Roasted Butternut Squash is a simple side dish that anyone can make. And if you haven’t made butternut squash before, we are going over step-by-step How to Roast Butternut Squash so you feel confident in the kitchen!
What is Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is what’s considered a hard winter squash. Winter squash varieties have hard skin and can typically be stored for long periods of time. (As opposed to summer squash, that have thinner skin and cannot be stored for long.)
Butternut squash is recognizable by its long, often tall shape with rounder ends and a slimmer middle. It will have a peachy, orange flesh.
How to Pick a Butternut Squash
When selecting a butternut squash at the store, look for one with a hard rind and no deep cuts. Little bits of brown spots here and there are okay. You can also check the bottom for any soft spots (if soft, moldy or soggy-looking – look for another).
How to Easily Cut into Hard Squash
One of my biggest tips for cutting squash is to let the whole squash sit in the oven while it preheats. This will soften the squash just enough to make it easier for cutting into.
What you Need: Ingredients and Tools
To roast butternut squash effectively, let’s go over some things you’ll need.
- butternut squash – Try to pick a medium squash – about 2-3lbs in size. This will be easier to work with and still yield plenty of squash once baked.
- “Y” vegetable peeler – I like Y-peelers for peeling squash since it has thick skin and I find it’s easier to apply pressure this way.
- cutting board – Pick a sturdy one that won’t slide all over the place as you’re working with the squash. Placing a kitchen towel underneath may also help.
- scoop – something to scoop the seeds out. I like my medium cookie scoop.
- large sharp knife – making sure your knives are sharp is key to cutting through any hard winter squash.
- oil & spices – I like to use avocado oil or olive oil for roasting butternut squash.
- sheet pan – for one medium butternut squash, use a medium sheet pan so all of the cubes fit in one layer.
- parchment paper – optional but makes for easy clean-up if not using a non-stick pan.
Step-by-Step: How to Roast Butternut Squash
There are various methods for preparing butternut squash for roasting. For this post, I will go over how to prepare and roast a butternut squash into cubes (versus roasting a whole one).
Peel the Squash
Go around the squash twice – I like to use a Y-shape vegetable peeler
Slice in Half
Trim the ends so you have a flat base and then then slice the squash lengthwise (from top to bottom).
Scoop Out Seeds
From there you’ll scoop out the seeds – I like to use a medium cookie scoop.
TIP: if you’d like you can roast the seeds, or discard them.
Slice into Cubes
Place the flat side of the butternut squash down and slice into about 1″ strips, then slice again into cubes.
TIP: try to make uniform size cubes for even baking.
Ways to Season
Butternut squash works well with warm and zesty seasonings, spicy hot seasonings, or even just salt and pepper with some fresh herbs.
Here are some ways you can try it:
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon & 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder & 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Finish off with fresh herbs like finely chopped parsley, thyme or rosemary for fresh herby flavor.
Roast the butternut squash at 400ºF for 20-25 minutes, or until tender when poked with fork.
NOTE: bake time will depend on size of cubes and your oven.
Butternut squash on its own is a great simple side dish. You can serve it alongside your favorite entree, add to salads, even mash it down with some butter for a creamy, spoonable bite.
It’s also a great simple Thanksgiving side dish. Click here for more Thanksgiving recipes!
What does Butternut Squash Taste Like?
Roasted butternut squash kind of tastes like a cross between roasted sweet potatoes and pumpkin – it’s not as sweet as red yams or sweet potatoes, but it has a similar texture once roasted. It’s slightly more earthy and pairs well with a lot of different seasonings.
Butternut Squash Recipes to Try
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- Farro & Kale Butternut Squash Salad
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Butternut Squash & Bean Turkey Chili
- Coconut Red Lentil Curry
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and star rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx AshleyPrint
How to Roast Butternut Squash
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Sides
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 2–3 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. Option to place the whole squash on the baking rack while the oven preheats (up to 5 minutes). Remove and let the squash cool. (Optional – if you have very sharp knives, you may find you can skip this step.)
- Peel the squash: Using a large sharp knife and sturdy cutting board, trim the ends of the squash and peel the hard skin using a Y-peeler, going around twice.
- Scoop Seeds: Use a medium cookie scoop (or sharper edged spoon) to remove seeds from the squash.
- Cut into cubes: Cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Then slice crosswise into 1″ slices, then again into 1″ cubes.
- Roast: Transfer butternut squash cubes to lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil and desired seasonings and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until squash is tender when poked. If you’d like more browning, you can use a convection setting if your oven has that. Or broil for 3 minutes for more caramelizing.
Seasoning suggestions in post above recipe card.
Keywords: butternut squash recipes, roasted butternut squash