If you're wondering how to make cubed roasted butternut squash that is tender, golden and bursting with sweet flavor, you've come to the right place! This recipe is made with diced butternut squash and requires just 10 minutes of active time.
In this post, you'll learn how to prep and dice butternut squash, how to roast it to perfection, and a variety of serving ideas and flavor combinations.
This recipe works with fresh or frozen butternut squash. It uses ultra-simple seasonings but I for a savory approach to roasted butternut squash, but I also share a few tips on how to make sweet roasted squash as well.
📋 Why this recipe works
- Simple: Made with just 4 ingredients
- Quick & easy: Requires only 10 minutes of active time
- Versatile: Easy to customize using your favorite spices
- Great as a meal starter: Use roasted butternut squash in bowls, soups, or as a fall side
If you're looking for more plant-based basics, you'll want to check out my similar guide to roasted sweet potato.
🧾 What you'll need
- Butternut squash: Aim for a medium squash that is 2-3 pounds. This recipe works with any size squash but the oil, salt and pepper will need to be adjusted.
- Olive oil: Choose a light olive oil for neutral flavor and rich if you don't mind olive oil flavor (that's what I usually use). Any neutral oil works, like canola oil or vegetable oil.
- Salt: Choose kosher salt. Red Diamond is my favorite brand because it has finer grains of salt that cover more surface area with less salt.
- Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper works best because it is significantly more flavorful than pre-ground pepper.
🔪 How to cut butternut squash
Use a vegetable peeler/potato peeler to remove the skin. It's easiest if you hold the butternut squash at an angle. This helps prevent wrapping your knuckles on the cutting board while peeling.
Use a sharp chef's knife to slice off the ends of the squash. Slice just enough to remove the stem and the bottom part. It is very important to use a sharp knife here, both for safety and ease of cutting.
Slice the squash in half so that the stem is on one side and the rounder base is on the other side.
Slice each half, this time slicing from top to bottom.
The rounder base will be filled with seeds and stringy bits. Use a spoon, a grapefruit spoon with serrated edges or an ice cream scoop to scoop out the flesh and seeds.
Lay all halves cut side down. Cut each half into 1-inch wide slices.
Cut those slices into 1 inch pieces. This will make 1 inch cubes. Adjust the sizes to fit your preferences as needed, such as ½ inch or ¾ inch cubes.
Now you have a lot of pieces of raw butternut squash, so let's turn that into roasted butternut squash!
⏲️ Roasting instructions
Add the diced butternut squash to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat.
Pro tip: My rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon oil per pound of squash, so I usually use about 2 tablespoons for a standard 2-3 pound squash.
Sprinkle with salt. For a 2-3 pound squash I use about ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
Layer a full-size sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy clean-up OR use a non-stick sheet pan.
Transfer the squash to the baking sheet. Spread evenly, careful not to overlap pieces. Even spacing between squash allows for even browning instead of just softening.
Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Roast the squash at 425 degrees F for 30-35 minutes total. This is a hotter temp than a lot of recipes recommend but I find that it makes the squash more golden which in turn adds more flavor!
After 15 minutes, remove the squash from the oven. Use a spatula to stir the squash around. Flip any pieces that are browning too quickly (most likely the edge pieces). This allows for even cooking and browning.
The butternut squash is ready when fork tender and golden. This means that a fork can be inserted in the center with little to no resistance. Enjoy!
💭Top tips and variations
- Squash size: Aim for ¾ inch to 1-inch pieces. What's more important is to make sure all pieces are the same size so that they all cook at the same time.
- Cutting tip: Keep a damp cloth underneath the cutting board. This keeps it from sliding around and makes cutting the squash safer and easier.
- Spices: Roasted butternut squash is a great blank slate for savory flavors like taco seasoning, Italian seasoning and Cajun seasoning, which can be added at the same time as the salt.
- For a sweet option: Decrease the salt to ¼ teaspoon and omit the black pepper. To the roasted squash add ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, a couple pinches of nutmeg and 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar.
- Save the seeds, for roasted butternut squash seeds which are just like roasted pumpkin seeds.
You can use frozen butternut squash but it will need to be completely thawed before roasting. Pat with a clean towel to remove any excess moisture before tossing with oil. Because frozen squash is par-cooked, it will need just 15-20 minutes of roasting instead of 30-35 minutes.
Yes, roasted squash can be frozen but the texture will be a little softer. To keep the squash from sticking together, lay it out on a cutting board or baking sheet. Transfer this to the freezer and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen pieces to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Butternut squash has a lightly sweet and nutty flavor. It tastes like a combination of sweet potato and pumpkin.
Leftovers and reheating
Leftovers: Keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days.
Reheating: You can reheat squash in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven.
- Microwave: Reheat in a bowl on high for 1 minute.
- Oven: Reheat at 350 degrees F until warmed through.
- Stovetop: Place over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally, until warmed through.
There are so many different ways to serve roasted butternut squash. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
- Salad: Add it to a warm kale salad with tahini dressing for a cozy fall meal
- Soup: Add it to soups like this sweet potato stew or this quinoa chili
- Pasta: Enjoy with tortellini or angel hair pasta
- Side: Serve as a side with panko tofu cutlets and macaroni and cheese
- Burritos and tacos: Add to burrito bowls, taco salads, tacos, or enchiladas
- Thanksgiving: Toss with other roasted fall veggies for a healthy Thanksgiving side
Looking for more fall recipes?
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Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 medium butternut squash 2-3 pounds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil more as needed
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a full sized sheet pan with parchment paper or foil for easy clean up.
- Prep the butternut squash: Remove the peel using a vegetable peeler. Using a sharp knife, slice off the stem and bottom inch of the squash. Cut the squash in half to separate the stem and rounder base, then cut in half lengthways. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the seeds and stringy parts. Dice the squash into 1 inch pieces.
- Transfer the diced squash to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Toss to combine.
- Spread the squash into an even layer on the sheet pan, careful not to overlap pieces. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Roast at 425F for 30-35 minutes total. After 15 minutes, remove from the oven and stir the pieces to promote even cooking. Return to the oven and cook until the squash is fork-tender and golden.
- Leftovers: Keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days.
- Can I freeze roasted butternut squash? Yes, but the texture will be a little softer. To keep the squash from sticking together, lay it out on a cutting board or baking sheet. Transfer this to the freeze and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen pieces to a freezer safe container and freeze for up to three months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- For a sweet option, decrease the salt to ¼ teaspoon and omit the black pepper. To the roasted squash add ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, a couple pinches of nutmeg and 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar.
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