Roasted Honeynut Squash is a healthy, gluten-free side that has a deep, caramelized flavor. This winter squash is smaller and sweeter than its butternut relative and takes less time to roast. Make it with just 4 ingredients in 30 minutes.
We love roasted honeynut squash for a weeknight dinner or holiday meal, like Thanksgiving and Christmas! This is our tried and true way to prepare this seasonal squash. This healthy and satisfying side requires minimal prep and 30 minutes in the oven. Its sweet flesh goes with so many main dishes and can be used for soups, purée, and more.
It's similar to Maple Roasted Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin) and pairs well with many seasonal dishes, like Rolled Turkey Roulade, Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Wild Rice, and Buttery Fish with Crispy Skin.
About Roasted Honeynut Squash
- Taste - The lightly seasoned honeynut squash is vibrant and lightly sweet.
- Texture - The squash is soft but meaty.
- Effort - This easy recipe has a couple simple steps. First, you need to cut and prepare the squash, then you just bake it and serve it.
- Time - It takes just 10 minutes to prep the squash then about 30 minutes to roast in the oven.
What is Honeynut Squash?
Honeynut squash is a winter squash bred from butternut and buttercup squash. It has a sweet and earthy flavor, deep orange flesh, and is one of our go to fall veggies. When compared to butternut squash, it is about half the size and a little sweeter.
- Honeynut squash - This squash is a mildly sweet and nutty squash that tastes delicious roasted or sautéed.
- Olive oil - Baking the squash in extra virgin olive oil provides the perfect texture - firm on the outside and soft on the inside.
- Maple syrup - Maple syrup adds extra sweetness, if desired.
- Cinnamon - Ground cinnamon adds a warm and woodsy flavor, if desired.
- Kosher or sea salt - Salt accentuates the rich fall flavors.
- Freshly ground black pepper - Black pepper adds a little spice.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Oil - Instead of olive oil, use avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil.
- Sweetness - Instead of maple syrup, use date syrup, date sugar, coconut sugar, or brown sugar to make the honeynut squash sweet.
- Seasoning - Use garlic powder, onion powder, or a seasoning blend of choice to season the squash before you bake.
- Saute - If you prefer to saute, follow the instructions from our Sautéed Butternut Squash recipe.
- Texture - Serve with herbs and toasted nuts, like pine nuts, chopped walnuts, or pecans.
- Prepare the squash - Heat the oven to 425°F. Use a sharp knife to cut off the stem and cut winter squash in half lengthwise. Line the squash flesh side up on a baking sheet and brush the flesh with olive oil and season with salt. Add maple syrup and cinnamon at this time if desired.
- Roast squash - Turn the squash over flesh side down. Roast the squash on the middle rack for 30 minutes, or until tender. To test doneness, use a paring knife to pierce the skin. If it goes in easily, the squash is done.
- Serve - Flip the squash over on the baking sheet and use a spoon to carefully remove the seeds then transfer the squash to a serving dish. Serve the squash flesh side up and season with more salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired. Enjoy as is or use in other recipes, like squash soup.
Pro tip: Be careful cutting the squash - Use a sharp knife and hold the squash firmly when you cut the stem off and cut the squash in half. Squash can be hard to cut into and you may need to rock your knife back and forth to get a clean cut. Be safe and watch your fingers!
What to Serve with Honeynut Squash
Honeynut squash is a delicious fall side. We love it with a cozy dinner like our Roasted Chicken Thighs and Vegetables or Fig Balsamic Chicken. You can also enjoy it with a Thanksgiving or holiday dinner. If you are making it for Thanksgiving or the holidays, try it with our our Roasted Turkey Roulade, Mushroom and Herb Stuffing or Dutch Oven Chicken.
Store leftover roasted squash in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat leftovers in the oven, heat oven to 350 degrees F and place the squash on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes until warm.
- Squash size - Bake squash that are relatively uniform in size so they all cook evenly.
- Save the seeds - Save your honeynut and butternut squash seeds and roast them to enjoy later.
- Do not open the oven - Avoid opening the oven when checking on the squash. This will release the hot air and make the squash cook slowly and unevenly.
Honeynut squash are usually planted in the early summer and harvested during the fall through Christmas.
Honeynut squash are green until they ripen. Once ripe, they are a dark tan honey color. The ability of the squash to turn from green to tan is a trait that was bred into them.
With regard to flavor, honeynut squash is nuttier and sweeter. With regard to appearance, honeynut squash looks like mini butternut squash. Honeynut squash are only about 5 inches long while most butternuts are 10 to 11 inches. Finally, when ripe, honeynut squash has a deeper orange hue.
Honeynut squash is a great source of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and alpha-carotene. Additionally, it is a good source of B vitamins and fiber. It also contains calcium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and zinc.
Yes, while we prefer not to because it can be hard on our stomachs, you can definitely eat it. In this recipe, we bake it with the skin on so you have the option to eat it or not.
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Easy Roasted Honeynut Squash
- Prepare honeynut squash - Heat the oven to 425°F. Use a sharp knife to cut off the stem and cut the honeynut squash in half lengthwise. Line the honeynut squash flesh side up on a baking sheet and brush the flesh with olive oil and season with salt. You may also add maple syrup and cinnamon at this time. Turn the squash over flesh side down.2 honeynut squash, 2 tablespoon olive oil, kosher or sea salt, maple syrup, cinnamon
- Bake squash - Bake the squash on the middle rack for 30 minutes, or until tender. To test doneness, use a paring knife to pierce the skin. If it goes in easily, the squash is done.
- Serve - Flip the squash over on the baking sheet and use a spoon to carefully remove the seeds then transfer the squash to a serving dish. Serve the squash flesh side up and season with more salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired. Enjoy as is or use in other recipes, like honeynut squash soup.freshly ground black pepper
- Squash size - bake squash that are all about the same size so they cook evenly.
- Careful cutting - use a sharp knife and hold the squash firmly when you cut the stem and cut the squash in half. Squash can be hard to cut into and you may need to rock your knife back and forth to get a clean cut.
- Save the seeds - Save your honeynut squash seeds then roast and enjoy them later.
- Refrigerate leftover honeynut squash in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. To reheat leftovers in the oven, heat oven to 350°F and place the squash on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes until warm.