Turning winter squash into a fun and delicious side dish is so easy—and learning how to roast butternut squash means that you can turn it into fun shapes, serve them as “fries”, and even add additional flavors like brown sugar or rosemary. And all in less than 20 minutes!

roasted butternut squash on kids plate in shapes

How to Roast Butternut Squash

I know that winter squash can be a little intimidating to cook and can seem labor intensive to prepare, but I’m here to tell you that it’s likely much easier than you realize! With a few minutes of prep work, you can get this simple side dish into the oven and serve up a fun veggie to please the kids.

This roasted butternut squash recipe is so easy since all you need to do is to toss the cut squash with olive oil and bake it on a sheet pan. You really don’t need any special equipment or skills to make it happen!

TIP: This is an easy method for making roasted butternut squash that gives the option to cut it into fun shapes…but it takes no extra work, promise!

whole butternut squash on striped towel

Ingredients You Need

To make this simple butternut squash recipe, you just need the squash and olive oil. You can add additional flavorings and spices if you’d like, but the basic recipe is so good and so easy.

TIP: You can use a whole butternut squash or start with a bag of precut purchased squash from the produce section of your store.

how to make roasted butternut squash step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

To make this easy kids recipe, here’s a look at what you’ll need to do. Scroll down to the recipe at the bottom for the full information.

  1. Peel the squash to remove the outer layer. You just want the bright orange flesh to work with, so discard the skin.
  2. Cut off the thinner part of the squash and cut into 1/2-inch rounds. Remove the seeds from the middle of the thicker part, discard, and slice into rounds.
  3. Cut into cubes, use a zig zag slicer to cut into “fries” or use cookie cutters to cut into shapes.
  4. Add to a bowl and toss with olive oil.
  5. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake, adding optional spices as desired.
  6. Remove from the oven when just soft to the touch.

TIP: It’s easiest to cut shapes out with a cookie cutter if your squash slices are about 1/2-inch thick. You may want to put a towel over the cookie cutter before pressing down to make it a little more comfortable for your hand. Learn more about cutting squash here.

Can I make this butternut squash recipe ahead of time?

Absolutely! I often make a batch to pull out for an easy lunch or dinner side throughout the week. Just let the sheet pan of cooked squash cool fully, then store in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.

roasted butternut squash shapes and fries on cutting board

Best Way To Make Roasted Butternut Squash Cubes

You can of course cut a whole butternut squash into cubes as described above, but you can also start with a bag of precut butternut squash from the grocery store to shave a lot of time off of the preparation in this recipe. Look for the squash in the produce section of your store.

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash

To add a little extra sweetness to this recipe, you can sprinkle the shapes or cubes with a tiny bit of brown sugar. It will caramelize a little and lend a yummy flavor the kids will likely love!

What should I serve this roasted butternut squash with?

We like this roasted squash as a simple side dish with scrambled eggs, sandwiches, chicken tenders, or tofu nuggets. We also like to make butternut squash pasta by adding some of the roasted cubes to a dish of spaghetti with Extra Veggie Marinara Sauce.

It can also be added to a packed lunch or be a stand alone snack or snack component—with or without a dip like ketchup. It’s very versatile!

Best Tips for Success

  • If serving to a child under 1, you can skip the salt.
  • Choose one spice combo—salt; cinnamon and brown sugar; cumin and salt; OR crushed rosemary and salt—if desired.
  • Aim to cut the squash to an even thickness so the pieces bake at the same time.
  • Spread the squash in an even layer on the pan so they cook evenly.
  • Grease the foil to ensure that the squash doesn’t stick to the pan.
  • Use precut store bought butternut squash if desired.
  • Learn more about cutting squash here.
  • You may also like Roasted Sweet Potato, Roasted Broccoli, Carrot Fries, and Baked Apple Slices.

I’d love to hear what your family thinks of this recipe, so please comment below to share!

roasted butternut squash shapes on plate

How to Make Roasted Butternut Squash (Kid-Friendly!)

Cut the squash into cubes, shapes, or "fries" based on what your kids may like to make this easy veggie side dish fun (yet still easy).
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine American
Course side
Calories 115kcal
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash (or 4 cups precut cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt; cinnamon and brown sugar; cumin and salt; OR crushed rosemary and salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. Coat with nonstick spray.
  • Remove the peel from the squash with a vegetable peeler or with a knife.
  • Cut the "neck", or the skinnier part of the squash into 1/2-inch rounds.
  • Cut into cubes, "fries" using a zig zag slicer, or into shapes with cookie cutters.
  • Place on a greased foil-lined baking sheet in one even layer. Sprinkle with optional spices.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes or until soft when poked a fork.

Notes

  • If serving to a child under 1, you can skip the salt
  • Choose one spice combo—salt; cinnamon and brown sugar; cumin and salt; OR crushed rosemary and salt—if desired.
  • Aim to cut the squash to an even thickness so the pieces bake at the same time.
  • Spread the squash in an even layer on the pan so they cook evenly.
  • Grease the foil to ensure that the squash doesn't stick to the pan.
  • Use precut store bought butternut squash if desired and simply roast the cubes.

Nutrition

Calories: 115kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 8mg, Potassium: 660mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 19931IU, Vitamin C: 39mg, Calcium: 90mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. Hello! I work for the Lawrence County School System in Alabama and we would love to copy this recipe and the images to put in a handout to parents . We had a local master gardeners group donate our school several hundred butternut squash that we are sending home with students, whole in their backpacks. We would of course put your name and website address with the printout, amullican@lawrenceal.org for your permission please. Love the website Thanks! -Anna amullican@lawrenceal.org

  2. Amy,
    Our family loves butternut squash! These are adorable, healthy ways to serve them up seasonal eats.