Oven Roasted Butternut Squash
So simple yet so elegant, Oven Roasted Butternut Squash is a tasty and versatile side dish that goes good with just about anything, any time of day!
I recently came to realize [once again] that I don’t often enough share my super easy, every day life recipes, like this Oven Roasted Butternut Squash, which I pretty much eat on a weekly basis whenever squash is in season.
I guess it’s because I find they are way too simple to deserve the exclusivity of an entire post. Plus, my mind is always like: “Duh, people already KNOW how to make this basic stuff, they certainly don’t need me to show them again.
But sometimes, even when we know how to make something we tend to forget about them and it’s nice to be reminded of their existence. Plus, it’s often interesting to check out someone else’s take on a familiar recipe.
Besides, we’re not always in the mood for elaborate dishes and sometimes, the simplest things in life turn out to be the best… For me, butternut squash that gets slowly roasted in a hot oven until it caramelizes would be one of those things.
Caramelization really is the key with this dish. You’d be surprised what it brings to the squash in terms of depth and flavor. Also, baking the squash as opposed to steaming or boiling it makes it so rich and thick and creamy… you don’t need to do or add anything to it after it’s done baking.
Oh, and for the record, you mustn’t absolutely use butternut squash for this dish to work. You can use this exact same technique with basically any kind of winter squash: buttercup, acorn, carnival, kabosha or even spaghetti squash.
They’re all equally delicious!
The first thing you need to do is preheat your oven to 375°F. Small detail, but very important nonetheless. This makes all the difference in the world. Your oven needs to be nice and hot as soon as the squash enters it.
While that temperature is climbing, cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the guts and seeds with a spoon. I like to use my trusty ice cream spoon for that. I find it has the perfect shape as well as the necessary sturdiness and the sharp edges make the task so much easier.
Place your squash halves in a dark roasting or broiler pan and drizzle them with a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
Dark metal pans absorb and spread heat more quickly and efficiently than lighter-colored ones, which plays a big role in the browning and caramelizing process. If you didn’t have a dark roasting pan, crank up the oven heat to 425°F and make sure to keep an extra close eye on the water situation.
Turn the squash flesh side down and pour about 1/4 cup of water at the bottom of the pan.
Bake the squash the oven, uncovered, for about 40-45 minutes, until it becomes really soft and can easily be pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.
You might want to check on it from time to time to make sure that the squash isn’t burning. You want the water to eventually completely evaporate, otherwise, the squash wouldn’t caramelize, but still, you don’t want it to burn. Add a tiny bit more water if you feel things are getting a tad too dry or too dark…
When the squash is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes, until you can safely handle it, then flip it over and scoop the flesh out with a spoon.
Again, my weapon of choice for this would be my trusty ice cream spoon!
You can serve the squash as is or mash roughly with a fork or potato masher if you’re in the mood for something that’s more like a puree.
And there you have it, so simple, yet so elegant. This tasty side dish goes well with just about anything and goes down very good any time of day. It can also very easily be made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave or in a skillet over medium heat. The beauty of the skillet technique is that you can add a little bit of oil to it and have that squash caramelize for a second time!
Oooh goodness! Can you feel the love? I think I am totally, shamelessly, helplessly infatuated!
I wish it were always squash season…
Oven Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 medium to large butternut squash
- 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Generous sprinkle of salt and pepper
- About 1/4 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the guts and seeds with a spoon; discard.
- Place both squash halves in a dark roasting pan* and drizzle them with a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- Turn the squash flesh side down and pour about 1/4 cup of water in the bottom of the pan.
- Bake in the oven, uncovered, for about 40-45 minutes, until the squash becomes really soft and can easily be pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Check from time to time to make sure the squash isn't burning. You want the water to eventually completely evaporate, which will allow the squash to caramelize, but you don't want things to burn. Add a little bit more water if you feel things are getting a tad too dry and dark...
