Brown butter winter squash is going to banish memories of all other butternut squash recipes—including that boring brown sugar and butter trick your mom used—from your mind. Here’s how to cook it.
Brown Butter Winter Squash
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 40 M
- Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Carefully cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. Lightly brush both the curved and the cut sides of the squash halves with the olive oil. Season the cut sides of the squash generously with salt and pepper, then place the squash, cut-side down, on the baking sheet.
Roast the squash until very nearly tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and, using a spatula, carefully turn each one cut-side up. Plonk a piece of butter in each squash cavity. Sprinkle each squash with the herbs, if using. Continue to roast the squash halves until the butter is melted and begins to brown lightly, 5 to 10 minutes.
Using a sturdy spatula (or 2 spatulas or a spatula and tongs or whatever it takes), transfer the squash to a platter or individual plates. Serve at once.
Winter Squash Variations
- Winter Squash with Maple Syrup
Bake the squash for 20 minutes as directed. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan over low heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and then remove from the heat. When you turn the squash halves, add the seasoned butter to the cavities, dividing it evenly. Omit the herbs and proceed as directed.
- Winter Squash with Southwest Spices
Bake the squash for 20 minutes as directed. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan over low heat. Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or chili powder, stir for 30 seconds, and then remove from the heat. When you turn the squash halves, add the seasoned butter to the cavities, dividing it evenly. Omit the herbs and proceed as directed.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Sweet, roasted root veggies get me every time! So simple, delicious, and accessible to every cook. Plus, they allow for variations in flavors depending on the spices/herbs used. I prepared the acorn squash using maple butter and even added a splash of bourbon to liven it up. I may’ve used a tad less butter, but even so I made sure to baste the squash a few times. I wonder if this could be made into an easy dessert—a scoop of vanilla ice cream right into the warm squash cavity for a rich, almost pumpkin pie–like combo…anyone?
Whether you’re looking for a sweet or savory side dish, this recipe is a keeper. It was nice not to skin and chop the squash. This makes for an easy side dish for a weeknight, but the presentation of the dish is pretty enough for company. The squash comes out of the oven fork-tender and nicely browned. The herb flavor is nice, giving a balance of sweet and savory, while the sweet flavor isn’t so sweet that it tastes like dessert. There is some smoking and sizzling during the cooking, though it wasn’t a problem.