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Caramelized Browned Butter Butternut Squash

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Let’s make Caramelized Browned Butter Butternut Squash! This gorgeous browned butter squash recipe is the PERFECT veggie side dish–savory, sweet, and gorgeously caramelized all over! (Gluten Free) 

Caramelized Browned Butter Butternut Squash from One Lovely Life
Caramelized Browned Butter Squash from One Lovely Life

This is the squash that saved me during Milo’s pregnancy.

I was so (SO!!!!) sick during that pregnancy (partially because getting pregnant triggered gluten intolerance that was written off as morning sickness). Besides cereal and fruit, (and a few weeks where this was the only thing I could eat for lunch), this amazing caramelized brown butter butternut squash was one of the only things that sounded good.

This sautéed butternut squash was heaven in my mouth! Every little caramelized gem I popped in my mouth tasted better than the last, and I ended up eating a giant bowl for dinner a few nights in a row.

Long after the morning sickness passed, I was still eating and enjoying this delicious browned butter butternut squash. It’s PERFECTION. (And it’s completely easy to put together!) Here’s all you need to get started…

Caramelized Browned Butter Butternut Squash from One Lovely Life


The ingredients in this sauteed butternut squash recipe are simple and straightforward! All you’ll need is…

  • BUTTERNUT SQUASH. Feel free to get pre-cut if it simplifies your life! (I love doing this when it goes on sale.) Otherwise, it’s easy to cut! I use this tutorial with a peeler, and a good sharp knife for cutting cubes.
  • BROWNED BUTTER. You’ll start with plain old butter, but in about 4 minutes, you’ll have turned it into the magic that is browned butter. It tastes sweet and caramel-y, with nutty notes that are beautiful with butternut squash + about a million other things. (If you haven’t fallen for browned butter yet, consider this the perfect gateway. Before you know it, you’ll be making brownies, chocolate chip cookies, iced oatmeal cookies, and more.)
  • A LITTLE BROWN SUGAR OR SYRUP (Optional). For some added sweetness and some pretty caramelization, I like adding a little brown sugar or pure maple syrup to my browned butter butternut squash. It really ties everything together and highlights the natural sweetness of the squash.
  • SALT & PEPPER. To round things out, I add a generous pinch or two of salt and a little bit of pepper. I love how the sweet + salty flavors play off of each other in this squash side dish!
Caramelized Browned Butter Squash from One Lovely Life


HELP! I DON’T KNOW HOW TO CUT BUTTERNUT SQUASH… No worries! I use this method for peeling and dicing it. It makes things easy! (I often use a knife instead of a vegetable peeler)

HOW DO YOU MAKE BROWN BUTTER? Easy! We recommend this step-by-step tutorial that’ll walk you through the whole process. It only takes one ingredient and few minutes to make!

TIP: WATCH THE BUTTER! While it’s super easy to make brown butter, it can turn into burned butter if you’re not watching. It really only takes 3-4 minutes, so I recommend giving it your full attention until it’s browned. (If you’re nervous about over-cooking it, it’s always better to under-cook it than over-cook it.)

YUMMY WAYS TO CHANGE THIS RECIPE UP! If you want to play up the flavors in your brown butter butternut squash, there are lots of easy ways to do it! Try:

  • ADD A PINCH OF GARLIC POWDER OR GARLIC SALT. (A little goes a long way!)
  • ADD FRESH OR DRIED THYME OR SAGE. Again, a little goes a long way.
  • ADD A FEW CHILI FLAKES if you like a little spicy to go with your sweet!

CAN I MAKE THIS WITH VEGAN BUTTER? Vegan butter doesn’t caramelize the same way, so it sadly won’t work for this recipe. It *has* to be real butter to turn into brown butter.

Caramelized Browned Butter Butternut Squash from One Lovely Life



⭐ Don’t forget to leave a star review and comment below when you make our Brown Butter Butternut Squash recipe. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!

