Recipe: Asian-Style Squash and Spinach

A colorful side dish that's bursting with flavor
recipe asian butternut squash and spinach

Just because it might be chilly and dreary outside doesn’t mean your plate has to follow suit! Keep things colorful with this recipe ― a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.

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Gorgeous butternut squash ― roasted to creamy, caramelized perfection ― and bright-green spinach are the nourishing heart of this dish. A little sesame oil and soy sauce, and a dressing made with lime juice, rice vinegar, scallions, cilantro and jalapeño, add a tangy, spicy pop. Loaded with nutrients and bursting with flavor, this dish has it all!



1 1/2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce


2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 of a jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


16 cups firmly packed fresh spinach (about 4 bunches)
1 tablespoon raw, whole sesame seeds
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

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  1. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. For the squash, cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Put on a large rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with the sesame oil and soy sauce. Toss to coat and spread into a single layer. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until tender and beginning to caramelize at the edges.
  3. For the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the lime juice, vinegar, sesame oil, scallions, jalapeño and salt.
  4. For the spinach, in a large pot over medium-high heat, bring 1/4 cup of water to a boil. Add the spinach, cover tightly and steam for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring halfway through, until wilted.
  5. Squeeze out excess water from the spinach and divide among bowls. Dividing evenly, add the squash and drizzle with the dressing. Top with the sesame seeds and cilantro.

Nutrition information (per serving)

Makes 4 servings

Calories: 184
Total fat: 7 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Protein: 6 g
Carbohydrate: 30 g
Dietary fiber: 5 g
Sugar: 14 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 307 mg

Developed by Sara Quessenberry for Cleveland Clinic Wellness. 

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