Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar is an easy side dish that’s filled with comforting fall flavor. Cubed butternut squash and pecans are coated in brown sugar and cinnamon, then roasted in the oven.
Butternut squash is a versatile fall vegetable – it can be prepared sweet or savory. For this recipe, butternut squash is paired with sweet brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans, then roasted in the oven until fork tender.
While technically a fruit, butternut squash is cooked like a vegetable, and roasting is my favorite method. It is available year round, but is best in the fall and winter months. It has a sweet, nutty taste, similar to a pumpkin.
Try making this easy roasted butternut squash with your next weeknight meal, or enjoy as a side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. This recipe pairs well with ham, turkey, beef roast, and pork chops.
What size butternut squash do I need?
For this recipe, you’ll need one medium-sized butternut squash, which can range in size from 2 to 3 pounds.
If you have a smaller butternut squash, you may want to reduce the amounts of the remaining ingredients. If you have a larger squash, consider increasing your other ingredients to match.
Ingredients and substitutions
I like adding pecans to this recipe for added crunch and flavor. Nuts are a great addition because they complement the nutty flavor of the butternut squash. Walnuts would also be a great choice.
You’ll also need olive oil, brown sugar, and cinnamon. You can also add a dash of nutmeg and ginger for additional depth of flavor.
Brown sugar can be substituted with granulated sugar if that’s what you have available. Olive oil can be substituted with melted butter or vegetable oil.
Tips for peeling and dicing a butternut squash
First, I like to cut off the top and bottom for more stability when peeling and slicing.
If you’re still having trouble, here’s another option. First, pierce the skin of the squash all over with a fork. Next, place squash in the microwave and cook for about 3 minutes.
Remove from the microwave and allow to cool. The skin should peel off much more easily.
When you microwave your squash, the flesh underneath produces steam, which begins to separate the skin from the flesh. This makes it infinitely easier to peel.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar and Pecans
- 1 medium butternut squash about 2 1/2 pounds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup pecans chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Peel squash, cut in half, and scoop out pulp and seeds. Cut squash into bite size pieces (about 1" cubes). Place into a large bowl.
- Drizzle olive oil over squash. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to coat.
- Pour squash onto parchment lined baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
- Roast squash for 15 minutes in the oven. Remove pan from oven and flip squash over to ensure even browning. Sprinkle your chopped pecans over the squash and return to the oven. Roast for about 10 more minutes, or until squash is fork tender.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately.
- For more stability when peeling and cubing, cut off the top and bottom of your squash.
- If you're still having trouble, try microwaving your squash. Pierce the skin of the squash all over with a fork. Next, place squash in the microwave and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from the microwave (careful, it will be hot!) and allow to cool. The skin should peel off much more easily.
- Pecans can be substituted with walnuts or omitted if desired.
- Olive oil can be substituted with melted butter or vegetable oil.