This sweet and savory Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries is accented with roasted pecans and creamy goat cheese. Most of the recipe steps can be prepared ahead making it the perfect holiday side dish!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Full of Flavor - The combination of flavors in this side dish is truly delicious! I love how maple syrup brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables, similar to what it does in my maple brussels sprouts recipe. The combination of sweet maple syrup, tart cranberries, and hearty squash is just so good! Each bite bursts with a fall flavor that you are going to love!
Make-Ahead Steps - This is a really easy dish to serve to company or even for busy weeknights, as so much of it can be made ahead! The butternut squash can be made 3 days in advance, or you can even purchase pre-chopped squash for an even easier dish!
Beautiful Colors - What a tasty way to add color to your meal! The vibrant orange and red with a sprinkling of green makes this a gorgeous dish for your dinner table!
This is an easy side dish for your Thanksgiving table and it also tastes so good with lamb chops! If you are making this for Thanksgiving, pair it with Sweet Potato Crunch and Green Bean Casserole with Bacon. And don't forget to make the best pumpkin pie!
Ingredients and Substitutions
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients, including measurements.
- Butternut Squash - I love the mild flavor of roasted butternut squash but any winter squash will work, including pumpkin and acorn squash.
- Cranberries - Fresh cranberries are best in this recipe but frozen can be used as well. If you are using frozen then you can cook them in their frozen state without thawing first. Dried cranberries can also be used but give a completely different texture, so I prefer fresh.
- Maple Syrup - The syrup adds a beautiful sweetness. Honey could also be used.
- Pecans - The pecans roast right along with the cranberries, so there is no need to toast them first! You can substitute your favorite nuts, like walnuts or hazelnuts.
- Goat Cheese - I love the slight tanginess that the goat cheese gives to do this dish. You could use Feta or Gorgonzola if you'd like. I buy goat cheese crumbles but you could also use a log and crumble the cheese yourself.
How to Make Maple Roasted Squash
- Toss cubed butternut squash with olive oil and roast in a casserole dish (or sheet pan with sides) in a 400°F (200°C) oven for 25 minutes.
- Add cranberries and pecans.
- Drizzle maple syrup over the dish then continue roasting for an additional 20 minutes.
- Top with goat cheese and parsley.
- Prepare the butternut squash up to 3 days in advance by peeling and cubing, then store in an airtight container.
- Rinse and dry the cranberries and store them in the refrigerator.
- Purchase pecan pieces and crumbled goat cheese. If you have pecan halves or a goat cheese log then chop/crumble ahead of time.
- Portion the maple syrup and leave covered, at room temperature, until ready to use.
- Try using pomegranates instead of cranberries! You would add them with the goat cheese instead of roasting them.
- Add a tablespoon of chopped sage or rosemary for additional flavor.
- Serve leftovers over quinoa, wild rice, kale, or spinach for a delicious twist.
Leftover squash casserole should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep up to 5 days.
You can reheat the butternut squash with cranberries in a 400°F (200°C) oven for 10-15 minutes, or in the microwave until heated through. The goat cheese will melt but it is still delicious!
The peel of butternut squash is edible but I think the texture of the recipe is best with them peeled. You can peel using a vegetable peeler or remove the skin with a sharp knife.
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Maple Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Goat CheeseRecipe by:
- 1 small butternut squash 5-6 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup cranberries rinsed and dried
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup pecan pieces
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
- chopped parsley to garnish optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Toss squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread in a 9x13 baking dish. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- After 25 minutes, stir the butternut squash again and then top it with cranberries and pecans. Drizzle the maple syrup over the top. Roast an additional 20 minutes, or until the squash is soft and browned.
- Top with goat cheese and parsley, and serve immediately.