Follow this quick and easy guide for how to cook butternut squash in the oven to get the very best flavor and delicious consistency!
How To Cook Butternut Squash in the Oven
Butternut squash is one of those things that I come back to again and again when I want to feed my family healthy food. It’s sweet, simple to prepare, my kids love it, and it’s good for you! Have you seen the color of it?! If you are trying to “eat the rainbow” a little more, this beautiful, bright orange vegetable is a great place to start.
I normally grow and store butternut squash from my garden. This year I ended up with a million spaghetti squash and only a handful of butternuts so I stocked up when they were on sale at the grocery store and keep them in my cold storage just like I do my home-grown squash. That’s one of my favorite qualities of winter squash like butternut – they last for ages after you buy them, unlike a lot of other produce.
I like to roast butternut squash by cutting in it half, removing the seeds, and keeping the skin on. This method lends to very creamy butternut squash that is ready to be scooped out of the skin and mashed. I serve the smashed squash like mashed potatoes as a side dish most often but you can also use it in place of pumpkin puree, potatoes, or sweet potatoes in most recipes. I often add it to soup and chilis, too, to thicken them. So many things to love about roasted butternut squash. It’s simple, quick, and one of our favorite side dishes.
What does butternut squash taste like?
Butternut squash is fairly similar in flavor to sweet potato, but a bit more tender when roasted. It’s slightly nutty and has also been compared to pumpkin, carrot, and turnip flavors with a bit more sweetness to it.
What foods go well with butternut squash?
Mild or slightly sweet meats like chicken and pork go really well with butternut squash. You can also add it to soups, stews, or chilis, or mix it with a little butter and herbs or butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar for a different approach. It’s extremely versatile and flexible!
How do you pick butternut squash?
Look for squash that is firm and blemish-free (no nicks or bruises anywhere). If you pick them when they’re ripe, they’ll store for several weeks, up to a couple of months, so stock up when they’re in season or on sale!
Quick and easy guide on how to cook butternut squash in the oven. This is an easy butternut squash recipe that looks great and tastes even better!
- 1 medium to large butternut squash
- 3–4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Generous sprinkle of salt and pepper
- About ¼ cup water
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Rinse off the outside of your squash and then cut it in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds.
- Drizzle the inside of both pieces of squash with olive oil and give it a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Place the squash on the prepared pan, cut side down, and add the water to the bottom of the pan. (Just pour it around the squash). Place in the hot oven.
- Roast for 40-50 minutes until the squash is easily pierced with a fork or the tip of a knife.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then scoop flesh from the skin.
- You can serve the squash as is, scooped straight from the skin with a little salt to taste. You can add it to a bowl and mash it with a little butter and a bit of brown sugar, or you can use it like you would any potato, sweet potato, or pumpkin in recipes.
- Parchment paper makes cleaning this up a breeze. I highly recommend it. Or you could use a nonstick baking mat, though you’ll have a little more scrubbing to do.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: how to roast butternut squash, easy butternut squash recipe, butternut squash recipes, homemade butternut squash, Thanksgiving side dish recipe, Healthy thanksgiving recipe
Complete this meal with these recipes:
- The Best Baked Chicken Legs
- Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin and Potatoes
- 4-Ingredient Honey Mustard Baked Chicken Legs
- Garlic Herb Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin
Other butternut squash recipes:
- How to Cook a Whole Butternut Squash in the Slow Cooker
- Grilled Butternut Squash in a foil packet
- Homemade Butternut Squash Soup
- How to Cook Butternut Squash in the Instant Pot
- Simple Maple Roasted Butternut Squash
- Easy Lentil Curry with Butternut Squash
- Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese
- Slow Cooker Creamy Turkey and Butternut Squash Chili
- Butternut Squash Lasagna Roll-ups
This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated in July 2019.
I hope you enjoy and get great use out of my guide for how to cook butternut squash in the oven — it’s one of my family’s favorite roasted vegetables, and it can be used in so many things!