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Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime and Chili

October and November are at the tail end of harvest season, where in cold climates, root vegetables and winter squash are at their prime. One of my favorites is butternut squash.

Most of us are familiar with the usual roasted squash, sliced in half and dressed with butter and maple syrup, and while there’s nothing wrong with that traditional preparation, it can be a little bit, shall I say, BOR-ing.

The following recipe is one I had used for sweet potatoes, but as luck would have it, one week I was unable to get my hands on any sweet potatoes when the craving hit. I did, however, have a butternut squash just waiting to be used.

This recipe sounds a little strange at first, but it’s been requested again and again at our Thanksgiving table. (Some people – gasp – even liked it more than the stuffing. True story.)

Roasted butternut squash with lime and chili is sure to be a favorite at your table, too!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime and Chili

  • 1 large butternut squash (about 2-3 lbs)
  • 1-1½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
  • 1-2 limes, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp mild chili powder
  • Optional
  • ¼ cup fresh thyme leaves (remove leaves from stem, roughly chop)


  1. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds (you can save ‘em and roast like pumpkin seeds!). Peel squash halves.
  2. Cut squash into 1 inch cubes and place on a baking sheet, ideally in a single layer.
  3. Toss with remaining ingredients.
  4. Roast at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until squash is tender and lightly browned on the edges. While roasting, turn the squash a few times to be sure it cooks evenly.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime and Chili

Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime and Chili

Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime and Chili

Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime and Chili

Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime and Chili

Roasted Butternut Squash with Lime and Chili

Tips for butternut squash:

  • Choose a butternut squash that is heavy for its size. Size and shape vary considerably, but they all have a bulbous end where the seeds are contained. The rest is solid squash “meat”. (Cue all the lame “that’s what she said” jokes.)
  • Be careful when cutting! These things can be beasts. Use a sharp chef or Santoku knife and keep your fingers away from the blade (or find a burly man to cut it for you).
  • Always peel squash after cutting. Otherwise you have a difficult-to-cut and slippery son of a…
  • Save the seeds and roast like pumpkin seeds in the same spice mixture in the above recipe. They’re more tender than pumpkin seeds and just as nutritious.
  • Have leftovers? It’s great reheated or you can puree it with some homemade broth for a delicious soup! (Or try this Carrot Ginger Squash Soup!)

Now I’d love to hear from you:
Do you like butternut squash? If so, what’s your favorite way to prepare it?

For more yummy vegetable recipes, check out my ebook “Veggies: Eat Them Because You Want To, Not Because You Have To” designed specifically for people who want to learn how to make vegetables taste good. I’ve turned countless veggie haters into regular veggie eaters with the tips and tricks I describe in this information-packed guide.

Get your copy below. It’s FREE!

Until next week,

Veggies: Eat them because you want to, not because you have to

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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.


Leave a comment
  1. Looooove butternut squash! That’s how I make it but I never added line or chili. I typically add cumin, turmeric, and other Indian-cuisine inspired spices. I have to admit… I buy it pre-cut and that helps speed up getting dinner ready

  2. Gorgeous post — love the photos and the inspiration for our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner!

  3. This looks delicious! I have a squash and was looking for a different way to cook it- problem solved! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks Lily!

  4. I’ve never thought to try lime on butternut squash! I usually roast mine (aka the best way to cook almost every vegetable) or use it in slow cooker stews in the winter.

    • You’re speakin’ my language, Sarah! Roasting brings out the best in most vegetables. 🙂

  5. Butternut squash is delicious! Does this turn out soft but crispy on the outside?

    • Yes Cassie. As long as you don’t overcrowd the pan and keep your oven up at 425 degrees, they’ll get a nice caramelized crust.

  6. Oo this sounds tasty! I usually only use butternut squash for soup, but I would love to try it this way too. Although I must admit Lily, I don’t know if I believe you yet about it being better than stuffing, haha! I’ll have to put it to the test soon.

    • I s’pose it depends how good the stuffing is! 😉

  7. You had me at ‘Chili and Lime’. Seriously, I’m a sucker for anything squash and this just takes it to a whole new level. Guess I know what I’m making this week!

    • Serious noms!

  8. How did you know I just harvested 79.5 lbs of butternut squash? My favorite use is either in roasted vegetables or a squash soup, which i mass produce and freeze in vacuum seal bags.

    • Holy moly! That’s a lot of butternut squash! Glad you’re storing up for winter. 😉

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