- 1 whole butternut squash
- 1 tablespoons Butter (melted), Coconut Oil, or Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Brown sugar (optional)
- Ground cinnamon (optional)
- Hazelnuts (optional) for garnish
- Savory herbs (optional) for garnish
*See variations in Notes for more flavor options.
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Prepare the Butternut Squash: Wash the butternut squash thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt. Using a sharp knife on a clean cutting board, carefully cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. This will create two halves, each with a bulbous end and a narrower neck.
- Scoop Out Seeds: Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers from both halves of the butternut squash. You can discard the seeds or save them for roasting later if desired.
- Season the Squash: Place the butternut squash halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet, baking pan, or roasting pan. Brush the olive oil or melted butter over each squash half. Spread it around to coat the flesh. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the buttered or oiled squash halves. This will enhance the flavor. Optional Brown Sugar Glaze: If you want to add a touch of sweetness and warmth, mix brown sugar and ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the flesh of the butternut squash halves. The brown sugar and cinnamon will caramelize during roasting, creating a delicious glaze.
- Roasting the Squash: Place the baking sheet or roasting pan with the butternut squash halves in the oven. Roast the squash for about 45-60 minutes or until the flesh is tender and easily pierced with a fork. Cooking times may vary based on the size and thickness of the squash.
- Check for Doneness: To check if the squash is done, insert a fork or knife into the flesh of the thickest part. It should slide in and out easily without resistance (fork tender).
- Serve and Enjoy: Once the butternut squash is cooked to your desired tenderness, remove it from the oven. Let the squash cool for a few minutes before handling, as it will be very hot. Garnish with hazelnuts and fresh herbs, if desired. You can scoop the soft flesh from the skin using a fork and place it on a serving plate.
- Serve: Serve the roasted butternut squash as a delicious side dish or enjoy it alone.
10 Recipe Variations:
Savory Herb Blend:
Instead of sweet seasonings, create a savory herb blend by mixing chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and sage with olive oil or melted butter. Spread this mixture over the cut side of the butternut squash halves before roasting. This will infuse the squash with a delicious herbal aroma.
Infuse your roasted butternut squash with a cozy blend of warm spices, adding a delightful twist to this classic recipe. After brushing the cut sides of the squash with olive oil or melted butter, generously sprinkle a mix of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves or pumpkin pie spice over the flesh. Roast as usual
Add a bit of heat by sprinkling red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper over the squash along with the salt and pepper. This will give your roasted butternut squash a spicy kick.
Before roasting, zest an orange or a lemon and mix the zest with olive oil or melted butter. Brush this mixture onto the cut sides of the squash and season with salt and pepper. The citrus zest will add a refreshing and tangy flavor.
Instead of using brown sugar, drizzle pure maple syrup over the cut sides of the butternut squash before roasting. The maple syrup will caramelize and create a sweet glaze that pairs well with the squash's natural sweetness.
Add a crunchy texture by sprinkling chopped nuts over the squash halves and your chosen seasonings, such as pecans, walnuts, or almonds. The nuts will toast as the squash roasts, adding both flavor and crunch. Add only during the last 20 minutes of cooking.
Parmesan and Herbs:
After brushing the cut side of the squash with olive oil or melted butter, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh herbs like parsley or basil over the flesh. Roast until the cheese is melted and slightly golden.
Coconut Curry Twist:
Create a unique flavor profile by brushing the squash with coconut oil and seasoning it with a curry spice blend and salt and pepper. Roast the squash until tender, and enjoy the fusion of flavors.
Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the cut sides of the squash before roasting. The vinegar will reduce and create a tangy-sweet glaze that complements the squash's natural sweetness.
Honey and Thyme:
Replace brown sugar with honey and sprinkle fresh thyme leaves over the squash. Combining honey's sweetness and thyme's earthy flavor will create a wonderful balance.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Savory
- Method: American
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: butternut squash, whole butternut squash, how to cook butternut squash, side dish, fall recipes