Roasted Butternut Squash

5 from 2 votes
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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!

A white bowl of roasted butternut squash.

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.
A white bowl of roasted butternut squash.

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.

  • Butternut Squash: Choose a large, firm butternut squash.
  • Olive Oil: I use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt and Black Pepper
Ingredients needed for roasted butternut squash: butternut squash, olive oil, salt and pepper.

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

These tips will make your squash prep easier and your results tastier:

  • 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.

A white bowl of roasted butternut squash.

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.
A baking sheet of butternut squash cubes.

Common Questions

Do you need to peel butternut squash before roasting?

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.

How long does it take to cook butternut squash?

Baked butternut squash takes about 30-40 minutes to cook on high heat in the oven.

Why is my roasted butternut squash soggy?

If your roasted butternut squash is soggy, it may be because there was too much oil used.

Can you roast butternut squash in the air fryer?

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.

A white bowl of roasted butternut squash.

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.

A white bowl of roasted butternut squash.

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:

A white bowl of roasted butternut squash.
5 from 2 votes

Easy Roasted Butternut Squash

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!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus ,more for coating the pan
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Roasted Butternut Squash
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 123 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 0.4g2%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 203mg8%
Potassium 799mg23%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 24109IU482%
Vitamin C 48mg58%
Calcium 109mg11%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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6 Comments
  1. Sue-on-the-farm

    5 stars
    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.

    1. 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!

  2. 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!

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