- When the squash is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes until you can safely handle it, then scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
- Serve as is or mash roughly with a fork or potato masher.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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Why not change things up a bit and turn this delicious oven roasted butternut squash you just made into a soup? Click here to make this Oven Roasted Butternut Squash Soup!
And check out the post to learn how to Cut and Peel your Butternut Squash the Easy Way!
134 Comments on “Oven Roasted Butternut Squash”
Now this recipe is perfect. Simple, easy and super useful (just like your mayo recipe, that I use weekly!)
Thank you my friend! Isn’t that mayo recipe the bomb? I don’t know how I could ever live without it…
Yes, that mayo recipe makes me feel like a French chef! I also use the immersion blender trick for Caesar salad dressing and it works perfectly every time.
YAY! So very happy to hear, Dana! Have you ever tried My Evil Twin’s Caesar Dressing? It’s to die for!
Now we ALL want the Mayo Recipe!!????
Sure thing Andy! Here goes:
This is great! I like the pictures.
Hey Sonia, you are right, I’d like to see and post simple recipes myself more often. Readers might be amazed, but on weekdays us bloggers don’t exclusively eat 15 ingredient dishes. I wish!
This recipe looks simple, yet tasty. Mom & dad are coming over tonight, they are healthy foodies as well. I’ll proposite this dish to them!
So true, Angela. Sometimes, nothing beats simplicity… and sometimes, I get tired of making / eating elaborate dishes. Nothing like a side of steamed Brussels sprouts with a great big dollop of ghee and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Which, by the way, would go indecently well with this oven baked butternut squash.
That’s it… I so gotta have this now and as luck would have it, I have all the necessary ingredients on hand. I’m SO making this today! 🙂
Hope your folks enjoy the squash!
What is ghee?
I don’t know either! Is it butter or margarine?
its clarified butter
I made this, and when I scoop it out I put a little cinnamon, brown sugar and butter. This is so good, hope you like it!
So this recipe was great, easy and delicious. But the ice cream scoop was brilliant! I felt like I was learning how to cut an avocado the right way all over again – a whole world opens up!
Surely you meant squash, Lindsey! Glad you enjoyed the tip and the recipe, and thank you for taking the time to let me know. I greatly appreciate that! 🙂
Hi! I’m trying this recipe as I write–butternut squash in the oven–and wanted to confirm that we don’t turn it back up once we’ve turned it upside down, correct? Just wanted to make sure. Thanks!
That is correct, Michelle. Bake the squash flesh side down the entire time.
I’ve always baked butternut squash this way and love it as you do. However, after it is soft, I turn it over and put butter and salt and pepper in the indentation and then put it in the oven again so it can carmelize.
I’ve never heard of ghee though. What is that?
Ghee is butter that’s been clarified to remove all traces of milk solids from it, leaving nothing but the fat behind.
You can read more about it here, and learn how to make your own here
Thanks for this recipe! Believe it or not, there are still some of us who have no idea how to cook or eat butternut squash. My parents both hated veggies, so I never learned how to cook them. So, I rely on people like you to educate and bring me great recipes. (haha, no pressure!)
Not at all, Alissa! That is like music to my ears! In fact, is there any other veggie that you’d really love to try but have no idea how to cook? I would gladly come up with some easy and tasty recipe for you. (okay, now pressure! 😉 )
I just bought a squash today and wasn’t sure how to cokk it, so this post is perfect!!! Thanks!! 🙂
Can you use just a regular baking sheet for this? Or does it have to be a broiler pan?
A regular baking sheet would do the trick, just make sure that it’s rimmed!
I made this the other night for my family and it was amazing! So simple & delish! I did use the broiler pan as mentioned here, but I’m wondering by a broiler pan & not say a half sheet cookie sheet?? Is there something specific about the broiler pan?? Big thanks!
I find that the broiler pan does a better job at caramelizing the squash, and its size is just perfect for the task, too. Plus, I like to keep my cookie sheets “clean” so I tend to use them only when baking cookies and cakes, or stuff that requires parchment paper lining.
