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Basic Roasted Butternut Squash is an easy side dish recipe when you need a vegetable to go along with your meal. Nothing fancy or complicated but it’ll become a staple in your house, whether to eat on its own alongside chicken or steak, or to use in other recipes. It’s always helpful to know basic kitchen techniques, like how roast butternut squash.
How to Roast Butternut Squash
Everyday on in the No-Fuss Food and Fun group on Facebook, I ask what people are making for dinner. Part of it is to have a community where people give each other ideas, and inspire me, as well. But part of it is also to make everyone feel better when we just aren’t in the mood, just haul out the leftovers, opt for takeout because, or whatever because, you know, we all have those days. Even food bloggers. And yet, when I’m telling what I am making, I always hesitate a bit before I type something like hot dogs or frozen veggies or scrambled eggs. I don’t know if it is because I am a food blogger or just your average wannabe supermom, but I don’t cut myself the slack that I think everyone deserves. We are all busy, right?
In fact, I was at the grocery store on Sunday and texted The Hubby to see if he preferred pasta or pizza, totally intending to get spaghetti squash or make zucchini noodles for myself, and pick up a box of whole wheat pasta or some whole wheat pizza dough for the guys, and I was going to pull some sauce out of the freezer. Well he tells me he is craving Alfredo. I said that I don’t know how to make it. Not that I couldn’t make it, but I didn’t want to have to research a recipe in the middle of the grocery store, figure out how to lighten it up because I didn’t want something sooo heavy that particular night, then backtrack to get the rest of the ingredients in the aisles I already went through. I mean, I’ve made Pumpkin Cauli-Fredo and Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese, so I’m sure I could have made a healthier creamy sauce, but I didn’t think The Hubby really wanted pureed veggies as a sauce, and I have to cut him a break every once in awhile. Plus, I really just wanted to throw something together, not steam and sauté and puree and season. Or even really think. So I…
Bought a jar of alfredo sauce! *shudder* Albeit “light” alfredo sauce, because, again, I didn’t want a goopy calorie bomb. And I have to admit, it wasn’t that bad!
While we all know that homemade, real food is better for our bodies, sometimes even food bloggers and wannabe health nuts need a little help from the store. Especially when The Hubby throws a random craving at you at the last possible second. And you know what? It was probably better than ordering Fettuccine Alfredo from the pizza joint down the street. Plus, I was even able to add some peas and carrots without protestations.
The other thing I always hesitate to do is to just give you basic recipes like this Basic Roasted Butternut Squash.
You know, the simple sides I cook all the time, because as much as I love Cauli-tots, I don’t have that kind of time everyday, and I’m more likely to just make Basic Roasted Cauliflower. But, you know, I take for granted that people either know how to make those things, or there are a million resources out there.
I also feel like those of you that have been reading along for awhile have come to expect something more. Well, there will be something more. I mean, you can eat this squash just as is, because simply roasting veggies caramelizes their natural sugars and just brings out all kinds of flavors. It really does make a simple side dish for a steak or perhaps Lemon Herb Slow-Cooker Roast Chicken.
But you can also toss it in to other recipes, like Pomegranate Butternut Squash Quinoa. It’s fabulous on top this Roasted Butternut Squash Pomagranate Goat Cheese Salad. I’ve used to make a gorgeous appetizer, these Roasted Butternut Squash Pomegranate Goat Cheese Crostini. And yes, I’ve even used it on top of Roasted Butternut Squash Prosciutto Pesto Pizza.
Plus, I just thought it looked pretty, and wanted to photography the orange, glistening jewels. See – win win win!!!
And for those of you that are new to my site, maybe you are one of the thousands and thousands of people who Google “roasted butternut squash”, and somehow you ended up here. There are magical mystery ways I can find out this kind of information. Welcome! Go browsing. I promise, I do more than just roast veggies.
Sometimes I do get a little fancier with my roasted vegetables…
- Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash
- Lemon Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
- Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
But my friends can help you with more of your basic veggie prep. Rachel Cooks shows you how to cook acorn squash. Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts gives all the tips for how to cook mushrooms. And it doesn’t get simpler than Fresh Green Beans from Southern Plate.
Easy Roasted Butternut Squash
- One butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil by using a spritzer or pouring on a small amount (1/2-1 t) and spreading it in a thin layer.
- Place the squash cubes on the baking sheet and spritz or drizzle with another half to one tablespoon of olive oil (depending on the size of your squash – you want enough to lightly coat the cubes), sprinkle with kosher salt (about ½ t for every 2 cups of squash) and freshly ground pepper. Toss to coat and spread into a single layer.
- Roast for 15 minutes, then gently toss and again spread into a single layer.
