Caramelized Butternut Squash

(photo found here)
Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving, which we celebrated with a turkey dinner, just the three of us.  The turkey kinda sucked.  I was feeling kind of poor, so I bought a pressed ‘turkey roll’ instead of a fresh, real turkey breast (it was 2/3 price of a plain turkey breast).  God, it was salty.  I should have spent the money.  In addition, we had stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, broccolini, green beans, and caramelized butternut squash.

A week or two ago, we found ourselves in a bookstore, and I was looking at a different Barefoot Contessa cookbook than the one I have.  There was a yummy looking recipe there for pureed butternut squash, and I thought I might make it.  So, the next time I was at the Farmers’ Market, I bought two squash.  Well, when I cut into these babies, one of them was beautiful and orange and delicious looking, while the other was white and dry and yucky looking.  So I threw it away.  Then, I figured that the one I had was smaller than the ones you get at the store, so instead of halving this recipe, I cut it into a third.  So 1/3 of the butter, 1/3 of the sugar, etc. Still, either I got something wrong, or it was just too sweet for me.  Maya gobbled it down.  She said it tasted like candied yams.  Blech.  I don’t like candied yams.  Anyway, here’s the recipe, if you’re so inclined. (C, it’s much too sweet for you!)

Carmelized Butternut Squash


  • 2 medium butternut squash (4 to 5 pounds total)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off and discard the ends of each butternut squash. Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize. While roasting, turn the squash a few times with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

After this, I put it into the Cuisinart and gave it a whir, to make it into a puree. You could do that, as the cookbook at the store suggested, or you could leave the squash in chunks, like my cookbook at home suggested. Either way, bring your sweet tooth.

This entry was posted in Recipes.

13 thoughts on “Caramelized Butternut Squash

  1. Are you a fan of the flavor of butternut squash in general? Mrs. Ombud is. She has a couple recipes for it, one of which she trots out at Thanksgive.

    Would you like me to share it?

  2. OmbudsBen, yes, please! I do enjoy butternut squash, but I guess not in its sweeter incarnations. I love butternut squash soup, butternut squash ravioli, and curried butternut squash. This was just very sweet. I have a recipe on a very early post for Ted’s mom’s curried butternut squash, which is divine. It’s here if you want to give it to your wife. 🙂 The only thing is, she came over recently and made it with me, and rather than the wide bottomed pan I usually use, we used a dutch oven type pan instead. Everything else was about the same.

    KelliAmanda, I used to have a hell of a time with the squash, especially the peeling. Then I bought myself an expensive and VERY SHARP knife. It’s not as easy as cutting butter or anything, but it’s no longer a problem for me.

  3. “I was feeling poor.”

    I know the feeling all too well! But, some things are worth shelling out the money for on occasion, and fresh turkey is probably one of them!

  4. J, it’s now on the weekend to-do list. I’ll find the recipe (it’s baked, involves caramelized onions, with a sort of crouton topping) and will post it for you — more to follow!

  5. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm! Thanks for posting this recipe! Butternut squash is my absolute fave!!! I just harvested some of our squash and we have this “GINORMOUS” one! I’ll have to post a photo for you soon. Shocking! I wonder if it’s still good to eat?

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