Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Butternut Squash Brunch Braid

Image: Pillsbury Bake-OffCakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

I'll confess: I was on the fence about whether or not to include this one in the "sweets" category--but then again, like so many brunch dishes, it straddles that border of sugar-meet-savory, and ultimately the excess of the dish made me want to include it. Butternut squash soaked in sugar and bacon and wrapped in decadent pastry? Yes, please.

As inventor Natalie Edwards of Boxborough, MA says, "You're invited to a fabulous brunch! Braid and bake an easy crescent dish with a savory onion, squash and Parmesan filling." Invitation accepted!

Butternut Squash Brunch Braid

Serves 6


  • 2 1/2cups cubed (1/2 inch) seeded peeled butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon Crisco® 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped (about 4 oz)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Thyme
  • 1 can Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg white, beaten


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. In medium bowl, combine squash, olive oil, brown sugar and pepper; toss to coat. Spoon mixture into ungreased 15x10-inch pan with sides.
  2. Roast 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until squash is light brown on edges and tender when pierced with fork. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
  3. Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until almost crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon pieces to paper towels. Add onion and thyme to bacon drippings in skillet. Cook and stir onion over medium heat until onion is brown and softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in bacon.
  4. Spray large cookie sheet with  No-Stick Cooking Spray. Unroll dough onto cookie sheet; press to 12x8-inch rectangle. Spoon onion mixture in 4-inch-wide strip lengthwise down center of dough. Top onion with butternut squash; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. With scissors or sharp knife, make cuts 1 inch apart on long sides of dough to within 1/2 inch of filling. Alternately cross strips over filling; press ends to seal. Brush with egg white.
  6. Bake at 375°F 20 to 25 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Cut crosswise into 6 slices.