- Roast for another 10-15 minutes, or until tender.
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best…and the healthiest! Love this!
I agree! Thanks!
We, Himself, Kidlet & I, have been living on “the renal diet” since 2009. When your kidneys fail and you must be on dialysis, you really have to watch what you consume. Luckily, we’re past hemodialysis [hemo–of the blood, in hospital, hooked up to a machine for 4 to 6 hours 3 to 4 times a week] where liquid intake is also restricted. We’re living with peritoneal dialysis – basically 2 litres of saline swishin’ out your abdomen absorbing the bad stuff that your kidneys would normally filter out, and replacing it up to 5 or 6 times a day.
Apparently there is no more restrictive diet than this:
– must be “heart healthy” [i.e. counting calories and watching the fat content]
– low sodium [once you start reading the labels, you quickly realize there isn’t gonna be any meal-from-a-box/can days]
– low phosphorus [no nuts, legumes, brown rice, chocolate, cola – if it’s brown it’s probably bad] [ya, just when I had everyone converted to brown rice and whole wheat pasta and was working on introducing black beans to the mix]
– low potassium [potatoes & carrots must be double-boiled or soaked to leech potassium, forget about kiwi and bananas]
We’ve had the basics down for quite some time and now we’re out crawlin’ the inter-webs looking for inspiration to literally spice up our lives. We’ve been eating a lot of squash. We’d always enjoyed spaghetti squash but have been trying out different ones.
I clicked on this link because a.] the photograph looked so inviting and b.] just checking to see if there is something we don’t already know about roasting a squash.
All this to say, I’m a new reader and I haven’t read anything else here yet [but I will] and my vote is for more basic recipes. Yes, the inter-webs are full of resources but I enjoy your introduction, the thinking behind the recipe and because we are so restricted, we need to see the building blocks of a more complicated recipe to find where we may have to adjust it.
Something I personally have looked for in the past few years, specially for foods that we haven’t used before, are shopping tips [what differentiates a good butternut squash from a “don’t buy that one”?], and storage and preservation tips.
You mentioned you’ll be using the squash in a couple of up-coming recipes. How will you store your roasted squash until then? How long will it keep in the fridge before it’s, aw darn, I forgot about that squash I was going to use and now it goes to the compost pile?
Does it freeze well? If it doesn’t freeze well to consume as is, can it be incorporated into a soup or stew or is it like tomato – eat it fresh, eat it soon or cook it into sauce before you freeze it?
My own tip, that I’ve learned since I became a Farm Woman In Training – you can freeze whole tomatoes and there is even two good reasons to do so. First, when tomatoes are ripe for harvesting and after everyone is to the point of “If I see one more fresh tomato I will just simply die”, and it’s hot and you’ve just had it up to your eyebrows with lovely, healthy tomatoes and dealing with them – just toss them in a good freezer bag and throw them in the freezer.
The second reason for freezing them whole is that then they are incredibly easy to skin. Straight out of the freezer bag, run the tomato under warm to hot water and the skins will literally slide and pop right off. I didn’t learn this ’til I was well into my thirty-somethings and I’ve always been annoyed with tomato skins and this knowledge literally changed my life.
One last thing, the next time Hubby wants Alfredo, look for a package of Knorr Garlic 4-cheese sauce mix. The sodium is not off-the-charts-bad, [yes, it’s bad, but not off the chart!] and is super easy and quick to make in the microwave. This is often our once a month cheat meal. With fresh pasta [preferably a coloured, veggie based one] and shrimp. We plan for a super low sodium day before and after splurge night and then forget about it all and just enjoy! If there are left-overs [I made it for just myself once] they actually re-heat nicely the next day. Everyone needs a cut themselves some slack, go to ideas, in their repertoire, even foodies and wanna be healthy food bloggers. Hey, if we can do it, so can you!
I look forward to perusing the rest of your site.
So nice to meet you! Sorry for the delay in responding – a hectic week! In the post I said would be using it in upcoming recipes – well I happened to have already used it, just hadn’t posted the recipes. One went up today 🙂 The roasts squash does keep well in the fridge for a few days, and I have frozen steamed squash cubed for my little guys, and they come out fine, just maybe a lttle softer. Thanks for the tips!
Jarred sauce?! How dare you???? Just kidding 🙂 We all do it! If only we had the time and energy to make everything from scratch all the time…
Basic recipes are great, and this one is the best. I love to roast veggies, and butternut squash is one of the best. Simple, healthy, and super versatile!
It’s funny because I am OK with tomato sauce sometimes, but the Alfredo weirded me out. Cream sauce shouldn’t come from a jar!! 🙂