Monday, November 19, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe with Moroccan Spices (and 10 More Tasty Ideas for Roasted Vegetables!)

Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices
I'd eat this Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices for a Meatless Monday option any time of year!

(Updated with better photos, November 2012.)  Although I'm still mostly focused on Thanksgiving Recipes around here, since it's Monday I want to share something that would make a wonderful Meatless Monday option any time of year when you don't mind using the oven.  I love all things butternut squash, but since I first made it in 2007, this Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices is one of my very favorite ways to cook it.  If you have a toaster oven, that's a great way to cook a small batch, but it also reheats well, so go ahead and make a big batch.  And if you're trying to avoid those sugary sweet potatoes that often show up at Thanksgiving, I think this would make a wonderful holiday side dish as well.

What makes this version of butternut squash special is the spice mixture, found in Fine Cooking Magazine, and good on a variety of roasted vegetables. Roasted with these spices, the squash tasted amazingly sweet and just a tiny bit exotic, but not into the category of what my relatives might call "weird food" if I showed up with it for Thanksgiving. The mixture has cumin, coriander, chile powder, paprika, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger, and cloves, and it's great to keep on hand, so make extra.  (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index, and I'm also doing a meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch.  For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web or visit my Meatless Monday Pinterest board.)

Toss the cut-up butternut squash with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture.  (Here is How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash if you need help with that.)

Spray a large roasting pan with non-stick spray and spread out the squash in a single layer.  Roast at 450F/230C (or 475F/240C if you want it to cook a little faster) for about 40-50 minutes, turning it every 10-15 minutes.  Here's how it looked after 15 minutes.

  I turned it again after 30 minutes.

And here's how it looked after 45 minutes, when we seasoned it with salt and pepper and I ate a big bowl of it for lunch!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices
And I have no idea why this squash looked so much more orange (bad white balance, maybe?) but here is the original photo for this recipe from back in 2007!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices
(Makes 3-4 servings, recipe adapted slightly from Fine Cooking Magazine, November 2007.)

4-5 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 T olive oil (or slightly less)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
sea salt, for seasoning cooked squash

Spice Mix Ingredients:
Spice Mix (makes enough for 5 batches of roasted veggies):
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. chile powder (I used Ancho chile powder from Penzeys)
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
(recipe called for a pinch ground cloves, which I did not have.)

Preheat oven to 450 or 475F. (Recipe specifies 475F, but I often make in my toaster oven which only goes to 450.)

Peel butternut squash with vegetable peeler, cut off ends, and cut squash into cubes about 1 inch square. Put squash in plastic bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp. spice mixture. Stir well to get oil and spices evenly distributed on cut surfaces of the squash.

Spray roasting pan with olive oil or nonstick spray and arrange squash in a single layer. Roast about 40-50 minutes, turning every 15 minutes or so. (The roasting time will be slightly longer or shorter, depending on which oven temperature you use.) Squash is done when it is soft and slightly browned on quite a few of the edges.  Season with sea salt, and serve hot.

This spice mix is also great on other roasted vegetables. Fine Cooking suggests carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and turnips.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Butternut squash is a good choice for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet, and this version without butter is a much healthier option for anyone who's watching their saturated fat intake.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

Ten More Roasted Vegetable Options for Thanksgiving or Meatless Monday:
Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Broccoli from Simply Recipes
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts from Kalyn's Kitchen
Oven-Roasted Carrots from The Perfect Pantry
Roasted Broccoli with Garlic from Kalyn's Kitchen
Cheddar Roasted Broccoli from Inspired Taste
Roasted Delicata Squash with Rosemary from White on Rice Couple
Honey-Roasted Acorn Squash from Joy the Baker

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. Kalyn
    Hey - your new header looks great!! Very "fall-ish" (I know, not a word - I shouldn't do that to a teacher!). I love your squash recipes - I think winter squash is the main reason I tolerate the approaching winter. There's nothing quite like cold weather comfort foods. Can't wait to try this one...

  2. I love butternut squash cooked with the "warm" spices (the whole Moroccan tagine thing is my new passion). Looking forward to more South Beach-friendly recipes as I plan my own Thanksgiving menu.

  3. I LOVE the new header!! Love it! And the butternut squash looks pretty darn good, too! :-)

  4. Great spices! Sounds super yummy :)

  5. Great looking squash! I am so glad I decided to plant the butternut this year!
    Love the new look...lovely mushrooms!

  6. I bet that smells divine as it roasts. I'm going to make some...thanks.

  7. Yup, great spices on the squash. I roast them similarly (not as many) but in the same direction. Each piece gives you a new taste.

  8. I love the sound of this spice mixture. And I really like your welome to winter header!

  9. Lovin' the header! So cool. I still have to get off my but and fix mine (and my feed).

    But I adore the sound of this butternut squash recipe - its my fav squash! Looks very tasty!

  10. Mm all those spices sound amazing. A perfect fall dish.

  11. Oh, yay! Trader Joe's had butternut squash for 99cents each -- I bought two and now I'm looking forward to trying this out!

  12. I noticed your new header the other day - gorgeous :) And I am so definitely going to try this - I adore butternut and any new say to serve it always piques my interest. I have recently discovered cumin in a big way and am in the midst of a love affair with it - made lamb last weekend rubbed with a mix of cumin, chili, garlic, salt and olive oil - fab!

