Don’t let this simple recipe for Twice Baked Butternut Squash fool you. Sometimes the best tasting (and healthiest!) recipe is also the simplest recipe.
Every time spring arrives, I get giddy and excited. There’s something about nature getting rejuvenated that rejuvenates me. And spring produce and flavors? Oh so delicious.
Squash is one of those fall favorites that I look forward to every year. Although my kids aren’t too crazy for squash, my husband and I are. If I had to choose a favorite squash, I’d have to pick the butternut squash.
It’s mildly sweet, so full of flavor, and it doesn’t turn to mush when you cook it.
Why this recipe is so great
My favorite way to prepare butternut squash is also one of the simplest recipes: Twice Baked Butternut Squash. A simple brush of extra virgin olive oil and seasoning of salt and pepper is all your squash needs before you roast it in the oven until fork tender.
Then, you scoop out the flesh, mash it up, add some fresh thyme and transfer it to a baking dish to bake some more. If you want some more flavor, add some butter.
But, please, don’t add brown sugar or marshmallows. I have never understood why Americans take a perfectly delicious and already naturally sweet dish and drown it with more sugar. Trust me, it doesn’t need it.
See my Twice Baked Butternut Squash Web Story for a quick visual guide to making this recipe.
Ingredients you need
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- Butternut squash: You can prepare this with acorn squash and pumpkin as well.
- Extra virgin olive oil: When I roast the squash the first time, I coat it with olive oil. When I mash and bake it, I sometimes add butter to it. So you choose your favorite fat and flavors.
- Thyme: You can substitute with fresh rosemary, chives, marjoram or oregano.
- Salt and pepper
1. Wash your butternut squash thoroughly then cut it in half length-wise.
2. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and strings inside the squash
3. Brush flesh of squash with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Place squash cut side down on baking sheet.
4. Bake squash for 30-40 minutes at 400ºF, or until flesh is fork tender. Remove from oven and let squash rest until cool to touch, about 20-30 minutes.
5. Scoop out the squash flesh, transfer to a casserole dish and mash together with salt, pepper and thyme. You can add butter or more olive oil, if you like. Smooth the mixture out, cover with foil and bake again at 350ºF for an additional 20 minutes.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQS
Most recipes for twice baked squash mix in heavy cream and cheeses. Honestly, I don’t care for the competing flavors. I like to enjoy the taste of the sweet squash. I do like to mix in 2-3 tablespoons of butter into the squash mash, but I do not do this all of the time.
- Use a large sharp knife to carefully cut the squash.
- One average sized butternut squash will serve 6 squash loving diners.
- This dish can be prepared up to 2 days prior to serving.
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 1 TBS fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Wash your butternut squash thoroughly then cut it in half length-wise.
- Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and strings inside the squash.
- Brush flesh of squash with olive oil and season with 1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper.
- Place squash cut side down on roasting pan.
- Bake squash for 30-40 minutes, or until flesh is fork tender. Remove from oven and let squash rest until cool to touch, about 20 minutes.
- Scoop out the squash flesh, transfer to a casserole dish and mash together with salt, pepper and thyme. You can add butter or more olive oil, if you like.
- Smooth the mixture out, cover with foil and bake again at 350ºF for an additional 20 minutes.
- Serve warm.
You can use butternut squash, acorn squash or pumpkin.
You can spoon place mixture back into squash cavity and bake, like you do with twice baked potatoes.
For herbs, use thyme, rosemary, chives, marjoram or oregano.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 27Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 437mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g
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