Fall is a good season for a warm batch of roasted veg, and this roasted butternut squash recipe is a perfect nominee. Imagine serving a tray of this gorgeous, aromatic, freshly made roasted veg at the dinner table on Thanksgiving this year. I bet everyone will be amazed at how stunning and delicious this roast is!
But first, let’s get to know the recipe. We’ve got some facts that you might find interesting!
Is It Okay to Eat Unripe Butternut Squash?
Although butternut squash counts as a type of winter squash, its peak season is around fall and late summer. You should have no problem buying ripe squash, but in case you do, here’s what you should know about unripe squash:
Immature butternut squash has a pale green color, and as it matures, the green color gradually changes to pale yellow (or golden yellow, depending on the variety). You’ll know that the fruit isn’t ripe when you can pierce through the skin easily using your fingernail. Although the squash is edible at this stage, its flavor isn’t fully developed and therefore, not as tasty to eat.
If you have more time on your hands, you can easily ripen green squash yourself: wash them so they’re clean, bring them indoors, leave them in a sunny spot and wait for a few days. Remember to turn them occasionally so that all of the sides can turn yellow evenly. When the time comes, you should have ripe squash that are perfect for this roasted butternut squash recipe.
How Long Will Raw Butternut Squash Stay Fresh?
If you’re buying them from the store, most of them are already cured— having a protective seal naturally formed within the fruit. If you’re intending to store home-grown squash, you’ll have to cure them yourself.
To store cured squash, leave them in a cool area (about 68°F) and make sure the air is well-ventilated around them (meaning no stacking!) by keeping them off the ground. Also, make sure that they sit on a soft surface to avoid getting a bruised bottom. The ideal way to store them would be on an indoor shelf or kitchen counter, cushioned with a piece of cloth underneath to protect the bottom.
To prolong their shelf-life even more, keep them away from other tree fruits, like apples, bananas, etc. These fruits can emit ethylene and make your squash age faster. If you’re planning on using them in a couple of days, this won’t be a big deal.
Although it seems like a lot to remember, it’s pretty easy once you’re in the process. Just remember to check on them once in a while to make sure all is well, and you’ll have stored squash to eat for weeks, or even months, without going to the store.
Tips on How to Roast Your Squash to Perfection
Before you start roasting, we have some tips that can help you make a perfect roast!
Microwave Your Squash before Peeling
For a medium squash, microwave it for about 3-5 mins so the skin and flesh are softened. This should make it easier for you to peel the skin.
Cut Your Squash Evenly
This tip applies to all cooking methods (which you probably already know). Just pick a size and stick to it. Even cuts cook evenly!
Don’t Make a Crowd
Crowding the tray only results in a roast that’s full of undercooked and overcooked bits. Make sure you spread the butternut squash pieces in a single layer on the tray. This will allow the heat to distribute more evenly.
Or… Do It The Lazy Way!
You don’t need to peel the skin or cube the squash to roast them! Cut your squash in half, scoop out the seeds and fibrous strings, and pop them in the oven, with the skin side down. Set the heat to low so the halves can cook thoroughly. If you don’t feel like having roasted squash, you can make butternut squash soup after roasting them!
What to Serve with Roasted Butternut Squash?
This warm, hearty side goes particularly well with simple meat dishes. The two combined not only make a wholesome meal in terms of macronutrients, but also a wonder of texture, fragrance, and taste. Here are some of our pairing nominees:
- Beef: two thick cuts of steak, one roast on the side, with a bottle of wine— that’s what we call a recipe for romance. We’re talking tender steaks cooked to perfection (your desired doneness), basted in butter, garlic, and rosemary. The best part is rosemary also pairs super well with butternut squash!
- Chicken: a simple roasted chicken with a basic herb and salt mix should be the rightful companion of your squash. The tenderness of the squash goes well with the savory roasted chicken, and you can even cook both of them on the same tray!
- Pork: crispy bacon bits may give the squash a contrast in texture and flavor, but baked pork chops are the ones to score a home run here. The juicy pork pairs amazingly well with roasted butternut squash to make a wholesome, complete meal. Not to brag, but we do have a great recipe in case you fancy it.
How To Make Roasted Butternut Squash
- 23.6 oz butternut squash cubed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Spread the cubed squash evenly on a baking tray. Drizzle over olive oil, and season with cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Serve immediately.