Sunday, February 13, 2011

Recipe for Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash with Smoked Sweet Paprika

If you're cooking Valentine's Day dinner at home, here's a delicious side dish suggestion.
Which is better, a romantic Valentine's Day Dinner at home, or dinner out in a nice restaurant?  I'd love to hear in the comments what people think about that, but for those cooking Valentine's Day Dinner at home, might I recommend this Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash with Smoked Sweet Paprika that's sure to wow any sweetheart who likes butternut squash.  I got the recipe from my friend Margarethe, a good cook who says ever since she discovered the recipe she's made it at least once a week.  Margarethe also shared the recipe for the Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Aioli Sauce that I loved when she brought it to a party at my house last summer. 

If butternut squash is not your thing or your Valentine won't eat it, there are a lot of other suggestions for Valentine's Day Recipes in the South Beach Diet Friendly Recipes for Holidays

Cut up one large butternut squash into cubes about 1 inch square.  (Here's How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash if you need help.)   You can also use 2 pounds of prepared squash cubes, which is what Margarethe says she usually does.

Put the smoked sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion salt, fresh ground black pepper and balsamic vinegar into a bowl and stir to combine, then whisk in 2 T olive oil.  Margarethe reduced the amount of oil from the original recipe that she found on, and I agree that 2 T of oil was plenty.  (Don't make this with regular paprika; it's the smoked paprika that makes it so delicious and unusual.  Most grocery stores carry smoked paprika now, or you can buy it at

Toss the cut squash cubes with the spice and oil mixture.

I sprayed the baking sheet with some olive oil; then arrange the squash cubes in a single layer on the sheet.

Roast the squash for 25 minutes in a 375F/190C oven, then remove from the oven and turn all the squash pieces.

Here's how the squash looked after another 15 minutes roasting time.   I turned them again and put back in for a few minutes more.

This is my finished squash, after a total of 50 minutes roasting time.  Of course I was taking photos every time I took them out of the oven, so I'd guess yours might be done after 40-45 minutes.  Season with a little more salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired, and serve hot or at room temperature.

Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash with Smoked Sweet Paprika
(Makes 4-6 servings, depending on how much you like butternut squash; recipe adapted slightly from

1 very large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2 lbs. of 1 inch cubes ( 2 lbs. = 8 cups cut squash cubes.)
1 tsp. smoked sweet paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little more to brush or spray the roasting pan
salt and more fresh ground black pepper for seasoning cooked squash if desired (I didn't add a lot more salt and pepper but I used a little)

Preheat oven to 375F/190C.  Peel the butternut squash and cut into 1 inch cubes, or you can use pre-cut squash cubes if you prefer.  (If you haven't worked with butternut squash, there is a post on the blog about How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash.)

Put the smoked sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, fresh ground black pepper, and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.  Whisk in the olive oil.  (You can also mix this in the same bowl you're going to toss the squash in if you want to save washing a bowl!)

Put the cut squash cubes into a medium-sized plastic or glass bowl and toss with the paprika/oil mixture until the squash is well-coated.  Spray a flat baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray, then arrange squash cubes in a single layer on the sheet.  (I made sure each piece had a flat side facing down on the sheet, because that's where the most browning occurs.) 

Roast squash 25 minutes, then remove pan from the oven and turn the squash pieces.  (I used a flat metal turner to turn all the squash, then use a fork to turn a few that didn't get turned.  This is pretty important so one side doesn't get too brown.)  Put squash back in for 15 minutes, then take out of oven and turn again.  Put back into the oven and continue to roast until squash is very tender and nicely browned, about 5-15 minutes more.   I would watch it pretty closely during this final cooking time.  Total cooking time will be   about 40-50 minutes, depending on how big the squash pieces are and what pan you are using.

Season cooked squash with more fresh ground black pepper and some salt if desired.  (I didn't think it needed much more seasoning, but I added a little.)  Serve hot or at room temperature.

South Beach Suggestions:
I can still remember how excited I was when I discovered that butternut squash was approved for phase two or three of the  South Beach Diet.  The book recommends 3/4 cup serving size if you're actively trying to lose weight.)

More Fun Ways to Cook Butternut Squash:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Roasted Butternut Squash with Lemon, Thyme, and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Beef and Butternut Squash Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Butternut Squash Crumble from White on Rice Couple
Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin from Pinch My Salt
Butternut Squash Soup That Actually Tastes Like Butternut Squash from A Veggie Venture
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. I absolutely love the pairing of butternut squash and smoked paprika. Sometimes I use the hot smoked paprika, which is very hot! There is something irresistible about the smoky flavor with the sweetness of the squash. Yum.

  2. This squash looks amazing!! I love smoked paprika and love roasted butternut squash - there's no way this isn't fantastic! :-)

  3. Lydia, you know I'm a lightweight so I think I'll stick with the sweet paprika!

    Nicole, I have to say, this was just as good as Margarethe had told me. Loved it!

