Chili Lime Cauliflower and Butternut Squash

5 from 4 votes
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Add a little kick to your dinner side dish with Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash. With chili powder for just a hint of heat, smoky cumin, and the zing of lime, these veggies are so easy to make and are sure to disappear in no time!

Why You’ll Love Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash

  • Cuisine Inspiration: Mexican
  • Primary Cooking Method: Oven
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Dairy-free
  • Skill Level: Easy

If you are asking me what’s on my dinner menu, at least three or four nights of the week you can bet that one of the side dishes will be some sort of roasted vegetables. We certainly love basic roasted cauliflower and simple roasted butternut squash. Just olive oil, salt, pepper, and a nice high temperature in the oven can bring the best out of pretty much and vegetables. However, all you have to do is open your spice cabinet to add a whole new dimension of flavor to those veggies. Here’s why we can’t get enough.

  • Great flavor. The smoky and spicy combination of chili powder and cumin is one of my favorite pairings, especially when combined with the fresh and tangy flavor you get from adding a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Perfectly caramelized. Roasting at a high temperature means the cauliflower and butternut squash turn out nice and tender with crispy edges.
  • The right amount of heat. You can definitely add it to the menu when the kids are begging for Ground Beef Tacos or Chicken Tostadas because it just has a hint of heat, and you can always use less chili powder. Of course, if you want your mouth on fire, you can also add more or try using one made with chipotles or habaneros.
  • Allergy-friendly. This easy side dish doesn’t have any gluten, dairy, nuts, or eggs. You can even use all cauliflower or replace the squash with another vegetable for a low carb option.
a dish of roasted cauliflower and butternut squash on a colorful striped napkin next to a sprig of cilantro

Ingredients for Chili Lime Cauliflower and Butternut Squash

Besides your veggies, you only need a few simple ingredients to make this spicy side dish. Here is a quick overview of what you’ll need. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for the full amounts and detailed instructions.

  • Butternut squash: A medium one that’s about 2-3 pounds.
  • Cauliflower: One head that is also around 2-3 pounds.
  • Olive oil: For coating those veggies.
  • Lime juice: Fresh is best.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chili powder: A basic chili powder is fine, but you can always add more heat or smoke with an ancho, chipotle
  • Cumin: Adds a nice, smoky flavor but if you aren’t a fan, you can skip it.

How to Roast Vegetables with Chili and Lime

Let’s get ready to roast the cauliflower and butternut squash. Preheat the oven to 450°F, prepare your baking sheet, and get started.

  • Wash and cut the squash. First, wash and dry the outside of the butternut squash. Slice off the top and bottom, and use a heavy-duty peeler to peel off the thick skin. Cut the top part from the bottom bulb portion, cut the bulb in half, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Then cut the entire squash into about 1-inch pieces.
  • Prep the cauliflower. Cut the thick leaves off of the bottom of the cauliflower, rinse it well, and dry it on a kitchen towel. Then using a small, sharp knife, such as a paring knife or kitchen utility knife, cut the cauliflower into medium-sized florets. The smaller you make them, the crispier they will get.
  • Toss in seasonings. Add the vegetables to a large bowl or right on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle them with olive oil and lime juice, and sprinkle with salt, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper. Toss everything to coat evenly.
  • Roast the veggies. Place the pan in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, flipping once about halfway through. At 30 minutes, they will be crisp-tender and starting to brown. If you like them a bit softer and more caramelized (maybe with even a bit of delicious char), go for the full 40 minutes.
wooden spoon resting in a clad dish of roasted butternut squash and cauliflower florets garnished with lime wedges and cilantro

Tips for the Best Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash

Here are a few things to keep in mind when making this veggie recipe:

  • Use the right knife. Butternut squash can be hard to cut, so I recommend using a large, sharp kitchen knife. A smaller utility or paring knife is easiest for cutting the florest off of the cauliflower.
  • Have good pans. My favorite baking sheets are the ones from Nordicware. They are thick so they don’t warp, but not too heavy. And with just a bit of oil or cooking spray or a sheet of parchment paper, sticking is never and issue and cleanup is a breeze. I prefer the caramelization you get from roasting right on the pan, which is why I love that these pans clean up easily.
  • Prep ahead. The vegetables can be chopped and even be tossed in the seasonings and kept refrigerated to roast right before serving. The roasted veggies can also be kept in the refrigerator (see below for storage instructions), but they won’t have the same texture as when you enjoy them fresh out of the oven and they will be a little softer.

closeup of the roasted butternut squash cubes and cauliflower florets with a couple of lime wedges in the bowl too

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Leftover Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 or 3 days. You can reheat them in the microwave, though they will get soft. Popping it back in the oven for 10-15 minutes will restore some of the crisp texture.

Can you freeze leftover roasted cauliflower and butternut squash?

You can technically freeze roasted vegetables. Just be sure to seal them tightly in an airtight container or plastic freezer storage bag and they will keep for up to 2 months. That being said, they may be a little mushy once thawed. You can try to restore some of the crispy edges by reheating them in a hot oven or even in an air fryer.

chili lime roasted cauliflower and butternut squash in a terra cotta dish

What to Serve with Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash

This easy side dish is wonderful to serve with any of your favorite Mexican meals. Try some of our favorites!

chili lime roasted cauliflower and butternut squash in a shallow terra cotta bowl on top of a colorful striped napkin with a wooden serving spoon
5 from 4 votes

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash

Add a little kick to your dinner side dish with Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash. With chili powder for just a hint of heat, smoky cumin, and the zing of lime, these veggies are so easy to make and are sure to disappear in no time!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2-3 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into about 1-inch chunks
  • 2-3 pound cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • cilantro, optional for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil or line with parchment paper.
  • Peel and cut the butternut squash into cubes and cut the cauliflower into florets and place in a large bowl or directly on the baking sheet.
  • Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil and lime juice, and sprinkle with the salt, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper. Toss to coat evenly and spread in an even layer on the baking sheet.
  • Roast at 450°F for 30-40 minutes, flipping once about halfway through cooking. Serve immediately, sprinkling with minced cilantro as a garnish, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 96 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 334mg14%
Potassium 747mg21%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 12130IU243%
Vitamin C 79mg96%
Calcium 82mg8%
Iron 1mg6%
* 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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