This is one of those undiscovered gems for me. I’ve always associated butternut squash with soup and most of the time, not well-seasoned soup. Also, any time I saw it at the supermarket I just didn’t know what else to do with it, so I’ve never really been very into it! And then one day I saw one of the YouTubers I follow make a veggie dinner and she used butternut squash as part of the meal – it looked so interesting to me I decided to try it and since then I’ve made it a bunch of times at home. I’ve tinkered with the method and found a way to make it my own and let me tell you, it’s become one of our favorites!
Butternut squash is actually quite sweet – kind of like pumpkin or sweet potato. So whichever way you make it you really need to think about your seasoning as this will make the biggest difference! I think the best flavour to compliment the sweetness of the squash is smokey. So I love to use smoked paprika and smoked flakey sea salt to finish it. I think it really does make all the difference here. If you have any seasoning that’s good for steak or big cuts of meat (stay tuned for my smoked brisket recipe!) that would work really well here too.
First things first:
- Preheat your oven to 220C
- Wash and dry your butternut squash
- Butternut squash
- Seasoning of your choice (see below)
- Olive oil
How to make it:
- Even though we’re not going to be eating the skin of the butternut squash, I like to wash the skin a bit to get rid of any soil or anything else that might be on it. Just a quick scrub will do!
- Cut the top and bottom of your squash and then cut it in the middle, lengthwise
- With a spoon, remove the seeds from your squash. It’s a lot easier to do with a spoon than it is with a knife, but still be careful when you do this! It starts to get a bit slippery in there so just be patient.
- Note: you don’t have to discard those seeds if you don’t want to. You can just remove all the flesh and then rinse the seeds, pat them dry and roast them in the oven until they become fragrant.
- Grab a baking tray, line it with aluminum foil (trust me, it’ll make the biggest difference when it comes to cleaning!) and place your squash on it, open-side up. Season it however you like and drizzle with some olive oil
- Note: My favourite way to season it is with a blend that I make which has salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder (if I have it), and lots of smoked paprika.
- Sometimes I also add mixed dried herbs or fresh herbs – usually rosemary and sage.
- On this day I used some leftover seasoning from my smoked brisket which is basically the same thing!
- Once your squash is all dressed up, put it in the oven at 220C for about 45min. Keep in mind that depending on your oven and the size of your squash, the cooking time may change.
- When you think it’s about done, poke the thickest part of your squash with a knife and if it goes in and out super smoothly (as if it was soft butter) then it’s all good to go. If you get any resistance, pop it back in for another 5-10min and re-check.
- Don’t be alarmed if the top looks really dark and almost burnt. This is just the top and in my opinion it’s actually the best part! You’ll see.
- Let it rest for 5-10min and serve it however you like! I like to just use a spoon to scoop it out. I use a fork to help myself with holding the skin down (it’s too hot for my fingers!). It should come off from the skin nice and easily.
- And that’s it! Sprinkle some flakey (smoked if you can) sea salt over the top and it’s good to go!
- I like to serve it “messy” because I feel like that way the ratio of seasoned and not-so-seasoned flesh is nicer but if you want to just cut it up into neat little chunks you can too – it’s up to you!
I hope you give this recipe a try and if you do, let me know if you like it! It’s one of those super simple things to make that are just so yummy! It’s also super easy to prepare and great for a weeknight dinner.
Also, I always serve this as a side dish but if you’re veggie it’s great as part of your main meal – I’ve had it before with a serving of quinoa and some greens and it’s really filling and delicious!
Thanks again for reading me and stay tuned for more yummy recipes!!