Butternut squash soup sides can be a bit difficult to pick out because it is such a unique flavor and texture profile. It is creamy but has a bit of a vegetation undertaste to it. It goes down extremely well but doesn’t really keep you full for all that long. In my house, we eat soup a lot. We will eat it for lunch, dinner, and snacks.
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Part of it is because soup is just so easy to make. However, you do need to pair some sides with it because soup alone doesn’t really make a meal, especially when that soup doesn’t have anything that you can chew.
What Goes Well With Butternut Squash Soup?
Since this is such a common soup in my family, we have a few “go to” sides that go well with butternut squash soup. Here are some of the preferred options that people keep asking for over and over again:
Soup and salad, does it get any more classic than that? My family loves to get our greens in the form of salad. We will eat piles and piles of kale and spinach with fresh vegetables cut over them. My favorite way to make salads is to put everything into their own separate bowls and then people throw what they want on top of leafy greens.
When I start the bowls for them, adding in the good, dark greens, they can throw whatever they want on top. I usually put onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, chickpeas, and broccoli out as options as well as some crunchy toppings like croutons and sunflower seeds. The idea is that people can take what they want and go back for more if they finish their butternut squash soup and want more.
Another favorite in my family is roasted veggies. While your soup may already be veggie-based, there are plenty of other options and flavors out there. If you want to add some more colors or nutrients to your meal, I always suggest roasting up some veggies.
You can take whatever you have on hand, throw on some olive oil, add some seasonings, and roast them up. It is really easy to do. With butternut squash, I’d even throw on some extra squash to meld the two flavors together.
Obviously other root veggies are the best to roast up, but you can really roast anything. If you aren’t a fan of root veggies, I’d love to roast up some brussel sprouts with it.
If you aren’t looking for something that is really vegetable-like, but is still healthy, I love candied carrots. Add some sugar and some syrup to your carrots and everyone will love them. You can also just add some butter or whatever other toppings you like. It makes for a beautiful table with all of the orange and yellow colors.
Here’s my best tip for glazed carrots: make sure you slice them into the same sizes and shapes. This will help to ensure that you get the same ratios of flavors.
I’m a huge fan of potato pancakes, and I know most other people are as well. They are filling and help to contrast with the smooth texture of butternut squash soup. Make sure that the edges of your potato pancakes are crispy and done extremely well, or you are going to lose the texture that makes this feel like a complete meal.
Still looking for a crunch but don’t want to add another starch to your meal? Kale chips are a great compromise. I love to break my kale into pieces (dinosaur kale is my favorite, but any kind of kale will work), coat it in a little bit of olive oil, and sprinkle nutritional yeast on top.
You can also add some spices or parmesan for different flavors. Throw them onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Once you get this recipe down, you can try others, like barbecue seasonings, vinegar, or even just plain kale chips.
Of course, don’t let kale be your only option. You can make different types of vegetable chips out of all kinds of roots veggies, greens, and even your own potato chips.
Another great option for your side dish for butternut squash soup is rice pilaf. Rice is a starch, but it holds a ton of great flavors. It has a bit of a heartier texture, but it is easy to digest. Sometimes, my family will even take the butternut squash soup and drizzle it over the top of the rice. Or, we will take spoonfuls and mix it into the soup.
Of course, you can make your rice pilaf a bit healthier by adding in some vegetables, mushrooms, or even a protein source.
Soup and bread always go together pretty well. With butternut squash soup, I like to have a bread that has some flavorful seasonings on it. I love garlic, sesame seeds, fennel, poppy seeds, and everything spices on the crusts of my bread.
I’d also suggest a dense bread that you can dip into your soup. Pair your bread with either some really good, high quality, salted butter or with some jam. Make sure to get some extra, because people will really want it to mop up the last of their soup in the bowls.
On special occasions, I’ll even make my own bread bowls!
What Protein Can I Eat With Butternut Squash Soup?
If you want a filling meal, you cannot just eat butternut squash soup alone. You will need to add some protein to your meal as well. There are many different types of protein out there, but only a few of them will pair well with butternut squash soup.
Of course, chicken is going to pair with just about everything. I love to bake or roast up some chicken, shred it, and serve it on the side. That way people can throw it on their salads, mix it into their rice, or eat it by itself. They can even put it on top of some bread! Unless I have a specific meal in mind, I usually won’t use spices that will overpower the meal.
For the kids, I’ll add some chicken nuggets or something with some breading so they are more likely to eat it.
Nuts & Seeds
Who doesn’t love nuts? I like to shave some almonds or toss some cashews into the bowl of butternut squash to add some protein. You can also use nuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds on your salads, in your veggies, or mixed into your rice.
If you want to work some protein directly into your salad, you can puree them into the mixture and no one will need to know it is there.
Another great option to add to your side is sausage. You can get so many different types of fillings to meet the needs of your family and go along with your own butter squash recipe. I love to get a chicken sausage, but you can get Italian sausage, hot sausage, or even sausage patties.
How can you work eggs into your meal? Eggs are a great vegetarian option that you can throw into a fried rice mixture. You can hard boil them and put some slices on your salad or into a sandwich. Sometimes, I like to just cut them up and top with some everything seasoning.
Butternut squash is such a good meal, but it can be a little difficult to build an entire menu out of it. I always like to add something as an appetizer (a good charcuterie board is always great, as is a salad), then use the soup as the main meal, and have a decadent dessert. I will also set out some fruit and vegetables for everyone to graze on.
Whether you want to use your soup as your main meal or you want to make it as an appetizer, make sure that you use high-quality ingredients for the best possible soup. You don’t need to be afraid of this meal: it is much easier to make and enjoy than you think.
What is your favorite side for butternut squash soup?