But of course, a half-size cookie sheet would work just fine, if it’s all that you had on hand!
Love butternut squash. Please share the secret to cutting them in half!
Haha! It’s not as hard as it seems, Gillian. I’ve described the process in details in this post. Although this one uses spaghetti squash, the process is pretty much the same for butternut squash.
Hope this helps! 🙂
To make cutting the squash easier, cut off the stem, poke a few holes in the shell and put the uncut squash in the Microwave oven for 1 – 2 minutes on high (just until it feels warm to the touch), depending on the size of the squash. It will soften the flesh up just enough to make cutting it in half easier and more safe. My hands are small and I have done it this way for more than 10 years.
I eat a lot of squash…..A LOT! And this is hands down, the best squash I have had!!! The best way to make it!! You have me sold!!! Plus, the ghee just topped it off so well!!! Thanks for sharing!!!
Real happy to hear, Shannon. Thank YOU for letting me know! 🙂
This was my first time eating butternut squash…loved it. Thanks
So glad to hear, Daphne! Hope it won’t be the last! 🙂
Hi Sonia, I just had to come back and tell you I am so glad I found your recipe for this Butternut Squash
I had this Butternut Squash since Thanksgiving, well it didn’t get made because no one wanted it LOL then Christmas came and went and today I decided I was going to fix it because I am the only one that would eat it anyway!!!
I came to Pinterest to find a recipe and searched, I was not looking for a recipe that had brown sugar or sweetener or a bunch of other ingredients but I in no way thought it was going to be as easy as the one you have posted here!!!
I am so happy I found your recipe! I LOVE it!!! EXACTLY what I was looking for and SOOOO easy!!! Love the ice cream scoop tip.
I just sprayed off my squash with white vinegar to wash the outer skin,rinsed and dried and went from there with your recipe. It was amazing!!!! I have leftovers for tomorrow and I stayed on my low carb diet 🙂
Thanks again for posting this so easy and simple recipe!!! Evelyn
The pleasure is all mine, Evelyn! And thank you for taking the time to let me know just how much you liked the recipe. Getting positive feedback like that always means such a great deal to me! You are one true gem. 🙂
I had never made butternut squash until tonight, I found your recipe and it couldn’t have been any easier. Thanks for sharing!!
Glad to hear it was to your liking, Tabitha. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. I greatly appreciate that! 🙂
Sonia, thanks for info on butternut squash. I thought I had planted my usual yellow squash”surprised”when this funny shaped squash showed up. I googled it to find what it was. Thanks for recipe anxious to try it. Looking for more ways to cook this funny squash with a cute shape. BarbaraBarbara
I get veggies from a CSA, and I’m always getting things we’ve never tried before, so I have no idea how to prepare them. This week is was butternut squash. Oh my word, this is sooooo good! Might just be my new favorite food. I hope we get some more in the next box! Thanks for the simple but delish recipe!
Glad you liked it, Amanda! If you do get another one, (which I totally hope you do) I’ve plenty more butternut squash recipes on my site (I’m a bit obsessed with them) so feel free to try something new! Oh, and make sure to check out my video to learn how to prep them. They can be a little bit tricky at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it!
Thank you for this simple way to cook squash! I tried your recipe yesterday for Thanksgiving and it was easy and delicious.
Thank you very much for taking the time to let me know, Stephanie! I’m real happy to hear that the recipe was a success for you! 🙂
I love squash especially the “company “ variation I make with butter, salt and pepper plus a big splash of Kaluha in it Delicious and it elevates an everyday dish to a company one.
Once its roasted,add it to some Risotto, at the end of cooking, just when you add the parm. cheese, and it will just melt into the risotto and give it that sweet taste of creamy rice,sweet squash and the salty cheese, doesn’t get any better !
