Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion
This roasted butternut squash and red onion is one of my fall favorite go-to side dishes, and gets made bi-weekly. I pair this combination with just about any main dish, as well as meal prep this in advance for lunches. I’m all about eating seasonally and getting more vegetables in my diet, and I want to help you all do that as well, so that’s why I’m going to be posting lots of easy healthy side dishes that complement any main dish.
The crispy roasted red onion pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the butternut squash and coconut oil. Zoë tried this over the Thanksgiving break, and was surprised at how sweet it tasted. She kept going back to the baking sheet for seconds and thirds! So, if your goal is to cut back on refined sugar, eat healthier and seasonal, then this is an easy and healthy way to get started. If you add a naturally sweet side dish like this, or sweet potatoes to your meal, it can help cut back on those post dinner sugar cravings. This butternut squash and red onion pairs beautifully with my sautéed green beans and shallots, so feel free to cook the both and then serve them up together. Hey, you can make a meal out of it by adding some tahini and quinoa.
I was in charge of the side dishes at Thanksgiving, (of course, as I’m known as the side dish queen in the family) and I served up this roasted butternut squash and red onion, as well as my sautéed green beans and shallots,
and my kale salad with Brussels sprouts and toasted almonds. I roasted this up ahead of time, keep it on the baking sheet, and then put it back in the oven to re-heat for a few minutes before serving.
As I said above, I usually roast up this squash and red onion in advance to use in lunches through out the week. For lunch, I just sauté a bit of avocado oil in a pan, add 2 big handfuls of spinach, let that cook down a bit, then add to the pan the squash and red onion and cook until warm. I then eat it as is, or top it with a bit of tahini or this pesto tahini ,which is a flavor bomb! It’s a nourishing and veggie packed winter lunch.
Another reason you want to incorporate more squash and onions into your diet this time of year is that they’re both great for your immune system. Winter squash is rich in vitamin C, and onions are a great source of Quercetin, which fights oxidative stress, especially when paired with a healthy fat like coconut oil.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion
serves 4 as a side dish – feel free to double the below recipe, as leftovers are great! Use two baking sheets if you double it.
- 1 small (roughly 2 lbs) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut roughly between 1/2 to 1-inch cubes
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered, then each quarter cut in half
- 1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil – coconut oil actually enhances the sweet flavor of the vegetables and is a wonderful high heat oil to cook with
- 1 teaspoon coarse Celtic sea salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. It’s better to use a baking sheet rather than a baking dish, as this allows vegetables to brown rather than steam.
Let’s prep the butternut squash:
- Cut the bottom and top off the squash.
- Peel the butternut squash using a vegetable peeler.
- Cut squash in half at the neck (this is where neck ends, and body of squash begins to curve out).
- Slice both pieces in half lengthwise.
- Using a spoon or melon baller, scrape out seeds and any stringy bits.
- Slice each half into strips, and then each strip into cubes.
Chopping the red onion: Cut off both ends of the onion. Cut the onion in half, then quarters and then cut each quarter in half.
Melt coconut oil in a small glass bowl either in the oven while it’s preheating, or in the microwave for 20 seconds.
In a medium sized bowl, toss together the squash and red onion with the melted coconut oil and roughly 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt.
Tip: It’s always best to season the vegetables right before you bake them, as salt draws moisture out of food. Also, salt is a natural flavor enhancer, and brings out the natural flavor of the vegetables, so don’t be afraid to use it.
Lift the vegetables out of the bowl and place them onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Tip: Do not toss the vegetables and oil on the parchment paper as the paper will get wet and soggy. It’s also better to lift the vegetables out of the bowl rather than pouring them as it ensures any excess oil is left behind. Space the vegetables on the baking sheet, don’t crowd them, (they’ll get mushy if you do).
Because the perimeter (edges) of the pan is the hottest, place any of the larger pieces (like the red onion) around the the edges to help them cook evenly.
Roast in pre-heated oven until the vegetables are caramelized, browned and tender when pierced with a fork, about 18-25 min. Make sure to toss the vegetables at the halfway mark. NOTE: Smaller sized vegetables (1/2-inch chop) will be finished closer to the 18-minute mark, and larger sized vegetables (1-inch chop) will take longer, roughly 20-25 min. Also watch the red onion, as it could cook quicker than the squash.
Storage: Store any leftover vegetables in a covered container in the refrigerator. You can re-heat any leftovers in a sauté pan with a bit of coconut or avocado oil.
If you love butternut squash, then you have to try my vegan butternut squash soup. I make this weekly as well and it’s kid and hubby approved!
Love seasonal vegetables, then try my fall roasted vegetables. I’ve added sweet potatoes to this combination.
I make these roasted Brussels sprouts at least 2-3 times a month! They are crispy and delish!
Here’s one of my most popular sides, oven roasted sweet potato halves. We pair this with any salad for a winter healthy carb.