These Roasted Butternut Squash Halves are simple to make in the oven with just a few ingredients. It take about 45-60 minutes (depending on size) to get soft, caramelized butternut squash that’s ready to serve.
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Why You’ll Love It
- Simplicity: This recipe is all about letting the natural flavors of butternut squash shine. No need for intricate techniques or a laundry list of ingredients.
- Versatility: These roasted halves can serve as a standalone dish or can be incorporated into a variety of meals—think salads, tacos, or grain bowls.
- Nutritional Value: Butternut squash is a powerhouse of nutrients, including vitamins A and C, making it a healthy addition to your fall menu.
Ingredients You Need
- Butternut squash – These come in all different sizes, from pretty small to rather large. I like to look for a medium sized one that’s about 2-3 pounds.
- Olive oil – Give a hint of an earthy taste.
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper – Seasoning the squash before and after roasting is essential.
- Optional herbs: Rosemary or thyme, spices like cinnamon or nutmeg
Equipment Needed for Roasted Butternut Squash Halves
- Baking sheet – To roast the butternut squash on.
- Parchment paper or silicon mat – This will make clean up a lot easier.
Top Tips for the Best Squash
- Pick the Right Squash: Look for a butternut squash that feels heavy for its size with a matte, not shiny, skin. Shiny skin indicates that the squash is under ripe.
- Don’t Skimp on Seasoning: While the squash has its own natural sweetness, a little seasoning goes a long way. Don’t be afraid to experiment with herbs and spices to kick up the flavor.
- Check for Doneness: Oven temperatures can vary, so start checking for doneness around the 35-minute mark. The edges should be slightly caramelized and the flesh should be tender.
How to Roast Butternut Squash in the Oven:
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
Cut the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy insides. Brush some oil on the fleshy parts, and season with salt and pepper.
Place the halves face down on the baking sheet. Roast for 45-60 minutes in the oven. The size of the squash will determine how long it takes. Pierce it with a fork to see if it’s done and when it’s very tender, it’s ready.
How to Store and Reheat
Once the squash has completely cooled, you can store any leftover squash in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
To reheat, you can pop it in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for about 10-15 minutes or until warmed through. Alternatively, a quick spin in the microwave will also do the trick, though the oven method is preferred for retaining texture.
What to Use It For
These roasted halves are quite versatile. You can serve them as a side dish, chop them up for salads, or mash and use as a filling for ravioli or tacos. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity.
- Butternut Squash Soup: This is a classic for a reason. Roast your butternut squash to deepen its flavors, then blend it with some vegetable stock, a touch of cream, and spices like ginger or nutmeg. Finish it off with a drizzle of good-quality olive oil or a dollop of crème fraîche.
- Stuffed Butternut Squash: Stuff it with a mixture of grains like quinoa or farro, some sautéed vegetables, and maybe some protein like crumbled sausage or chickpeas. Return it to the oven to meld the flavors together.
- Butternut Squash Risotto: Add some of this diced butternut squash to your risotti to vie it an earthy, creamy texture.
Questions About the Recipe
What’s the best oven temperature for roasting butternut squash?
The ideal oven temperature for roasting butternut squash is usually around 400°F (200°C). This high heat helps to caramelize the natural sugars in the squash, giving it a rich, sweet flavor and a slightly crispy edge. However, if you’re roasting it along with other ingredients that require a lower temperature, you can go as low as 375°F (190°C) and just extend the cooking time a bit.
Do I need to peel butternut squash before roasting?
If you’re roasting butternut squash in halves or large pieces, peeling is not necessary—the skin will soften during roasting and is edible. However, if you plan to dice the squash or want a smoother texture, peeling is recommended. A vegetable peeler or a sharp knife can be used to remove the skin easily.
How do I know when the roasted butternut squash is done?
You can tell that butternut squash is done roasting when its flesh is tender and its edges are slightly browned or caramelized. A fork or knife should easily pierce the flesh without any resistance. Cooking time can vary depending on the size and thickness of the squash pieces, but it’s generally between 45 to 60 minutes. Always check for doneness starting at the earlier part of your estimated cooking time to prevent overcooking.
Main Dishes to Serve This With
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Roasted Butternut Squash Halves
- 2-3 pound (907 g) butternut squash
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
- Cut the butternut squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy insides. Brush some oil on the fleshy parts, and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the halves face down on the baking sheet. Roast for 45-60 minutes in the oven. The size of the squash will determine how long it takes. Pierce it with a fork to see if it’s done and when it’s very tender, it’s ready.
- Parchment paper
- Look for a butternut squash that feels heavy for its size with a matte, not shiny, skin. Shiny skin indicates that the squash is under ripe.
- While the squash has its own natural sweetness, a little seasoning goes a long way. Don’t be afraid to experiment with herbs and spices to kick up the flavor.
- Oven temperatures can vary, so start checking for doneness around the 35-minute mark. The edges should be slightly caramelized and the flesh should be tender.
Laura is a home cook, with 25 years experience behind the stove, who spends an extraordinary amount of time in the kitchen cooking. She loves making new recipes and finding wonderful new things to eat, both at home or abroad. She spends a lot of time researching, crafting, and perfecting her recipes and currently has a cookbook in development.