This whole roasted butternut squash with browned butter, crispy sage, and Parmesan cheese is easy to make and a total showstopper of a fall side dish.
Butternut squash is a veggie I can’t get enough of this time of year. Every fall, I incorporate it into as many dishes as possible, like my harvest squash and ricotta stuffed shells, or my beef and butternut squash enchiladas. I particularly love roasting this nutty squash, to draw out its natural sugars. The result is super sweet, flavorful, caramelized goodness. Sometimes I peel and cube it, and other times I leave the skin on and roast it whole (split down the middle), like in this side dish that I can’t stop thinking about.
This whole roasted butternut squash is seasoned simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper. While it roasts, you brown some butter and fry up some sage leaves, then drizzle the browned butter over the squash, top with the crispy sage leaves, and grate fresh Parmesan cheese overtop. The warm, earthy, nutty flavors of the browned butter and sage complement the sweet nuttiness of the butternut squash.
What’s in This Roasted Butternut Squash
You don’t need many ingredients to make this simple side dish. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Butternut squash (2-4 pounds)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Butter—you’l brown it and it’ll lend a rich, sweet, nutty flavor to the squash
- Fresh sage—the sage will get slightly crispy in the browned butter, giving a nice flavor and texture
- Parmesan cheese—brings that salty, umami bite
How to Cook Butternut Squash in the Oven
Roasting a whole butternut squash is very simple, as long as you have a good, sharp knife and a hot oven!
High heat is key. I like to roast my butternut squash at 425°F to ensure it gets nicely tender and caramelized. Depending on how big yours is, it should take somewhere between 40-45 minutes.
Peel and trim. Lay your butternut squash on its side on a cutting board and use your sharpest knife to cut off the top. Then, carefully slice the squash in half, stem to stem. Use a sturdy spoon to scrape and scoop out the insides and discard them.
Oil and season. Lie each squash half cut-side down and cut hassleback-style or leave it as is. Drizzle each half with olive oil and use a basting brush (or your hands) to distribute the oil evenly. Then, sprinkle each with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
How to Cut Hasselback Slices
Potatoes and butternut squash are prime candidates for slicing raw vegetables into thin slices hasselback-style.
Here’s how to cut vegetables hasselback-style:
- Place the raw butternut squash cut side down and lay a chopstick on each long-side of the halves. The chopsticks ensure the knife doesn’t go through the whole squash when cut so the slices hold together while cooking.
- Use a sharp, heavy knife to make evenly spaced 1/8-1/4-inch slices through the squash. Slice until the blade of the knife hits the chopsticks on either side of the squash.
- Carefully lift the squash to a baking sheet and roast.
Make the Brown Butter with Sage
Once the butter is melted, add the sage leaves and stir. Scrape the bottom of the pan when the butter starts to brown. Those browned bits are where all the flavor is.
Cook the sage in the butter for 2 minutes or so, or until the butter is brown and the sage leaves are slightly crispy but not burnt. Remove the sage from the butter and set aside to cool and crisp as they driy.
How to Serve This Butternut Squash
How to serve:
- Drizzle the roasted and sliced butternut squash with the browned butter, dripping it in between the slices where you can.
- Top with the crisp sage leaves
- Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan, and more freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt.
For an optional serving presentation, mash the squash after it’s cooked then stir in the browned butter and Parmesan cheese. Top with the cripy sage leaves, flaky salt, and more cheese if desired.
What to Serve with This Butternut Squash
- Juicy Roast Chicken
- Kale Salad with Parmesan and Pine Nuts
- Creamed Spinach
- Herb Butter Rotisserie Turkey
- The Best Mashed Potatoes
- Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta
More Butternut Squash Recipes to Try
- Beef Stew with Butternut Squash
- Vegetable Lasagna with Butternut Squash and Shiitake Mushrooms
- Roasted Chicken, Butternut Squash and Guacamole Rice Bowls
- Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing
- Miso Roasted Butternut Squash
- Beef and Butternut Squash Enchiladas
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