Tender and flavorful honey-thyme butter roasted squash

A recipe inspired by Rasa Malaysia

5D4B8233 - Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash

Craving that perfect comfort food that melts in your mouth with the perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors? This honey-thyme butter roasted squash, inspired by Rasa Malaysia, delivers a mouthwatering medley of tastes embedded in fork-tender bites of winter squash.

Acorn squash is naturally sweet and has a milder flavor than other winter squash. It’s eye-catching deep green color and unique acorn-like shape can make it hard to resist. Once you get your acorn squash home, you’ll find that the dark green shell gives way to a bright orange flesh that eagerly welcomes sweet and spicy flavors while it cooks. In addition to its gorgeous appearance and lovely taste, acorn squash is low in calories and loaded with nutrients, including vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants.

ALSO TRY: Italian-style stuffed spaghetti squash

This honey-thyme butter roasted squash recipe incorporates a succulent sweet honey butter that comes with a hint of heat from cayenne and a slight herbal mint flavor from the fresh thyme. We’ve found that roasting winter squash is the best way to coax out its natural sugars as the flesh softens and becomes a favorite comfort, cold-weather food.

Buttery roasted acorn squash is a simple but delicious side dish you can serve with your everyday meals, but this sublime side is also special enough to accompany holiday feasts. As a bonus, this recipe is gluten-free, vegetarian, and paleo-friendly. You can even make it vegan by swapping out the butter for a dairy-free alternative.

Can’t find acorn squash? If your grocery store is out of stock, substitute another type of winter squash, such as butternut, turban, or carnival squash. All winter squash, except for the string-fleshed spaghetti squash, have an appetizing affinity for honey-thyme butter or any other combination of butter, herbs, and spices sweetened with honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar.

Cook’s warning: Raw acorn squash is notorious for its thick, hard shell that proves challenging for even the sharpest knives. Here are a couple tips to make sure you keep all: First, use a razor-sharp large chef’s knife. A dull knife won’t cut it (pun intended) and is actually more dangerous than a super sharp blade. Hold the squash firmly on a cutting board and slice in between the ridges of the squash to cut it in half. Remove the seeds, lay the squash flat-side down and proceed to cut each half into slices. If the squash is unyielding, poke a few holes in it with the tip of the knife and microwave it for 2 minutes to slightly soften the shell before cutting into slices.

>> Click here to jump straight to the recipe


Whisk together melted butter, honey, and cayenne

In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, honey, and cayenne to create a lusciously sweet honey butter that delivers a kiss of spicy heat.

5D4B8044 - Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash - Whisk together melted butter, honey, and cayenne


Toss the acorn squash with the honey butter

Place the acorn squash slices in a large bowl and drizzle with the honey butter. Use tongs to toss until each slice is coated. The complex flavors of the spicy honey butter deliciously complement the naturally sweet nuttiness of the acorn squash.

5D4B8053 - Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash - Toss the acorn squash with the honey butter


Spread the acorn squash slices on baking sheets

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the squash on the baking sheets, arranging them so the slices are spaced apart without touching. Sprinkle the squash with salt, black pepper, and minced fresh thyme leaves. The thyme delectably wilts into the melted honey butter, giving the squash a lovely herbal essence.

5D4B8115 - Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash - Spread the acorn squash slices on baking sheets


Roast the acorn squash

Roasting the squash brings out its sweetness and transforms the firm flesh into fork-tender bites. Roast the acorn squash at 400 F for 30 minutes or until the flesh is soft when pierced with a fork. Roast it a little longer if you want the roasted squash to be lightly browned.

5D4B8224 - Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash Roast the acorn squash


Serve the squash hot

Transfer the acorn squash slices to a serving platter. At this point, your family can dig right in and love every bite, or you can drizzle additional honey butter all over the slices before bringing them to the table.

5D4B8231 - Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash - Serve the squash hot


A sweet and savory compliment to any meal

5D4B8250 - Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash


This luscious squash is roasted to perfection!

5D4B8267 - Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash


Just enough herbs and spice to bring out the natural flavors

5D4B8281 - Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash


Tender and rich!

5D4B8295 - Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash


Honey-thyme butter roasted squash

Yield 2-3 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 whole acorn squash, seeded, unpeeled, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, honey, and cayenne pepper.
  3. Place the sliced squash in a large bowl. Pour the honey butter mixture over the squash and toss until all the squash slices are coated.  
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Arrange the acorn squash onto the baking sheets, spreading the slices out so they aren’t touching.
  6. Season the squash with salt, black pepper, and minced thyme leaves.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the squash is soft when pierced with a fork.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Serve immediately.

Courses Sides


5D4B8235 - Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash