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Easy Vegetables: Roasted Butternut Squash

I loved the discussion last night on Facebook, whether squash was a fruit or vegetable.  As Susan (from Little Ladies Who Lunch) pointed out, they are botanically classified as a fruit, but (As Ashley mentioned) in the culinary world, because of the way we use them, they are considered a vegetable!

butternut squash for kids

Butternut squash, like other winter squashes, are a great to include in your kids diet!  They are:

  • An excellent source of Vitamin A (which has been shown to protect lungs against toxins like cigarette smoke)
  • Great sources of Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and manganese
  • Good source of folate and Omega 3 fatty acids! (which is beneficial to growing kids brains!)

So, what can you do with butternut squash besides make soup?  A fast and easy method of cooking it, is to roast in a hot oven.  This is what we did:

  • Chop 1 lb. butternut squash into 1 inch or half inch cubes
  • Place in bowl and add:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • Arrange on baking sheet and sprinkle the top with:

parmesan cheese


  • Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, stirring once.
DSC_0784 DSC_0786

Step 1: Chop squash (or buy pre-chopped)

Step 2: Stir Olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top.
DSC_0788 butternut squash

Step 3: Arrange on baking sheet and top with salt and parmesan cheese

Step 4: Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, stirring once.

We  love butternut squash!

butternut squash dinner quinoa

So, my neighbor was asking me if you can replace pumpkin with butternut squash in pumpkin pie? Anyone ever tried that?

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11/03/2011 5:52am
I've cooked this as 'dessert' before. I've cut it in half, removed the seeds, then brushed the cut surface with either melted butter or vegetable oil, sprinkle with ground cinnamon and roast in a medium oven until tender. It's really delicious, and it's actually very sweet. I've had this made on the BBQ before too- just wrap the squash up well with foil.
Kim B
11/03/2011 6:14am
Yay! All I knew how to do with squash was cut it in half and lather it with butter. As good as it tastes, it's full fat. It's nice to have another idea.
11/03/2011 8:44am
DH: Sounds yummy! I have some left, so I'm going to give it a try! your welcome Kim :)
11/03/2011 9:22am
You've inspired me. :) I'm headed to the store for a butternut squash. (Hopefully prechopped) I've only tried yellow, spaghetti, and acorn squash, so this will be good for me.
11/03/2011 9:31am
You will love it, I just know it! I also did it with feta cheese which was SUPER GOOD!!
11/03/2011 1:35pm
My grandmother would always use squash instead of pumpkin for her pies - you can't tell the difference at all!
11/03/2011 3:23pm
I like butternut better than Pumpkin
11/03/2011 4:35pm
Butternut purees much better than pumpkin for me. And yes, easy sub for pumpin pie. My neighbor said she hates butternut but she happily ate my "squash" pie. ...So I lied and told her it was least after it was gone we told her the truth. ;)
11/03/2011 5:51pm
Becky, Jessica, and Jamie.. thanks! I'm kind of interested in trying that now!
11/04/2011 7:34am
[...] on to elsewhere in the squash family, Super Healthy Kids‘ Amy offers up easy preparation of Butternut Squash. And the Vegan Dad makes a fall feast of Apple Cider Tofu with Butternut Squash and Roasted [...]
11/04/2011 4:46pm
Yeah, it is much smoother and blends better. Most canned pumpkin is squash even though it says pumpkin. I puree it when its warm and its perfect.
11/04/2011 9:20pm
It was good! I was thinking it might taste like yams, maybe because of the color. It was so good with the balsamic vinegar. Thanks!
11/05/2011 3:49pm
I love your website and you recipes. I wanted to try this one with Butternut Squash and Balsamic Vinegar, but just recently I've been seeing Prop.65 Warning on the shelves where the Balsamic Vinegar is sold in the grocery stores, because it contains LEAD. (all the balsamic and red wine vinegar). Do you think it's safe to use the balsamic vinegar in kids meals, since we are so cautious for other things, like toys not to contain any lead, and they would eat this, and I know you are up for healthy meals and ingredients. I've heard that a person who consumes 3-4 cups of Balsamic Vinegar per day can get Lead poisoning, but even in small amounts, is it OK for little ones?
Julie N
11/06/2011 8:14pm
This looks so yummy I had to pin it on Pinterest. Thanks!
11/07/2011 7:12am
Maya, this is not a health concern for my family. As with many things, high doses can be toxic. Even vitamins and minerals, and even apples! So, we eat in moderation, and don't stress about things like this. If it is a concern for you, definitely avoid it... but we will never eat enough balsamic vinegar to see ill effects.
11/07/2011 10:53am
for Maya: an article in environmental health new about lead in vinegars, although late 2009 might still be helpful, especially the list of lead-free vinegars in the side bar:
11/07/2011 4:23pm
This looks great! I think butternut squash would make a delicious pie. Unfortunately, I'm the only one in the family that thinks so. Maybe your recipe would help convince others that it's good!
11/07/2011 8:02pm
@Jenny - thanks for the article, it's very helpful!
10/03/2012 5:10pm
Just made this tonight for dinner SO good! I had never tried butternut squash before thanks for sharing :]

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