Great recipes. I love all the GF ideas. thanks,Anna
After baking and removing the butternut squash I want to try making butternut soup. Do you have a recipe for butternut squash soup, preparing the squash in the oven? Thank you
I’m sorry Kathy, I don’t… It’s definitely something to put on my inspiration list, though!
I used this recipe for Oven Roasted Butternut Squash for soup, too. This is the recipe I use. Super easy!! I use onion in place of the shallots, usually. I used a whole can of coconut milk and 1 cup broth. Yummy!
Thank you Sonia for this recipe! It worked really well for me. I had to add a little time, but had great results!
Your soup sounds delicious, Michelle! You’ve just inspired me to make some myself! 🙂
Hi, Sonia i found your recipes mind blowing …i want to try making Caramelized Butternut Squash. Do you have any simple steps how to make this at home?
I don’t have a caramelized butternut squash recipe per se, but I have this candied butternut squash recipe that’s pretty amazing and totally worth making!
Thank you very much I will definitely try this and respond you what happen after…Again thank you very much Sonia.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts! And you are very welcome, Divya. Anytime! 🙂
Sonia your tips for making candied butternut squash works mind blowing for me….I serve it in my yesterday home party and everybody love it……..Thank you so so much from the bottom of my heart…….You are amazing.
Awwww, what a gem, thank YOU so much Divya, that is so very kind of you to say!!! You totally made my day. And I’m real happy to hear that the recipe was a complete success for you! 😀
Sonia is there any other recipe which i can try at home especially for my kids………Because I become complete fan of yours and i want to try more recipes of you……….
Haha! You can browse through my recipe index, I’m sure you’ll find something that your kids will love! And thanks for the kind words, you’re a real gem! 🙂
Hello there.. I am wondering if you ever top it off with butter and brown sugar? I have always eaten the frozen version with it…haven’t had the fresh version yet…just wondering???? thanks
Sorry Melissa, I’ve never tried that, or the frozen version for that matter… so I’m afraid I can’t be of much help here. Sorry.
We made this last night and it turned out really well! Will definitely be using this recipe again – thanks! It seemed strange to be baking it flesh side down (that’s not how Mom did it ha ha) but it works!
Thank you for posting this! Simple recipes are always helpful. We just recently started eating butternut squash. The one recipe I have calls for peeling and cutting up the squash into cubes. It’s a great recipe but so time consuming we are reluctant to have it often. This can change that!
Ha! This method is so much easier and so much tastier, too! I really hope that it convinces you to eat squash more often!
I tried this recipe last night and I can honestly say it’s the best butternut I have ever had. I always knew it could taste better. Thank you for sharing
So very happy to hear, Takwirira! And you are so very welcome! 🙂
This looks great! Going to try it.
What’s the herb in the pictures? And what other herbs might you recommend? Thanks very much
It’s fresh thyme, Merav. I’d say any kind of fresh herb would work well with this, save maybe for mint or dill… 😉 Parsley, oregano, basil, sage, rosemary, tarragon, chives, savory would all be very suitable contenders, in my opinion.
Thanks. You also inspired me to look into savory, which I wasn’t familiar with. Different herbs in this part of the world, but apparently it does exist here (Israel). Always happy to discover new tastes, and glad I discovered your site!
Why thank you, Merav. I’m very glad you discovered me too. And happy to have made you discover savory. You should definitely give it a try if you can ever get your hands on it. It has a very interesting flavor, you’ll see!
I will be trying your recipe soon. Confused about the seeds and guts, though. Are you roasting them separately on the side or placing the halves on top of them to cook? I love roasted seeds but usually toss the guts. Am I missing something?
I just discard them, Gail. Sorry that much wasn’t clear, I updated the recipe card to add that step.
Thanks for the quick reply, Sonia! My squash is waiting for Sunday dinner and I’m sure it will be delicious.
Great recipe. I never would have thought to try ice cream scoop. Worked awesome, thanks
You are very welcome! Happy Thanksgiving to you! 🙂
Making this roasted butternut squash right now and it smells so good. But, then I clicked on the link for your butternut squash soup and I think I might do that instead. Oh, too many choices!
