This savory butternut squash and mushroom tart comes together with buttery puff pastry dough, vegetables, herbs, and parmesan cheese. You can absolutely use store-bought puff pastry as the crust, but if you can spare a few hours for the dough to chill in the refrigerator, I urge you to try a surprisingly simple homemade variation using rough puff pastry. This dish is perfect for an appetizer, lunch, or side dish at your holiday gatherings!
Today I want to show you a pie/tart recipe that isn’t just sugar, butter, and sweet. (There’s still butter though!) Pies and tarts shouldn’t be limited to dessert and that’s why recipes like quiche, cheesy vegetable tart, and chicken pot pie exist. We’re making a puff pastry tart with seasonal butternut squash, mushrooms, onions, parmesan cheese, and herbs. It’s like flatbread but with a flaky pastry crust!
You can use store-bought puff pastry for the crust or homemade. The pictured butternut squash tart uses the same handmade rough puff pastry dough we use for berry turnovers and cinnamon palmiers. Hundreds of readers have tried the homemade dough and are pleasantly surprised with its ease. This is obviously the time of year when schedules are packed, but if you find a few hours (that can easily be broken up over a couple days!), try the homemade dough. It’s so worth it!
Tell Me About This Butternut Squash Tart
- Texture: Hello, crisp! You know when you bite into baked puff pastry and you hear that loud crisp? The delicately light layers crackle, pop, and separate? That glorious flaky texture is the base of today’s tart recipe. Pair with soft roasted mushrooms and plenty of butternut squash.
- Flavor: This butternut squash and mushroom tart is savory, salty, cheesy, and herbed plus there’s garlic, onions, and a pinch of nutmeg too. Each satisfying bite is a flavor punch and it all sits on a golden brown buttery dough.
- Ease: Prepping the butternut squash topping is very easy. If you use store-bought puff pastry dough, the entire recipe is quick and convenient for beginners. With the homemade dough, I’d categorize this tart as intermediate. (Not complicated at all, just requires shaping and precise folding.)
- Time: THERE IS NO PRE-BAKING THE CRUST! I felt the need to shout that because when it comes to pies and tarts, blind baking the crust is usually an imperative step. But whether you use homemade or store-bought dough today, pre-baking is not necessary because we aren’t loading the dough with a liquid-y topping. Homemade dough requires a few hours in the refrigerator and if using store-bought, thaw it first. Since butternut squash is firm and mushrooms contain so much moisture, the vegetable topping needs a 10-12 minute head start on the stove.
Key Ingredients in The Butternut Squash Topping
The topping ingredients, with the exception of the cheese, are cooked down together on the stove before spooning onto the dough.
- Butternut Squash: As the main topping in this tart, butternut squash supplies a soft texture and slightly sweet flavor. Peel the squash and slice it thin so it cooks down quicker– about 1/4 inch thick slices.
- Mushrooms: Slice or roughly chop your mushrooms. Use any mushroom variety that you enjoy. I usually use a mix of white button mushrooms and shiitake. If you don’t like mushrooms, feel free to skip them and add more butternut squash.
- Onion: We aren’t caramelizing the onions, but between the stove and oven, they’re cooked long enough to take on a delicate sweet flavor.
- Garlic, Salt, Pepper: The basics! I like sprinkling the baked tart with flaky sea salt, but that’s completely optional.
- Herbs: Fresh thyme and rosemary are delicious year round, but taste exceptionally wonderful on savory dishes during the fall and winter seasons. Both add aromatic earthy flavor to the tart and if you don’t have fresh, you can substitute dried.
- Nutmeg: It’s optional, but I add a light sprinkle of nutmeg for a little extra flavor.
- Parmesan Cheese: I tested this recipe with parmesan, goat, white cheddar, and Gruyère cheeses. All were terrific, but the salty nutty parmesan version was definitely the top choice. Absolutely loved it and I think you will too!
Let’s move on to the dough.
You Can Make The Crust From Scratch
Have you ever heard of “rough puff” pastry? It’s become a popular method for making homemade dough because it produces bakery-style puff pastry with lots of flaky layers without the same time commitment that laminating dough (such as for croissants) requires. Chef Claire Saffitz has a great recipe for it. The trick is to work large pieces of cold butter into dry ingredients and then hydrate it all with ice cold water. Sometimes bakers grate butter into the mix or use a food processor. There’s many ways to make this dough.
I use a version of this dough to make homemade turnovers and created a separate page for it with a video tutorial just in case you want it for other recipes that call for puff pastry– like today’s butternut squash and mushroom tart, these cinnamon palmiers, or even this honey pear tart.
More About This Shortcut Pastry Dough
- 5 Ingredients: Flour, Salt, Sugar, Butter, and Water
- No Yeast, No Laminating: Unlike the breakfast pastries dough, this dough does not require any yeast and unlike croissants and traditional puff pastry, this dough does not require laminating with a separate layer of butter.
- Flatten & Fold Dough: Flatten dough after it’s made and then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. After that 1st refrigeration, flatten and fold the dough like a business letter 6x. Chill in the refrigerator 1 more time for at least 15 minutes. After that, the dough is ready to use in this tart or other recipe.
Putting Together the Tart
Roll dough out into a large rectangle and then transfer to a lined baking sheet. If using store-bought puff pastry, roll the thawed dough out into the same size, about 10×16 inches.
Fold edges over, crimp with a fork, and then brush all over with egg wash. Use a fork again to poke holes in the bottom so steam can escape. (Creating flaky layers!)
Add the parmesan cheese and top with lightly cooked vegetables in a single layer. Try not to crowd the dough with topping– like with pizza dough, if you try adding extras or pile it on too high, the dough won’t cook through.
Bake for 30 minutes, add more cheese, then finish in the oven for 5-8 more minutes until golden brown.
A light and flaky crust, roasted toasty vegetables, and delightful fresh herbs. What a combination!
Sally's Pie Week
This savory butternut squash & mushroom tart recipe comes together with puff pastry dough, vegetables, herbs, and parmesan cheese. You can use store-bought puff pastry or homemade pastry dough.
- 1 lb homemade rough puff pastry or store-bought frozen & thawed puff pastry (2 sheets)
- egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon (15ml) water or milk
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) olive oil
- 2 cups (about 270g) peeled & sliced butternut squash (1/4 inch slices)
- 1 and 1/4 cups (150g) sliced or roughly chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 cup sliced onion (1/2 of a medium onion)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch ground pepper, plus more for garnish
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (120g) shredded parmesan cheese
- optional for garnish: flaky sea salt, pepper, more cheese, more fresh thyme & rosemary
- Dough: Prepare homemade rough puff pastry dough through 2nd refrigeration. If using store-bought frozen puff pastry, make sure it’s thawed. Keep either dough in the refrigerator until step 4 below.
- Topping: Over low-medium heat in a large skillet, cook oil and butternut squash together for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and nutmeg. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured work surface using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll pastry dough into a 10×16 inch rectangle. (Tip if using store-bought– place the edge of one sheet over the other and use a rolling pin to adhere them together. Roll the whole thing out into a 10×16 inch rectangle.) Carefully transfer dough to lined baking sheet. If dough has lost shape, use your hands to reshape into a rectangle. Fold over a 1/2 inch edge and crimp edges down with a fork. Crimping is much easier the colder the pastry is, so place dough/baking sheet into the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes if needed.
- Egg Wash & Assemble: Brush egg wash all over puff pastry including the edges. Use a fork to poke holes all over the dough (not the crimped edge). Sprinkle with 3/4 cup (about 95g) cheese. Spoon vegetable topping over cheese and arrange in a single layer as best you can.
- Bake tart for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle remaining cheese all over the top. Return to the oven and bake for 5-8 more minutes or until cheese is melted and pastry is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and, if desired, garnish with flaky sea salt, a sprinkle of pepper, and/or extra cheese and herbs. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: If using homemade dough, see the detailed dough recipe instructions for make-ahead and freezing details. You can essentially prep the dough 48 hours in advance or freeze up to 1 month. You can also make the vegetable topping ahead of time. Complete step 2 and then cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day before layering on the tart. (No need to bring to room temperature before using.) You can also assemble the entire tart through step 5 ahead of time. Cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 1 day before baking. No need to bring to room temperature before baking. You can freeze the baked and cooled tart for up to 3 months. It’s best to freeze the slices between sheets of parchment paper. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat (covered) in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 15 minutes before serving.
- Toppings: Use any mushroom variety that you enjoy. I usually use a mix of white button mushrooms and shiitake. Feel free to skip the mushrooms and use more butternut squash in its place. You can also switch up the herbs if desired or replace the cheese with goat, white cheddar, and Gruyère cheeses.
- Frozen Butternut Squash: If using frozen butternut squash, thaw first and then cook with the oil and remaining topping ingredients (except the cheese) for 5-6 minutes or until mushrooms and squash are soft.
Keywords: butternut squash mushroom tart