Simple Roasted Cinnamon Butternut Squash – This easy side-dish is as at home on your weeknight dinner table as it is a holiday feast. Allergy-free, paleo and vegan friendly!
As we move into fall and winter, I’ve been looking for easy side dishes to add to our regular mix. Summer eating feels so easy for me–so much is fresh and ripe that pulling together meals doesn’t feel like it takes as much effort. In the summer, my side dishes are things like fresh corn, or a crisp salad with juicy tomatoes and cucumbers, or any of the abundant seasonal fruit.
In the cooler months, I find I struggle to come up with great options that feel like they go with cozy-weather meals. So many of my meals are things like soups, curries, and slow-cooker favorites and for some reason, I have a hard time thinking of what to serve with them.
Add to that all the Thanksgiving recipe testing I’ve been up to, and this simple cinnamon roasted butternut squash came to be. It’s easy enough for a weeknight and looks and tastes lovely enough to be a holiday side dish.
It almost smelled like cinnamon rolls baking as my oven went to work on this squash. The combination of maple syrup and cinnamon was unbelievable. Everything got caramelized and gorgeous, so I had a hard time not eating it all before it got to the table!
This is the kind of side you could pair with all kinds of meals (chicken sausages, rotisserie chicken, roasts, fish, etc.). Plus, you can even toss the leftovers into quinoa or green salads the next day.
I love the gorgeous color and the crisped, golden, caramelized edges. Cinnamon squash is a winner for sure!
Notes on the Recipe:
How to Cut a Butternut Squash: Butternut squash is notoriously hard to cut. I know a lot of people use a vegetable peeler, but I find I have better luck using a large chef’s knife to go down the edges and cut through. (I have literally cut myself with the vegetable peeler EVERY time I’ve tried to use one on a butternut squash.) Other than swapping my knife for the peeler, I follow this method. (I’ve also found that microwaving a hard squash like this whole for 30-60 seconds makes it a little easier to cut.)
Think of Thanksgiving. This really is a perfect side dish you could serve for Thanksgiving if you’re looking for an alternative to sweet potato casserole or need an orange veggie. It’s just gorgeous and tastes amazing, plus is allergen free and can fit almost any diet from vegan to paleo diet. Feel free to double the amounts for a crowd!
Use Those Leftovers! If you don’t gobble this down in one swoop, the leftovers are awesome stirred into a fall quinoa salad (like this one), or tossed into a green salad (I’ve got an awesome fall Cobb salad recipe coming soon!)
Other sides to keep in mind…
- Paleo or Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
- Smothered Green Beans with Bacon
- Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Maple Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Powerhouse Quinoa Salad
- 3 Easy Sides You Can Make in a Rice Cooker
- 5-6 cups diced butternut squash (1 medium butternut squash)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, can sub vegan butter or coconut oil (vegan) or butter or ghee (if not vegan)
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix together squash, olive oil/butter, syrup, cinnamon, and a generous pinch of salt. Stir to combine well.
- Pour out onto a baking sheet.
- Baket at 375 degrees F for 35-45 minutes, or until cooked through and starting to caramelize. For even browning, stir squash every 10-15 minutes.