This post is in partnership with NatureRaised Farms. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site possible! #EatGoodCleanFun
Whether you’re still on the hunt for an easy Thanksgiving side dish or just need inspiration for a simple weeknight meal, you’ve come to the right place today. This bacon roasted butternut squash is nothing short of fabulous!
Just three simple ingredients combine to create this fabulous side dish: bacon, butternut squash and fresh thyme.
Want to serve it for dinner? Just double the recipe or serve it on a bed of peppery arugula. #sogood Oh, and did I mention it’s paleo friendly?! Total. winner.
It all starts with bacon… I mean, how can you go wrong with that? Lately I’ve been into this new NatureRaised Farms® bacon that I found in the refrigerated section at Sam’s Club. This thick cut, uncured bacon is minimally processed, with an ingredients list that’s short and sweet: pork, water, sea salt, evaporated cane juice, and natural flavoring (celery).
And I especially like the budget-friendly price, because my kids eat bacon like there’s no tomorrow!
Beyond that, NatureRaised Farms bacon just tastes great — and it’s the foundation of this delicious recipe, providing a smoky and savory backdrop for the sweet butternut squash. The only additional ingredient you’ll need is fresh thyme. Well, and some salt and pepper, but I’m assuming you have these kitchen staples on hand.
Aside from the flavor, what makes this bacon roasted butternut squash recipe so magical is that you only need to dirty one half sheet baking pan. Because the creating is fun, but the cleanup is not so much.
Oven-Baked Bacon Is The Way To Go
Remember when I showed you how easy it is to bake your bacon in the oven? Well, that’s where we begin today — with a pan of oven-baked bacon. You only need about 4-5 pieces (chopped after baking) for this recipe, but I made a whole tray for good measure. I mean, there’s no such thing as too much bacon. Am I right?
Oh, and please don’t discard all of that lovely bacon fat that gets rendered off while baking. Pour it off into a glass jar and set it aside for now, and then wipe any excess grease off of your baking sheet with a paper towel.
How To Roast Butternut Squash
Peel and cube a fresh butternut squash, and toss it with 2-3 tablespoons of the rendered bacon fat, along with a little salt and pepper. You can do all of this right on the baking sheet you just used for the bacon. #easycleanup
Spread the butternut squash out evenly in a single layer, leaving space between each piece. Overcrowding the pan will steam the squash, rather than caramelize it. And we’re really looking for that caramelization, because that’s where all of the yummy flavor is. If you have a very large squash, you may need to pull out a second baking sheet. I promise you it will be worth the extra dirty pan, though.
Tip: Buy precut fresh butternut squash, if you desire. I won’t judge — it IS rather a pain to peel and chop.
After roasting for about 25 minutes, stir in the chopped bacon and fresh thyme. Place the sheet back in the oven to roast for another five minutes or so. Season with additional salt and pepper, as needed, and serve warm. I like to sprinkle some additional fresh thyme over the top — the bright green really pops against the deep orange hue of the squash.
Bacon Roasted Butternut Squash
Yield 6 servings
Three ingredients never tasted so good: just thick cut bacon, butternut squash and fresh thyme. The perfect paleo side dish or weeknight sheet pan meal... Total winner!
- 5 pieces of NatureRaised Farms bacon, baked & chopped
- 1 medium butternut squash, about 5-7 cups peeled & cubed
- 2-3 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake 5 slices of bacon according to the instructions here for about 20 minutes. Reserve the rendered bacon fat in a glass jar, and wipe any excess grease off the baking sheet. Chop the cooked bacon and set aside.
- While the bacon is baking, peel and cube a medium butternut squash. Toss the cubes with 2-3 tablespoons of bacon fat, salt and pepper. Spread the cubed squash out on the baking sheet used previously, leaving ample room between each piece to allow the squash to caramelize. Use a second baking sheet if necessary.
- Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees and roast for 25 minutes or until the squash is tender and starting to caramelize.
- Stir in the chopped bacon and fresh time, and place the baking sheet(s) back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
- Season with additional salt, pepper, and fresh thyme, as desired. Serve warm.
If I haven’t persuaded you to give this bacon roasted butternut squash dish a try yet, let me share one last reason why you simply have to add it to your holiday menu… It’s just as good, if not BETTER, the next day.
Seriously, prepare it from start to finish, and just reheat it before you’re ready to serve your meal! You can thank me later. :)
Use this store locator to see if a Sam’s Club near you carries NatureRaised Farms bacon!