How to Roast Butternut Squash

2 butternut squash isolated white background

Roasted butternut squash can be used to make (among other things) orange soup, as a substitute for pumpkin puree in pie, or instead of the sweet potatoes in sweet potato soufflé. After mashing the cooked flesh of the squash, it freezes well for later use—a great ingredient to have on hand. The problem is, butternut squash is a difficult vegetable to work with. The hard flesh and stem seem to resist the sharpest chef’s knife, and it’s no fun scooping out the seeds and stringy flesh.

The solution? Bake the butternut squash whole! Easy peasy.

Next time you see butternut squash and don’t want to buy it because it’s hard to prepare, remember this technique, and put that squash in your cart. There’s no longer any reason to be afraid.

How to Roast Butternut Squash

It looks like a lot of steps, but I promise it’s easy as pie–butternut squash pie!

Yield: Approximately 6 cups purée


  • 1 large butternut squash about 3 pounds
  • Olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Grease a sheet cake pan or baking sheet with short sides with some of the olive oil, enough to lightly coat the pan.
  3. Wash and dry squash.
  4. Pierce the squash with a sharp knife to make 10-12 slits. This will help the steam escape so the squash doesn’t burst during the cooking and make a mess!
  5. Place the squash on the baking sheet.
  6. Roast for 60 minutes or longer. The squash is done when a knife, inserted into the thickest part of the squash, goes in easily.
  7. Remove the squash from the oven and cool for 20 minutes.
  8. Place the squash on a cutting board. Cut the squash lengthwise taking care not to burn your hands—the inside of the squash will still be hot.
  9. Scoop out and discard the seeds and stringy flesh from the cavity of the squash.
  10. Peel and use the flesh as desired.
  11. Freezes well.