Hashes are not just a poor man’s way to use up leftovers; when you have the right combination of veggies, meat, and spices, you’ll end up with a home-run meal. Case in point: This decadent and delectable, 5-ingredient Butternut Squash, Bacon, & Spinach Hash. If you’re looking for a meal that tastes like full-on comfort food (without all the egregious carbs and refined sugar or wheat), this one is it.
I try to plan my hashes out in a “strategically healthy” way. What do I mean by that? First, make sure to include a variety of good veggies along with healthy fat and protein. That means once you’re done cooking the bacon and have a deep desire to just eat that as your dinner (oh, I’ve been there), go ahead and throw in a bunch of spinach or dark leafy greens and a “good” carb (like squash or sweet potatoes) to add some balance. Plan ahead when it comes to your meals, and you won’t fall into the trap of eating a plate of bacon for dinner (which is *at least* a better idea than eating a plate of donuts for dinner).
The most time-consuming part of making this Butternut Squash, Bacon, & Spinach Hash is cooking and preparing the butternut squash. If you use pre-chopped butternut squash, this part can go a whole lot faster. And if you’re using already-cooked leftovers, the hash only requires some basic assembly and light cooking to meld the flavors.
The easiest way to cook butternut squash quickly is with one of my favorite kitchen tools: the glorious Instant Pot. I’ve included instructions in the recipe for pre-cooking the butternut squash in the Instant Pot, but if you’re short on time, there are plenty of veggies that would work well in this recipe and don’t require much time to prepare. Even so, with the Instant Pot butternut squash preparation, it took me less than an hour to make the whole thing.
One note on spices here. I may have said this once or twice before, but spice blends are truly wonderful for making quick and easy meals without a lot of hassle or mental effort. I love having a good mix of spices in ONE jar that I can use to instantly add a lot of depth and flavor to a dish. In this dish, I used an organic Herbes de Provence spice blend, but you can change the spices up based on what you like. And for this recipe, you don’t even need to pull out salt; the bacon adds enough salt on its own, taking this meal’s efficiency (and deliciousness) up to another level.
Butternut Squash, Bacon, & Spinach Hash
- 1 medium-sized butternut squash
- 6 slices of bacon
- 1 pound of spinach
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp Herbes de Provence
First, prep the butternut squash: Cut the butternut squash in half width-wise (so it fits in the Instant Pot). Add chicken stock or water to the bottom of the Instant Pot, and then place your butternut squash in with the steamer basket. Set manually for 10 minutes on High Pressure.
While butternut squash is cooking, dice your bacon into 1-inch pieces
Once butternut squash has finished cooking, perform a Quick Release. Then, take it out of the Instant Pot carefully using the steamer basket or tongs and place it on a cutting board to cool
After it has cooled for 5-10 minutes, peel and cut squash into medium-sized chunks (about 1.5-inch pieces)
Sauté bacon in large skillet over Medium heat.
Once fat has rendered and bacon is mostly cooked, drain 3/4 of the bacon oil into a heat-proof jar or can (do not empty into sink)
Lower heat and add spinach. Cook until slightly wilted, but mostly raw
Add squash and gently combine with spinach and bacon until all ingredients are distributed evenly
Mix in Herbes de Provence and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes over Low heat
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