Roasting butternut squash is a delicious and easy way to enjoy this versatile vegetable. It’s perfect as a standalone side dish, or as an ingredient in soups, salads, and other recipes. But, if you’ve never roasted a butternut squash before, you might be wondering where to start. Luckily, it’s a straightforward process that anyone can do. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps and answer some common questions about roasting butternut squash.
Step 1: Prep the Squash
The first step in roasting butternut squash is to prep it. Start by washing the squash under running water and then dry it with a clean towel. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut off both ends of the squash – the stem and the bulbous part where the seeds are. Then, cut the squash in half where the thin part meets the bulbous part. Scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon and discard them. Next, use a vegetable peeler or sharp knife to remove the skin.
Step 2: Cut into Even Pieces
After prepping the squash, cut it into even pieces. The size ultimately depends on your personal preference, but most people prefer to cut it into 1-inch cubes. This will help the squash cook evenly and more quickly.
Step 3: Season the Squash
Now it’s time to season the squash. You can keep it simple with just salt and pepper, or you can get more creative with herbs and spices. Some popular seasoning options for roasted butternut squash include cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, and thyme. You can also add a drizzle of olive oil or a pat of butter to help the squash brown and become crispy.
Step 4: Roast the Squash
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Spread the squash cubes onto a baking sheet in a single layer, with a little space between each piece. Roast the squash in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until it’s tender and starting to brown around the edges. You’ll want to flip the pieces halfway through cooking to ensure they brown evenly.
FAQs about Roasting Butternut Squash
Q: Do I need to peel the squash?
A: Yes, it’s recommended that you peel the butternut squash before roasting it. The skin can be tough and unpleasant to eat, plus the flesh won’t absorb seasoning as well with the skin still on.
Q: Can I roast the squash whole?
A: Technically, yes, you could roast the squash whole – but it will take much longer to cook. Cutting the squash into smaller pieces will help it roast more evenly and more quickly.
Q: Can I roast the squash in advance and reheat it later?
A: Yes, roasted butternut squash reheats well. Allow it to cool completely, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. You can reheat it in the oven, microwave, or on the stovetop.
Q: Can I freeze roasted butternut squash?
A: Yes, roasted butternut squash freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then store it in a freezer-safe container for up to six months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Q: What can I serve roasted butternut squash with?
A: Roasted butternut squash is a versatile side dish that pairs well with many other flavors. It’s delicious in salads, mixed with quinoa, or served alongside roasted meats. It’s also a great addition to soups and stews.
Roasting butternut squash is an easy and delicious way to prepare this tasty vegetable. With just a few simple steps, you can have a flavorful and nutritious side dish ready in no time. From seasoning to cooking times, we’ve covered all the basics to ensure your roasted butternut squash turns out perfectly every time. So grab a squash, and get roasting!