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Roasted Butternut Squash is a simple side dish that comes together quickly and easily. Baking it in the oven on high heat slightly caramelizes this beautiful fall vegetable, making it super flavorful without any fuss. Both kids and adults love this natural sweetness, and it’s just as good with fast weeknight meals or sprinkled on salads as it is when served with a holiday feast!
Table of Contents
- Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
- Why You’ll Love This Baked Butternut Squash
- What You’ll Need
- Tips for Buying Butternut Squash At The Store
- How To Make Roasted Butternut Squash
- Tips for Success
- Roasted Squash Variations
- Common Questions
- How To Store Roasted Butternut Squash
- Make It A Meal
- Get the Recipe
- More Easy Squash Recipes
Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
Roasting butternut squash is a wonderful way to prepare this vibrantly colored veggie. You need just 4 ingredients and a few minutes of prep time to turn in-season squash into a nutritious and seasonal offering. It makes an appearance on our dinner table year-round. But I especially like to serve baked butternut squash at Thanksgiving in a nod to its North American roots. It adds color and natural sweetness to the holiday meal, and you can dress it up or down as you like.
Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Oven
Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free
Skill Level: Easy
Why You’ll Love This Baked Butternut Squash
Soft, slightly caramelized squash is a hit with all ages and is a great way to entice kids into eating more vegetables. Here’s why you’ll love this roasted butternut squash recipe:
- Simple method. This is a beautifully simple recipe. All you have to do is toss butternut squash cubes in a little olive oil and salt and pepper and then let the oven do the work of cooking them!
- Flavorful and sweet. The oven’s heat brings out the sweetness of the butternut squash, making it incredibly flavorful.
- Versatile. Roasted butternut squash is a wonderful addition to salads, grain bowls, and other roasted vegetables, or served as a simple vegetable side dish to meat. I like to simply toss it in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, but you can also dust it with brown sugar, drizzle it with maple syrup, or add different herbs and spices. You can make baked butternut squash sweet, savory, or spicy.
What You’ll Need
You need just a few ingredients to make this roasted butternut squash recipe. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full ingredient amounts.
Tips for Buying Butternut Squash At The Store
Here’s how to take home the best butternut squash from the store:
- Choose a heavy squash – A heavier squash means that the interior of the squash is dense and moist, making for better cooking.
- Check the color – Make sure your squash has a nice, vibrant color.
- Make sure the surface is smooth – Check for any discoloration or a shiny appearance. Your ideal squash should have dull, matte skin, meaning it was picked in its prime.
- The stem will guide you – If the squash’s stem is at all rotted or moldy, definitely do not buy it! You’ll want a squash with an intact, firm stem.
- Skip a squash with cracks – Likewise, you don’t want to purchase a squash that has any cracks or visible mold.
How To Make Roasted Butternut Squash
It’s so easy to make roasted butternut squash! You’ll find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Prepare. Preheat your oven to 450°F and lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil.
- Cut the squash. Wash and dry the squash, then slice off each end and peel the squash. Cut off the bulb end, then cut it in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Cut the squash into ½ -inch cubes.
- Season. Place the squash cubes on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt.
- Roast. Roast at 450°F for 20 minutes, then gently toss and roast for another 10-20 minutes.
Tips for Success
- Here’s an easy way to cut your squash: Slice the squash down the middle, from top to bottom, to create two even halves. Then place the flat surface of the squash on the cutting board and cut it into 2 pieces right where the neck meets the bulb to create 4 total pieces. Now you can easily chop it into cubes.
- Cut different sizes. You can roast butternut squash in cubes, halves, or slices. You can try all of these methods depending on what recipe you use it in.
- Bake it ahead. You can make your squash ahead of time, up to 2 days in advance, and serve it cold, room temperature, or hot.
- Change up the flavor. You can add seasonings before you roast or give it a drizzle of something tasty after the squash comes out of the oven. Read on for ideas.
Roasted Squash Variations
If you want to use my roasted butternut squash recipe as your base, you can adapt it in all sorts of ways.
- Add fresh herbs. I love to add fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, or rosemary to the squash before it goes into the oven.
- Top with warming spices. Sprinkle the squash with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or a combination like pumpkin pie spice to make a fall-festive dish.
- Make it sweet. Dress your butternut squash with maple syrup or brown sugar for a sweet variation on this dish.
- Go spicy. Sprinkle ground cayenne powder or even blackenening spice on your squash if you want a spicy touch.
- Mix with sage and butter. Crispy fried sage is amazing with roasted butternut squash. Here’s how to do it: In a small pan, melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium heat until the foam subsides. Stir in about 15-20 fresh sage leaves and cook them for 30 seconds until the sage is crisp. Then mix the sage in with the cooked squash.
- Balsamic vinegar dressing. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup. Toss the squash with one-half of the mixture before roasting it. After the squash is done, toss it with the remaining mixture.
You don’t need to peel butternut squash if you are planning to scoop out the interior and use it in a puree. But if you are roasting cubes of squash, it’s best to peel the squash before you put it in the oven.
Baked butternut squash takes about 30-40 minutes to cook on high heat in the oven.
If your roasted butternut squash is soggy, it may be because there was too much oil used.
Yes, you can get all the details in my Air Fryer Butternut Squash recipe. In short, it’ll take about 15-20 minutes at 400°F.
How To Store Roasted Butternut Squash
Place leftover, cooled butternut squash in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can reheat the squash in the microwave or in an oven on low heat. You can also freeze cooked roasted butternut squash: place the cooled squash cubes in a freezer-safe, Ziploc bag and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge before reheating.
Make It A Meal
Baked butternut squash is lovely as a simple side to meat, or added to other dishes like salads or grain-based bowls. Here are a few suggestions for how to use your roasted butternut squash:
- As a vegetable side. This roasted butternut squash recipe is so good with roasted meats! Serve it as a flavorful side to my Rosemary Balsamic Roast Chicken Herb Roast Turkey or prime rib recipes.
- Make pizza! Baked butternut squash adds a nice, sweet note to pizzas. Try it on my Butternut Squash Pizza.
- In salad. My Roasted Butternut Squash Pomegranate Goat Cheese Salad calls for roasted butternut squash, but you can also throw it in other green salads for extra color. Or try my Roasted Brussels Sprouts Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Hot Bacon Dressing.
- Add to a grain bowl. My Pomegranate Butternut Squash Quinoa is a beautiful gluten-free grain-based dish that makes a hearty side dish or a light main meal.
- With other vegetables. Roasted squash is lovely paired with other vegetables. I particularly love it in this Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash dish.
- For an appetizer. Baked butternut squash is so good on crostini, like in my Roasted Butternut Squash Goat Cheese Crostini.
Easy Roasted Butternut Squash
- Preheat your oven to 450°F and lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil by using a spritzer or pouring on a small amount (½ -1 teaspoons) on the pan and spreading it in a thin layer.
- Wash and dry the squash. Slice off each end and peel the squash. Cut off the bulb end, then cut it in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Cut the squash into ½ -inch cubes.
- Place the squash cubes on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread into a single layer.
- Roast at 450°F for 20 minutes, then gently toss and again spread into a single layer.
- Roast for another 10-20 minutes, or until tender and caramelized.