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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!
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Flavor-Packed Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash
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. The smoky and spicy combination of chili powder and cumin is definitely one of my favorite pairings, especially the fresh and tangy flavor you get from adding a squeeze of lime juice.
So why not add my favorite seasonings to two of my favorite vegetables, all tossed together on one sheet pan? That’s what I was thinking when I made Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash. Roasting at a high temperature means it turns out perfectly tender with crispy edges. And, of course, it has just the right amount of spice.
But don’t worry – it’s not too spicy! You can definitely add it to the menu when the kids are begging for Ground Beef Tacos or Chicken Tostadas and they can handle the hint of heat. Of course, if you want your mouth on fire, you can always add more chili powder or try using one made with chipotles or habaneros.
What You’ll Need
Besides your veggies, you only need a few simple ingredients to make Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash.
- 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
In order to get ready to roast the cauliflower and butternut squash, preheat the oven to 450°F. Then coat a baking sheet with olive oil. You can also line it with parchment paper, but I prefer the caramelization you get from roasting right on the pan.
Wash and cut the butternut squash
For cutting butternut squash, I recommend using a large kitchen knife.
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.
Wash and cut 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.
Season and roast the veggies
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 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.
How to store 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 make it in advance?
The vegetables can be chopped and even be tossed in the seasonings and kept refrigerated to roast right before serving. As mentioned, the roasted veggies can be kept in the refrigerator, 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.
Can you freeze leftovers?
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.
What Goes with Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash?
This spicy roasted cauliflower and squash will go with any of your favorite Mexican meals. Try some of our favorites!
- Ground Beef Taco Skillet
- Breakfast Tostadas
- Crockpot Chicken Tacos
- Beef Burrito Bowls
- Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos
- Mexican Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
My favorite baking sheets are the ones from Nordicware. I use them almost everyday, whether I am baking cookies, roasting vegetables, or making sheet pan nachos. 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.
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash
- 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.