Roasted Butternut Squash

Serves 4 as a side dish

Roasting winter squash with a bit of brown sugar falls into the nothing-new-under-the-sun category, but frankly feeding children and searching for new things under the sun aren’t always compatible endeavors. This Roasted Butternut Squash is an easy side dish you can make all fall and winter long, and one that you will happily call upon when it comes time to find something orange to add to the holiday buffet and you can’t face one more multistep recipe.

You can multiply this recipe easily, but you will want to make sure that the pieces of squash are distributed in a single layer on the baking sheet, without being at all crowded to get that nice browned, caramely exterior. If you make more than one batch you’ll likely have to use more than one baking sheet and rotate them on the oven racks midway through roasting.

Roasted Butternut Squash


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 butternut squash (about 1 1⁄4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1 1⁄2-inch pieces (see the Cooking Tip)
  • 2 tablespoons (1⁄4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher or coarse salt

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Spread the pieces of squash on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the melted butter over the squash and sprinkle it with the brown sugar and salt. Toss the squash until it is evenly coated.

3. Bake the squash until it is nicely browned and tender, 35 to 45 minutes, stirring it once halfway through the cooking time.

Cooking Tip

Peeling butternut squash is a bit of a drag (and you can buy cleaned and halved or cubed squash if you’re not in the mood). First you’ll want to trim off the bottom and the top of the squash, so it will stand upright on the counter. Then, using the best vegetable peeler you have, peel off the very thick outer skin. It usually takes a couple of swipes with the peeler to get all the way through the skin, past the greenish part and into the really orange part. Then cut the squash in half from top to bottom. Each side will have a pocket full of seeds in its bulbous bottom; scoop those out with a spoon, along with any stringy bits, and discard them. Cut the bright orange squash flesh into chunks.
What the Kids Can Do

Kids can scoop the seeds out of the squash and measure the brown sugar and salt. Once you have cut up the squash they can spread it out on the baking sheet, drizzle the butter over it, and toss it with the brown sugar and salt.

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