Since quick-roasting peeled butternut squash is one of my favorite ways to speed up the cooking of this dense vegetable (and get sweet caramelization, too), I’ve come up with lots of things to do with it. This recipe features a simple dress-up of a zesty flavored butter, with some dried cranberries and nuts for extra texture. You could also serve this on a bed of spinach or of fresh greens.

Serves 3 to 4 as a side dish

  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lime juice; more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)


1.  Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a large heavy-duty rimmed sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, toss the squash with the olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread the squash in one layer on the sheet pan.

2. Roast, flipping once with a spatula after about 18 minutes, until the squash are tender and brown on the bottom and around the edges, about 12 minutes more or 30 to 32 minutes total.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and add the cranberries, the fresh ginger, and the lime zest. Stir well and cook to soften the cranberries a bit, about one minute. Take the saucepan off the heat while waiting for the vegetables to finish roasting.

4. Transfer the squash to a mixing bowl. Reheat the cranberry butter to loosen it up if necessary. Add the ½ teaspoon lime juice, stir, and pour and scrape all of the cranberry butter into the bowl with the squash. Toss thoroughly but gently. Taste and add up to ½ teaspoon more lime juice if desired. Add the walnuts and cilantro (if using) and toss again. Serve right away.