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Cheesy Squash-age Rolls

But for real: make a double batch.


Puff pastry rolls filled with butternut squash, spinach, and gruyere cheese on parchment paper.


If you love a cheesy puff pastry situation, you’ll love these squash-age rolls. Featuring roasted butternut squash, sauteed onions and spinach, and gruyere cheese, this vegetarian spin on the classic British sausage roll will delight meat lovers and vegetarians alike.


Roasted butternut squash on a baking sheet with a metal spatula.

While it might take longer, roasting the squash (rather than steaming or boiling) is ideal, since it brings an extra depth of flavor while reducing the squash’s natural moisture. (Nobody wants a soggy pastry roll!) Mashing half of the squash while it’s still warm creates a natural binder which works together with the cheese to hold the rest of the squash, spinach and onions together in one cohesive mixture.


When working with storebought puff pastry, always keep it as cold as possible. Make sure the squash filling is fully cool before rolling it in the pastry, and don’t forget to chill the logs before cutting and baking. It will be easier to cut the logs when they’re cold, and chilled pastry will puff better in the oven as well.


If you’re prepping these for a party and you’d like to work ahead, feel free to make the filling up to a day in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also make the filled pastry logs and refrigerate them, loosely covered in plastic wrap, for up to a day. When you’re ready to bake, just unwrap the logs, slice, and bake according to the instructions.


Enjoy!

 

Cheesy Squash-age Rolls

(Makes 10)


Puff pastry rolls filled with butternut squash, spinach, and gruyere cheese on a white plate.

1 lb. butternut squash, cut into ½” cubes

3 tbsp. neutral oil, divided

2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

1 onion, finely chopped

5 oz. fresh spinach

4 oz. gruyere cheese, shredded

All-purpose flour, for surface

1 sheet puff pastry (from a 17.5-oz box)

1 large egg, beaten

Flakey salt, for topping (optional)


Equipment: baking sheet, medium saute pan, parchment paper, pastry brush

 

Method


Preheat oven to 400 ° F, rack in the middle position.


In a large bowl, toss squash with 1 tablespoon neutral oil. Sprinkle over ½ teaspoon salt and toss again to combine.


Arrange squash on an unlined metal baking sheet, spacing as evenly as possible. (Reserve squash bowl.) Roast until tender in the center and caramelized on the bottom, 25-35 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet.


Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat 2 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook until softened and sweet to the taste, stirring occasionally, 7-9 minutes. Remove from heat to a bowl.


Set pan back over medium heat. Add spinach, 1 tablespoon water, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.


Roasted butternut squash, wilted spinach, onions, and cheese in a bowl.

Add half of warm roasted squash to bowl with onions and, with a fork, coarsely mash until a chunky paste forms. Fold in spinach, 2/3rds of gruyere, and remaining squash. Taste and season with ½ teaspoon salt and more black pepper to taste. Transfer to refrigerate to cool completely.


Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour a work surface.

On floured surface, roll puff pastry into a square approximately 10"-by-10". Cut in half lengthwise to yield 2 (10"-by-5") rectangles.


Arrange half of cooled butternut squash mixture in a long line down the center third of one of the pastry rectangles. Sprinkle with half of remaining gruyere. Lift both sides of pastry to meet on top of squash and cheese and pinch edges together to seal. Roll pastry log seam side down and transfer to prepared baking sheet.



Repeat with remaining pastry rectangle, butternut squash mixture, and cheese, and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Freeze both logs until firm, 15-20 minutes.


Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat egg with 1 teaspoon water until combined.


Using a sharp knife, trim edges of chilled logs, then cut each log crosswise into 5 (2") pieces. Brush top and sides of pastry with egg wash, then slash top of each roll twice on a diagonal.  Top with flaky salt as desired.


Bake until golden brown and crisp, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm.


Puff pastry rolls filled with butternut squash, spinach, and gruyere cheese on parchment paper.

Originally published December 12, 2023.

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