This is the easiest way to cook butternut squash in the oven. Just 5 minutes of prep work to make roasted butternut squash that is delicious and flavorful!
No need to peel it, chop it or add brown sugar. A good butternut squash is naturally sweet. The simplicity of this recipe is also why it’s the best way to cook butternut squash for roasted butternut squash soup!
I find it hard to believe it’s September already. Even though the days are still warm, the changing produce at the farmers markets is a sign of the season. When winter squash start appearing, you know summer is winding down.
And winter squash is so delicious you guys! I have several other recipes on this site, including my simple roasted acorn squash and another roasted butternut squash recipe that’s a little more labor intensive.
Today I’m sharing the simplest way to cook butternut squash in the oven. Once you have this simple recipe up your sleeve you can use it to make mashed butternut squash or my 3-ingredient butternut squash soup.
So let’s dive in.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Whole Butternut Squash
I get fresh butternut squash at the farmers market. You’ll start to see it appearing in late August or September, until the end of the farmers market season. In Florida, butternut squash is available at farmers markets from January until May.
You’ll recognize butternut squash by its shape. Unlike some other types of winter squash that are round, butternut is oblong. It has a wide neck and a round bulbous bottom. The seeds are located in the bottom and the neck is solid flesh.
So I prefer butternut squash with a large neck! 🙂
The skin of a ripe butternut squash is matte beige without any green. Another sign of ripeness is if the bulbous part sounds hollow when tapped with your knuckle.
Though I do prefer to buy this flavorful squash at the farmers market, you’ll also find it at the grocery store.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
We rub a little olive oil into the flesh of the squash so it doesn’t dry out while roasting.
That’s it for ingredients. There is absolutely no need to add brown sugar, maple syrup or cinnamon to butternut squash in order for it to taste good.
As I’m always saying, when you start with perfectly ripe and quality ingredients – the simplest meals are surprisingly delicious.
How to Cook Butternut Squash in the Oven
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Then just a few basic steps to make this roasted butternut squash recipe.
1. Prepare the Squash
You’ll need a large sharp knife and a cutting board.
Start by slicing the stem end off the butternut squash. Then lay the whole squash on its side and cut it in half lengthwise.
Use an ice cream scoop or hard spoon to scrape out all the seeds and stringy bits. Then rub a teaspoon of olive oil over the orange flesh of each squash half. For best coverage, use your bare hands for this.
Place the squash halves flesh side up on a parchment-lined sheet pan. If you don’t have parchment paper, line the baking sheet with aluminum foil or leave it bare.
Be sure to leave a little space between each squash half.
That’s it, it’s ready to cook!
2. Roast the Squash
Transfer the butternut squash to your preheated oven and roast for about one hour.
The required bake time will vary some depending on the size of the squash. Expect 50 to 60 minutes for a two pound squash, then adjust that up or down depending on size.
The squash is done cooking when it’s fork tender and the flat sides are turning golden brown.
Butternut squash skin is inedible. To remove the cooked flesh, let it cool a little then use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to scoop out all the orange flesh.
The skin of the squash can be discarded or composted.
How to Serve Roasted Butternut Squash
There are a few different ways you can serve this oven-roasted butternut squash:
- Mash it up with a little butter. Mashed butternut squash is a perfect side that you can make ahead, then simply reheat at dinner time. This is especially handy for big holiday dinners when you have a lot of sides to prepare.
- This recipe is my favorite way of cooking butternut squash when I’m using it to make roasted butternut squash soup. It’s so darn easy because you don’t need to peel it or chop it if you’ll be pureeing it into a silky soup.
- This is a simple side dish for a casual family dinner. Cook the butternut squash using this recipe, then simply cut each half into large chunks. Serve them alongside the main course.
What to Serve with Roasted Butternut Squash
Baked butternut squash pairs well with most meats. It’s also a lovely side to serve at your Christmas or Thanksgiving table.
- Pork (ex. pork chops and pork tenderloin)
- Roasted turkey (ex. Thanksgiving dinner)
- Roasted pasture-raised chicken
- Quick sautéed green beans with garlic
FAQ: Cooking Butternut Squash in the Oven
What temperature to cook butternut squash in the oven?
Cook butternut squash in the oven at 425 degrees. If you cook a two-pound butternut squash that has been cut in half, it will take 50 to 60 minutes. If the squash is cut into 1-inch cubes (like this butternut squash recipe) it will cook a little faster.
Is there a difference between roasting and baking squash?
The difference between roasting squash and baking squash is the temperature you cook it at. When you roast squash (or any vegetable) you cook it at a higher temperature – at least 400 degrees up to 450 degrees. This high heat pulls the moisture out of the squash and the natural sugars caramelize, enhancing its sweetness.
When you bake squash, you cook it at a lower heat – typically around 350 degrees. It will take longer to cook and it won’t caramelize (or dry out) as much. That said, the terms roast and bake are often used interchangeably.
How to Cook Butternut Squash in the Oven
- 2 lb butternut squash
- 2 tsp olive oil extra virgin
- Start by slicing the stem end off the butternut squash. Then lay the whole squash on its side and cut it in half lengthwise.
- Use an ice cream scoop or hard spoon to scrape out all the seeds and stringy bits.
- Rub a teaspoon of olive oil over the orange flesh of each squash half. For best coverage, use your bare hands for this.
- Place the squash halves flesh side up on a parchment-lined sheet pan. If you don’t have parchment paper, line the baking sheet with aluminum foil or leave it bare.
- Transfer the butternut squash to an oven preheated to 425 degrees. Cook for 50 to 60 minutes.
- Remove the oven. Cut into chunks to serve immediately.Or let it cool and use an ice cream scoop to remove the flesh for mashed butternut squash or butternut squash soup.