Thanks for the recipes! Keep the coming please!
Haha, perhaps if you make the soup you’ll still have a little bit of squash leftover to enjoy as is…
Whatever you decide to do, I hope it’s to your liking, Debbie. And fear not, I’ve no intention of stopping! I love cooking way too much for that! 😉
OMG, This squash is really looking so delicious!! Actually, I don’t like olive oil. Any substitute?
Feel free to use your favorite oil.
Made this two days ago and it’s great !! Thank you !!! I just added a little more salt and pepper at the table and it was deelish !!!
Just followed your recipe for oven roasted butternut squash…and it is delicious. I want to share how delicious the skins can be. After roasting I scooped out the squash, then I got to wondering about the skins. ‘Found out they are edible, so I fried them in some bacon greased…delicious.
As for the nuts, they are soaking for the time being. I’ll be roasting them as well.
Also, oven roasted a spaghetti squash following your recipe…can’t wait to try it.
Would this turn out just as good if I roasted them longer at 325°? I want to do it while im roasting my butterball? This looks Heavenly! 😍
I totally think that it would, Joleen, although they will need to be in the oven for longer. And if the squash don’t caramelize as much, you can always turn them flesh side up and place them under the broiler for a few minutes… but really, you should be fine! Happy Thanksgiving to your and yours! 🙂
This looks delicious! I especially love your soup recipe! Thanks for posting it!
Here I am, 71 years old, and I’ve never had a butternut squash before in my life! How deprived! But I had determined to change that before the end of the year and purchased 2 of them the first of October. And there they sat because of my fear of not being able to do it right! I mean, really! How pathetic am I? So just yesterday a friend (well, he called himself a friend) gave us a butternut fresh from his garden. Oh, my! Now I get to mess up a perfectly wonderful squash from a darling friend…what’s a girl to do? So I tell you… I overcame my fears, pulled up my big girl depends and quickly reached for your recipe on Pinterest for Oven Roasted Butternut Squash! Well, dang, if that didn’t go off perfect! And my husband and I just love love love it! What have I been thinking all these years? It’s not that I had an aversion to butternut…I love many kinds of squash…but this was just not one that my mama ever made. I’m held prisoner to some extent by my upbringing. I wonder how many of us are? Thank you for and Pinterest for helping me widen my horizons.
Hahaha! Patricia thank you so much for this! Your story totally made my day and put a [much needed] huge smile on my face! You are the sweetest, really. And I hope that from now on, you never again fear the dreaded butternut squash and show all how to cook it like a boss! 🙂
Happy New Year to you and to husband. God bless you both! 🙂
Thank you! It turned out perfectly! And so beautiful. I’m glad I came across your blog!
Thank YOU, Ally. Glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂
Followed this recipe to the T. My whole house is now full of smoke. What a waste…
Did you perhaps forget step 5?
I’m an 11 year old, and I am totally amazed on how easy and delicious this recipe is! Usually when I want to cook up something I dont have any of the ingredients, but this has simple ingredients that aren’t hard to find in your kitchen. Totaly recommend to any beginners who are trying to cook up something different.
That’s awesome! Very happy to hear, Tihanna! Keep on cooking! 🙂
Tried this today for my meal prep. It’s so good! I didn’t even add anything when it came out, I think it’s perfect as is!
Holy cow! I made this for dinner tonight, my kitchen filled with smoke and I had the fan going and the front and back doors open to clear it. Never again!
I also had to clean the oven (fortunately, it cleans itself) afterwards because of all the burnt-on spatters.
Beautiful. I reduced heat to 300 the last 10 minutes. My squash was a bit large so took a full hour. Beautiful color – served with garden peas. Thank you!
Thanks for the recipe. It’s been so long since I roasted squash I couldn’t remember. This was perfect…..
Was very happy how it turned out, never had it before
So easy! Mine didn’t caramelize as much as I wanted but sure was delicious and a snap to prepare! Roasting veggies is my fave prep method, IMO it brings out the sweetness and the true flavor of the vegetables.
Real happy to hear, Linda! And thanks for the great review! 🙂
Tried this recipe today. My family enjoyed the dish. I added just a bit of honey during the mash up. Aside from that, I followed the recipe as directed. Excellent! Will definitely prepared it again. Thanks!
I was excited to make this recipe but once I put the squash in the oven it began smoking! It caused my smoke alarm to keep going off! I think it was the Olive oil. Not sure if I did something wrong or this recipe should have called for canola or vegetable oil instead. They have higher smoke points.
Sorry to hear, Sabrina. Did you also add water and keep an eye on things to be sure it wasn’t burning?
Very good and easy to make
Thank you! 🙂
I’m so happy that you posted this recipient! Having grown up in a Latin family we never really ate squash so I never learned to make it. Thanks so much! You made my first squash experience a success:)
Awesome!!! Real happy to hear, Coral, and I truly hope that it won’t be your last 🙂
Your instructions were perfect! Never made this before and the first time out it was fabulous. Making it again tonight…and yes, with the leftovers I made the soup = equally fantastic!
Best way I have Ever cook squash and we are a great Butternut squash lovers. At the end I sprinkled it with a little cinnamon and nutmeg was wonderful
Awesome! So very happy to hear! Now I’ll definitely have to try the cinnamon and nutmeg. Sounds heavenly!
I’ve been making oven roasted butternut squash for years and I don’t add anything but water. I kind of overcook it a bit, when the skins get black spots here and there I consider it done and it is wonderfully sweet, we love it.
Thanks for the great feedback, Brig! I greatly appreciate it! 🙂
Came out great!
This was delicious!!!
This recipe was amazingly DELICIOUS 😋 my first time making and I just loved 🥰 it. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe.
This was the best squash I ever made so good added a little butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar or a light brush of maple syrup.
Great easy recipe. I put my halved squash on sprayed foil to avoid the messy cleanup but still caramelize the squash. 400 degrees for 45 min for a 2-3 pound squash. Perfect!!
So easy and delicious!
So easy and delicious!
Outstanding. Turned out so tasty. Carmelization was perfect. Thanks for sharing.
Perfect recipe! So easy and came out great. Thank you.
Made this last week and we loved it. One squash was enough for two meals of three.
Thank you! This is a awesome easy way prepare my Butternut squash. It’s delicious.
Thanks for information. Turned out perfect.
This so excellent!
Thanks for sharing it!!
So delicious! This is now a favorite of mine.
Unfortunately this recipe didn’t work out for me. The combination of the oil on the squash and the water poured into the pan made the oil sizzle and pop in the oven and smoke really bad. I now have a mess in my oven and a smoky kitchen. And uncooked squash 🙁
Amazing! Amazing every time! I roast it with lots of garlic and always turn it into soup using your recipe. Thank you!
You are very welcome, Angela. And thank YOU for your kind words! 🙂
I grew butternut squash for the first time this year and they came out looking pretty good (but pretty small), so I going to try this tonight. A thought on maybe why some people have trouble with a lot of smoke and splatter. Oil and water don’t mix well, of course, so maybe it’s important to put the oiled squash in the pan before adding the water, it may make a kind of seal to keep the two separated. Plus, you say use 1/4 cup of water, but in a very small pan that may be too much. Or maybe put the squash in an aluminum foil boat to keep it separate from the water? Maybe I’ll try one half as directed and boat the other half and let you know what happens.
Love this recipe! Thank you
I just made this squash! Super recipe! Thank you for posting!
I am so glad that someone is doing Simple recipes to me they are not simple. I love it. Charlotte
Loved the squash and at the end I added light brown sugar. Awesome thank you so much for the recipe. Charlotte
Very good. Used spaghetti squash.