The classic grilled cheese gets a grown up twist! Your favorite party dip is now…
Don’t sleep on this cozy, fall appetizer the next time you entertain. It’s such a unique way to add some vegetables to your cheese spread!
I know that every year when I start thinking of fall/winter recipes I know holiday, tailgating and entertaining recipes all have to follow. This one knocks out a few of those categories and is absolutely outstanding. It’s not really the most anticipated appetizer at the party but it’s sure to impress your guests, especially those who want to feel somewhat good about their food choices.
It’s no secret that roasted beets pair really well with goat cheese. This recipe is actually inspired by a roasted beet salad I ordered a few years ago at a local restaurant. There are a lot of restaurants lately that are into this combo. Although it would have been predictable to recreate the salad with my own twist, it seemed like an opportunity for me to make this into somewhat of an appetizer…and it worked!
There was no point stopping with just beets because I can name a ton of things that pair well with goat cheese. I decided that sweet and creamy roasted butternut squash would help this recipe give fall vibes and be the perfect addition to this recipe. You of course can use golden beets for some variation in flavor if you prefer. This worked for me and everything is more available at the stores now that root vegetables get their time of the year.
Let’s talk about beets! Beets are underrated if you’re not eating them the right way. I think I dismissed them a lot in my earlier part of life due to them being served to me directly from a can. When I tried them fresh, seasoned and roasted it changed my whole relationship with the root vegetable. Not to mention their incredible health benefits:
- Beets have nitrates that can lower your blood pressure and increase your blood flow.
- They serve as an anti-inflammatory ingredient.
- Unlike other root vegetables, they’re not too high in calories and provide a source of fiber.
- Beets are good for liver health and are high in antioxidants.
- Antioxidants are also known for helping fight cancer.
Although I can sit here and chat about the added nutrients of the beets, let’s be real…the cheese is probably the real reason we are here.
Goat cheese makes another appearance in my recipes and I won’t stop. I love it! It adds so much flavor to tons of recipes and it’s been too long since I’ve worked with it. It’s light, creamy, tangy and rich enough that it pairs well with lots of different vegetables. Not a goat cheese lover? Check out my whipped feta instead and the same concept works well with roasted vegetables.
Now if you’re not feeling this for friends and family because you know they won’t give it a go then that’s ok. It really does take a certain crowd to be open minded to this combo. If you’re feeling like this recipe is for you then make it and pair it with more arugula and turn it into a salad with crusty croutons and maybe a balsamic drizzle. Me, personally, I ate if for several days in several ways and they all worked out.
You absolutely could make these into little toast bites and toast up slices of a baguette, smear cheese on the bread pieces and then top with the beets and butternut squash. Consider the leftovers though and how much harder it would be to store. Remember, not everyone is going to be super pumped to explore beets so it’s easier for guests to try a dip for themselves and see how wonderful they are on their own.
What to serve it with? I find any chance to make crostini crisps with leftover bread. You can use baked pita, melba toasts or just a hearty cracker to scoop this into your mouth. There was even a point where I had a baguette that I kept ripping off pieces and dipping it into the spread for a day straight. It’s just that good!
Roasted Beet, Butternut Squash and Whipped Goat Cheese Dip
- 2-3 medium-large beets cubed
- 12 ounces butternut squash cubed
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning divided
- 2 teaspoons chili powder divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 6-8 ounces goat cheese
- 4 ounces plain Greek yogurt nonfat
- 2 ounces low-fat cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives chopped
- ¾ cup arugula to garnish
- 1-2 tablespoons hot honey
- 1 large lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons roasted pepita seeds
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Line two baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.
- Clean, peel, chop beets to about 1/2”-1” cubes. Do the same for butternut squash (if not using pre-cut squash). Keep the squash and beets about the same size pieces.
- Spread beets out on one baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and then spread the butternut squash out on the other sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season each sheet of vegetables with 1 teaspoon of Italian herb seasoning, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, salt and pepper.
- Roast all vegetables for 15-20 minutes. Remove and toss both sheets and then place back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Check the doneness of both and adjust cooking times if needed. Both the butternut squash and the beets should be tender and soft. Remove and let cool. Combine them onto one sheet when done.
- Top the combined sheet of vegetables with parsley and toss.
- For the cheese – use a food processor or blender and add goat cheese, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Blend everything together until light and creamy. Chopped and add chives and mix in the cheese.
- On a serving plate, spread all the cheese in the center and spread out into a circle. Top with the roasted beets and squash.
- Garnish with arugula, lemon zest, hot honey, roasted pepitas and cracked black pepper. Serve with crostini bites or crackers.