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Roasted butternut squash with cranberries, pecans, rosemary and feta cheese in a blue bowl.
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Roasted butternut squash with cranberries, rosemary, pecans, and feta

This is the most delicious roasted butternut squash recipe you could make. It makes an amazing festive side dish or just a weeknight dinner.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 27 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 430kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 4.4 lbs (2kg) butternut squash 3.5 lbs (1.6kg) without skin and seeds, which is about 9 cups cubed squash
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup (80g) pecans
  • 1/2 cup (75g) dried cranberries
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3.5 oz (100g) feta cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C/Gas Mark 7, no fan (if you have a convection oven reduce the temperature by about 20° or follow the manufacturer's instructions).
  • Cut off the both ends of the butternut squash, place it vertically on a chopping board and peel the squash. Next, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds using a spoon and cut into 3/4-inch (2cm) cubes.
  • Add the butternut squash cubes onto a baking tray and toss with olive oil, cinnamon, and chopped rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Make sure that the squash is not crowded on the baking sheet, otherwise it won't be able to brown properly - it will just steam. I roasted my squash in two batches.
  • Roast for about 20 minutes or until the squash is golden brown at the bottom and soft.
  • Using a thin metal spatula, flip the squash pieces on the other side and add the pecans.
  • Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the pecans are toasted (light brown). Keep an eye on the pecans at the end of the baking time as they can easily burn.
  • Take the baking sheet out of the oven, transfer the squash and pecans into a bowl.
  • Stir the lemon juice with honey and add to the squash along with the cranberries and crumbled feta cheese. Toss everything together, season with salt if necessary.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Ingredient notes:
    • You can use pumpkin instead of butternut squash but I prefer it much more with butternut squash (it's more moist and sweet, pumpkin is a bit drier and pumpkin puree is perfect for baking).
    • Feta cheese can be substituted with goat cheese.
    • Pecans can be substituted with walnuts.
  • The most important tips for perfectly roasted butternut squash:
    • Roast the squash at high temperature - it will brown better.
    • Don't overcrowd the squash - it will steam and be pale instead of having those beautiful golden brown caramelized edges (= that's very all the flavor is!).
    • Make sure there's enough oil on the tray so the squash won't stick to it. I'm not using parchment paper, I find the squash browns better when put directly on the baking sheet.
    • Make sure your squash pieces are almost of the same size - they will roast more evenly.
    • Use a black baking sheet, if possible, and avoid light-colored trays.
    • If your squash is still a little too pale but already soft you can turn on the fan / increase the temperature to the highest setting for a couple of minutes / or place the baking sheet under the broiler for a minute or two to get those caramelized delicious edges.
    • The baking time is just an estimate! It may vary, depending on the oven (every oven bakes a little different), so make sure to keep an eye on your dish and adjust the baking time if necessary. You want a beautifully browned squash, not a burned squash!
  • Storage / make ahead tips:
    • How to store: Store this dish in the fridge for up to 3-4 days in a tighly-closed container or in a bowl wrapped with plastic foil.
    • How to reheat: This dish reheats very well! You could do that in a microwave or in an oven. Just pop all the ingredients into a baking sheet (this time the squash can be crowded) and warm up in an oven preheated to 350°F/180°C for about 5-10 minutes or until warm.
    • How to make it ahead: if you're planing to make this dish ahead, especially for the holidays, I would recommend roasting the squash with the pecans, then reheat and combine with honey, lemon juice, cranberries, and feta cheese just before serving.
  • Calories = 1/6 of the recipe (1 serving). This is only an estimate!

Nutrition

Calories: 430kcal