Today I present to you my best butternut squash recipe ever: A simple oven baked butternut squash. You know I prefer yummy and easy clean eating recipes that are filling and yet perfect for weight management;)
This baked vegetable you can enjoy as part of a stand-alone meal just with a dip or use it as base for other recipes that call for pumpkin puree. For a “Leanjumpstart” approach, I’ve reduced ingredients to a minimum, simplified the directions and let the starchy vegetable shine in its full golden glory.
Why I’ve just scratched the surface
It is no secret when I tell you that I love to cook with Red Kuri squash also known as Hokkaido pumpkin. Hokkaido’s taste is delicious convincing but also the fact that you don’t have to peel it. In consequence I’ve published quite a few Hokkaido pumpkin recipes on this website but totally neglected other squash types.
I’m aware that there’s a world of winter vegetables out there and until now I’ve just scratched the surface. With this simple recipe I want to bring a bit of variety in our clean eating kitchen. If you are living in the US chances are high that you cook more often with butternut than we do here in Germany. And yet I hope that this easy clean eating recipe will inspire you to test out my preferred preparation method.
It would take a while to enumerate the delights afforded by butternut squash. Just to name a few:
1) less seeds
2) more delicious flesh
3) rich buttery, creamy taste
Ask for help!
One thing is obvious, this smart recipe saves you the tedious step of peeling. Yippee!
Still you need to carefully cut the vegetable in half down the middle (from the stem to the root end) using a large knife. Maybe you are lucky and you find a helping hand assisting you with this process. My hubby loves to cut vegetables, so I’m happy to give him this job;)
Since you can remove the seeds easily (for example with an melon baller), the preparation is done within a few minutes.
How to bake butternut squash
Simply cut lines at the top of the veggie halves, coat with aromatic oil, such olive oil or coconut oil, some herbs, spices and, if desired, garlic, and place it in the oven for up to one hour.
You can bake this fall vegetable placed on a baking sheet or glass casserole, either flesh side down or flesh side up. I prefer to bake it flesh side up and turn it into an eye catching culinary delight.
So let’s just jump right into the easy, oven roasted butternut squash recipe.
Clean Eating baked butternut squash
A delicious, oven baked fall dish
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 45
- Total Time: 60
- Yield: 4 1x
- 1 butternut squash cut in 2 halves
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped (you can also use fresh or dry thyme or oregano instead)
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees °F (200°C)
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or use a baking dish.
- Scoop out the seeds with a melon baller. (Save pumpkin seeds for roasting or discard.)
- Take a small knife and cut lines along the top of the vegetable.
- In a small bowl, combine minced garlic with olive oil.
- Slather the garlic oil all throughout the squash halves. I like to make sure that every part is covered.
- Put 3 garlic cloves each in the hole of each squash half.
- Sprinkle each half with rosemary.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- You can also sprinkle some rosemary leaves on the baking sheet for a more intense aroma.
- Place the veggie halves in the pre-heated oven.
- Bake in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes until the squash is tender, depending on the thickness of your veggie.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately
- I love to combine it with baked feta cheese, see instructions below.
- Oregano and thyme go just as well as rosemary.
Combined with feta cheese for vegetarians
I love to serve it with baked feta cheese for my hubby and me. How? Create small cheese parcels (feta cheese wrapped with tin foil) and bake them for the last 10 minutes with the squash halves in the baking oven. If weight management is an issue for you I recommend not more than 3.5 oz./100 grams of feta cheese per person. For my vegan daughter I serve it with mint pea dip.
You can cut the remaining squash into cubes (just the flesh) and use it for other recipes e.g. soup, baby food etc. Did you know that you can even freeze it? Just scoop the puree into freezer bags or appropriate glass containers, label, and store for up to 6 months in your freezer.
You can add the herbs according to your personal taste. If you want to go in a eastern taste direction, rub the pumpkin with curry and ginger. Then serve it with roasted sesame seeds and a fresh mint pea dip, see recipe link above.
Butternut squash nutrition facts
The tender, orange flesh is rich in beta-carotenes (vitamin A) that is great for your skin, hairs and eyes. 3.5 oz./100 grams of butternut squash cover already 80% of your daily requirement for vitamin A. Rule of the thumb: the darker the orange flesh, the more beta-carotene and other nutrients the butternut squash contains. Like most squash types, this high fiber food is also low in fat and thus can keep you perfectly in shape.
How to buy and store butternut
Although this starchy vegetable is available year-round, it’s best to buy it from early fall through winter, ideally on your local farmer’s market. You can store whole squashes in a cool, dry place (e.g. pantry) for 1 – 2 months.
Tip: If you can get frozen butternut cubes in your region, make sure to grab them, if affordable. It saves you a bunch of time and you can create wonderful soups and curries all year around.