Sweet, perfectly tender roasted butternut squash recipe, made extra special with the addition of a bright lime vinaigrette and a sprinkle of crunchy nuts for great texture. This recipe is adapted from Melissa Clark's book Dinner in French with permission from the author.

roasted butternut squash slices on a platter

Melissa Clark's Butternut Squash Recipe!

Who can resist sweet roasted butternut squash with crispy edges and a tender, creamy center?!

Just as we do with roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash needs a little bit of seasoning, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and high heat. From there, you can use it to make a luscious butternut squash pasta, or dress it up with a vinaigrette, like we're doing today.

Today's recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks Dinner in French by Melissa Clark, takes your basic butternut squash a few notches up with just some simple additions...

Here, the perfectly caramelized thin slices of butternut squash are topped with a bright lime vinaigrette (with red pepper flakes) to bring out the sweetness of the squash with their contrasting pungency + a sprinkle of chopped, nutty hazelnut for crunch!

Roasted butternut squash

Do you have to peel butternut squash before roasting?

While butternut squash skin is edible and it can even turn nice and crisp when roasted, many people prefer to peel it first so it's easier to eat.

Butternut squash skin is smooth and thin and the best way to peel it is by using a sharp vegetable peeler. It really is that simple!

How to peel butternut squash:

To prepare for this roasted butternut squash recipe, here is what you do:

  • Peel the butternut squash. First, trim the sides using a good chef's knife (this will help you steady the butternut squash on one of the cut flat sides). Stand the butternut squash on one of the trimmed sides on your cutting board and use a sharp vegetable peeler to peel working downwards (peel off long strips).
  • Cut the butternut squash in half. Stand the squash on one of the cut, flat sides. Carefully cut down the middle using your sharp chef's knife.

    butternut squash peeled, seeded and sliced
  • Seed the butternut squash. Take a spoon and scoop out the seeds; you should have an empty cavity in each half of the squash. The seeds are edible and can be cleaned and toasted separately, if you like.
  • Cut each butternut squash half into thin slices. Turn a butternut squash half on it's belly (the side with the empty cavity), take your chef's knife and slice it into ½ inch thick slices. Do the same with the other half.

Now you're ready to make this epic pan roasted butternut squash recipe!

How to cook butternut squash: step-by-step

For perfectly tender squash, start with a high heated oven! Here is what you need to do:

  • Set the oven on high heat at 425 degrees F. Arrange a rack in the middle
  • Peel, seed, and slice the squash. Trim the ends of the squash and stand it up on a cutting board, then peel with your vegetable peeler. Cut the squash in half down the middle and using a spoon scoop up the seeds. Then, slice the squash into thin slices (See above for details)
  • Arrange the butternut squash slices in one single layer on a lightly oiled baking sheet or two. It's important not to crowd the squash so each slice cooks properly and you can even get some nice caramelization.

    Slices of butternut squash on a baking sheet
  • Brush the top of the squash slices with good extra virgin olive oil. Season with kosher salt and black pepper
  • Bake in the heated oven for 20 minutes or so, then turn the squash slices over and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until tender and browned in some parts (if you need more color still, stick the baking sheet under the broiler briefly and watch carefully).

    slices of butternut squash roasted and caramlized

Add flavor & finishing touches!

Now, what really puts a special spin on your basic butternut squash recipe are Melissa's finishing touches: lime vinaigrette, chopped hazelnuts (walnuts or pecans will work too), and a handful of chopped scallions.

I like adding the lime vinaigrette to the butternut squash while still hot, then follow with the chopped nuts and scallions.

roasted butternut squash topped with lime vinaigrette, hazelnut, and scallions

Serve it with

For me, I see this simple side next to any number of mains including: juicy roast turkey breast; cranberry chicken; cornish hen; or even boneless leg of lamb.

Make-ahead and storage tips

For this pan roasted butternut squash recipe, there are a couple of things you can do in advance to save time:

  • Peel, cut and slice the butternut squash one night in advance. Save in the fridge in a zip-top bag or a tight-lid container.
  • You can also prepare the vinaigrette one night in advance. Store in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving it on the squash.
closeup of butternut squash slices with nuts and scallions

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4.83 from 45 votes

Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe

Suzy Karadsheh of The Mediterranean Dish. In the kitchenSuzy Karadsheh
roasted butternut squash slices on a platter
This roasted butternut squash is a simple and comforting side dish made extra special with the addition of a bright lime vinaigrette and a sprinkle of crunchy nuts for great texture.
Prep – 15 minutes
Cook – 30 minutes
Serves – 6 people
Side Dish


