Roasted Whole Butternut Squash

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Roasted whole butternut squash is an easy way to enjoy the delicious winter squash. Simply slice in half, then bake until tender. A maple cinnamon glaze and chopped nuts add a touch of sweetness to each serving.

Roasted Whole Butternut Squash
Table of Contents
  1. Prepare the squash for roasting
  2. Roast the squash
  3. Add a flavorful glaze
  4. What to serve this with
  5. Roasted Whole Butternut Squash Recipe

One of the easiest ways to prepare butternut squash is to roast it whole. No peeling, just cut in half, remove the seeds, and bake. It makes for a stunning and healthy side dish. To add layers of flavor with minimal effort, I roast the halves flesh-side down to boost the browning on the surface.

You can simply enjoy the sweet and nutty flesh with just salt and pepper. However, I like to make it even tastier. A brush of sticky maple syrup and a sprinkle of bold cinnamon and nutmeg creates delicious caramel notes. Slice it up into individual servings, scoop out a few spoonfuls, or stuff it to make an edible bowl.

Prepare the squash for roasting

The most challenging step in this recipe is cutting the squash. Make sure to trim off the stem and bottoms first. This process makes it much easier to slice down the center.

Then use a gentle rocking motion with a sharp knife to cut it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. If you like, clean and dry them, then roast the seeds as a healthy snack.

Recipe Resources

Roast the squash

Brushing olive oil over the flesh of a butternut squash

Brush the flesh with olive oil before roasting. The fat heats up and helps fry the surface, creating a golden brown color loaded with flavor. I cook the squash halves cut-side down until I can easily pierce it with a knife. It’s ready to enjoy, but let’s boost the flavor up a notch with a glaze.

Add a flavorful glaze

Brushing a maple glaze over roasted butternut squash

Combine maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Generously brush it on top, then roast until it’s bubbly and caramelized. Giving the oven about 10 minutes helps to evaporate the syrup’s moisture and concentrates the toffee-like flavors onto the squash.

The warm spices add enticing aromas and make it seem more like a dessert, but healthier. Right before serving, add some chopped pecans for a nice contrasting crunch.

What to serve this with

Close up of a spoon scooping the flesh out of a roasted butternut squash

Two-ways to make squash more flavorful

Cook the halves flesh-side down. Direct contact with the hot baking sheet develops more Maillard browning. I like to wait to season it with salt and pepper until after it’s done roasting. The salt draws out the moisture from the cut flesh and brings it to the surface. The salt causes the squash to steam instead of brown, which we want to avoid.

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Roasted Whole Butternut Squash

Roasting butternut squash whole is an easy way to enjoy this delicious winter squash. Simply slice in half, then bake until tender.
Pin Print Review
4.04 from 33 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings 8 servings
Course Side
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, about 1 ½ to 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt, for seasoning
  • black pepper, for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoon chopped pecans, optional

Instructions 

  • Set the oven rack to the center position and preheat to 400ºF (204ºC).
  • Wash and thoroughly dry the butternut squash.
  • Place the squash on a sturdy cutting board. Use a sharp chef’s knife to trim the stem and bottom of the squash.
  • Starting at the larger side of the squash, carefully cut in half lengthwise, using small rocking motions.
  • Use a large spoon to remove the seeds. If desired, wash, separate and dry the seeds for roasting later.
  • Line a large baking sheet with foil. Grease the foil with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, use a paper towel to spread evenly.
  • Brush the flesh of the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the squash cut side down and evenly spaced on the baking sheet.
  • Roast until a knife can easily pierce into the flesh, about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the squash’s size.
  • Carefully turn the squash over with tongs and season with salt and pepper. Serve as is or proceed with maple glaze.
  • In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Brush evenly on the flesh and roast until the surface is caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Garnish whole roasted butternut squash with chopped pecans.

Notes

  • Roasted butternut squash seeds: Wash and dry the seeds. Toss in some olive oil and salt. Place on a sheet pan and roast at 350°F (177ºC) for 10 to 12 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes until crunchy.

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Nutrition Facts
Roasted Whole Butternut Squash
Amount Per Serving
Calories 97 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 4mg0%
Potassium 346mg10%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 9966IU199%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 49mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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