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Hi! I'm Ari, photographer and recipe developer behind Well Seasoned. As a former NYC chef, I'm spilling all my tips and tricks from the restaurant industry with you! To learn more about me click here.

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close up of whipped ricotta and butternut squash crostini on a serving tray

Cranberry walnut crostini with ricotta, butternut squash, and balsamic

Posted by: ari | well seasoned

recipe +-

Posted by: ari | well seasoned
butternut squash bruschetta with whipped ricotta on a cutting board
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Cranberry walnut crostini with ricotta, butternut squash, and balsamic

Say hello to the most delicious holiday appetizer! Cranberry walnut bread is toasted and topped with creamy ricotta, roasted butternut squash, and rich balsamic vinegar. Your guests will DEVOUR these!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crostini, holiday appetizers, how to make crostini, roasted butternut squash, thanksgiving appetizer
Servings: 12 servings (2 pieces each)
Calories: 123kcal
Author: ari | well seasoned


  • 1 loaf cranberry walnut bread
  • 2 large onions thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh ricotta
  • 1 small butternut squash peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • balsamic vinegar
  • honey
  • 2 Tbsp chives chopped
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • flaky sea salt garnish
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut bread on a diagonal into ¼ inch this slices. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt, about ½ tablespoon total. Bake until crisp, about 8-10 minutes. (*Note: begin checking after 8 minutes so they don’t burn!)
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add two tablespoons olive oil (or butter). When hot, add onions. Cook, stirring often and adjusting temperature as needed so they don’t brown too quickly. When the onions begin to stick to the bottom, add 2 tablespoons of water and stir. Repeat as needed, cooking the onions over medium to medium-low heat for about an hour, until caramelized. Season with 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper, then set aside to cool. 
  • Take cooled crostini and spread a about 1-2 tablespoons of caramelized onions on the bottom. Top with a generous portion of ricotta, about 3 tablespoons (this will depend on how large you slice your crostini). Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
  • Add a few pieces of roasted squash and a couple dried cranberries on top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar (or balsamic reduction and honey. Season with a little freshly ground black pepper, top with chives, then serve.


Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 290mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 6848IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 1mg