Roasted squash is used in many Fall cooking recipes.
Roasted winter squash can be enjoyed by itself as an easy and healthy side dish. A little salt and pepper is the only seasoning needed. Or, you can make plenty of roasted squash recipes like Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce, Stuffed Acorn Squash, Roasted Spaghetti Squash, or Buttercup Squash Cake. From roasted butternut squash to spaghetti or acorn squash, here’s How to Roast Winter Squash.
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Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present to you a buttercup squash.
Buttercup squash a lesser known winter squash and is used less frequently than its rivals – the butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and carnival. When I got this big green monster in my CSA box, I didn’t even know what it was. I had to google winter squash and match it with some photos.
You see, you can tell if its a buttercup by the little round circle you see in the photo below where the flower was. Buttercup squash is not to be confused with butternut squash. As you can see, they look quite different on the outside. They have orange flesh, much like a butternut squash, but are very similar to pumpkins, as well. When roasted, winter squash make great fillers to all kinds of recipes ranging from soups to baked treats.
My instructions on how to roast a buttercup squash can be applied to roasting butternut, spaghetti, acorn or carnival squash as well. The baking times may vary depending on the size and thickness of the winter squash, but the process is basically the same.
Roasted squash is easy to make!
This roasting method I’m going to share with you isn’t rocket science, nor have I invented any new techniques (that I know of). I’m posting it for two reasons:
- There are a lot of people out there who have never roasted a squash. Its easy to see these big green and orange monsters at the store and think that their sole purpose would be as a cool jack-o-lantern. They would. But winter squash is wonderful and can be used in so many ways!
- This method can be used for any squash or pumpkin. If you’ve only ever used canned pumpkin, you’re missing out, my friend. Using freshly roasted pumpkin in your recipes like Pumpkin Beer Chili, pumpkin hazelnut pancakes, coconut macaroon pumpkin pie, or a holiday pumpkin fruit dip are a million times better when you use pumpkin that you roasted and pureed yourself.
How to make roasted squash:
- You must start by cutting the whole squash in half. I think cutting raw winter squash may be the hardest thing in the world to do. If you’re like me and are more of a danger than an asset with a large butcher knife in your hand, you can always throw the whole thing in the oven for about 15 minutes to allow it to soften a bit before cutting it. If you’re up to the task, though, feel free to snap that sucker in two.
- Scrape out the seeds. You can separate the seeds from the pulp and roast the squash or pumpkin seeds if you want.
- Then lather those babies up with olive oil.
- I like to roast the winter squash face down on a baking sheet. Other people may do it differently buy this is my preferred method. The cut side, where the flesh meets the baking sheet, gets slightly browned and I love it. Feel free to line your baking sheet with parchment paper first for easy clean up.
- You can tell when the roasted winter squash done by piercing them with a knife. If it goes in without effort, its done. The skin will shrivel a bit too.
- Once the roasted squash is cool enough to handle, peel the skin away and toss the flesh in the food processor. I don’t add any water, but if its too thick, that’s always an option as is adding olive oil. Occasionally I have to use a scraper to push the chunks down, but otherwise it blends up nicely. Just look at that golden delicious goodness. YUM!
Roasted Butternut Squash, Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Roasted Acorn Squash, Pumpkin:
Each of these varieties of winter squash have different flavors, sizes, textures, and shapes. Not sure if pumpkin is a winter squash, but I’m grouping it into the same category. The process to roasting them is basically the same.
Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and pulp, cover in olive oil, and roast in a hot oven face down.
I find that butternut squash, when it’s raw, is actually the hardest winter squash to cut in half. With a butternut squash, I tend to make more cuts. First I cut the top off right where the squash transitions from thin to fat. Then I place the flat cut side down on the cutting board and cut each of those halves in half. So, for butternut I usually have four chunks instead of two.
The smaller the squash and thinner the flesh, the less time it will take to roast. Just keep an eye on it and you’ll know when you have perfectly roasted squash when it smells wonderful, starts to brown, and a fork or butter knife can easily go into the flesh.
My favorite recipes that use roasted squash:
- Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Savory Parmigiano Reggiano DOP Butternut Squash Cake
- Butternut Squash Leek Stuffing
- Homemade Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sage Sauce
- Butternut squash mac n cheese
- Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Chanterelle and Squash Pasta
- Winter Squash Frittata
- Buttercup Squash Risotto
- Buttercup Squash Cake
My favorite recipes that use roasted and pureed pumpkin:
- Perfect Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
- Pecan Pumpkin Pie
- Layered Pumpkin Cake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins
- Marbled Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake
Watch How to Roast Butternut Squash in the recipe video below:
How to Roast Winter Squash
- whole Winter Squash butternut, acorn, buttercup, etc
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- With a large sharp knife, pierce squash near the stem, insert the knife, and rock back and forth cutting your way around the entire squash cutting all but the stem. Remove knife and break squash in half. Use knife to remove remaining stem.
- Use a spoon to discard seeds. If desired, you can remove pulp from seeds and roast them too.
- Rub the flesh of the squash with the olive oil. Place face down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, face down, in oven for 45 minutes to an hour. You'll know when the squash is done based on how easily a butter knife inserts into the flesh of the squash, and also based on the wonderful smell. When done, remove from oven and allow squash to cool on baking sheet.
- When cool enough to handle, cut squash into sections and remove skin.
- At this point you can serve the roasted squash as a side dish, cube it for a recipe, or puree it.
- To puree the squash, place peeled squash sections in a food processor. It is very thick so it occasionally needs to be re-positioned in the processor if it appears to not be thoroughly mixing. Pureed squash can be frozen in an air tight container or plastic freezer bag for future use.
This post was originally created in October 2014 and has been updated with more fun facts and tidbits for your reading pleasure.