This roasted butternut squash recipe is made with maple syrup and cinnamon, making it simple enough for weeknights but also fancy enough for any holiday festivities. You can serve this oven-roasted butternut squash as a healthy side dish or as an ingredient to other favorite squash recipes.
Here’s a helpful tip: To achieve that perfect browning and caramelization, ensure your butternut squash cubes aren’t overcrowded on the baking tray. If they seem packed, divide them between two pans and, halfway through baking, swap their positions in the oven for even cooking.
Oven-roasting remains the ultimate way to prepare butternut squash. The oven’s heat works its magic, caramelizing the edges of the squash cubes and intensifying their inherent sweetness and flavor. For a straightforward yet delicious option, consider baking it with butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and paprika, creating a delightful blend of sweetness with a hint of spice.
Peeling your pumpkin
If you choose to roast butternut squash in cubes, you’ll want to first peel the butternut. Simply follow these steps:
- Start by slicing off ½ inch of the stem and base of your butternut. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, start to remove the skin, one half of the squash at a time. Hold firmly whichever end of the butternut that you are not peeling at present while you peel the skin off of the other end, rotating the squash as you go.
- Once completely peeled, cut it in half lengthwise and then scoop the seeds out. Cut your butternut into cubed pieces that are all roughly the same size. This will ensure that the cubes cook evenly.
- Toss your squash cubes with your seasoning before roasting. My recipe calls for cinnamon for seasoning as well as the use of maple syrup and butter to offer a sweet and salty contrast but you can easily add some other herbs (like rosemary which goes well with butternut) or even just stick to the simple use of olive oil, salt and pepper.
At this point, you can either opt to cover your butternut cubes with tin foil for the majority of the time in the oven, or you can keep them uncovered in the oven, flipping them halfway. The second option will provide a delicious browning and caramelization of the butternut cubes which offers a crunchy texture on the edges but soft inside.
Roasted Butternut Squash
- 4 cups butternut, or other pumpkin peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- ¼ cup butter 1/2 stick (US)
- 2 tblsp maple syrup or honey
- smoked paprika
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180° C).
- Place the peeled and cut butternut in a roasting tin with the cinnamon sticks.
- Melt the butter and syrup together and pour over the butternut.
- Lightly dust with smoked paprika.
- Baked, covered with foil for 45 to 60 minutes.
- For the last 10 minutes, remove the foil to let the liquid evaporate.
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