Sweet and savory Roasted Butternut Squash features vitamin-packed butternut squash coated with coconut oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, then roasted until tender 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. Like this cinnamon and maple-glazed Roasted Butternut Squash!
You just can't beat an oven-roasted root vegetable. Or so I thought, until I discovered the wonders of Roasted Butternut 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.
How to Cut Butternut Squash
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 Roasted Butternut 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 Butternut Squash is the answer! 😉
Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and set aside.
- Using a large, sharp knife, carefully slice off a thin piece from the top and bottom of the butternut squash (to give it stability). Using a large, heavy-duty vegetable peeler, remove the skin. Cut the squash in half horizontally, where the thinner neck meets the round base. Cut the base piece in half vertically, exposing the seeds. Use a spoon to scoop and scrape out the seeds. Cut all of the squash flesh into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the cubed squash and toss until evenly coated. (Alternatively, you may shake all of the ingredients together in a gallon-sized plastic baggie.) Spread out the squash on prepared baking sheet into a single layer. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, if desired.
- Roast squash for 25 minutes. Use a metal spatula to carefully flip cubes over; roast for 15 to 20 minutes more (checking frequently) or until squash is tender with golden edges. Serve immediately.