Baked butternut squash is a tasty and wholesome recipe with rich, aromatic, sweet, and nutty flavors, a buttery tender core, and a slightly caramelized exterior.
Diced butternut squash is seasoned with a cozy and mouthwatering mix of spices, herbs, and a hint of maple syrup to enhance its sweetness.
It’s the perfect side dish for a memorable holiday meal, or you can use it to enrich salads and pasta.
Table of Contents
Dietary Note: This recipe is suitable for a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diet.
You can make baked butternut squash the same way as roasted butternut squash.
The difference is in the seasoning, which, in our baked butternut squash recipe, includes a delicious mix of rosemary, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, extra virgin olive oil, and maple syrup.
As the spices roast in the oven, they infuse the squash pieces with a comforting and warming aroma.
The maple syrup boosts the natural sweetness of the squash, and it helps it caramelize.
Baked butternut squash cubes are excellent as a side dish for a special holiday meal from Thanksgiving through Christmas.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.
Get a whole butternut squash, peel it with a vegetable peeler, and cut it into chunks.
Alternatively, you can buy pre-chopped butternut squash at the store.
Substitute sweet potato, kabocha squash, pumpkin, acorn squash, and any other winter squash for butternut.
Note that the squash skin is edible when cooked, but we prefer baking it without it.
Use extra virgin olive oil or olive oil. Their flavor goes well with the squash, and they are excellent for baking as their polyphenol content makes them stable at high temperatures.
Substitute avocado oil for olive oil.
A tablespoon or two of maple syrup helps boost the natural sweetness of the butternut squash, making it irresistible. Kids and adults alike will love this!
You can easily keep the maple syrup out if you don’t want the extra sweetness. The squash will still be delicious.
Rosemary and butternut squash are an excellent flavor match. You can use a sprig of fresh rosemary or a teaspoon of dried rosemary.
Substitute sage leaves for rosemary.
Delicious with both the rosemary and the squash, cinnamon is a must in this recipe.
To make this baked butternut squash more festive than it already is, we recommend adding a grating of nutmeg, a hint of ground cloves, and a pinch of ground ginger.
Salt & Black Pepper
We recommend sea salt or kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
How to make baked butternut squash
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Optionally, line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Peel the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler, trim the top and bottom, and cut it in half lengthwise.
Now, scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
With a sharp chef’s knife, cut the butternut squash halves into logs and then into 1-inch cubes.
Add the dice to a large mixing bowl and toss with extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, clove, grated nutmeg, ginger, rosemary needles picked off the sprig, salt, and black pepper.
Arrange on a single layer on a baking tray and bake for about 25 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender and slightly caramelized.
Transfer onto a serving plate and serve as a side dish for a weeknight dinner or a special holiday meal.
Roasted butternut squash
Our roasted butternut squash is the perfect side dish for those who prefer their squash without cinnamon.
A simple seasoning of rosemary, sage, olive oil, and salt enhances its rich, earthy flavor.
Check out our roasted butternut squash recipe.
Serve as a side dish for dinner and pair with a protein-rich main such as:
- Mushroom tofu cutlets: a tasty substitute for mushroom chicken.
- Mushroom Wellington: the best vegetarian holiday main.
- Lentil vegetable soup with Italian herbs and healthy leafy greens.
- Easy lentil curry: a bowl of comfort food with hearty flavor.
- Garlic and oil spaghetti with fried tofu: a quick 15-minute weekday dinner.
As part of a festive holiday meal with other vegetable sides, such as:
Make ahead: You can peel and chop the butternut squash ahead of time and keep it covered in the fridge for 24 hours or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Refrigerator: keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for three days.
Freezer: let the baked butternut squash cool down completely, then transfer it into a freezer-friendly container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw & Reheat: defrost in the fridge over several hours, and Reheat in the microwave, air fryer, or preheated oven.
At 400°F, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes for butternut squash to soften in the oven, depending on how the squash was grown and how thick you cut it.
The skin of butternut squash is edible, so peeling it before cutting or roasting it is unnecessary. However, we prefer to peel the skin off before slicing and baking the squash.
Like other orange-fleshed vegetables, butternut squash has many health benefits. For instance, its high Vitamin C content helps boost immunity and the high amount of beta-carotene and vitamin A help with eye health. Its high fiber content promotes a healthy weight and stable blood sugar; it helps with cancer prevention and more.
You can peel butternut squash with a sharp, sturdy vegetable peeler or a sharp chef’s knife.
More roasted vegetables
Roasted vegetables are a quick and easy way to add more color, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber to your meals. Try one of these vegetable sides with your next dinner:
- Roasted Brussels sprouts with a finger-licking mustard dressing
- Crispy baked asparagus for a vibrant and wholesome side dish
- Garlic roasted eggplant with Italian herbs, a delicious veggie side with pasta and salads
- Italian roasted zucchini with crunchy rosemary and breadcrumbs topping
- Tender-crisp roasted cauliflower with four ingredients and ready in 30 minutes!
- Sweet potato cubes: a perfect addition to sweet potato salad and grain bowls.
- Easy roasted kabocha squash is a fuss-free recipe with no peeling required!
- Roasted artichokes and potatoes: a one-tray recipe perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas
More Butternut squash recipes
If you’re also a fan of butternut squash, try one of these butternut squash reader favorite recipes:
- Butternut squash ravioli with ricotta and parmesan filling.
- Velvety smooth butternut squash soup with fresh herbs.
- Pasta with butternut squash: a weekday dinner favorite with a creamy sauce.
- Risotto made with butternut squash cubes is ultra creamy and tasty.
For many more side dish ideas, check out our sides category page.
Baked Butternut Squash
- 2 pounds butternut squash about 1 medium squash; peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-Inch dice.
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 sprig rosemary the needles, chopped.
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg + 1 pinch of cloves and of ginger optional.
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 twists black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Optionally, line a baking tray with parchment paper.Peel the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler, trim the top and bottom, and cut it in half lengthwise.Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
- With a sharp chef’s knife, cut the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes. Tip: You can fit about 2 pounds butternut squash per baking tray for optimal cooking.
- Add the dice to a large mixing bowl and toss with 1½ tablespoons olive oil, 1½ tablespoon maple syrup, 1 sprig rosemary, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¾ teaspoon salt, and 2 twists black pepper.Arrange on a single layer on a baking tray and bake for about 25 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender and slightly caramelized.
- Transfer onto a serving plate and serve as a side dish for a weeknight dinner or a special holiday meal.