Sunday, October 7, 2018

Savory Roasted Butternut Squash

An easy, healthy recipe for roasted butternut squash seasoned with savory dried herbs & spices that contrast beautifully with the natural sweetness of the winter squash. Bake a big batch in less than an hour to use for simple side dishes, as the base for butternut squash soup, in breakfast casseroles, or as a topper for fall and winter-themed salads. {gluten-free, paleo, vegan & whole30} 

Savory Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan & Whole30)

This has been my go-to recipe for roasted butternut squash for the past six years, mostly because I use it as the base for my favorite roasted butternut squash soup. But it's scrumptious on its lonesome (straight from the sheet pan while still warm or even cold from the fridge) so I knew I had to make it again for non-soup purposes.

So on my last trip to Breckenridge, Colorado to visit my sis and friends (only a few weeks ago so I could catch the Aspen trees turning), I made several batches of this roasted butternut squash to use as an ingredient for a leafy autumn salad.

Think spring mix, grated sharp cheddar, dried cranberries, sliced Honeycrisp apple, homemade maple candied pecans, and apple cider vinaigrette. Mmmmmm.

How to Roast Butternut Squash + Easy & Healthy Recipe

Why Savory Roasted Butternut Squash Instead of Sweet

What makes my roasted butternut squash recipe slightly different than many of the other ones online is the use of savory dried herbs for seasoning instead of warm spices like cinnamon powder or pumpkin pie spice.

Butternut squash is friggin delish with cinnamon, allspice & nutmeg so if I were using it for a sweeter dish similar to sweet potato casserole or mashed sweet potatoes then that would make sense to use those spices.

But for savory meals like soup or salad? I prefer using dried herbs like thyme, oregano, and rosemary to season the squash (all in herbes de Provence seasoning) as they pair well with the rest of the meal. Plus, you get that sweet, savory & spicy combo (from the cayenne powder, if you choose to use it) which is irresistible.

If you happen to have leftover roasted squash or need another idea for using it in a savory recipe like mine, give this butternut squash bruschetta a try!

How to Roast Butternut Squash + Easy & Healthy Recipe

The Best Way to Roast Butternut Squash

There are some folks who prefer roasting butternut squash whole (with holes poked in it) or sliced in half with a bit of water in the center to help it steam in the oven. Those methods certainly have less prep work involved but the result is plain cooked butternut squash. Ideal for recipes where you season later on like a custard pie or mashed squash, but not so much in salads or on its lonesome.

Cutting the squash into small cubes before cooking gives you more surface area for the seasonings to adhere to and the oven to work its roasty magic while it brings out the sweetness (natural sugars) in the squash. That means more flava flav all around. So this is why I almost always take the extra 10-15 minutes to cube the squash first.

Savory Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan & Whole30)

How to Roast Butternut Squash

I give detailed instructions in the recipe card below for how to prep & roast a whole fresh butternut squash; however, here's a rundown of the steps so you can see how easy it is:
  • Grab your kitchen tools so the process is fast, easy & safe. You'll need a towel, cutting board, sharp knife (this is important), sharp peeler (dull will work but it'll just be more of a workout), large baking sheet, metal spoon, and wooden spoon or oven-safe utensil. Set everything up (per my directions below) and you're ready.
  • Slice off the ends of the butternut squash so they're flat. This makes it easy to stand it upright for support when peeling (if need be). Then cut the squash in half lengthwise, making sure to watch your fingers as winter squashes are pretty thick and also curvy. We don't want it rolling away or slipping out of your fingers while you're cutting into it. This is why having a sharp knife helps a lot. 
  • Scoop out the innards (seeds & pulp) and either clean and dry the seeds quickly (while the squash is roasting) so you can roast them for snacks OR just discard them. They don't keep long if you try to shove 'em in the fridge (pulp & all) and forget about them.
  • Cut the squash into 1/2 inch or 1-inch cubes (they don't have to be perfect or all alike - mine never are - just near-ish the same size), spread the pieces on a baking sheet and season with the oil and dried spices. Toss well, spread 'em again and stick the butternut squash in the oven. 
  • Let the squash roast, stirring once halfway through, for about 30 minutes or until all the pieces are fork-tender. If you cut your squash into big chunks (the prepared cubes from the grocery store tend to be huge) or live at a higher altitude, your squash might take a bit longer to cook. If your oven runs hot or you cut the pieces really small, it could be done in 20ish minutes. Just keep an eye on them!

Easy Healthy Recipe For Roasted Butternut Squash

Tools I Recommend For Making Roasted Butternut Squash

  • sharp knife
  • cutting board
  • kitchen towel
  • peeler
  • large rimmed baking sheet
  • wooden spoon

Love Fall & Winter Food? Here Are More Winter Squash Recipes To Try:

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roasted butternut squash recipe, how to roast butternut squash
side dish
Yield: 4-6 servings

Savory Roasted Butternut Squash

prep time: 15 minscook time: 30 minstotal time: 45 mins
An easy, healthy recipe for roasted butternut squash seasoned with savory dried herbs & spices that contrast beautifully with the natural sweetness of the winter squash. Bake a big batch to use for a simple side dish, as the base for butternut squash soup, in breakfast casseroles, or as a topper for fall and winter themed salads. {gluten-free, paleo, vegan & whole30}


  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried herbes de Provence seasoning OR Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/8-1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional) 


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. If you're saving time by using pre-peeled & cubed butternut squash, skip to the seasoning step. Lay a kitchen towel on the counter and place a cutting board on top (this will prevent the board from sliding). Grab your sharpest kitchen knife and cut off the ends of the butternut squash (top and bottom) so both sides are flat. Carefully slice the squash in half lengthwise and use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp from the center. Discard the seeds or set them aside to clean and roast.
  2. Place the squash halves cut side down on the cutting board and use a sharp peeler to remove all the butternut squash skin until only orange flesh remains (if you are still seeing green lines or opaque beige/white skin, keep peeling). Cut the peeled squash into 1/2 inch or 1-inch cubes (I prefer smaller pieces so they cook faster) and transfer all the pieces to a large rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Top the butternut squash cubes with olive oil, sprinkle with herbes de Provence, granulated garlic, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, then toss the squash well using clean hands so the oil and seasonings coat the cubes evenly. Spread the seasoned squash across the baking sheet in one layer and pop in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring the squash once half-way through the cook time, or until the middle of the largest piece of squash is fork-tender.
  4. Serve the roasted butternut squash immediately as a side dish or topping for a leafy fall salad. Or blend it with stock, spices, and cooked aromatics for a healthy & filling homemade butternut squash soup. Store any leftovers in the fridge and use within 4-5 days (it's yummy eaten cold) or freeze for later to use in soups, pasta, and casseroles. 


To save time on prep, grab 3 lbs of fresh butternut squash from the refrigerated produce section of your local grocery store that's already been peeled, seeded and chopped into cubes.

You can prep the butternut squash (peel, remove seeds + pulp & cube) a few days ahead of time and keep the prepared squash in a container with a tight-fitting lid until ready to use.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Easy Roasted Butternut Squash (Savory Recipe For Salad, Soup, Side Dishes, Thanksgiving & Christmas)

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