With thanksgiving around the corner, pumpkin treats become a favorite item to bring to the dinner table. However, you could also switch things up by treating your loved ones to these Butternut Squash Maple Tarts, while keeping the thanksgiving tradition fun and fall themed. Plus, they are paleo and gluten free!

The funniest thing happened to me this week. Every year during the thanksgiving long weekend, I always go to Kitchener to spend thanksgiving with my family. Now for my non Canadian readers, we get our thanksgiving in October. My cousin told me that I should come down for thanksgiving dinner on the 14th, so naturally I thought that was the weekend that thanksgiving fell on.

After I reserved the weekend of the 14th for thanksgiving with my family, I got over 4 invites from my close friends to spend thanksgiving with them and their families (I know, everybody loves me). As much as I appreciated the invites, I had to decline because I had already made thanksgiving plans for the weekend of the 14th.

Well, when one of my good friends came over yesterday to help me with painting some of my backdrops. Somewhere in mid conversation, she asks if I had any plans for the long weekend. I responded, “what do you mean long weekend? Isn’t the thanksgiving long weekend next weekend?” Since I was clearly confused, she pulled out her phone to show me the exact date of thanksgiving on her calendar. Turns out it’s this weekend, and my family in Kitchener chose to do thanksgiving the weekend of the 14th because my cousin couldn’t get thanksgiving weekend off work. So as it turns out, I’m technically free for thanksgiving! I guess I’ll have to call one of my friends to see if the invite still stands. I mean someone has to get these butternut squash maple tarts right?!

These tarts basically capture all things autumn. The flavour, the spices, the colour, even the props. You could also substitute canned pumpkin for the butternut squash if you don’t want to go through the hassle of making your own squash puree. The butternut squash maple filling was made in my Vitamix Ascent series blender. Wishing everyone a very happy thanksgiving long weekend full of good fun, food, friends and family!

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A healthier thanksgiving dessert alternative to pumpkin pie
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 servings
  • Ingredients for crust:
  • 2 cups finely ground almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon monk fruit sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (at room temperature), or 2 tablespoons grass fed butter
  • 1 egg
  • Ingredients for filling:
  • 1 medium cooked and mashed butternut squash (about 2-3 cups)
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup grass fed butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup warm water
  1. Make your crust first. Combine all crust ingredients in a bowl and knead with your hands until a ball forms. Wrap the pie crust in saran wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour. When ready, lightly grease a 9-inch tart pan and 3 mini tart pans (if you have any) with coconut oil. I prefer to use a non-stick tart pan so that the tart pops out easily. Press the tart dough into the pan until all the edges are covered, then set aside.
  2. Now that your tart crust is ready, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and make your filling. Combine all filling ingredients in a Vitamix blender and blend on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes until you get a smooth batter. Pour the filling into the large tart crust and the left over filling into the mini tart crusts. If you don’t have mini tart pans, you can store your leftover filling and crust in the refrigerator or freezer and save it for another 9-inch tart.
  3. Place the tarts in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes (50 minutes for mini tarts), or until a toothpick comes out clean. When ready, cool the tarts on a wire rack for 15-30 minutes. Serve with toppings of choice.
1. The crust also works as a pie crust, so feel free to also bake in an 8½-9 inch pie dish.

2. I recommend preparing the squash the night before you intend to bake this tart. To cook your butternut squash, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and cut your butternut squash in half, removing the seeds completely. Add 2-3 cups of water to a large ceramic baking dish and place the squash in it facing up. Poke holes around the squash and place in the oven. Make for 1 ½ hours. Let the squash cool for about 20 minutes before peeling the skin off. Puree squash in a food processor or blender until smooth. Store the squash in an air tight container in the refrigerator overnight.


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