Roasted butternut squash makes an elegant side dish for any occasion. Butternut squash cubes are tossed with olive oil and warm spices and roasted until caramelized, then topped with honey, lemon and cilantro.
One of the best ways to enjoy vegetables is to roast them. Not only does roasting enhance the flavor of the vegetables, it also makes them tender and - depending on the vegetable - crispy on the edges as well. We love our roasted sweet potatoes, Mediterranean roasted vegetables and, of course, these delicious roasted radishes. And, the moment farmers market starts offering fall produce, we know it's time for all kinds of squash recipes such as skillet chicken and butternut squash. Today, we are going back to the basics, follow along to see how to roast butternut squash perfectly every time!
Table Of Contents:
- Why roast butternut squash?
- How to cut butternut squash
- Seasoning the butternut squash
- Steps for roasting in the oven
- Tips for the perfect roasted butternut squash
- Serving suggestions
- Storage and reheating
- Freezing instruction
- Frequently asked questions
- More roasted vegetables recipe
- Step-by-Step Recipe
Why roast butternut squash?
If you've never tried roasting butternut squash cubes in fall, you're missing out. Let me explain:
- This is an easy recipe: As easy as peel, slice, toss and roast. The hardest part of this recipe is peeling the butternut squash - but even for that, I have a shortcut for you. More on that below.
- The flavors are out of this world: There are plenty of spices out there that you can use to season butternut squash, but my trio of cumin, allspice and cloves works best. The warm nature of these spices complement the butternuts squash cubes. Once the cubes are roasted and caramelized and topped with honey and lemon, it's very hard to resist finishing them in one sitting.
- Makes an elegant side dish: If you're having people over, or just looking into making a nice dinner for a date night at home with your significant other, this cubed roasted butternut squash is the one side dish recipe you need to try. It's simple, yet so elegant and a tasty side for many main dishes.
- Can be used for different recipes: You can use roasted butternut squash to make different dishes such as saffron roasted butternut squash soup.
How to cut butternut squash
- Clean the butternut squash and make sure it's dry. Then cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the stringy parts and the seeds of the butternut squash.
- Pierce each half a few times using a fork and then microwave on high for 3 minutes. This step is optional, but will make peeling easier. Let it cool for a minute or so.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel each half by moving downwards from the stem. Make sure to trim all the small skin pieces left.
- Place the butternut squash cut side down on a cutting board. Cut it into 1-inch thick slices.
- Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes or the size that the recipe indicates.
Seasoning the butternut squash
Butternut squash is very slightly sweet and that's why I find the trifecta of cumin, cloves and allspice perfect for seasoning. It's essential to toss the butternut squash with olive oil and spices and make sure all pieces are coated well before roasting.
A drizzle of honey and lemon juice on roasted butternut squash is all you need to make it extra special.
Steps for roasting in the oven
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Arrange the butternut squash cubes on the baking sheet in one single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with the cumin, allspice, cloves and a pinch of salt. Using your hands, toss the cubes to make sure all pieces are coated well and are not overlapping.
- Roast the butternut squash in the oven for 15 minutes, give it a good stir to turn the squash cubes and roast for 10 to 15 more minutes, until fully roasted and caramelized.
- Transfer the roasted squash into a serving plate and top with lemon juice, chopped cilantro and honey. Serve warm or at room temperature.
When it comes to oven roasted butternut squash, I love using the spices I mentioned above and I rarely substitute other spices. However, if you're feeling like switching things up, here are a few suggestions:
- Use alternate spices such as coriander, paprika, turmeric or cinnamon.
- Other herbs like parsley, green onions or rosemary would work well with this recipe.
- Instead of honey, use hot honey or maple syrup.
Tips for the perfect roasted butternut squash
- Don't overcrowd the pan: Avoid overcrowding the pan, otherwise the air won't circulate and the squash will steam instead of roasting and caramelizing.
- Be generous with the olive oil: Those crispy and caramelized edges happen because of the right amount of olive oil.
- Flip halfway through: After 15 minutes of roasting, flip the cubes so they get golden and nice on both sides. This might be a bit time consuming, but trust me, it's very well worth it.
What I love most about this simple roasted butternut squash recipe is that you can serve it with a variety of dishes:
- Poultry: Caprese chicken, Persian style roasted turkey, Italian skillet chicken, Mediterranean chicken, baked turkey meatballs and garlic chicken.
- Fish and seafood: Orange glazed salmon, pan seared salmon, parmesan baked cod, Mediterranean style shrimp, baked mahi mahi and marinated salmon.
- Beef and lamb: Italian beef meatballs, lamb lion chops and grilled steak.
Storage and reheating
Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. To reheat, arrange the leftovers on a baking sheet and place in the oven at 325 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes. You can use the leftovers to make this roasted butternut squash salad with burrata and grapes.
Arrange the roasted butternut squash cubes on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper and place in the freezer for 1 hour. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or a container. Freeze for up to 3 months. When you're ready to serve, thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat in the oven. The texture will not be the same as freshly roasted butternut squash and it will be softer.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, in addition to being a good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, butternut squash also contains antioxidants.
I prefer to peel the butternut squash before roasting, but you can also roast it without peeling. The skin will become tender and a bit crispy once roasted.
You can cube the squash 1 day in advance and keep it in the fridge to roast when you're ready. I don't recommend roasting it in advance since this dish is best when it's hot out of the oven.
More roasted vegetables recipe
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Best Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe with Honey and Lemon
- 1 large butternut squash
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 tsp allspice
- ½ lemon juice of
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
- 2 tablespoon honey
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Clean and dry the butternut squash. Cut it in half length wise and take the seeds and stringy parts out using a spoon. Pierce each half a few times using a fork and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Let it cool for a minute and then peel the butternut squash using a vegetable peeler.
- Slice the butternut squash into 1-inch thick pieces and then cut it into 1-inch cubes.
- Toss the butternut squash cubes with the olive oil, cumin, cloves and allspice. Arrange on the baking sheet in one single layer and make sure not too overcrowd the baking sheet.
- Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Using a spatula, turn and flip the butternut squash cubes and then roast for another 15 minutes until caramelized and golden.
- Transfer to a serving dish, then top with lemon juice, chopped cilantro and honey.
- Make sure the baking sheet is not overcrowded otherwise the butternut squash will steam and won't be caramelized.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat in the oven at 325 degrees F for 15 minutes.
- To freeze, arrange the roasted butternut squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for 1 hour. Transfer to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container and freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat.
- You can use the leftovers to make roasted butternut squash salad.