Simple roasted butternut squash is a healthy and easy fall side-dish. Roasted butternut squash is flavorful, luscious and fluffy. It pairs beautifully with roasted chicken, turkey and pork. Butternut squash is a type of winter squash with a sweet and a slightly nutty flavor. It is related to the pumpkin.
Roasting butternut squash is my all-time favorite way to prepare this fall vegetable. A natural sweetness emerges when the squash is roasted. It is often what I would consider the most simplest of recipes that I find I am most asked about. This is one of those recipes. In addition to eating the roasted squash straight away, I also use the puree to make butternut squash soup or butternut squash and mushroom risotto. These recipes are some of my all-time favorite fall meals.
Health experts say to “eat the rainbow” of veggies. Meaning, eat a wide variety of colorful veggies to get loads of vitamins and minerals. Butternut squash is a good source of vitamin A, potassium and fiber. It is considered to be good for digestion, healthy skin and hair and for blood pressure (Medical News Today, May 2017).
How to roast butternut squash
Begin by slicing the butternut squash lengthwise in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and strings. Season the squash halves with extra virgin olive oil, fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper. The squash is then baked in the oven for nearly an hour or until the flesh easily pulls away with a fork. Next scoop out the cooked squash into a bowl. I usually use a fork to fluff it up and taste to adjust the seasoning. I also add a table spoon of butter on top while it is still warm before serving.
Tips for the most flavorful roasted butternut squash
- Choose an organic squash if possible. I find these always have far more flavor and a brighter more colorful flesh.
- I always use a high-quality extra virgin olive oil and fine sea salt. These two ingredients are essential and make a difference.
- If you like things a little spicy, add a slight pinch of chili flakes on the squash prior to baking.
- For additional fall fragrance and flavor, add 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder to the squash.
Variations are the spice of life right? And that’s it! Simple, healthy and delicious. Do you have a favorite winter squash? Butternut squash definitely tops the list of my favorites. If you make this roasted butternut squash, please come back and let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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- 1 medium to large butternut squash preferably organic
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- freshly ground white pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds and strings.
Use a large baking pan. Evenly distribute the extra virgin olive oil all over the squash (both front and back). Place the squash flesh side up on the pan. Season with the salt and pepper.
Bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour or until the flesh pulls back easily with a fork.
Scoop out the cooked squash into a bowl. Mash (or fluff) up the squash with a fork. Add additional seasoning to taste.
Variations: I like to add 1 tablespoon of butter on top before serving.
If you like things a little spicy, you can add a slight pinch of chili flakes on the squash prior to baking. For additional fall fragrance and flavor, add 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder to the squash before baking.
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