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Butternut Squash Donuts – Fast and Easy

Butternut squash donuts? Oh, yes we did! We are celebrating fall with a decadent treat that has no food coloring – and no one is complaining. Today’s treat, butternut squash donuts (well, technically butternut squash zeppole), are light and fluffy with a nice autumnal flavor. When you take a bite, they’re a cheery pale orange color inside. What’s not to like?

Here are some “pros” about this recipe (in case you needed any): They’re easy. They’re quick. They are SO good. And here’s one “con” – it’s easy to lose track of how many you’ve eaten. So if you find yourself having eaten more than half of your first batch… well, don’t say you weren’t warned.

Butternut Squash Donuts

A light and fluffy donut with the fall flavor of butternut squash.

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword butternut squash, donuts, doughnuts, ricotta cheese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash, roasted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • oil for frying
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar


  1. In a large bowl, mix ricotta cheese, butternut squash, and eggs until thoroughly combined. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir until just combined.

  2. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Carefully drop the dough, in rounded teaspoonfuls, into the oil, leaving plenty of space between each donut (they will puff up). Allow them to cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until dark golden brown. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Meanwhile, fill a brown paper bag with powdered sugar. When the donuts are cool enough to handle, put them, 2 to 3 at a time, in the paper bag and shake to coat. Serve immediately. Makes approximately 16 bite-sized donuts.

Recipe Tips

The first tip you’ll need is how to prepare the butternut squash. Slice the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and dot each open face with a small amount of butter. Place the halves in a large pan, filled with about an inch of water, and roast at 375 for approximately 60 minutes, or until soft. Scoop out the flesh, and mash it with a fork to use in recipes.

Next tip: If you don’t have butternut squash on hand, substitute an equal amount of pureed pumpkin.

Also, make sure to leave plenty of space in between the donuts while they’re frying. They do puff up!

One last tip: Be careful with little hands because these donuts are HOT when they come out of the fryer. If your kids are going to help shake them up with the powdered sugar, make sure to transfer them to your shaking bag safely.

And that’s it! One funny thing that always surprises us about these donuts is that even though they’re largely made up of ricotta cheese and squash, they come out looking bread-y like donuts.

They’re so yummy! Let us know if you try them.

Like it? Pin it!

Quick and easy butternut squash donuts

Quick and easy butternut squash donuts


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6 Responses to Butternut Squash Donuts – Fast and Easy

  1. Your bro September 23, 2019 at 5:39 pm #

    Jesus, finally. I’ve had a tricky few years, first with the bone marrow transplant, and then with all of the birds escaping – it’s been a mood. Then, out of the chasm of despair – this recipe! Love it. Love it. Love it. For serious though, I’m totally down with this and have a butternut squash sitting on the counter right now. You rock.

    • Jeanne September 23, 2019 at 6:35 pm #

      Wow. Wow. This is… the best response I ever could have hoped for? Something like that anyway. Make a batch and save me a few. Xoxo


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