Roasted butternut squash – crispy and caramelized on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside – is the perfect healthy alternative to potatoes.
Even though butternut squash is not as starchy as potatoes, when roasted in olive oil it’s just wonderful – crispy and caramelized on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside.
Roasted butternut squash is one of my favorite side dishes to make this time of year (Mashed butternut squash is another good one). It’s the best kind of comfort food – homemade, delicious and nutritious.
How do you cook butternut squash in the oven?
It’s easy! I use pre-cut butternut squash cubes that are available at Whole Foods and at my local supermarket. I toss the butternut squash cubes with oil and seasonings, then roast in a hot oven until beautifully crispy.
In this recipe, olive oil, garlic and chili powder combine to create a wonderfully intense flavor experience. Another option is to roast butternut squash in butter, garlic powder and Parmesan. But the roasted butternut squash recipe below is the one I use most often.
Some people like to make baked butternut squash with brown sugar or maple syrup. I’m just not a big fan of sweet tasting side dishes – I prefer to save my sweet tasting foods for dessert! But if you’d like to give it a try, drizzle the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, then bake.
How long does it take to roast butternut squash cubes?
Not very long! That’s the beauty of using cubes rather than roasting a whole squash. In a 425 F oven, it only takes about 30 minutes.
Can you eat the skin of roasted butternut squash?
As it turns out, it’s fine to eat the skin of roasted butternut squash, especially if you use petite butternut. It’s not so much a question of safety as a question of texture. If not roasted long enough, the skin could be tough and unpalatable. As I said before, I buy pre-cut butternut squash cubes. These do not come with the skin. But if you buy a whole butternut squash and cut it yourself, it’s up to you whether to leave the skin on or peel it.
Is this a healthy recipe?
I believe it is! Butternut squash is very healthy. In this recipe, it is roasted in olive oil, with garlic and chili powder, all healthy ingredients.
A serving of this roasted butternut squash contains 162% of your daily vitamin A needs, 29% vitamin C and 10% manganese. It has about 90 calories, 3g monounsaturated fat, 12g carbs and 3g fiber.
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3 days. They are good when gently reheated in the microwave on 50% power. They are also surprisingly good when eaten cold straight out of the fridge!
Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1.5 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (not fine salt)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the butternut squash cubes in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and use your hands to mix it into the squash cubes.
- Add the salt, garlic powder and chili powder. Mix well.
- Arrange the coated butternut squash cubes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 15 minutes. Remove from oven, turn each cube to the other side and roast 15 more minutes, or until fork-tender.
- Serve the roasted butternut squash immediately. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Gently reheat in the microwave before serving.