  4. I made this tonight, and it was very tasty. Thanks!

  5. Jillian, wow that was fast! I will pass on the thanks to Margarethe.

  6. Looks so lovely !
    I'm craving butternut squash right now, I think you've just inspired me to roast some tomorrow : )

  7. I'm personally not doing anything for V-Day, but if I were, I would rather cook a nice dinner at home for me and my significant other.

    And this butternut squash would stand a fair chance of getting on the menu. Because there's few vegetables in the world I love more.

  8. Kalyn, this looks awesome. I happen to have a winter squash on my counter, so I'm going to try this tonight!

  9. Passingthethyme, hope you will try it!

    Joanne, I think I am with you on the dinner at home. Not that I don't love restaurants, but the hype of Valentine's day and the crowds in restaurants aren't appealing to me.

    Jeanette, so glad you're trying it!

  10. I apologize but I don't know which squash is butternut. I know it's not acorn,or spagetti. What shape/color is it please.

  11. You can make this recipe with any kind of orange-fleshed winter squash like acorn, buttercup, banana, hubbard, Kabocha, etc. There is a link in the post for How to Peel and Cut Up a Butternut Squash which has photos of a butternut squash.

    I have to admit, butternut is one of my favorites but I also really like buttercup.

  12. Could not have discovered your blog or read this at a better time! Have a red lentil and onion soup with smoked paprika pottering on the stove right now- some butternut squash would be perfect to bulk it out... Thank you for the inspiration!

  13. I am all about special dinners at home too! My fiancé prepared a gorgeous 3 course meal for me on Saturday and tonight I cooked him a lovely Valentine's meal. I think it meant more because of the effort put in.

  14. Tori, glad you liked the idea.

    Helen, you two sound like a great couple, and how fun that you get to celebrate twice!

  15. Well...I'm sitting on the couch with my laptop eating leftovers and wondering when Lucy will let me put her to bed, so I guess that answers that! But the squash looks irresistible. Happy Valentine's Kalyn!

  16. Well I'm sure you're not the only one spending Valentine's Day with the computer; happy Valentine's Day to you too!

  17. Happy Valentine's Day Kalyn! Just adding my YUM! in with all the rest.

  18. Thanks Christine, and Happy V-Day to you too!

  19. Ah this recipes reminds me of fall! my favorite season :)

  20. We cooked at home for Valentine's day, can't say the roast pork or goose fat potatoes were South Beach friendly, but no such problem with the sugar snap peas!

    Really like your friends idea, but reckon I'll need a new tin of smoked paprika, the old one has just about exhausted itself after about 10 years, 1 teaspoon left.

  21. Yes, this is a great fall or winter recipe. I like fall, but I think Spring is becoming my favorite season.

    Neil, your Valentine's dinner sounds lovely. (And I think Valentine's Day is a good time to forget about the South Beach Diet!)

  22. This looks great and I just so happen to have all the ingredients on hand... guess what I'l be making this afternoon?:)

  23. I need to get some of that sweet smoked paprika. I 've seen so many recipes with it. I LOVE butternut squash so I'm sure I would LOVE this, thanks!!

  24. I was just thinking the other day that I have yet to cook with butternut squash this winter. This sounds like a perfect side dish for me to try, thanks!

  25. Made this last night and it was absolutely wonderful!

    I used the bagged variety, because they make life easy... :-)

    I've roasted butternut squash often in the past, but never thought of adding the smoked paprika - WOW!

    Thanks, Kalyn....

  26. Sally, so glad you liked it! I agree, the already-cubed squash is really a time-saver.

  27. We mad this and it was a very delicious recipe! I love squash, but had never thought to put these flavors together. Thanks for posting.

  28. Heather, so glad you liked it!

  29. I no longer remember how many times I've made this recipe. Love it! It is especially delicious served with lentils topped with a bit of chevre or feta.

    I posted a link to your recipe.

    -Muffin Tin

  30. So glad you like it! I love the sound of this with lentils and feta; great idea!

  31. This was absolutely phenomenal and I'm absolutely and completely delighted that I tried it. Thanks again. Featured it in my blog. :)

  32. I came upon this recipe thru a google search and I must say that it is great! I was worried that it would be too spicy for my kids, but it wasn't. They couldn't get enough of these cubes!

  33. Sara, so glad to hear the kids liked it!

  34. I made this recipe for my Thanksgiving dinner away from home in Australia. It was a big hit and so delicious! And peeling the squash wasn't hard at all.

  35. So glad you enjoyed it. And what fun to have Thanksgiving in Australia. I think I'm jealous!

  36. Hi Kayln!

    How do I submit recipes to your site?

    After browsing thru your site, I got inspired by 1 recipe here, 1 there & have come up w/some of my own.



  37. HI Donnebonn,
    People do sometimes send me recipes to try (and a few of those end up making it on the blog) but other than that all the recipes posted here are what I am cooking in my own kitchen.

  38. Apologies to Anna, because I accidentally deleted this comment and couldn't get it back:

    "Really have never enjoyed squash until I tried this recipe along with your spicy squash and black bean soup. Thanks a lot. I've been aiming for more colour in my diet and these two recipes were hits."

    Anna, so glad you're enjoying the squash recipes!


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