This post was sponsored by Carando as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
The changing of the seasons is always an exciting transitional time for me. While many changes have happened this year that weren’t exactly my favorite, I’m reminded that I can celebrate the newness of the season by making small and simple changes in my everyday life, such as in the meals I prepare for my family. As summer fades into fall, I’ve been finding new ways to utilize fall and winter produce into my cooking, and this recipe for Butternut Squash Meatball Stroganoff is a fun fall-inspired twist on a favorite classic dish!
Even though butternut squash is much thicker than summer squashes such as yellow squash and zucchini, it can be spiralized and turned into noodles to use in place of pasta in your favorite pasta dishes. I love that it has a more subtle flavor, making it easy to replace other ingredients without much change to the overall flavor. Using it in place of pasta is a wonderful way to increase your fiber intake and incorporate more vegetables into your overall diet.
Even though traditional stroganoff uses a wider noodle such as egg noodles, the spaghetti-like butternut squash noodles in this dish really make this Italian-style meal feel brand new, while keeping those classic stroganoff flavors that I’ve always loved.
Utilizing fresh ingredients in my meals is important to me, and incorporating fresh Carando Meatballs in this recipe added a perfect robust flavor that really gave it an authentic Italian style – and in less than 30 minutes! All Carando products are high quality and use premium Italian ingredients, and I was able to conveniently pick them up during my most recent grocery shopping trip in the refrigerated section of the meat department!
I selected the Carando Abruzzese Italian Style Meatballs, which are incredibly easy to prepare, convenient and have an amazing flavor. I simply placed them in the oven to bake according to their package instructions, and while they were baking I gathered all the ingredients I needed to make this dish and began to spiralize the butternut squash. Spiralizing a butternut squash using a hand spiralizer can be a bit tricky as the squash is very thick, so I recommend using a stand mixer attachment to get the job done if you have one. You can also often find spiralized vegetables in the produce section at your local grocery store.
After spiralizing the squash, I added it along with a little EVOO and minced garlic into a pan and sautéed the noodles over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes. It’s important to keep in mind that butternut squash noodles do not take on the exact same texture as traditional noodles, so expect them to have a bit of crispness to them. I love this difference, as it really gives this dish an element of freshness that it so satisfying!
While the butternut squash noodles were sautéing away, I added the butter and onion to another pan and cooked over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, followed by the mushroom, salt and pepper. I cooked the mushrooms down for about 8-10 more minutes, or until the mushroom released their juices and the juices cooked off. Next, I added the flour and thyme to the mushroom mixture and stirred until all flour was moistened. Reducing the heat to a medium-low, I continued stirring the mixture, adding the beef broth a little at a time until a smooth gravy formed.
Next, add in the sour cream and stir it into the sauce, making sure it incorporates smoothly. Add in the meatballs and allow them to simmer in the sauce for several minutes before serving over butternut squash noodles. I sprinkled a little fresh parsley over mine for a finishing touch. Here’s a free printable copy of the recipe if you’d like to give it a try!
Butternut Squash Meatball Stroganoff
- 1 package Carando Abruzzese Italian Style Meatballs cooked according to package instructions
- 4 cups butternut squash noodles Peeled, seeded and spiralized
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion chopped
- 2 cups baby bella mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 cup beef broth
- fresh parsley for garnish
- On a baking sheet, bake Carando Abruzzese Italian Style Meatballs according to package instructions
- While meatballs are baking, peel the skin off of the butternut squash and cut the squash right at the point where it begins to bulb outward. Remove all seeds and discard. You'll use the long neck portion to spiralize.
- Using a heavy duty spiralizer, carefully spiralize the butternut squash until you have about 4 cups worth
- In a large pan, sautee butternut squash, olive oil and minced garlic together for 10-12 minutes, keeping a lid over the pan for most of the cook time
- In a separate pan, add butter and chopped onion and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes
- Add in mushrooms, salt and pepper and continue to cook until juices have released from mushrooms and have cooked off, about 8-10 more minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low heat and stir in flour and thyme until flour has coated the mushrooms and been thoroughly moistened by the oils in the pan
- Next, add in beef broth a little at a time and stir until a smooth gravy forms
- Add in the sour cream and stir it into the sauce, making sure it incorporates smoothly
- Add in the meatballs and allow them to simmer in the sauce for several minutes before serving over butternut squash noodles.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately
My husband and I planted butternut squash in our garden for the first time this year. Even though it is a winter squash, we had a small summer harvest and are hoping for a much larger winter harvest. I have been utilizing butternut squash in numerous recipes and have thoroughly enjoyed finding new ways to add a twist on classic dishes, such as this Butternut Squash Meatball Stroganoff. Using the butternut squash noodles in place of traditional noodles is a healthier alternative, and pairing them with fresh Carando Meatballs really made this dish feel sophisticated. Anything goes with Carando!
During my previous grocery shopping trip, I also picked up a package of Carando Sicilian Italian Style Meatballs, which I’ll soon be incorporating into a tomato based pasta dish with, you guessed it, butternut squash noodles! Italian-style dishes speak right to my heart, and I love that Carando meatballs make achieving those authentic Italian flavors so simple!
Have you ever recreated a classic or favorite dish by giving it an unconventional twist? No matter how you prepare it, Carando Meatballs are the perfect addition to help you create an authentic Italian-style meal in less than 30 minutes. Even though the butternut squash noodles were a shining star in this Butternut Squash Meatball Stroganoff recipe, the Carando Abruzzese Italian Style meatballs came through as the real MVP, and I’ll always keep a package on hand when I’m ready to sink my teeth into those robust Italian-style flavors!