  13. I am glad you are counting down to Thanksgiving! I am going home to IL this year, so I am very excited!! I will practice your recipes until the day arrives. I love butternut squash! And I love the new winter header. It looks great:)

  14. I love the new header too. If only I have a talented brother too. ;p

  15. These sound good. What an interesting selection of spices.

  16. Love the recipe! Great combination of spices! :)

  17. Kalyn: I love butternut squash AND your new header!

  18. I was inspired by your recipe to make roasted squash and red peppers with Moroccan spices, served with quinoa. I always roast with herbs and it never occurred to me to use those spices. It was so tasty. Thanks for the great idea!

  19. I am such a bad blogger! So many nice comments I haven't responded to yet. Thanks everyone, and I do read them all (but in my e-mail, so when I'm rushed like lately I don't always get back here to respond.) Stephanie, very glad to hear you liked it. I absolutely loved this spice mix and I've tried it on two more things which were also just wonderful tasting!

  20. I just saw this post, and it so appropriate! At lunch out today, I had some sweet potatoes that were done very similarly. But yours look even better! Now I don't have to figure it out all on my own. :)

  21. As I write, my butternut squash is roasting in the oven! Can't wait to see how it will turn out! :)

  22. Loved the squash!
    we had it as a main course with some ginger-spiked couscous and drizzled with yogurt flavoured with some fresh coriander! Lovely! Even the carnivorous husband didn't complain!

  23. Deborah, do try it, I loved this.

    Maninas, so glad to hear you liked it. I'm still trying this spice mix on other veggies and not a bad result yet.

  24. Kalyn, wanted to let you know I used this spice mix on sweet potatoes for my husband's and my Christmas Eve dinner, to go with the Moroccan braised lamb I made. The sweet potatoes were divine! I will definitely be making more of this spice mix (gave most of it away as a gift, and only kept one serving for myself) and trying it on lots of things.

  25. I made this last night and it is AMAZING. The only spice I didn't have was the allspice but I had the cloves and cinnamon, so I figured I was fine. Even my husband who fears excessive spice loved this (I think he doesn't understand the distintion between spicy and fragrant). It made the entire house smell amazing. I cannot wait to make this again, thank you! I've been doing SB for a few months now and am really enjoying the emphasis on veg, it's forcing me to think out of the box of frozen spinach I usually just nuke. :-)

  26. I made this tonight for my husband and myself. I had all the spices except the corriander and the paprika. Hubby LOVED it! I tossed in some sliced red pepper in with the squash as I had some leftover from another recipe toward the end of the roasting. It added a nice dash of color and flavor to the squash. Thanks again for the dish. It was delicious!

  27. I just made this recipe and really liked the spice mixture, but even with stirring/flipping the pieces every 15 minutes some of them turned black on the side touching the pan after only 35 minutes total cooking time. My oven runs a little hot (about 10 degrees) so I had turned the knob slightly below the 450 degrees setting to make this...I think next time I will drop the temperature to 425 or 400 and see if that helps. Despite being slightly burned, it was still a very tasty dish.

  28. Amanda, please e-mail me privately. There is a link on the side for "How to Contact Kalyn."

  29. This was fantastic!!! And it made my kitchen smell amazing :) I used some of the leftover spice mixture to season grilled chicken breasts to accompany the squash and my boyfriend couldn't get enough. Thank you so, so much for this!

  30. Natasha, thank you for letting me know you liked it. I always love hearing that!

  31. I made this, it was delicious! Thank you.

  32. I tried this recipe for the first time a few months ago. Not only did it make me a huge squash fan but the flavor is incredible. Yum! I have made it atleast 5 times and brought it to Thanksgiving dinner. Great recipe! I look forward to trying the Rosemary lime butternut squash soon!

  33. I love hearing that this recipe has turned you into a fan of butternut squash!

  34. You have a wonderful way of using spices, Kalyn. The Moroccan flavors would be fantastic with the sweet butternut squash.

  35. Thanks Dara. I have a serious love affair with this recipe.

  36. Moroccan Spices are my very favorites to add to roasted vegetables. Sometimes I cheat and buy a good
    Moroccan spice blend!

  37. Becky, I would do that too if I found one I liked!

  38. One of my favorite things about your cooking is your use of spices. Irresistable!

  39. Kalyn, have you ever heard of Ras el Hanout? It can be purchased ready mixed at some spice stores, or you can make your own
    2 (level) teaspoons salt
    2 (heaping) teaspoons cumin
    2 (level) teaspoons ginger
    1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons black pepper
    1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1 teaspoon coriander
    1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 teaspoon allspice
    1/2 teaspoon cloves
    1/4 (slightly rounded) tsp nutmeg
    optional: 1 tsp saffron threads
    I use this when roasting butternut squash and it is delicious... looks similar. Will have to try yours, too! Maybe this Thanksgiving. Thanks for all your great recipes and ideas.

  40. Doren, I bought Ras el Hanout in Morocco years ago, and it does sound very similar.

  41. Whole family LOVED this roasted butternut with moroccan spices! thanks for sharing it and the link to cutting up butternuts. i relaxed and took my time cutting and then turned the cubes every 15min as they roasted and it really made all the difference. With pork chops, broccoli and a big green salad we had a feast! first one since Thanksgiving!Best!

  42. Mary, so glad to hear it was such a hit.

  43. Is this good cold? I'm thinking about bringing it to Christmas Eve dinner but there wouldn't be any oven space so I'd need to make it ahead of time.

    1. Truthfully I don't think this will be that great cold, sorry!

    2. Bummer. I'll just have to make it another time. Thanks for speedy response!


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