Butternut squash is one of my absolute favorite vegetables. It is substantial and hearty, and can be made to be sweet or savory. I especially love to eat it simply roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. (Such a shocker, I know, since I prefer most vegetables that way!) With one squash yielding a large amount and it cooking hands free in the oven, this is a very easy dish to make. All you need is to learn how to prep the squash and you are ready to go. So today I put together this simple tutorial to show you how it’s done….
Choose a butternut squash that is heavy, firm and has no bruises (some minor skin blemishes are okay, just make sure nothing is going deeper than the skin).
The first step then is to peel the squash in full. The easiest way I have found to do this is using a vegetable peeler and peeling in two sections. I start at the bulb end of the squash. Peeling horizontally, remove the skin from the bulb area until you see the beautiful orange flesh of the squash.
Next, peel the rest of the squash’s neck vertically.
With both sides peeled and cleaned you are ready to chop for cooking. You can cut in any size depending on your specific needs. Keep in mind it is best to have similarly sized pieces so that they will cook evenly. First, I cut 1″ slices horizontally down the whole squash. Then, take those slices and, one or two at a time, cut again vertically into smaller chunks. You will need to pay special attention when cutting the hollowed out bulb area; making sure that your chunks are similar in size to the rest.
If you are making soups or pureeing, you’ll place the cubes in boiling water and simmer for about 15 minutes – until they are soft and easy to mash. If you are roasting, place the cubes on a baking tray and coat with a drizzle of olive oil and salt & pepper.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 425° for around 30 minutes, stirring and flipping half way through. When finished you will have browned and delicious butternut squash cubes that are super tasty! You can eat them on their own, mix with other roasted vegetables (like Brussel Sprouts or Beets), or even serve as a healthy side for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Enjoy!