If you don't want to cut a butternut up for your side dish tonight, then pick up a packet of pre-cut, peeled butternut squash cubes at the supermarket. Why you ask? Because this Oven Roasted Butternut is one you want to make! Packed with flavorful herbs and spices, extra virgin olive oil and for a delicious melt in your mouth butternut, add Parmesan cheese "for extra measure". This easy weeknight side dish, cubed or sliced is not just any side, it's the no sugar, no honey perfectly seasoned and roasted butternut side dish. Tender and flavorful, it will become a favorite, taking the spotlight from your main dish!
Oven Roasted Butternut With Mixed Herbs
The power of herbs! Beautiful in color, healing, fragrant and can turn just about any dish into a show stopping table centerpiece. We all love a side dish with a sweet taste like Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots Stovetop but then again, sometimes you want just a little more from your sides.
This roasted butternut is easy to make, we are keeping it simple with salt and pepper and olive oil. For extra measure, we add the butternut seeds, spice with a little heat and parmesan cheese. A pop of chili flakes is great for heat, we use this calabrese spice which is combination natural spices and herbs.
I've realized that I'm always so excited to be sharing a new recipe with you because trust me I am! I love, love this recipe. Turning a simple butternut into an absolutely amazing oven roasted side dish that fills your home with sweet memories and smells that draw your family into the kitchen.
Not sure about everyone else but I remember hating vegetables as a child, no I lie, I loved vegetables but what I really didn't appreciate was cooked vegetables. I always preferred most of my veggies raw. As time went on I realized that it wasn't cooked vegetables that I didn't like it was the way that they were cooked. That's a real thing 🙂
It's like giving someone bland chicken, they think that's how it tastes and don't particulary like chicken much. One day, they taste juicy, tender, flavorful chicken, and it's like wow, now I love chicken.
What Is Butternut?
Butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata), known in Australia and New Zealand as butternut pumpkin or gramma, is a type of winter squash that grows on a vine. Referenced here.
Butternut is an orange color squash with more of an oval shape and very popular in South Africa. We love roasting butternut, making a soup, adding butternut as a side to meat dishes or adding to a healthy bowl with couscous. Either way, we love butternut!
Why You Should Roast Butternut Squash
Caramalization: This is top of my reasons for why you should roast butternut. Because it's natural mild sweetness and creamy soft texture, it caramalizes beautifully in the oven. Caramalization adds depth in flavor.
Affordable: As cutting costs go, or simply wanting to not spend a fortune on vegetables, this is a cost effective vegetable. Plus is tastes so delicious! Not sure around the world, but in South Africa, butternut squash is affordable thankfully.
Good Health: Butternut squash, like most vegetables offer an excellent source of vitamins and vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. And the best part is that is also low in calories.
About Oven Roasted Butternut
Butternut is not only for soup. I know, we love a good bowl of butternut soup but we also love butternut roasted as a side dish. Slice the butternut or cut into cubes, it doesn't really matter, what I find more important is the right oven temperature.
You can go savory or sweet with your butternut recipe.
Can You Roast Butternut Seeds?
If you do discard your seeds consider roasting them both for the nutritional value and the texture! I find them quite precious and for this reason I never throw them out. Sometimes I may set them aside to rinse, dry and toast later and then store them away as snacks but most of the time I always roast them with the sidedish. All types of squash seeds are edible and contain nutritional benefits.
How To Clean Butternut Seeds
Simply clean them by removing any butternut flesh around the seeds, I give them a rinse through in a strainer and dry them with a kitchen towel.
Roasting Butternut Seeds
If you are roasting vegetables and want to roast the seeds at the same time, it would depend on the roasting time. If you are roasting on high it may be better add them in later. I don't ever have that problem though because I'm not a high temperature roasting cook 🙂 I prefer roasts on low and slow, always.
With this butternut the time was roughly 30 minutes in the oven of 180/190C which is 356/374 F so the seeds have sufficient time to roast and not burn. Roast until they golden brown. I check on them and remove them if they done before the butternut to prevent them from burning.
Seasoning and Spices For Butternut Squash
Here is a short list of popular pumpkin or butternut spices but remember to be open minded when it comes to flavoring your food. These are all suggestions, feel free to experiment to suit your own taste.
- Smoked paprika
- Cayenne pepper
Extra virgin olive oil for all our recipes.
How To Make Butternut Squash Sweet
Butternut has natural sweetness to it which makes it so good with most meat dishes especially stew and curry, seafood and risotto. To add your own touch of sweetness, here are a few ideas;
- Maple syrup
Difference Between Pumpkin and Butternut
For one thing the taste is not the same. Butternuts are slightly sweeter than pumpkin and you know, although they are actually botanically fruit they are used in the culinary world as vegetables. The pumpkin to me always appeared more as vegetable that the butternut ever did. Just one more thing, did you know that the pumpkin has less calories and carbs than a butternut?
Fresh Herbs and Seasoning
Because my days are spent cooking, mixing herbs, spices, drying, toasting, roasting and grinding it's only natural that I use spices in a 100 different ways. This easy method is truly wonderful because instead of simply adding them directly to the food you have this herb oil mix that is so versatile.
How To Make A Herb Mix For Butternut
Probably the easiest recipe you will ever make because not only is it versatile but also well flavorfrul
- Fresh herbs
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Garlic (thinly sliced, minced, entirely optional, no hard rules)
Quick Note: Rosemary and Thyme for more of a winter herb selection.
How To Cut Butternut
So much easier than you think, all you need is a chopping board and a good kitchen knife and a large sturdy vegetable peeler.
