Dip into the season with this amazing, ooey-gooey, cheesy hot appetizer featuring butternut squash and ranch dressing. So delicious for fall season entertaining including “homegating,” harvest parties and holiday gatherings
1 cup Homestyle Ranch dressing from Litehouse Foods
2 cups cubed frozen butternut squash, thawed
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
3 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon water
1 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
Garnish: chopped sun-dried tomato, pine nuts chopped fresh parsley
Add ranch dressing to blender, top with thawed butternut squash, ricotta cheese, salt, ground pepper and red pepper flakes. Blend until combined and mostly smooth, stopping blender and using a spoon to redistribute ingredients as needed.
Add fresh spinach and water to microwave save container, top loosely with lid to allow steam to escape. Microwave for 30 to 45 seconds or until spinach softened. When cool enough to handle, drain off liquid and squeeze out juices from spinach.
Loosen spinach out of tightly packed ball and add to blender, pulsing in a couple seconds at a time.
Without blending, stir in ¾ cup mozzarella cheese. Scrape this mixture into an 8” diameter pie pan or other 5 to 6 cup capacity baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 375 F degrees for approximately 20 minutes until heated through and cheese bubbling and browning on top.
Remove from oven, top with extras like sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and chopped parsley.
Serve with chips, large croutons, bread or veggie sticks.