This roasted butternut squash recipe is crazy easy to make. Seriously, 3 ingredients never tasted so good — just thick cut bacon, butternut squash cubes, and fresh thyme. The perfect paleo side dish or weeknight sheet pan meal, TOTAL winner!
Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
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 oven roasted butternut squash is nothing short of fabulous!
Just three simple ingredients combine to create this fabulous baked butternut squash side dish: bacon, butternut squash cubes, and fresh thyme.
Want to serve it for dinner? Just double the recipe and serve it on a bed of peppery arugula. #sogood Oh, and did I mention it’s paleo friendly?! Total. Winner.
Oven Roasted Butternut Squash With Bacon
It all starts with bacon… I mean, how can you go wrong with that? But not just ANY bacon… Look for a high-quality thick cut bacon. Preferably with no added sugar, but I know those can be hard to come by and pricey when you do!
But it’s worth it to spend a little more for quality, since bacon is 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. If you don’t? We need to have serious talk.
Bacon In The Oven Is The Way To Go
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.
Remember when I showed you how to bake bacon in the oven? Well, that’s where we begin today — with a pan of crispy and delicious 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. 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 same baking sheet you just used for the oven-baked 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 deep, dark caramelization on our baked butternut squash cubes, 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. But I totally promise you it will be worth the extra dirty pan.
PRO TIP: Buy pre-cubed 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 cooked 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.
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If I haven’t persuaded you to give this butternut squash side 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 the baked butternut squash cubes with bacon from start to finish, and refrigerate. Then just reheat it before you’re ready to serve your meal! Or add it to your favorite meal prep bowl with some coconut milk rice for an easy and delicious lunch. You can thank me later. :)