Oven Roasted Whole Butternut Squash is a delicious vegetable packed with warm fall flavors. Our fool-proof method results in perfectly tender and caramelized butternut squash loaded with flavor. Serve as a side or add to soups, salads, ravioli, and more.
Every fall we get excited for all the different types of squash! We especially love butternut squash because it pairs perfectly with so many dishes, like Buttery Fish with Crispy Skin and Dutch Oven Whole Chicken. Throughout the fall and winter it is a staple in our weekly dinner rotation, and we even make it for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and delicious on its own, and can be easily dressed up with your choice of herbs or toppings, like grated cheese, Roasted Pepitas (Hulless Pumpkin Seeds), Fried Crispy Sage Leaves, butter, and more. You can even use it as a base for fall dishes, like our Spiced Vegan Butternut Squash Soup. This is the perfect recipe to try if you're new to butternut squash!
About Oven Roasted Butternut Squash
- Taste - The roasted butternut squash has a uniquely nutty, savory, and sweet flavor.
- Texture - The squash is soft but hearty.
- Effort - This recipe has just a couple simple steps. All you need to do is cut and season the squash then bake it.
- Time - It takes about 10 minutes to prep the squash then 30 to 40 minutes to roast it.
What is Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is a delicious winter squash that is usually available from late summer to early winter. In California, it is available almost year round. It grows on the vine and is typically about 8 to 12 inches long and about 2 to 3 pounds.
It's unique flavor and texture makes it a perfect side for all your favorite fall dishes. We especially love it with a cozy main course like our Roasted Chicken Thighs and Vegetables or Fig Balsamic Chicken. We also love to use it for Butternut Squash Soup.
- Butternut Squash - Butternut squash has a sweet and savory mild flavor that tastes similar to sweet potato.
- Olive oil - Baking the butternut 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.
- Cinnamon - Ground cinnamon adds a warm and woodsy flavor.
- Nutmeg - Nutmeg adds a lighter warm flavor.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Oil - Instead of extra virgin 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 butternut squash sweet.
- Honeynut Squash - If you want a slightly sweeter squash, try our Roasted Honeynut Squash.
- Seasoning - Use garlic powder, onion powder, freshly ground black pepper, 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, walnuts, or pecans for a nice crunch.
- Butternut squash cubes - You can chop the squash into 1 inch cubes before roasting them if you prefer. Just keep a close eye on the squash because the pieces will roast quicker than the whole squash.
- Prepare butternut squash - Heat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to cut off the stem and cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Then line the butternut squash flesh side up on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush the flesh with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg to taste. (Photo 1, 2, 3, and 4)
- Bake whole butternut squash - Turn the squash over flesh side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast butternut squash on the middle rack for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. To test doneness, use a paring knife to pierce the skin. If it goes in easily, the squash is done. (Photo 5 and 6)
- Serve - Turn the squash over cut side up on the baking sheet and use a spoon to carefully remove the seeds then transfer the squash to a serving dish. Then 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 butternut squash soup. (Photo 7 and 8)
Pro tip: Careful cutting - Be sure to 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!
Store leftover roasted squash in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 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.
- Squash size - Bake squash that are relatively uniform in size so they all cook evenly.
- 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.
- Save the seeds - Save your butternut squash seeds and roast them to enjoy later.
Yes, butternut squash is a great source of many vitamins and minerals and high in antioxidants.
No, while they can be used interchangeably in certain recipes, they are two different types of squash with different uses. With regard to appearance, Pumpkins are larger and round while butternut squash are smaller and oblong.
With regard to taste, butternut squash are slightly sweeter.
No, keeping the peel on when you roast it keeps the squash moist and prevents it from drying out. If you want to saute the squash or make butternut squash soup, you should remove the skin.
While boiling has a faster cook time than roasting, we prefer roasting because it gives the squash a delicious caramelized flavor and texture.
With regard to flavor, butternut squash is slightly less nutty and sweet. With regard to appearance, butternut squash are larger. Finally, when ripe, butternut squash are beige while honeynut squash are darker orange.
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Oven Roasted Whole Butternut Squash
- 1 knife
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste optional
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste optional
- maple syrup optional
- Prepare butternut squash - Heat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to cut off the stem and cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Line the butternut squash flesh side up on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush the flesh with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg to taste. You may also add maple syrup at this time. Turn the squash over flesh side down on the prepared baking sheet.1 butternut squash, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste, maple syrup
- Bake squash - Bake the squash on the middle rack for 30-40 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 - Turn the squash over cut side up 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 butternut squash soup.
- Use a sharp knife and hold the squash firmly when you cut the stem off and cut it in half. Squash can be hard to cut and you may need to rock your knife back and forth to get a clean cut.
- Bake squash that are relatively the same size so they cook evenly.
- Do not open the oven when checking on the squash or the hot air will release and the squash cook slowly and unevenly.
- Save your butternut squash seeds and roast them to enjoy later.
- Refrigerate leftover roasted squash in an air-tight container for up to 4 days. To reheat leftovers, heat oven to 350 degrees F and bake on baking sheet for 6-8 minutes until warm.
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