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Caramelized Browned Butter Butternut Squash from One Lovely Life

Caramelized Browned Butter Butternut Squash

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4.9 from 8 reviews

  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: about 35 minutes
  • Yield: 46 as a side dish 1x


This gorgeous browned butter squash recipe is the PERFECT side dish–savory, sweet, and gorgeously caramelized all over! (Gluten Free) 


  • 1 3/4 lbs. Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1-inch cubes (or 1/2 inch cubes for faster cooking)
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Brown sugar (optional)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Melt butter in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Continue cooking, stirring regularly, until butter has browned and smells nutty/caramel-y, about 4 minutes
  3. Carefully add squash cubes to the pan (careful of splatters!) and stir to coat with the browned butter. Saute squash over medium 10-12 minutes, until the squash is starting to brown, and soften.
  4. Add brown sugar (if using) and 1/2 cup water and cook an additional 10-12 minutes, or until water has cooked off and the squash is caramelized and tender.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.


Squash can be peeled, seeded, and diced a day ahead of time for easier preparation on the day you plan on cooking it. Dice and store in an airtight container or plastic zip-top bag in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish, Vegetables
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

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  1. I wish I had had this recipe a few days ago! Our pumpkin sage risotto had a major hiccup and we ended up eating the squash without the risotto. The kids were not a fan. I tried adding brown sugar to it, but maybe if I had done this magical brown butter process to the squash they would’ve eaten it…voluntarily 🙂

  2. I’m actually cooking a butternut squash for breakfast this morning. (I’m embarrassing, I LOVE squash for breakfast!) Thankfully, I have an additional squash on my counter just waiting for a new way to prepare it.

    This is it!

  3. I have never had butternut squash before, let alone cook it, but you have inspired me! I bought one at the grocery store today!! Thanks for all the great recipes Emily.

  4. Im a huge butternut fan and so is my 3yr old daughter. Im difinately going to make this for today’s sunday dinner!!!

  5. Absolutely fantastic! I love this. All I changed was I put half a cup of water and a quarter cup of honey instead of just water. It was the best I ever made!

        1. Kristin – I haven’t tried this with frozen. I imagine it would work, but would take a bit longer to caramelize. I wouldn’t thaw it first, I think. I’d probably toss it in frozen. 🙂

    1. Lilia – I’d love to help, but I’m not quite sure what you mean…Do you mean will the squash taste like sweet potatoes? Or will this dish taste like sweet potato casserole?

      1. I always make sweet potatoes when I was younger what I do is just carmelize it with sugar so I am thinking maybe I will do it with the butternut squash. You have a lovely family. Thank you for sharing it .

          1. Hi Emily,

            I just finished making the candied butternut squash using your recipe. It is so good. And what makes it even better tasting is the butter. I added two more tbs of sugar. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I loved this! Thanks for the simple recipe! I used a drizzle honey instead of the brown sugar (since thats what I had on hand), added in some chopped candied pecans, a hefty sprinkle of cinnamon, and a bag of baby kale toward the end. Also this is just as good with a vegan buttery spread for those who aren’t eating dairy.

  7. So easy and delicious! Your description of this recipe had me drooling so much I had to try it, and now I am hooked! Thanks😁

  8. Followed with a little modification because I only had 1.25lb of squash. Maybe it was because I used a non-stick saute pan, but it took a lot longer than the recipe indicated and it wasn’t caramelized. Tasted great though. Maybe I’ll try a little higher heat, a little more sugar, and use a stainless saute pan next time. This is so much better than the often method (which takes a lot longer!).

  9. My husband loved this! And coming from a man that totally hates any type of squash….should say a lot. The squash could have been softer so I will mess around with the recipe.

    1. YAS! I’m so glad to hear this! It’s always a win for me, too. (If your squash isn’t as soft as you like, you can reduce the temperature and increase the cook time a bit longer for next time 🙂

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