Whole Roasted Butternut Squash

This Whole Roasted Butternut Squash uses a simple method so there’s no need to peel or chop it.

It takes just seconds to prepare before throwing it in the oven.

And once it’s done, this easy side dish is ready to be eaten as is, quickly turned into mashed squash or blended into a soup.

Plus it’s naturally vegan, Paleo and Whole30 friendly!

butternut squash roasted on a foil-lined baking sheet, split in half lengthwise and seeded

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Whole Roasted Butternut Squash

For many, the idea of peeling and chopping a butternut squash is too scary to even attempt. They’re too big, too hard, to difficult to grasp.

But what if I told you there was a very easy solution?

What if I told you you didn’t have to chop it at all before roasting it?

When you roast a butternut squash whole, you still get the slightly sweet, earthy flesh without any of the fuss.

See below for ideas about what to do with the squash when it’s cooked.

 

What you need for a whole roasted butternut squash

Ingredients:

  • one butternut squash, any size

Equipment:

 

How to prep a whole butternut squash

First, heat the oven to 425°.

Then line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. I know some people are against using foil but believe me, greasing the baking sheet directly isn’t good enough. You need the foil.

Lay the squash on the foil. Use a paring knife to stab the squash in the bottom until you don’t feel any more resistance. This means the knife has reached the cavity where the seeds are. This will let steam escape as it cooks.

A hand sticking a paring knife into the bottom of a butternut squash on a baking sheet

Then just place the baking sheet in the oven!

 

How to long to roast a butternut squash

Some might say it depends on the weight of the squash but this isn’t quite true. It really depends on its size. A 2-pound squash can be short and wide or it can be long and narrow (or anything in between). The wider one will need more time in the oven than the narrow one.

But the great thing about roasting a squash is that it’s very forgiving. If you roast it a little too long, it’ll still be okay.

So I always err on roasting it for a bit longer than I think I need to.

In any case, if you aim for 60-90 minutes, the squash should be roasting all the way through.

For reference, the squash in these photos is about 2.5 pounds and took 75 minutes.

The skin might get very dark but that’s okay! We’ll just discard it later anyway.

When the time is up, pull the baking sheet out of the oven.

Use a knife to cut the squash in half lengthwise (it should be very soft) and split it open. This will let the heat escape so it cools down quicker.

Once it’s cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds and discard.

Now the flesh is ready for use.

 

What to do with roasted butternut squash

First, use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of the skin. Then you have various options

  • Stir in your favorite fat like butter, extra virgin olive oil, ghee or bacon fat, plus salt and pepper, and eat it as is. This butternut mash is a great side dish with chicken, pork and beef, or as a base with chili or meatballs.
  • Blend it with vegetable or chicken stock, plus salt and pepper, and heat it up for an easy soup. Or add apples and onions for my Roasted Butternut, Apple and Cardamom Soup.
  • Mix with other mashed root vegetables and tubers you like, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips or acorn squash.

 

Make ahead and storage

Once the flesh is scooped out of the skin, it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

It can also be frozen in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

 

Can I use a slow cooker?

You can but I wouldn’t recommend it, especially if it has a non-stick insert. When I’ve cooked a whole butternut squash this way in a slow cooker, it had an off taste. Unfortunately, I’d stick with the oven.

 

Other recipes you might like:

butternut squash roasted on a foil-lined baking sheet, split in half lengthwise and seeded
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Whole Roasted Butternut Squash

Don't worry about peeling or chopping a big, heavy butternut squash! With this easy method, you can roast it whole and then it with all sorts of dishes!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butternut squash, easy side dish, fall side dish, roasted squash, roasted vegetables
Servings: 4 people
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 (2½-3 lb.) butternut squash

Instructions

  • First, heat the oven to 425°.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay the squash on the foil. Use a paring knife to stab the squash in the bottom until you don't feel any more resistance. This means the knife has reached the cavity where the seeds are. This will let steam escape as it cooks.
  • Roast for 60-90 minutes, depending on its thickness, until a knife slides easily into the center. The skin might get very dark but that's okay!
  • Use a knife to cut the squash in half lengthwise (it should be very soft) and split it open. This will let the heat escape so it cools down quicker. Once it's cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds and discard.

Notes

What to do with roasted butternut squash
First, use a spoon to scoop the flesh out of the skin. Then you have various options
  • Stir in your favorite fat like butter, extra virgin olive oil, ghee or bacon fat, plus salt and pepper, and eat it as is. This butternut mash is a great side dish with chicken, pork and beef, or as a base with chili or meatballs.
  • Blend it with vegetable or chicken stock, plus salt and pepper, and heat it up for an easy soup.
  • Mix with other mashed root vegetables and tubers you like, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips or acorn squash.
 
Make ahead and storage
Once the flesh is scooped out of the skin, it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
It can also be frozen in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

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