Roasted butternut squash is the best baked side dish for fall. So easy and healthy, this savory squash is a delicious vegetable side you’ll want to make again and again.
I wasn’t always a squash fan. Zucchini and yellow squash were okay in the summer, but those harder fall squashes, I just couldn’t get behind. To me they were simply fall decorations.
Then, the hubs and I decided to try a new restaurant in town with a seasonal menu which was very squash-heavy. I went with the pork dish and roasted butternut squash on the side, to see what all the fuss was about – and it was delicious! It was right then and there that I decided to make this dish myself that very next night. And now, we are now squashies for life.
Why This Recipe Works
Easy – Making this best butternut squash really couldn’t get any simpler. Peel, cut, bake. That’s it!
Readily available – Even if it isn’t fall, you can still find butternut squash year-round in almost every major grocery chain. This butternut squash recipe is delicious any time!
Pantry staples – You probably have all the spices you need for this baked squash dish right in your spice drawer right now. Just pull out the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings, that’s it!
Multiple uses – Roast once, eat all week! I like to eat the squash as a side of course, but you can also eat this best butternut squash on top of salad greens, in veggie quesadillas, mixed with other roasted veggies, or on top of pasta with alfredo sauce. It’s very versatile!
Here’s How You Make It
The hardest part about making this dish is preparing the squash, which I discuss a little further down.
- First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Then, peel the squash and cut it up into 1-inch cubes.
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the squash cubes and toss the squash to thoroughly coat it in the oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, the herbs, and garlic powder. (Depending on your seasoning abilities, you can leave the cubes as-is or give them another roll around with your fingers or a spoon to make sure the squash is all evenly coated.)
- Transfer the squash to the oven and let it bake for 20-25 minutes or until the roasted butternut squash is tender and starts to brown on the edges, then pull it out and serve right away or add the butter mixture (see note, below).
What Is the Easiest Way to Cut a Butternut Squash?
As I mentioned, cutting the squash is the hardest part. Here’s the easiest way to get it peeled, cored, and sliced:
- Peel the squash with a peeling tool (like the one you’d use for carrots), and peel it all the way around. Watch what you’re doing and position your hands carefully, they get slippery as the peels come off.
- Cut the squash down the middle lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out all the seeds and stringy insides and throw those away or compost if that’s what you do with your organic scraps.
- Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes and layer them in one single layer on a prepared baking sheet.
- Season and bake.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- For more flavor, add 1 teaspoon of honey to the brown butter just before drizzling it over the roasted butternut squash.
- Leftovers of this easy butternut squash recipe will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container with a lid.
- To freeze butternut squash, simple allow to cool completely then transfer to a firm, airtight container (not a bag where it will get squashed, pun intended.) and freeze. When ready to reheat, microwave single servings in a heat-safe dish.
- Ever wondered if butternut squash is a healthy carb? The good news is, it is! As long as you don’t load it down with a lot of carb-heavy add-ons like breadcrumbs or a flour-based sauce which will quickly nudge this naturally healthy vegetable into the not-so-low-carb category.
- What to serve with butternut squash? I’ve got you covered with this French Onion Chicken, Balsamic Pork Tenderloin, or Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce.
How to Freeze and Reheat
Freezing butternut squash is a cinch. I do this one of two ways:
- Freeze it raw. Peel and cut the butternut squash into cubes and place them on a baking sheet, then pop them into the freezer. Once they’ve frozen solid, then add them to a Ziploc baggie or another freezer-safe container.
- Freeze it cooked. If you want to freeze this butternut squash after you’ve roasted it, then follow the same directions as above. Simply let the diced, cooked squash cool to room temperature, freeze the pieces on a baking sheet, and then place in a freezer-safe container. One note here: when you thaw cooked, frozen squash it will be soft. This is best used for a soup or a mash.
What to Serve with Butternut Squash
Need some ideas for what to serve with the butternut squash? I have that in spades!
- Grilled chicken goes great with this squash. It’s a perfect low-carb meal on its own, or add another roasted vegetable to round it out.
- This butternut squash also goes great with pork tenderloin.
- Serve this roasted squash on the side of a big, meaty steak topped with chimichurri sauce.
- Feeling fishy? Then add this baked salmon to your plate alongside this squash dish.
- I have been known to add roasted squash right on top of this Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork like pickles. Don’t knock it till you try it!
- For a full-on vegetarian meal, add squash to this chickpea curry or creamy avocado pasta.
Is Butternut Squash a Healthy Carb?
If you are watching your carb intake, then it’s natural to wonder if butternut squash falls into the “healthy carb” category. While butternut squash falls into the category of “starchy vegetables” (like potatoes), they aren’t all bad. Squash is high in fiber, which can help you feel fuller, longer. It’s also a great source of vitamins A, C, B, potassium, magnesium. I’d consider this a pretty healthy carb, wouldn’t you?
Do You Have to Cut Butternut Squash Before Cooking?
While you don’t HAVE to cut and peel a butternut squash, I would recommend it. Seems like it would be chewy and weird and an impediment to what you’re trying to do which is to eat the soft, delicious squash and not deal with picking hard squash skin out of your teeth.
However, you can eat the skin if you wish. You’ll have to increase the roasting time though on the squash cubes to make sure the skin gets less tough and easier to eat. Sometimes the squash is coated in (edible) wax to keep it fresher, longer. You’ll want to try to get that wax off before cooking if you can. But if not, there’s no harm in eating it.
If you’re going to roast it whole with the skin on, you should cut it in half and use a spoon to scoop the seeds out, season, then roast flesh side up in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet. (I use this method when preparing my favorite butternut squash soup as well!)
Is Butternut Squash Considered a Winter Squash?
Butternut squash is a squash that’s part of the winter squash family, which also includes acorn, carnival, gold nugget, kabocha, autumn cup, buttercup, delicta, and spaghetti.
More Tasty Dishes Like This
Make this roasted butternut squash recipe and then come back for more roasty-toasty fall favorites like this Roasted Cauliflower Soup, these Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and these Oven Roasted Dill Potatoes. Looking for more? Try these favorites:
Did you try this amazingly delish Roasted Butternut Squash recipe? FANTASTIC! Please rate the recipe below!
Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 medium (2-3 pounds) butternut squash
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper - or ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning - or Herbs de Provence
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons butter - optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease a large baking sheet.
- Peel butternut squash (with a regular peeler), slice down the middle lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and innards and discard. Chop into 1-inch pieces and arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
- Drizzle olive oil over squash, then use spoons or your hands to toss the squash to coat in the olive oil.
- Season with salt, pepper, dried herbs, and garlic powder.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until squash is very tender and begins to brown on the edges. Serve immediately, or if using the butter, proceed with the next step.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook just until butter darkens from pale yellow to a dark golden color. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
- Spoon browned butter over squash and serve immediately.