Butternut squash bakes so nice with maple syrup and brown sugar. At the same time bake the seeds for garnish or to eat as a tasty snack.
Butternut squash, cubed and baked with maple syrup and brown sugar – what a delicious combination of flavors. And baking the seeds, separately, in the same mixture will give you some delicious crunchy seeds to use as garnish on the baked squash, on squash soup, or to eat as a snack. That’s how versatile they are.
This recipe is such an easy one, cubing the fresh squash and stirring it together with maple syrup, brown sugar and a little olive oil. Salt and pepper it. Bake and it’s ready to mash for eating or just eat it by the cube.
Make this a wonderful side dish to accompany turkey, chicken…even ham or sausages. Top it with salt and pepper, butter. Or, drizzle some fresh turkey gravy on it. Plus, it’s so easy to make! No hovering.
I was never one to enjoy the acorn squash Mom or Gram made for the family dinners at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I always thought it tasted musty. But then I was recently introduced to butternut squash. I like that much better.
Preheat your oven to 325F degrees.
Prep your pan:
Line your rimmed baking sheet with foil. It makes cleanup much easier.
Gather up your Ingredients:
1 Butternut squash, 10”-12” long
½ C Maple syrup, the real stuff
½ C Brown sugar
1 T Olive oil, extra virgin
Salt and Pepper to taste
2-3 T Butter for stirring into the mashed squash
Cube and bake your squash; bake the seeds, too:
- I cut the squash in 4-8 pieces, depending on how large it is. I find it’s much easier to peel the smaller pieces than fumble around with one large squash. You may find it easier to peel it whole.
- Clean out the middle of the squash with a large spoon, digging out all the seeds and stringy stuff.
- Separate the seeds from the stringy innards. This is a good project for the kids. They usually like to deal with slimy stuff…
- Rinse the seeds and pat dry on a towel. Set aside.
- Cut the squash into cubes, about 1” or smaller. Set aside.
- Stir the maple syrup, brown sugar and olive oil together (in a bowl large enough to hold the cubed squash) so they are thoroughly combined.
- Add the squash cubes and stir until all are covered with the mixture.
- Have a separate small bowl available to stir some of the maple syrup mixture with the seeds, probably a tablespoon or so.
- It’s easy to bake the seeds along with the cubed squash. Just mix them separately in the maple syrup mixture and bake them separately on the same foil lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 325F degrees for 35-45 minutes.
- Stir the cubes every 10 minutes so they get browned on all sides.
- Check and stir the seeds every 10 minutes to make sure they get crunchy on all sides and do not burn. The seeds will not need to bake the entire 35 or 45 minutes as the squash cubes will. Depending on the size and thickness of the seeds, they might need to bake 15-25 minutes.
- When the seeds are done, place them on a flat plate to cool and dry.
- When the squash is very tender, place the cubes in a bowl to mash, and stir in 2-3 tablespoons of butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Because there is not an overabundance of seeds in a butternut squash, we usually use them all up within a day or two. I do not have experience with keeping them any longer. I have never frozen them.
This squash recipe and the butternut seeds make a wonderful side dish or garnish to accompany turkey, chicken or even ham or sausages. Top it with salt and pepper, butter. Or, drizzle some fresh turkey gravy on it. It’s so easy to make! However you make your butternut squash, “Bake your own Memories!”