- Place the butternut on a chopping board.
- Cut both the ends off the butternut, those you will discard.
- You want to cut the larger side of the butternut off from the bottom, so cut in half. It might not be exactly half but that's fine. It's easier than attempting to hold the whole butternut and make slices.
- I prefer slicing the butternut it into an inch wide (approx) slices and then peeling it with a slicer, to remove the peels.
- As you can see from the image below, the thicker end has no seeds and the smaller end is the side of the butternut with seeds.
You can also cook the butternut with the skin on, they cook tender and are completely edible. Simply add a little olive oil to help tenderise and caramalize.
Cut the butternut into slices, cubes or work with the shape as they unfold, as with this recipe in the image below.
How To Cook Butternut
This is what you will need for Butternut Ingredient Requirements
Butternut Squash: We usually make two medium butternuts and it serves 4 to 6 people.
Olive oil: Olive oil adds flavor and helps it from drying out. This recipe uses a herb mix which helps prevent the butternut from drying out since there's quite a bit of olive oil in the herb mix. If you are not using this herb mix, then I would suggest a little butter in the cubes or slices before roasting.
Seasoning and Spices: The salt, pepper, chili spice and vegetable spices is included in the herb mix with olive oil.
The Directions On How To Cook Butternut
Prep: Follow the instruction above on how to cut a butternut. Then, slice and peel the butternut with a vegetable peeler and remove the seeds. Add the seeds to the sheet pan when roasting the butternut if you want to roast the butternut seeds.
Remove seeds: Use a spoon to scoop the seeds out, get them into a strainer, rinse, dry them in a kitchen towel and set aside.
Season: In a bowl, add the butternut slices, salt, pepper, olive oil and spices. We used garlic and herb seasoning, calabrese spice for a little heat, salt & pepper and olive oil. All these ingredients can be found in our shop.
Butternut roasted, sliced or cubed.
Bake: Place onto a sheet pan covered with a parchement paper and bake until light golden brown and cooked through.
Optional extra: Add grated Parmesan cheese and place under the grill for 3 to 4 minutes after the butternut is cooked.
How To Use A Herb Mix
If you love herb combination recipes then you must try this amazingly delicious herb infused chicken and pasta recipe!
- On your veggies like this butternut squash
- Eggs and egg dishes
- Risotto - take a look at this creamy authentic risotto dish!
- Turn a plain rice dish into a herbed rice dish
- Add it into a homemade quiche
If anything, it's a refreshing change and yes you can do your favorite recipes and your favorite way of cooking butternut but sometimes you want to introduce a different taste to the table. No matter what you are making, you want it flavored or at least beautifully presented. That for me is worth the effort and not that this oven roasted butternut requires any effort at all, it still makes me smile.
Butternut Squash Storage Tips
Refrigerator: Store any cooked leftover butternut in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Stove-Top: Reheat over low heat in a skillet or non-stick pan. In the oven on a baking sheet at 180 degrees C / 356 degrees F. Microwave in a microwavable dish until for a 2 minutes or until warmed through.
To Make-Ahead: Do all your prep in the same way you would buy a store-ready packed butternut squash. Peeled, de-seeded, sliced or cubed and store in a sealed container in the fridge.
Freeze: Place the slices or cubes of butternut on a baking sheet or large tray and place them in the freezer to freeze. Once frozen, pop them into a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You can also freeze them in freezer container. Remember to thaw before roasting.
Try not to 'over-thaw' (it's a thing) otherwise they become soft and lose their appeal so to speak, they lose their texture. Thaw and pop them into the oven before they become too soft.
What To Serve With Oven Roasted Butternut?
You can serve this oven roasted butternut with just about any other main dish, add into your salads, serve it with couscous, serve it as an additional side to roast potatoes and more. Don't forget to add this roasted butternut squash to roast ham, gammon, pork and beef.
More Easy Side Dishes
Looking for more delicious recipes?
Oven Roasted Butternut Squash
- Chopping board
- Kitchen knife, large for cutting
- Vegetable peeler
- Sheet pan (roasting tray)
- mixing bowl
- 2 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, cut into ½ to and inch size slices or cubes. peeled and thickly sliced
- ¼ cup exra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper mix or or 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Garlic & Herb Spice
- ¼ teaspoon Calabrese Spice, or chili pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon pulled fresh thyme, gently pull it off the stem
- ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat the oven to 185°C / 365°F and layer a sheet pan (oven tray) with parchment paper.
- Make a herb mix dressing for the butternut by adding into a bowl the olive oil with all the herbs and seasoning.¼ cup exra virgin olive oil, divided, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper mix or or 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon Garlic & Herb Spice, ¼ teaspoon Calabrese Spice, or chili pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon pulled fresh thyme, gently pull it off the stem, ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- Place the butternut slices or cubes into a bowl and gently coat with the herb mix, leaving some behind.2 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, cut into ½ to and inch size slices or cubes.
- Place the seasoned butternut slices onto the oven tray leaving a little space inbetween so they are not overlapping. Place the tray in the middle rack. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
- 5 minutes before the time, remove the oven tray from the oven and use a spoon to spread any remaining herb and oil mix over the tops of the butternut slices. Just on the top, there's no need to turn the slices over, you don't want to break them. Spread the herb mix over the butternut slices, and add sprinkles of Parmesan cheese and return to the oven for 5 another minutes. Turn the heat off and leave them inside for a 2 to 3 minutes before taking them out.⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Transfer the roasted butternut over to a platter and serve warm.
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