Roasted butternut squash and zucchini became a thing for me when I was visiting Rome, Italy with my daughter a few years ago. I remember dinners in little Italian restaurants with baked fish, Mediterranean chicken, and roasted squash as a side dish. Wonderfully aromatic and flavorful, I like the Italian way of preparing squash roasted with a simple dose of olive oil and a bit of seasoning.
Health Benefits of Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Considered a vegetable, it has Vitamins A, C, E, Magnesium and Potassium. Along with strong vitamin content, it has fiber which helps your body immensely. It can be considered anti-inflammatory when prepared without excessive fats and oils.
Antioxidants such as Beta-carotene and Vitamin C are found in butternut squash and can help prevent cellular degeneration and reduce chronic health conditions. Including this vegetable in your anti-inflammatory food plan is a smart choice.
Squash Tastes Great Quick-Cooked or Simmered
If you enjoy a crispy crunch, try stir frying butternut squash in a wok. (Learn how with my handy-dandy wok cooking guide). Squash is also delightful when cooked in a crockpot, which can save you all kinds of time in the kitchen.
While some vegetables remain crunchier when cooked, it is possible to cook squash down slowly. This helps turn dishes – like soup – into a creamier texture. Butternut squash will take on the flavor of garlic or other ingredients. This brings a rich taste to dishes of all kinds.
Italian Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
I love the recipe below. Perfect for gatherings as an appetizer, as a fun side-dish for kids, or even as a lazy afternoon snack.
Insider tip: Use less oil (and less calories) by getting extra virgin olive oil in a spray container. Super easy to use!
Italian Roasted Butternut Squash Bites Recipe
- 1 butternut squash, sliced in large cubes (or buy pre-cut at the grocer)
- Extra virgin olive oil (spray olive oil is super-easy to use and works well)
- Italian seasoning to sprinkle
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Coat a baking sheet with olive oil
- Place cubed squash on top of olive oil, coat with a light topping of more olive oil
- Lightly sprinkle Italian seasoning over the top
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper (heavy on the pepper if you like spicy)
- Roast for 30 minutes or until tender and browned
- Serve hot with toothpicks for a snack or appetizer