Roasted butternut squash is a delicious and easy side dish recipe that pairs with lots of main dishes like chicken, pork, and beef. Learn how to prep a whole butternut squash and season it so it comes out perfectly every time.
One of my favorite healthy side dish recipes is roasted butternut squash during the fall and winter seasons. Butternut squash is a winter squash that is perfecting for roasting because it enhances its natural sweetness.
It's delicious with just some salt and pepper for seasoning, but I like to add warm spices like cumin and paprika. The spices give it a nice color, and the flavors pair perfectly with the squash's subtle sweetness.
Buying a whole squash and prepping it yourself is not hard to do and is a lot cheaper than purchasing the prepped squash cubes you see in the produce department. It also tastes better!
If you never prepped a whole butternut squash, I am showing you how to do it so you can make this easy side. It's great with steak, baked chicken dishes, pork chops, and so many other dishes.
- Butternut squash – look for one that is about three pounds
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
How to Cube Butternut Squash
The safest way to peel it is with a vegetable peeler. Remove all of the skin and discard it.
Using a sharp knife, slice the squash lengthwise. This will expose the seeds and pulp in the middle of the vegetable. Use a spoon to scoop them out and discard them.
Turn the two halves over, so they lay flat on your cutting board. Cut them into cubes about 1-inch big.
How to Roast Butternut Squash Cubes
Prepare the sheet pan: Line a large baking sheet with foil and coat it with cooking spray. This will keep the squash from sticking.
Season the squash: Combine the olive oil, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add the squash cubes and mix, so they are evenly coated in the oil and spices.
How long to roast butternut squash: Spread the cubes in an even layer on the prepared pan. Roast them for 20 to 30 minutes at 400°F, turning them every ten minutes, so they cook evenly. Once they are softened and brown around the edges, they are done.
Let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
Once you know how to roast butternut squash, you can switch up the seasonings for different flavors. Here are some ideas:
- Italian-style: Olive oil, dried Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Once roasted, sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese over the top for serving.
- Chili-spiced: Olive oil, dried oregano, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Fresh herbs: Olive oil, finely chopped fresh rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper. Once roasted, sprinkle chopped fresh parsley or chives over the top.
Do you have to peel a butternut squash before roasting?
If you want to roast cubes, then you should peel it first to make things easy.
Can I use a knife to peel the squash?
Yes, but be careful and use a very sharp knife. If you use a knife, I recommend cutting the squash in half crosswise (instead of lengthwise) so you can stand each piece on end (so one end with the flesh exposed is facing up). This will make it safer and easier to remove the peel with a knife.
To peel, run your knife down the sides of the squash to remove the skin. Once peeled, slice the piece in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and cut it into cubes.
Can you roast a whole butternut squash?
You can roast a whole squash. This is great if you want to use it to make a sauce or puree because, once it's cooked, you can scoop out the flesh with a spoon. To roast it whole, leave the skin on and slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the sides.
Place it on a prepared baking sheet with the flesh side up. Coat the top with olive oil and roast it at 400°F until the flesh is tender. You should be able to insert a fork easily without much resistance. Allow it to cool, and then scoop out the flesh.
Roasting a whole squash will take longer than cubes. I like the cubes because they roast faster and are easy to serve as a side dish.
How do you know when it's done cooking?
Roasted butternut squash cubes are done when they are caramelized around the edges and softened. You should be able to insert a fork without resistance.
How long does roasted butternut squash last?
Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for three to four days.
This roasted butternut squash recipe is. great during the fall and winter when you want a healthy but filling side dish. We make it for holiday dinners, but it's great for weeknight dinners, too. The sweet flavor paired with the savory spices is a great combination. Enjoy!
Other Sides You'll Enjoy
Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
- 1 butternut squash – around 3 pounds
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
- Using a sharp peeler, peel the skin off of the squash. Cut squash in half long ways and remove all seeds. A spoon works good for this. Cut squash into 1 inch cubes.
- In a large bowl combine olive oil, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Put squash into the bowl and mix well.
- Place squash onto the cookie sheet in an even layer. Roast for 20-30 minutes until the squash is softened and brown around the edges (you can use a toothpick to test). Make sure to turn the squash over every 10 minutes so it cooks evenly.
- Let cool for a few minutes and serve!!
Roasted Butternut Squash is a delicious and easy side dish recipe that pairs with lots of main dishes like chicken, pork, and beef. We know you will love it!
Mel is an IT guy turned blogger and is discovering his love of cooking and photography. If you ever have Fantasy Football questions, he's your guy.