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Food & Drink

A Healthy But Satisfying Complement: How to Make a Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe

Learning how to cook a butternut squash can be intimidating initially, especially if you're unsure how to cut it, but once you know how you'll want to eat it often.

December 01, 2021

Roasted butternut squash is not fussy. It's simple to make, and you needn't dress it up much, even when serving it with a holiday dinner. It caramelizes beautifully, and it smells equally as wonderful as it tastes. While it's one of the ultimate cool-weather comfort foods, you can enjoy this vegetable outside of its peak seasons of fall and winter. What's more, you can enjoy roasted butternut squash as a stand-alone side dish or get creative and let its sweetness bring out the flavors of other ingredients.

Learning to cook butternut squash can be intimidating initially, especially if you're unsure how to cut it. Once you know, you'll want to eat it often. 

In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of roasting your squash instead of boiling or steaming it, its nutritional value, and ways to cut butternut squash properly. We'll share a roasted butternut squash recipe and answer a few FAQs, too.

Why roast butternut squash?

  • Roasting butternut squash is a simple way to add this tasty fruit to your meal plan.

  • It's nutritious; more on that later.

  • It's delicious, as roasting results in tender, caramelized pieces.

  • It's versatile, and you can pair it with many foods to create both expected and unexpected flavor combos.

  • They're also inexpensive, making them an excellent healthy food for anyone. Avoid buying pre-cut butternut squash, as it will spoil considerably faster, and you'll pay more for less product.

Is butternut squash healthy?

Butternut squash is healthy for several reasons. It's a low-calorie fruit high in vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins A and C and magnesium and potassium. This squash also contains fiber which helps with digestion and antioxidants. Some folks also list it as supportive in weight management. Thanks to its sweetness and the fact that it's low-calorie comfort food.

How to cut butternut squash for roasting


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  1. To prepare butternut squash for roasting, begin by carefully cutting off the ends of the vegetable using a sharp chef's knife.

  2. Using a fruit peeler, remove the skin. It's OK if you notice a light layer of skin right under the outside. It tastes the same as the rest of the squash, so no need to worry about leaving a bit of it on.

  3. Cut the squash crosswise where the neck meets the base. Stand the pieces on the cut ends and slice them again lengthwise in half.

  4. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and stringy bits from the base.

  5. Lay them on their flat, cut edges, and slice them into one-inch cubes or whichever size your recipe calls for.

How to make roasted butternut squash


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This recipe makes six servings, takes 10 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook, with a total time of 40 minutes.


  • 1 1/2 pounds cubed butternut squash

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 450℉.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.

  3. Mix the oil and spices in a small bowl.

  4. Spread the squash onto the lined baking sheet in one layer and drizzle the oil over the top.

  5. Using your hands, move the squash around on the pan to combine. 

  6. Ensure the squash is still spread in one layer before placing it into the oven for 25-30 minutes.

  7. If you'd prefer crispy edges, bake it for 35-40 minutes.

  8. For either cook time, toss it with a spatula halfway.

Nutritional values

  • Calories: 65

  • Fat: 2.4 grams

  • Carbs: 11.9 grams

  • Fiber: 3.3 grams

  • Protein: 1 gram

Original recipe: Our Best Bites

How to store, freeze, and reheat roasted butternut squash

You can store leftover squash in an air-tight container for four to five days, reheating in a skillet over low heat or in the oven at 350℉. You can also freeze your leftovers by layering them on a baking sheet and placing them in the freezer. Once they're solid, transfer them to an air-tight container and keep them frozen for up to three months. To thaw, place them in the fridge overnight and reheat them the same way you would if you were storing them in the refrigerator.

What to serve with roasted butternut squash

While it may seem like the star of the show since it's so tasty, butternut squash is typically served as a side dish. It pairs well with just about anything, including:

  • Pork chops, tenderloin, schnitzel, or ribs

  • Chicken, especially roasted, but also fried or barbecued

  • Pasta, either on the side or in the dish

  • Chicken, turkey, or pork sausage 

  • Turkey, whether it's for a holiday or any day

  • Salmon for an extra healthy meal

  • Rice, but you can also mix them together if you're feeling creative

Butternut squash FAQs

Can you eat the skin of butternut squash?

Yes, it's edible, but it's not the most desirable texture. It's tough, and with that comes the potential of ruining a dish, as it's rather unpleasant to eat. However, the skin of miniature squashes and squashes that are cooked longer may become tender enough in the baking process that you can enjoy them.

What is the best way to eat butternut squash?

Choosing the ideal way to cook and eat your butternut squash is all about personal preference. Roasting, however, makes for a tender squash without being mushy, and lightly browning brings out more flavor than boiling or steaming it.

Do I need to peel butternut squash before roasting?

No, you needn’t peel your butternut squash before roasting. You can make a roasted whole butternut squash by cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds, and baking it with some ingredients brushed on and pooled in the base.

Is butternut squash a fruit or a vegetable?

Butternut squash is often mistaken for a vegetable. Botanically speaking, all squashes are fruits because they hold seeds inside. Additionally, they develop from the flower part of a plant, while vegetables are the edible part of the plant.

What is the difference between baking and roasting a butternut squash?

Baking and roasting are used interchangeably. However, baking happens at a lower heat, and roasting occurs when the oven is set to a higher heat, typically 400℉ or more. Technically, that would make this a recipe for baked butternut squash.

Squash it

Now that you're ready to cook up some butternut squash, you're likely going to want to make it all the time. Try pairing it with one of these three chicken thigh recipes for a budget-friendly and delicious meal, and if you're looking for more recipe inspiration, head over to Gopuff's blog. But if you're here because you're avoiding a trip to the grocery store, Gopuff also has your back. With Gopuff, you can order daily essentials in seconds and have them at your doorstep in a matter of minutes.

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