Butternut Squash Tarts & Jalapeno Honey

These appetizer-sized Butternut Squash Tarts & Jalapeno Honey incorporate the late-summer flavors of Jalapeno peppers and fennel with the autumn flavors of butternut squash and sage. The quinoa crust makes them gluten-free.


Quinoa Crust

  • 1 C cooked quinoa
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t dried mustard

Jalapeno Honey

  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 2 T water
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper


  • 2T olive oil
  • 12 sage leaves
  • 1C diced butternut squash
  • 1/4 C diced fennel
  • 1/4 C shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste



First, make the jalapeno honey. Combine honey and water in a small saute pan and slice the jalapeno whole into the pan. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, strain out the sliced pepper and continue to cook until reduced and slightly caramelized. Be careful! honey can easily burn since the sugar content is so high. You should be watching the pan constantly. Here’s a photo of what the finished product should look like, if it is too thick to pour, just add some water and stir to incorporate. This will thicken as it cools.20140904_102815┬áJalapeno honey will keep in the refrigerator for a week or so, just warm slightly in a hot water bath to help it pour the time comes to use it.

Combine all crust ingredients in a bowl and press into whatever pan you have that will yield the size of tart you desire: muffin, mini-muffin, small ramekin, tart pan, etc. Here we used a mini-muffin pan and a tablespoon to form a nice shape.20140904_095147Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes to set the crust.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan until very hot-look for the surface to shimmer. Drop in the sage leaves and allow to fry for 30 seconds or so, then scoop them out of the oil with a slotted spoon and lay out on a paper towel to drain. Combine the butternut squash, fennel, the leftover oil that was used to fry the sage leaves, and salt & pepper in a microwave safe bowl and partially cook for about 4 minutes. (You could alternately roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes.) The squash should be just partially cooked at this point. Add Parmesan cheese and spoon into the pre-baked quinoa shells. Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes until edges of the squash brown slightly. Allow to cool slightly and drizzle the jalapeno honey over each tart. Top with a sage leaf and enjoy!