  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Butternut squash (2 lbs.), peeled, halved, and seeded
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt, (or fine sea salt)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp finely grated lime zest
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, a pinch
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts, (or walnuts or pecans)
  • 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets, minced
  • 2 scallions (whites and green parts), thinly sliced


  • Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Oil a rimmed baking sheet and arrange the squash slices on it in a single layer. (If it doesn't all fit, oil another sheet and use that as well.) Brush the top of the squash slices with more extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle them with the salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Roast in the heated oven until the squash is golden brown on the top, 20 minutes. Then flip the slices over and roast until they are very tender, about 10 minutes longer. (I ended up putting mine under the broiler for a couple more minutes for a little more color).
  • Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, zest, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Let the ingredients sit for a minute, then whisk in the anchovies and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil until emulsified. Taste and add more salt and/or lime juice as needed.
  • Serve the squash covered with the vinaigrette and sprinkled with the hazelnuts and scallions.


  • This recipe is from Melissa Clark's book Dinner in French.
  • Make-Ahead Tips: To save some time, you can peel, clean and slice the butternut squash one night in advance. Store the sliced butternut squash in the fridge in a zip top bag or tight-lid container. You can also prepare the lime vinaigrette one night in advance and keep in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving it on top of the squash. 
  • Visit our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients include extra virgin olive oil and all-natural and organic spices and more. 


Calories: 96kcalCarbohydrates: 1.5gProtein: 0.9gSaturated Fat: 1.2gSodium: 97.8mgPotassium: 45mgFiber: 0.6gVitamin A: 39.9IUVitamin C: 1.8mgCalcium: 8.6mgIron: 0.3mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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4.83 from 45 votes (24 ratings without comment)

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  1. Julianne Schold says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious and definitely main dish worthy

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you, Julianne!

  2. Tam says:

    This recipe is amazing! Thank you very much!

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you loved it, Tam!

  3. Linda Faison says:

    5 stars
    Every other month it’s our turn to prepare a meal for friends and introduce a new recipe. This month was the Roasted Butternut Squash everyone loved all the different flavors in this dish. I’m adding it to my Thanksgiving Day menu!

    1. Suzy says:

      That's wonderful, Linda! Thank you for sharing

  4. MMW says:

    5 stars
    SO delicious! I love these new flavors with roasted squash. Perfect fall side dish.

  5. Paula G Ryba says:

    I've fixed butternut squash a number of ways. I thought peeling was a bit difficult, I see a "sharp" veg peeler was recommended. Soup is a favorite, but I would like to try the lime vinaigrette. We also have a roasted butternut squash seed oil that is delicious, nutty and mild.

    1. Suzy says:

      Enjoy, Paula!

  6. Teresa Carter says:

    I am ordering from the grocery store today. I am excited to try this with dinner tonight. I have never seen butternut squash cooked like this. This will be so delicious and I will make some grilled chicken breasts to go along with it.

    1. Suzy says:

      Sounds like a wonderful dinner, Teresa!!

  7. Melissa Outland says:

    I love your recipes and I'm definitely making this!

  8. Carolsue says:

    I would try it! It looks delicious. I would share it with my husband.
    digicats {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

  9. Diane Clark says:

    I can't wait to make this as a side to my roast pork this weekend. I try all of your recipes and I am losing weight too,

    1. Suzy says:

      That is great to hear, Diane! Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  10. Charles says:

    5 stars
    Looks great. I will make it this thanksgiving and share some with my inlaws who are dining at their home while we are at ours.

    1. Suzy says:

      That is very sweet of you, Charles! Hope everyone enjoys it!

  11. Holli Rhodes says:

    I am going to try tonight! I are roasted veggies but have yet to try squash.

    1. Suzy says:

      You will LOVE it!

  12. Annie Holdren says:

    5 stars
    I'll make it tonight to enjoy with my husband. (Your recipes are my go-to's, especially since having ordered your spice selection.)

    1. Suzy says:

      That is wonderful to hear! Thanks, Annie!

  13. Nena says:

    I have made many of your recipes but it's the weekly dinner list I love the most! I will make this squash over the weekend - thank you!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Nena! Glad you find the dinner list helpful!

  14. Elena Davis says:

    Love to try this recipe! Looks delicious!

  15. Elizabeth Godfrey says:

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  16. Knittenorma says:

    5 stars
    This looks delicious and I hope to prepare once I recover from a broken wrist. I love your recipes and will add this to my printed collection. Thank you!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you so much, and get well soon!