Maple Roasted Butternut Squash is the perfect fall side dish and should definitely be on your holiday table. This side combines roasted butternut squash with maple syrup, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries, and is always a hit!
For other sides worthy of a holiday dinner, try my Loaded Fall Harvest Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing or my Make-Ahead Creamy Mashed Potatoes. So many choices for ya’ll!
Roasted Butternut Squash
Every fall, I look so forward to all the squash that are in season. It all started as a child, and the fond memories of eating butternut squash during the gorgeous weather we experienced then in Iowa. Mom and Dad planted squash in their garden, and I loved the simple way Mom prepared it. She simply baked it in the oven in large sections, and then we added salt and pepper and sometimes a little butter.
I still enjoy the simple roasting with olive oil, salt, and pepper (MY regular way of cooking it), but I love how you can turn it into a special holiday dish too. Adding just a bit of maple syrup, pecans, and cranberries takes this healthy squash to a new level. It also creates a pretty presentation for your holiday meal.
Butternut Squash also makes a delicious sauce. We love this smaller-batch Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach, a simple Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta, and our new favorite risotto – Butternut Squash Bacon Risotto!
You’ll need just four main ingredients for this recipe, plus the usual three – olive oil, salt, and pepper. So simple. So delish.
- Butternut Squash – My favorite childhood fall food. Full of vitamins and minerals, and SO good.
- Olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper – The big three in my kitchen, and used for all of my roasted veggies!
- Maple Syrup – This is the sweetener of choice for this dish. You can definitely add more to increase sweetness.
- Pecans – These give this recipe a nice crunch and so much flavor.
- Cranberries – Craisins are consumed in large quantities here, especially in my granola and power balls. I always use the lower-sugar ones.
How to make this recipe
- Prep for roasting. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prep squash. Take one large butternut squash and cut off both ends. Then use a potato peeler to peel the entire squash. Chop in bite sized chunks, while removing the seeds. Spread the chunks out on the prepared baking sheet.
- Season. Drizzle olive oil over the squash. Add maple syrup. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Bake. Bake the squash for about 25-30 minutes.
- Toast pecans. While squash is baking, toast the pecans over medium heat. It’s done when you can smell it. Be careful not to burn.
- Serve. Add the toasted pecans and the Craisins to the squash. Check seasonings and serve immediately. Add an extra drizzle of maple syrup, if desired.
Butternut squash is a common, easy-to-find winter squash, grown in the summer and harvested in the fall. It is hearty enough to be stored for several months, and through the winter.
Yes, butternut squash is a healthy fruit (although used as a vegetable), and a good source of fiber, potassium, and other key nutrients. One cup of cooked squash has only 83 calories and 7 grams of fiber. It is commonly roasted, sautéed, toasted, puréed for soups, or mashed to be used in casseroles, breads, muffins, and pies.
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Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecans and Cranberries
- 7-8 cups butternut squash – peeled and cubed
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup – or more
- 1 cup pecans – toasted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Peel the squash with a potato peeler, and cut off ends. Then cube the squash, while removing seeds. Spread the cubes out on the prepared baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Roast the squash in oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Toast the pecans on stove top over medium heat, until fragrant. Set aside
- Add the toasted pecans and Craisins to the top of the roasted squash.
- Remove squash to a serving dish, check seasonings and add more s&p and maple syrup if needed, and serve immediately.