Butternut Squash Tart with Caramelized Onion
This Butternut Squash Tart with Caramelized Onions features creamy squash, fresh herbs, and three kinds of cheese, for a depth of flavor that will have everyone going back for more!
One of my Favorite Butternut Squash Recipes!
I fell in love with this Butternut Squash Tart with Caramelized Onions many years ago, at a friend’s baby shower. Nestled into a flaky pastry shell, this dish is rich and creamy, and full of incredible flavor. With three different kinds of cheese, fresh rosemary and thyme, plus a crispy breadcrumb topping, this tart makes me such a happy girl!
This savory tart is wonderful for fall gatherings and the holidays. Serve it with a fresh green salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette for absolute enjoyment!
What You’ll Need
This butternut squash and caramelized onion tart begins with a homemade pastry shell, followed by a rich and creamy butternut squash center. A lightly crispy breadcrumb topping finishes it off!
FOR THE PASTRY SHELL:
- Butter – Butter should be cold when preparing the pastry crust.
- All-purpose flour
- Sugar – Just a teaspoon to give it a little sweet flavor.
- Kosher salt
- Ice water
FOR THE FILLING:
- Butternut squash – You’ll need one squash that’s approximately 1 to 1.5 pounds.
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion – Beautifully caramelized onions add a lovely flavor to this butternut tart.
- Butter – I always use unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, you may need to adjust the amount of salt added later.
- Egg + egg yolk – Helps to bind the filling and give a luscious texture.
- Heavy cream
- Italian Fontina cheese – If you can’t find this, smoked Gouda is also an option.
- Parmesan – It’s important to use freshly grated parmesan for the very best flavor.
- Goat cheese – Look for a mild and soft crumbled goat cheese.
- Fresh rosemary & thyme – Both of these herbs pair well with the squash and onion flavors.
- Salt & pepper
- Bread crumbs – Added at the end for a lightly crisp topping.
How to Make Butternut Squash Tart
Although there are several steps in making this recipe, it’s straightforward and easy.
- Make the pastry shell. Blend flour, sugar, and salt, then cut in the butter. Add water and pulse. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes. Then roll out the chilled dough and fit into the tart pan. Freeze for 20 minutes. Line with foil and pie weights, and bake until pale golden. Remove foil and weights and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Roast the squash. Halve the squash and scoop out seeds. Brush with oil and roast for 40 minutes or until soft.
- Caramelize the onions. Add butter and oil to a skillet with onions. Cook until the onion is soft and golden brown.
- Assemble the tart. Puree the squash in a food processor. Add the egg and cream, then stir in the cheeses, herbs, onion, salt, and pepper. Transfer to the tart shell.
- Top with breadcrumbs & bake. Melt the remaining butter and stir it into the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle evenly over filling. Bake for 40 minutes.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips and suggestions for making this squash tart, and even switching up the flavors!
- Use cold butter. For the flakiest pastry dough that’s easy to work with, be sure to use cold butter.
- Add just enough water to the pastry dough. Test mixture by gently squeezing a small handful: If it does not hold together, add enough remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing and testing, until mixture just forms a dough.
- Swap the onions for shallots. Shallots would be lovely in this recipe, with a more subtle onion flavor.
- Play around with the herbs. Rosemary and thyme are just the beginning – sage is also a great option. Feel free to switch up the herbs to what you have on hand.
Enjoy your butternut squash tart while still warm from the oven or at room temperature – a feature that makes it great for serving to your own guests or taking to gatherings. The tart is best the day it is made so be ready to enjoy it after you bake it!
I like to serve this tart with a fresh green salad dressed in a bright, tangy vinaigrette. This Herby Lemon Vinaigrette or my grandma’s Fresh Ginger Dressing would be lovely. This Holiday Wild Rice Salad would also be fabulous – either serve the whole salad or just serve the maple Dijon dressing over greens!
How to Store Leftovers
Cover any leftover squash tart and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the toaster oven or oven to crisp up the crust and topping again. While a microwave works great for warming up the tart, this method will not give you a crispy topping – just FYI!
More Squash Recipes:
- Turkey Dinner Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Pickled Squash
- Harvest Salad with Butternut Squash
- Savory Squash Soup
for the pastry shell:
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
- 1.25 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup ice water
for the filling:
- 1 small butternut squash (about 1 to 1.5 pounds)
- 1.5 teaspoon olive oil plus about 2 teaspoons for brushing squash
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1.5 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup grated Italian Fontina cheese or smoked Gouda
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup crumbled mild soft goat cheese
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- For the pastry shell: Cut butter into pieces. In a food processor blend flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until most of mixture resembles coarse meal, with remainder in small pea-sized lumps. Add 2 tablespoons of the water and pulse just until incorporated. Test mixture by gently squeezing a small handful: If it does not hold together, add enough remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing and testing, until mixture just forms a dough.
- Form dough into a disk. Chill dough, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out dough into a 12-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick). Fit dough into an 11'' tart pan with a removable fluted rim. Freeze pastry shell 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Line pastry shell with foil and fill with pie weights or raw rice. Bake shell in middle of oven until edge is pale golden, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake shell 10 minutes more, or until bottom is golden. Leave oven on. Cool shell in pan on a rack.
- For the filling: Halve the squash and scoop out seeds. Lightly brush each cut side of squash with about 1 teaspoon oil and lay cut sides down on a baking pan. Roast in middle of oven for about 40 minutes, or until soft.
- While squash is roasting, place heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter and remaining 1.5 teaspoons oil, plus the onion. Stir occasionally, until onion is soft and just golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. If the onion starts to darken before it is softened, turn the heat down a bit.
- Cool squash and scoop out flesh. In a food processor purée squash. Add whole egg, egg yolk, and cream, and blend well. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in cheeses, herbs, onion, salt, and pepper to taste. Pour filling into shell, smoothing the top.
- In a small bowl, melt remaining tablespoon butter in the microwave. Stir in bread crumbs until combined well. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over filling. Bake tart in middle of oven 40 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool tart in pan on rack 10 minutes and carefully remove rim. Serve while still warm or at room temperature. It will be best on the day it is made.
Adapted from Gourmet magazine, November 1998 - I first enjoyed this tart at my friend Meghan Kell's baby shower.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 476Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 693mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 16g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
This post was originally published in 2012 and updated in 2021.