Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash is the perfect side dish to add to your holiday menu, but easiest to make any night of the week.
There is something magical that happens to butternut squash when it is roasted with cinnamon. It becomes sweet with these delicious caramelized edges and you won't believe how quickly it disappears.
Roasted vegetables are probably my favorite side dish and I recently began adding butternut squash to the rotation on a pretty regular basis. It's a great lower carb option that I like to use instead of potatoes. While you can roast it with almost any spice blend, I think it pairs perfectly with cinnamon and nutmeg. If you aren't watching carbs, you could add maple syrup or brown sugar as well.
The other thing I love about roasting butternut squash is that the leftovers are amazing. I love to throw them in my morning eggs, lunchtime salads, or use them for quick veggie tacos at night. In fact, I love these leftovers so much, that I always make a double or triple batch whenever I roast butternut squash.
The one difficult part of making butternut squash is the prep work, but I have an easy hack below to help make that part easier. (Hint: It involves a quick trip to the microwave that will make it so much easier to peel and chop.) If you are pressed for time, skip the prep work, and just buy chopped butternut squash. Most grocery stores carry it with the fresh produce.
How to roast butternut squash?
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the squash and chop into small 1 inch pieces. You can also buy chopped butternut squash to save on prep time. Then toss the squash with olive oil, spices, salt, and pepper. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 25-35 minutes until tender and caramelized.
Pro tip: One of the most common mistakes when roasting vegetables is overcrowding the pan. Make sure to place the squash in a single layer with some space to breathe. That ensures that the squash caramelizes and roasts instead of steams.
Recipe Ideas and Tips
There are so many ways to customize this recipe when it comes to the flavor profile, shape, and serving ideas.
- Swap in coconut oil for olive oil to add a slightly nutty flavor to the squash.
- Add a drizzle of maple syrup before serving to sweeten up this dish.
- Add some roasted or glazed walnuts or pecans to the dish for crunch. This is a great way to spice up the dish for the holidays.
- Add color and tartness with pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries.
- Add fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary to add a fresh note.
- Add complimentary spices like turmeric, cumin, allspice, or mace to pack in even more flavor.
- For a sweeter option, toss the squash with some brown sugar before roasting.
- Add a savory note with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
- Instead of chopping the squash into small pieces, cut it into slices for a different presentation.
How to peel and chop butternut squash?
The best way to peel butternut squash is to start by poking the squash all over with a fork. Then microwave it for 2-3 minutes. This loosens the skin, making it much easier to peel.
Once you have peeled the squash, cut it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Then chop into smaller pieces. Make sure to use a sharp knife since butternut squash is hard.
Can I prep in advance?
Although I wouldn't recommend roasting butternut squash in advance for a holiday meal, you can prep it ahead of time for a regular weeknight meal. Just be aware that it will lose some of the crisp edges after being stored in the fridge. You can also peel and chop the butternut squash a couple of days in advance to make prep quick and easy.
Some of my favorite leftovers start with a container of roasted vegetables.
- Make a salad with roasted butternut squash, greens, goat cheese, and chopped apples. You can also try this Butternut Squash, Quinoa, and Pomegranate Salad.
- Try adding butternut squash to your morning egg scramble or throwing it in a quiche or frittata.
- Make a grain bowl with the squash, brown rice or farro, arugula, and your favorite dressing or cheese.
- Add it to your favorite prepared soup to add some fresh flavors.
- Grab some corn tortillas, black beans, and your roasted butternut squash for an easy vegetarian taco.
More healthy butternut squash recipes
Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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