Simple roasted butternut squash with cinnamon, brown sugar and a little cayenne. We love butternut squash and this recipe is our favorite way to cook it!
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How to Roast Butternut Squash (My Favorite)
We love butternut squash around here. When we aren’t making a batch of this dreamy roasted butternut squash soup, we are roasting cubes of squash with cinnamon and brown sugar until tender and lightly caramelized. Cinnamon and cayenne add warmth while brown sugar sweetens things up a little. This is the perfect fall side dish, and can even be served cold on top of salads for lunch.
We just love roasted winter squash. If you don’t have butternut squash, you can always substitute other winter squash varieties — like delicata squash — in our recipe below.)
Tip #1: Cut the Squash into Evenly Sized Pieces
We know cutting up winter squash, especially butternut squash, can be tricky. (Don’t worry, in our recipe below, we share how we do it and you can watch us do it in the video.) We find that separating the thinner end from the round, wider end makes things much easier.
In our roasted butternut squash recipe below, we call for 1-inch cubes. You could choose to make the chunks smaller or larger, just keep everything similar in size. This way, all the squash pieces roast evenly. As for peeling, you could leave the peel on. We prefer to remove it, but it’s fine to eat and some prefer the chewiness of the peel when left to roast.
Tip #2: Don’t Crowd the Squash
When you’re roasting vegetables, it’s important to give them a little space. Without some room, vegetables tend to steam instead of roast. When that happens, you can say good-bye to the golden brown and caramelized edges we love so much.
Tip #3: Roast Butternut Squash at a High Temperature
After trying a few different oven temperatures, we’ve settled on 425 degrees F. The squash becomes tender and the edges get a chance to brown a little. If you’re roasting something else, say chicken, at the same time you do have some leeway. Stick close to 425 degrees F and you should be just fine.
What To Serve This With
More Winter Squash Recipes
- Roasted Acorn Squash with Walnuts and Cranberries — Easy roasted acorn squash recipe topped with an utterly delicious mixture of butter, walnuts and cranberries.
- Parmesan Lemon Baked Spaghetti Squash — Easy baked spaghetti squash recipe with butter cooked chicken, parmesan, and fresh lemon.
- Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup — Butternut squash is roasted on top of garlic cloves and fresh thyme then blended with stock into a silky smooth butternut squash soup.
- Homemade Pumpkin Puree From Scratch — How to make homemade pumpkin puree from scratch to be used in your favorite pumpkin recipes.
- Sweet and Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash — Spice up oven roasted butternut squash with a combination of maple syrup and Sriracha.
Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash
Not only is roasted butternut squash a perfect side dish, it’s perfect to add to rice bowls or to top hearty salads. We enjoy it cold and often save some for the following day to add to salad for lunch. If you’ve got lots leftover, make soup. Throw leftover roasted squash into a blender with a splash or two of stock and blend. This recipe can be used for other varieties of winter squash. Simply substitute other winter squash varieties for butternut squash in our recipe below.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 pounds or 8 cups, cubed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Dash cayenne, optional
1Heat oven to 425 degrees F and line two large baking sheets with aluminum foil.
2Toss squash cubes with olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and the cayenne until well coated. Tumble coated squash onto baking sheets and spread into one layer. Try not to crowd them too much or else they will not brown.
3Bake squash, turning once and rotating pans once, until edges are lightly browned and centers are tender; 40 to 45 minutes. (Since ovens can often run hotter than you have heated them to, check the squash every so often to make sure they are not roasting quicker than expected).
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- How to Cut Butternut Squash into Cubes: Cut off the stem and bottom ends of the squash so both ends are flat. Slice the squash in half, just where the thinner end begins to widen. Use a heavy-duty peeler to peel away the skin. If you notice green streaks remaining on the squash as you peel, peel those away as well until only orange flesh remains (they can be a little tough). Cut the larger end in half and spoon out the seeds. (Save the seeds – look for instructions for how to roast them below). Cut each piece into 1-inch-thick sticks then slice into 1-inch cubes.
- How to Roast Butternut Squash Seeds: Remove pulp and fibrous threads from seeds. Simmer seeds in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Toss seeds with olive oil and lightly season with salt. Roast in a 325 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The seeds will not change much in color, but will crunch when done.
- We love cinnamon for this recipe, but using this pumpkin pie spice blend is excellent.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.
Recipe updated, originally posted November 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne