Honey-Lemon Butternut Squash

This is another beautiful side dish for your Thanksgiving meal. Easy to prepare – a good part of it can be done a day or two ahead and then you can finish it up with about 20 minutes in the oven just before serving. Lemon and honey combine to give you a fresh and tangy-sweet light glaze on the squash that will be a very nice counterpart to some of the richer dishes you usually find on the table at holiday time. I am not going to give you any hard and fast amounts here – there are a lot of variables, so I am going to tell you the method involved and then you can adapt it to your own preferences and how many people you are serving.

You can use other kinds of winter squash, but butternut is particularly easy to peel and cube, which is a prerequisite to roasting the squash. This was a smallish one, weighing about two pounds before I peeled it and the resulting dish would serve 3 people generously. You can multiply the basic amounts from there, depending on how many servings you need. Peel, seed and cube the squash and distribute evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with a couple tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the cubes don’t get too browned in one spot. You can do this part ahead, refrigerate and then finish off while the turkey is resting. Take the squash out of the fridge a few hours before you will finish it, so that it is at room temperature.1hlbThe glaze consists of just two ingredients: honey and lemons. For 2 pounds of squash, I used the juice and zest from 1/2 of a large lemon, along with 3 tablespoons of honey. Mix the juice, zest and honey in a small bowl until completely homogeneous and blended.  Taste for flavor balance – you don’t want it to be really sour, but you don’t want it overwhelmingly sweet either.  If it tastes good in the bowl, it wil taste good on the squash.2hlbWhen the squash is nicely soft and caramelized, [or if you baked off the squash ahead, bring back to room temp and spread back on a sheet pan lined with parchment] drizzle evenly with the honey and lemon mixture and mix gently.3hlbReturn to the oven for about 20 minutes, mixing half way through. The sauce will somewhat absorb into the squash and also glaze it a bit. Serve with a bit of lemon zest grated over the top.4hlbDue to the technical issue of running out of LP gas yesterday, I made it this morning for today’s blog, I plan to serve it for dinner tonight. Unless I eat it all before then, because it is so good that I can’t stay out of it. You have to make this! It will certainly give you one more thing to be thankful for, I guarantee that.

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11 Responses to Honey-Lemon Butternut Squash

  1. John says:

    I can almost taste it!

  2. Linda says:

    What an elegant and simply beautiful blog. And I love your butternut squash photos.

    Thank you for visiting my blog–what a treat to find yours.

  3. Etta L. says:

    This is such a change from the squash we usually have down here in the south. I am going to try it though and see what my family thinks. It looks really good to me. Thank you for a very nice post.

  4. Donalyn says:

    It’s really easy too John – impress your friends! :D

    Thank you so much Linda – I love meeting other food blogging people – your site is really nice too. That pumpkin fudge looks so good.

  5. Miss Rachel says:

    This looks so good. I am not particularly fond of eating squash, though in some things it is ok. This looks delicious though and makes me want to try it just to see if I can eat it! LOL

    The photos you took make it all the more look good.

  6. carlac says:

    I am in love with winter squash this fall and I can’t wait to try this one – thank you!

  7. Ana says:

    Lemon has gotta be good with butternut squash – nomnomnom

  8. Pingback: I’ve got your Thanksgiving recipes, right here… – dlyn

  9. thank you for sharing this recipe. i made it for thanksgiving 2009. ive tried to make stuff with butternut sqaush before and im still unsuccessful. maybe i didnt use the right proportion of honey-lemon for this dish. also, it took a superb amount of time to cut up the squash. but totally worth a try!

  10. Donalyn says:

    canihavesomemore – I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you – maybe you just need to change the proportion of lemon and honey to suit your own tastes better? You might also want to try increasing the amounts to make more of the mixture, if you want a stronger flavor.

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