With Thanksgiving coming up, here’s a recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash featuring goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and maple syrup.
When I was growing up, the only squash I ever remember my mom making was acorn squash. She always made it by cutting the squash in half horizontally, scooping out the seeds, then baking it upside down until it was soft. She would scoop out the flesh and add butter and brown sugar and mash it by hand. We’d have it with pork roast or chicken.
Now I like butternut squash best because of its smooth texture. I used to use a knife to cut off the peel, but these days I use a Swiss peeler and it’s much safer and easier.
Butternut squash is easy to cut into cubes or slices once it’s peeled. Rock your knife back and forth to cut the thicker parts. Keep your fingers out of the way…the squash can be kind of hard to cut.
Prepping the roasted butternut squash
What’s great about this recipe is that you can get the squash baking, and then prep the other ingredients and not feel rushed. Toast and chop the walnuts….strip the thyme leaves from their stems…measure out the maple syrup. Next, get your platter ready so you can serve this right out of the oven.
And the flavor of the roasted butternut squash is unbelievable with the creaminess of the goat cheese, crunch of walnuts and the sweetness of the maple syrup…and the slight bit of heat you get from the cayenne pepper. This is definitely a super kicked up version of roasted butternut squash, worthy of your Thanksgiving table.
MaryJo and I thought this was delicious…we had it with baked chicken thighs and oven roasted green beans. Triple whammy out of the oven and oh so good. Winner, winner, roasted butternut squash and chicken dinner. Joe
Roasted Butternut Squash, Maple Syrup, and Goat Cheese
Delicious combination of flavors makes this Roasted Butternut Squash a go-to side for any holiday meal.
- 1 butternut squash, 2 to 3 lbs
- 3 tbsp butter
- cooking oil spray
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, (big pinch)
- 2 oz. goat cheese
Preheat oven to 425°.
Peel the outer skin and light colored flesh from the squash, cut off the stem end, then cut into two pieces at the waist, (this will make it much easier and safer to halve the squash lengthwise).
Halve the two sections, lengthwise and cut off the bottom end and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut the squash into 1/2" slices.
Melt the butter, and put the squash into a large bowl. pour in the melted butter, salt and pepper and toss by hand to fully coat the pieces.
Spray a large, rimmed baking sheet lightly with cooking oil, then lay in the slices of squash, preferably so that they are not touching. Bake for 25 minutes, turning the sheet around after 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and use a small metal turner to flip each slice to the other side. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the squash is tender.
While the squash is baking, mix the maple syrup and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Strip the leaves of fresh thyme off the stems. Toast and chop the walnuts. Crumble the goat cheese.
Remove from the oven and layer the pieces on a serving dish then drizzle on the maple syrup, sprinkle with the walnuts, goat cheese and thyme leaves.
Serve right away or at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated.