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Holiday Appetizer: Butternut Squash Flatbread with Sausage and Caramelized Onions

Holiday Appetizer: Butternut Squash Flatbread with Sausage and Caramelized Onions

 
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Ready in 1 hour
Makes 4 flatbreads/Serves 16 as an appetizer

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cubed butternut squash (about one small butternut squash)
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ pound sweet Italian chicken or turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 ⅓ cups grated Fontina cheese
  • 4 whole grain naan (or flatbread of your choice)
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp finely chopped fresh sage leaves
 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (for easy cleanup).

2. Place the cubed squash on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and season with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and plenty of salt and black pepper. Toss to coat. Spread the squash in an even layer. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time, or until tender and slightly caramelized. Once you’ve removed the squash from the oven, increase the oven temperature to 425ºF.

3. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the pan and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes, stirring and breaking up the meat into small pieces with a spatula, or until lightly browned. Transfer the sausage to a bowl and set aside.

4. Return the skillet to the stove. Reduce the heat to medium, and add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the pan. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion and cook for about 20 minutes or until very soft and lightly caramelized. (If the onions start to dry out at any point, add a splash of water to the pan.) Add the vinegar and maple syrup and cook for about 2 minutes or until the liquids are absorbed.

5. Transfer the roasted squash to a mixing bowl and roughly mash with a fork. (You don’t want it to be completely smooth—a few chunks are great for texture.) Taste and season with a little extra salt and pepper if needed.

6. Assemble your flatbreads! Place 2 pieces of naan onto each of two large baking sheets. Brush each flatbread with the remaining Tbsp of olive oil. Spread each with a relatively even layer of the butternut mash. Sprinkle with half the cheese, then top with the caramelized onions and sausage. Top with the remaining cheese and fresh sage. Bake the pizzas for 8 to 10 minutes at 425ºF or until the cheese is melted and the flatbreads have crisped and browned on the undersides.

7. Slice each flatbread into 8-16 pieces (depending on your size preference). Serve warm or at room temperature.
 

Notes

This recipe is also particularly great with Gruyère, goat cheese, and Gouda.

The flatbreads can be fully assembled up to a day in advance. Let them cool completely after assembly, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Bake just before serving!

Feel free to skip the caramelized onions and add a little bit of your favorite onion jam or cranberry sauce.
 
Recipe by Serena Wolf of