Oven Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple and Cranberries is a flavorful and stunning dish to serve for any occasion, especially a holiday dinner! This baked butternut squash recipe strikes othe perfect balance of sweet and savory and is ready in less than an hour. Makes 6 servings.
Butternut squash is such a lovely vegetable to enjoy throughout the fall and winter months.
Today, I wanted to bring a side dish that really sings of the season—and one that’s easy to serve with a weeknight dinner, but can also be served for Thanksgiving or any holiday dinner.
Why I love this recipe:
I’m a sucker for any savory dish that involves cranberries, and I absolutely love how the fresh cranberries pair with the butternut squash in this recipe.
They’re also tossed in avocado oil and pure maple syrup, so we’re striking a balance here.
Also—it’s incredibly easy to make, especially if your butternut squash is already chopped.
I can see this recipe being shared at Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or Christmas, and the best news is it’s ready in less than an hour!
Recipes to pair with this butternut squash recipe: Vegan Green Beans with Toasted Pine Nuts | Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic | Wild Rice Salad with Dried Fruit and Almonds | Cucumber and Feta Salad | Creamed Cornbread Casserole
Looking for more holiday recipes? Check out my Thanksgiving Recipe Index for inspiration.
What you need to make this recipe:
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Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you need:
- Butternut squash—you can use a whole butternut squash OR chopped butternut squash. You can also chop your own into bite-sized pieces.
- Avocado oil—this high-smoke point oil is perfect for roasting butternut squash because it can withstand the heat of the oven.
- Maple syrup—the pure kind, please and thank you. The grade doesn’t matter as much, so long as you’re using real maple syrup and not maple-flavored syrup.
- Salt and pepper—we’re just using the basics to season our roasted butternut squash, but you can add different herbs and spices to change yours up, too!
- Cranberries—it’s cranberry season, so you should be able to find fresh cranberries in your grocery! If you’re making this out of cranberry season, look for frozen berries. Do not substitute dried and sweetened cranberries because they will not yield the same result.
- Fresh rosemary—this is our pop of herbiness, and it’s amazing. Grab it from your garden or get a pack of it from the grocery store. Either way, it’s gorgeous, fragrant and adds another layer of flavors for this recipe.
How to bake butternut squash with cranberries and rosemary
Preheat the oven to 450°F before you do anything else because this might take some time to heat up.
Prep and cut the squash. Scoop out the seeds.
If you need specific, detailed instructions of how to do this, check out How to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash.
Season the squash cubes. In a large bowl, place the cubed butternut squash and drizzle on the oil, maple, and season with salt and pepper. Toss until all the pieces are coated, then pour onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
I like to use at least a half sheet pan for this recipe because if your sheet pan is too small, your squash won’t caramelize.
It will still be delicious, but an overcrowded pan will mean you won’t get the crispy bits because your butternut squash doesn’t have the room to do its thing.
Roast the squash in the preheated oven.
Flip the squash. After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and flip the squash with a spatula so that the other side caramelizes.
Add cranberries and rosemary. Sprinkle them directly onto the baking sheet with the butternut squash.
Roast for another 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender and slightly.
Keep an eye on them, as we don’t want them to burn and every oven is a little different.
Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
This roasted butternut squash recipe with cranberries and rosemary was made to be a star when you’re entertaining.
It’s beautiful. It’s easy to make. And there are several things you can do in advance to ensure you’re not stressing out as these beauties bake.
- Peel and chop the butternut squash beforehand. Since you can store it in an airtight food storage container for up to 5 days in the fridge, go ahead and take care of this when you’ve got some spare time. That way, all you have to do is toss and roast.
- Double the recipe. If you’re serving a crowd that likes butternut squash, make extra! Just be sure to use two baking sheets so that the pan doesn’t get too crowded and make it to where the butternut squash doesn’t brown.
Frequently Asked Questions
It depends on how you’re roasting it. Since we’re roasting ours in bite-sized pieces in this recipe, I like to peel it before I chop it.
If the squash has any moldy or mushy parts, cut around those. However, if the entire thing has mushy parts, consider tossing it and getting another squash.
It should keep up to a month in a cool, dry place. You do not have to keep it in the refrigerator if it is whole.
Look for a squash that feels heavy for its size. I always like to find one that has a small bulb because this means it’ll have less seeds and more meat.
Yes! Butternut squash freezes like a dream. If you have leftover squash, place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop it in the freezer for 4-6 hours. When the squash is frozen solid, transfer to a freezer bag and store for up to 6 months!
Quick tips and tricks for the best oven baked butternut squash
- Prep the squash beforehand to where all you have to do is toss it, season it and roast it.
- Give it space. If your sheet pan is crowded, the butternut squash won’t have room to caramelize. So if your pan is too small, consider dividing the butternut squash between two baking sheets.
- Don’t skip the fresh cranberries and rosemary. They add such lovely flavor and color to this roasted butternut squash recipe and make it stand apart from classic roasted butternut squash.
- How to store: Let the squash cool completely, then transfer to an airtight storage container. Store in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat in the microwave.
- How to freeze: Transfer the maple roasted butternut squash into an airtight freezer bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before reheating and enjoying.
More recipes featuring butternut squash:
- How to Roast Butternut Squash
- How to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash
- Tortellini Butternut Squash Pasta with Pancetta and Spinach
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Oven Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple and Cranberries
- 2 lb. diced butternut squash
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil or another high smoke point oil
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen—not dried
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Prep the butternut squash. Peel the exterior with a vegetable peeler. Make sure all the white/light orange parts have been removed. Then slice down the middle, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Place the cubed butternut squash in a large bowl. Drizzle on the oil, maple, and season with salt and pepper. Toss until all the pieces are coated, then pour onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Roast the squash in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove the squash from the oven and flip the pieces with a spatula so that the other side caramelizes.
- Sprinkle the cranberries and rosemary evenly over the squash on the baking sheet.
- Roast the squash for another 20 minutes, or until caramelized and fork tender. Keep an eye on them, as we don’t want them to burn and every oven is a little different.
- Serve immediately, and enjoy!