Roasted Butternut Squash
This Roasted Butternut Squash is truly delicious enough to be eaten on its own as a side dish, or it can be used as an ingredient for salads or recipes like Butternut Squash Soup. Once you try this, I bet you’ll find yourself making big batches for meal prep, freezing, and dinners.
Though I’ve prepared butternut squash in many different ways, this is my preferred way to make it. If you’ve never had it simply roasted in cubes before, prepare to be amazed by how delicious it can be.
With only 4 ingredients, it doesn’t seem like it could possibly be that good, but when you combine the hot dry heat of a good roast in the oven with lots of surface area, you get a ton of delicious caramelization.
Cutting into cubes = more caramelization
Even though it’s more work to cut cubes instead of roasting the squash whole, doing it this way gets you a TON more caramelization, depth of flavor, and sweetness.
Don’t want to cut it yourself? Many grocery stores also sell it pre-cut in fresh form, and that takes away most of the work if you’d rather not mess with it. Unfortunately, I don’t recommend the frozen stuff. The texture is pretty bad.
Why This Recipe and Cooking Method Is So Great
✅ Most delicious way to cook butternut squash – Roasting it in cubes is the best because you caramelize the most surface area and get the deepest flavor. These little bites are so good!
✅ Caramelized but not burned – I share some tips below for how I get well browned and caramelized edges but without burning or scorching.
✅ So many ways to use it – I’ll often roast big trays of this, then save some of the squash for making soup or other recipes. There’s so much you can add this to like salads or even using as a swap for pumpkin puree in recipes like Pumpkin Muffins. I share more ideas at the end of the post.
✅ Easily customizable – While you’re tossing the cubes with the oil, salt, and pepper, feel free to toss in whatever spices you’d like, such as cinnamon, cloves, ginger, or cardamom.
How to Make It Step by Step:
Unless you’re buying it pre-cut from the store, you’ll first need to select, peel and cut the squash into cubes. I recommend purchasing one that’s firm to the touch, heavy for its size, and without any cuts, bruises, or punctures in it.
Here’s a quick visual guide for How to Cut Butternut Squash into even pieces if you don’t know how to do it. The key is to separate the bulb at the bottom from the upper portion.
Toss the cubes in a bowl, not on the tray
Get a big bowl for tossing everything together, which will aid you in coating every piece evenly in oil for maximum browning. Trust me, this is one of my secrets to the best roasted vegetables like Roasted Cauliflower and Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Tossing it on the sheet pan just doesn’t coat everything as evenly.
Combine the cut cubes with the oil of your choice, salt, and black pepper:
I now prefer ghee, but you may use olive oil, coconut oil, or any other high heat roasting fat you prefer.
Toss everything well to coat the cubes evenly in the oil and seasonings.
Give the pieces space to breathe
Spread the pieces evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, making sure they have a little space between them. That way they don’t steam each other, and have a chance to brown.
The parchment paper is essential here and prevents burning. Getting the perfect golden edges is all about finding that side of the line where the squash is caramelized and golden, but not burned, and the parchment helps with that.
Toss partway through cooking to maximize browning
Partway through baking, toss the pieces well to redistribute everything, and keep roasting, until caramelized and soft:
I have found in my tests that tossing to redistribute is truly one of the secrets to perfectly caramelized vegetables that aren’t burned.
More Ideas for Enjoying This Vegetable Side
Most of the time, I simply serve this in a bowl as is, because we love it that much. But here are a few more ideas for enjoying this recipe.
- Add to salads like a Cobb Salad or Kale Salad.
- Blend into a pasta sauce like I do in these Cheesy Stuffed Shells.
- Add as a pizza topping like for this Squash Pizza.
- Add to a bowl of Ground Turkey Chili.
- Add as a focaccia topping as I do in this Caramelized Onion Focaccia.
- Add to bowls of quick Chicken Noodle Soup.
Recipe FAQ and Expert Tips
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Absolutely, but know that the texture won’t be quite the same as fresh, so I prefer to freeze it for blended or pureed recipes like soups or sauces.
Yes, you can do the prepwork of peeling and cutting the vegetable into cubes up to 1 day before. Store in the refrigerator. Or, you can make the whole recipe and then later reheat the cubes in the microwave or oven.
The least soggy method is to spread the cubes on a parchment paper lined baking tray and bake in a 300F oven for 10 minutes. You may also microwave them until warmed through.
Roasted Butternut Squash
- 3 lb butternut squash*
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel and cut the squash into 1" cubes (see my visual guide on How to Cut Butternut Squash, if needed).
- Place the cubes into a large bowl, and toss well with the oil, salt, and black pepper.
- Spread the pieces out evenly onto the parchment lined baking sheet, scraping any oil from the bowl onto the paper as well.
- Roast for 30 minutes, until the cubes are starting to brown on the edges.
- Use a turner to flip and redistribute the squash throughout the pan, and roast for another 10-20 minutes, until the pieces are soft and thoroughly caramelized on the outer surfaces, but not burned. It's important to keep your eye on it.
- Let cool slightly for a couple minutes, then serve!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.