Cinnamon Maple Roasted Squash features vitamin-packed butternut squash coated with coconut oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, then roasted until tender and sweet for a gorgeous, golden fall or winter side dish!
If summer produce is best eaten fresh, fall produce was made to be roasted. Roasting is actually my favorite way to enjoy veggies year round, but I tend to shy away from it during the hotter months, seeing as how it can quickly heat up the whole kitchen, thereby negating the glorious effects of A/C. But as soon as there’s the slightest hint of autumn in the air, it’s on! The oven is on, that is, and set to a high temperature…ready to receive a foil-covered baking sheet, scattered with oil-coated, salt-and-peppered veggies, just waiting to be transformed by heat and magic into something truly wonderful.
You just can’t beat an oven-roasted root vegetable. Or so I thought, until I discovered the wonders of roasted squash! The only kind of squash my mom ever cooked when I was growing up was summer squash…you know, the yellow kind and zucchini. It wasn’t until I had my first child and embarked upon an overzealous mission to prepare homemade baby food (and then toddler-friendly finger food) that I discovered butternut squash. Where had I been, y’all? The stuff is delicious, and roasting brings out its very best attributes: sweet, tender, and not too hard on the eyes.
For me, the trickiest part of preparing butternut squash has been figuring out how to cut it without slicing off a finger. It can be hard to decide just how to tackle it yourself, but with a little direction, it’s actually not difficult at all. The key is to use a large, sharp knife to carefully slice off a thin piece from the bottom of the squash to give it stability. Then with a heavy-duty, large vegetable peeler (not a knife!), remove the skin. Finally, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and cube it up for your recipe.
As for this Cinnamon Maple Roasted Squash, it is hands-down my favorite way to serve (and eat!) this veggie. Butternut squash is already naturally sweet — particularly when roasted — but add a touch of maple syrup and a sprinkle of warm cinnamon, and it transforms into something truly splendid.
As a bonus, how simply beautiful is this side dish? It’s gorgeous and golden and practically glowing. It would make a weeknight dinner feel special, and it would be the talk of your Thanksgiving table. Picky kids will love it (which is not surprising, seeing as how its flavor is akin to pumpkin pie) and adults will swoon over it. Yup, it’s a winner all the way around!
So have you ever felt intimidated about peeling/cutting up a butternut squash? What’s your favorite veggie to roast? Do you believe that maple syrup makes everything better? (Sorry, bacon.) I’m here to tell you…regardless of the question, Cinnamon Maple Roasted Squash is the answer! 😉
More fall side dishes…