Butternut squash may be a favorite fall food, but it’s actually a type of winter squash. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to wait until the frost is on the pumpkin (er, squash) to eat the stuff as it’s harvested in late summer, and its long shelf life ensures that it’s a supermarket staple 12 months of the year. Recipe developer Miriam Hahn calls butternut squash one of her favorite fall foods and says this recipe “just screams fall because of the sweet and savory combination.”
Hahn makes this dish with pre-cut, bagged butternut, saying that this shortcut makes it “an easy recipe [that] is ready in 30 minutes.” If you’re starting from scratch, though, you’ll need a squash that weights about 3 pounds and you’ll also need to peel and de-seed it. Hahn does say, though, that this recipe also works with kabocha and carnival squash, saying, “Both are very similar to a butternut squash,” but adding that they have the additional benefit of having skin that you can eat so there’s no need to peel them.
Assemble the ingredients for the maple-roasted butternut squash
The main ingredient you’ll need here is butternut squash, of course. For flavoring, you’ll be using, you guessed it, maple syrup, plus some ground cinnamon (another one of fall’s usual suspects). Additional ingredients include oil to make the seasonings stick and salt and pepper to round things out.
Season the squash
Mix the squash with the oil, syrup, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, then spread it out on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure the squash is in a single layer — if pieces are piled on top of each other, they may not cook properly.
Bake the squash
Bake the squash for 15 minutes, then use a spatula or similar implement to toss it. After the tossing, bake it for 15 to 20 more minutes. Once the squash is done, the edges should appear golden brown. If you want to add a little color to your cooked squash (besides orange, that is), you could garnish it with some chopped parsley before you eat it.
Leftover squash can be put to good use
Got leftover squash? It can be refrigerated and then reheated in the oven or air fryer, although Hahn notes that if you microwave it, it might get a little mushy. If it does get soft, though, you can always puree it into a squash soup. Another thing you could do with leftovers would be to use them in a salad. Hahn says she likes to mix them with kale, apple, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds to make “a beautiful fall salad,” something she says is “a great way to use the roasted squash.”