All the flavors of fall come together in one easy side dish. Roasted butternut squash with maple pecans is a side dish with zero guilt because butternut squash is a superfood!
Yes, I said superfood. I know, I didn’t know either. This is fabulous news because it really is my favorite fall vegetable, plus there are so many ways you can prepare it. Butternut squash is so versatile it can be used to make delicious soups, creamy sauces for pasta, a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes (with lots of butter), even risotto.
Where this particular recipe may be categorized as a side dish, I have to admit, I ate the whole thing as my entire dinner because I just couldn’t stop myself! I don’t mean the entire half, oh no, I mean the whole squash. Remember… zero guilt.
The soft creamy flesh of the squash, flavored with earthy sage and thyme, nutmeg and sweet crunchy pecans in maple syrup makes for a fabulous pairing and a stunning taste sensation. Are we sure this is a vegetable? It was more like dinner and dessert in one dish! I’m certain I’ll be serving this as a Thanksgiving side dish because they can be made ahead and kept warm until you need them. There are 2 ways you could serve this: you can scoop out the squash and give individual servings and get 2 servings per half, or give everyone their own half,. Your guests will thank you. Promise!
- 2 medium butternut squash about 2 1/2 pounds each, cut in half and seeded
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- 1 garlic clove peeled and halved
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon sage finely chopped
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Score the flesh of the butternut squash in diamond shapes.
- With the cut side of the garlic clove, rub it all over the flesh of the butternut squash.
- Brush the flesh with melted butter and sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg and sage.
- Roast the squash, flesh side up on a baking sheet for 40-60 minutes. Should feel tender when a fork is inserted into the flesh.
- While the squash are roasting, add the pecan pieces to a small sauté pan over medium low heat.
- Toast, stirring often until browned.
- Add the maple syrup and mix until all the pecans are coated.
- When the squash are done remove from the oven and pour the maple pecans over the squash.
- Serve warm.