Slightly crispy, melt-in-your-mouth roasted butternut squash is the fall/winter side dish you need. Learn how to roast perfectly seasoned butternut squash with the most delicious texture every single time.
Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall/winter vegetables. Seasoned with a little salt and olive oil, you really don’t need much else to flavor and roast it.
However, you’d be surprised how many people are intimidated by a vegetable that has to be peeled, scooped, and chopped…
Yes, there are a few steps you must follow to roast a butternut squash. But I promise it isn’t complicated. It takes minutes to prepare this tasty, nutritious side dish.
I like to roast it and serve it alongside protein and another side (and it’s also perfect for a Thanksgiving dinner). Some people prefer to roast it and puree it for a butternut squash soup or mix it with potatoes and peppers before roasting for a medley of flavors and colors as a breakfast side.
Butternut squash is versatile, which makes it the perfect contender as a side for a breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal.
This delicious squash has a taste and texture similar to roasted potatoes. It is slightly sweet (but less so than a sweet potato) and crisps up beautifully in the oven.
Additionally, it can be turned into something sweeter, like a pumpkin pie (many are actually made with butternut squash!) if you prefer.
Butternut squash is also extremely nutritious, so you can feel like you’re doing yourself a favor by adding it into your diet. There is a lot to love about it!
Today, I’m going to walk you through the steps of cooking this cold weather delicacy. Let’s learn how to roast butternut squash.
How to Roast Butternut Squash
Why roast butternut squash?
Butternut squash can be roasted or sauteed on a stovetop. Either cooking method will do, but I prefer to use my oven in the cooler months since it helps keep the kitchen toasty, and because it frees up space on the stovetop for other dishes. I like to pop it in the oven, set a timer, and basically forget about it until it’s done.
Is butternut squash healthy?
Butternut squash is very healthy. Here are some benefits:
Vitamin C rich
Vitamin B6 rich
Contains iron, calcium, and fiber
It packs quite the nutritional value into 1 cup, which only contains about 60 calories.
When you add in the olive oil to roast it, this adds even more nutrition. Olive oil is anti-inflammatory, contains antioxidants, and protects heart health. It’s high in Vitamin E and contains Vitamin K, too. Adding this healthy fat in not only makes it more palatable, it also helps the absorption of the vitamins and minerals butternut squash contains. Just another reason to roast your butternut squash!
Tools You Need
Cutting board and knife
Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
Ingredients | how to roast butternut squash
Butternut squash – Butternut squash comes in all sizes. I’ve roasted pretty small ones, but have found some pretty large ones myself. (Which means you may need to adjust the amount of salt and olive oil in your roasted squash depending on its size.) In my recipe, I used a fairly large squash. If you can’t find butternut squash, acorn squash is nearly identical in taste and texture. You can use the same methods I use here, with adjustments to the salt and olive oil.
Salt – I prefer using sea salt, but table salt will work, too. Salt it enough to give it a bit of flavor, anywhere from ½ tsp to 1 tsp, depending on the size of your squash.
Olive oil – Use extra virgin olive oil for all the wonderful benefits. This makes the squash tastier and enhances the flavors of this dish. It also helps it crisp up slightly as it roasts. Use 2-4 tbsp of olive oil, depending on the size of the squash.
Steps | how to roast butternut squash
Preheat the oven to 400º F.
Begin by using the vegetable peeler to peel the skin off the butternut squash.
Next, using a large butcher knife, cut the ends off of the butternut squash. Then cut the squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the insides, including the seeds. Dispose of these.
Use your knife to begin cubing the butternut squash into small, bite-size pieces. It helps to cut the halves vertically first and then horizontally. If it’s a large squash you may end up needing to make additional cuts to make pieces small enough.
Transfer the butternut squash to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. You may need to use two baking sheets if you’re working with a larger squash.
Add the olive oil and salt. Mix everything with your hands until everything is well coated.
Bake at 400ºF for 25-30 minutes, until the edges of the cubes are turning a golden brown and getting slightly crispy.
Use a fork to check for doneness. The fork should slide right through like butter when it’s done.
Serve warm and enjoy.
Tips for Success | how to roast butternut squash
Do not overcrowd the butternut squash cubes on the baking sheets. Give them space to roast. If they are touching each other on all sides or overlapping, the will not crispy up and will instead steam and become too soggy.
Additionally, you don’t want your squash soaking in oil. You just want to cover it in a bit of oil to add flavor and prevent sticking (and help the salt stick). Start with less oil, and as you begin coating the squash start adding more in until you’ve coated it all evenly.
Squash tends to cook in the same way as potatoes in the oven. You want them slightly crispy on the outside, but not burned. Check them after 20 minutes before continuing roasting any longer. If you need, use two baking sheets to allow enough space to roast properly.
More Fall/Winter Recipes
How to Roast Butternut Squash
- cutting board and knife
- vegetable peeler
- measuring spoons
- baking sheets
- parchment paper or silicone baking mats
- 1 butternut squash
- 1/2-1 tsp salt
- 2-4 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- Begin by using the vegetable peeler to peel the skin off the butternut squash.
- Next, using a large butcher knife, cut the ends off of the butternut squash. Then cut the squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the insides, including the seeds. Dispose of these.
- Use your knife to begin cubing the butternut squash into small, bite-size pieces. It helps to cut the halves vertically first and then horizontally. If it’s a large squash you may end up needing to make additional cuts to make pieces small enough.
- Transfer the butternut squash to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. You may need to use two baking sheets if you’re working with a larger squash.
- Add the olive oil and salt. Mix everything with your hands until everything is well coated.
- Bake at 400ºF for 25-30 minutes, until the edges of the cubes are turning a golden brown and getting slightly crispy.
- Use a fork to check for doneness. The fork should slide right through like butter when it’s done.
- Serve warm and enjoy.