthy way to fulfill your Italian food cravings!
How to Roast Butternut Squash
Use these 3 quick tips to roast perfect butternut squash every time!
- Dice the butternut squash into small, evenly sized cubes. This will allow them to roast evenly at the same time and temperature. If some pieces of butternut squash are much larger than others, the squash will not cook evenly.
- Toss the butternut squash with oil and seasonings in a bowl, before arranging it in an even layer on a baking sheet. This will guarantee that each piece of butternut squash is coated evenly in the oil and seasoning.
- Roast the butternut squash at 425°F for 15-20 minutes on a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. This will roast the butternut squash to the perfect texture, tender but not mushy! Lining the baking sheet with parchment paper or foil makes for easy clean-up.
How to make Roasted Butternut Squash Bowls
- If you don't already have cooked quinoa on hand, use this post to learn how to make quinoa 3 ways, in an Instant Pot, rice cooker or on the stove. Prepare the quinoa using your preferred method.
- Use the tips above to prepare the perfect roasted butternut squash, tossed with olive oil and Italian seasoning.
- Divide the cooked quinoa between two bowls, top with the roasted butternut squash, mozzarella balls and sliced prosciutto.
- Drizzle basil pesto over the bowls. Use the link provided to make your own pesto or purchase pre-made pesto at the grocery store. You can usually find fresh, refrigerated pesto in the grocery store near the deli with other refrigerated sauces.
Easy Italian Roasted Butternut Squash Bowl Modifications
Make It Vegan
- Omit the prosciutto. If you'd like to replace the prosciutto with a plant based protein, try adding chickpeas instead. See the notes below under "add a protein" for how to add chickpeas to these bowls.
- Replace the mozzarella cheese with vegan mozzarella style shreds, or omit the mozzarella cheese altogether.
- Replace the basil pesto with a vegan pesto that does not contain parmesan cheese, like this Kale Pistachio Pesto.
Make It Low Carb
- Omit the quinoa and substitute cauliflower rice. This substitution will take these butternut squash bowls from 59 carbs per bowl, down to 24 carbs per bowl.
Meal Prep It
- For storage: prepare the quinoa and roast the butternut squash as instructed in the recipe. Store the quinoa and roasted butternut squash together in a large plastic container. Place the mozzarella balls and prosciutto in separate smaller containers or small ziplock bags and into the larger container with the quinoa and butternut squash. Place the basil pesto in a small salad dressing container in the larger container with the additional bowl ingredients.
- To reheat and eat: remove the mozzarella, prosciutto and basil pesto from the storage container. Heat the butternut squash and quinoa together in the microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and top with the mozzarella, prosciutto and basil pesto.
Add A Protein
- The quinoa, mozzarella and prosciutto all add a significant amount of protein to these bowls. Each bowl contains 25 grams of protein, so no additional protein is necessary.
- If you're making these bowls vegan and want to add a plant-based protein option, I recommend adding ½ cup of chickpeas to each bowl. This will more than replace the protein from the mozzarella and prosciutto, adding 20 grams of protein to each bowl! Chickpeas can be drained and rinsed from a can and added straight to the bowl or they can be roasted with the butternut squash at the same time and temperature. Simply toss the chickpeas with a little of the olive oil and Italian seasoning, just like the butternut squash and arrange them on the baking sheet with the squash in an even layer.
Looking for more delicious Butternut Squash bowls? Check out these 4 recipes!
- Miso Roasted Butternut Squash Bowls (coming soon!)
- Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Kale Salad
- Red Lentil Quinoa Bowl with Butternut Squash from Running On Real Food
- Roasted Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Kale Salad from Evolving Table
Italian Roasted Butternut Squash Bowl
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Add the diced butternut squash, olive oil and Italian seasoning to a large bowl.
- Toss until the butternut squash is coated in the oil and seasoning.
- Arrange the squash in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Place in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes.
- Divide the cooked quinoa between two bowls.
- Top with the roasted butternut squash, mozzarella balls and prosciutto.
- Drizzle the basil pesto over the bowls.
- If you don't have cooked quinoa on hand, be sure to cook the quinoa before starting this recipe. The link above will give you instructions for how to prepare quinoa in an Instant Pot, rice cooker or on the stove.