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Spicy Pork and Butternut Squash Ragu

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 5 hours


10 servings

This recipe is a marvelously spicy combo that's perfect for cooler fall weather and satisfying after a day spent outdoors. —Monica Osterhaus, Paducah, Kentucky
Spicy Pork and Butternut Squash Ragu Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 package (12 ounces) frozen cooked winter squash, thawed
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Hot cooked pasta
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, optional


  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in bottom of a 6- or 7-qt. slow cooker. Sprinkle ribs with salt, garlic powder and pepper; place in slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low until pork is tender, 5-6 hours.
  2. Remove cover; stir to break pork into smaller pieces. Serve with pasta. If desired, top with Parmesan cheese.

  3. Freeze option: Freeze cooled sauce in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Chicken thighs can be substituted for pork ribs.
  • Frozen pureed winter squash can be found in the freezer section near the frozen vegetables.
  • Nutrition Facts

    1 cup ragu: 195 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 52mg cholesterol, 426mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 2g fiber), 17g protein. Diabetic exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1 starch.

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