This roasted honeynut squash is everything you could ever want in a side dish: it's a simple recipe, it melts in your mouth, and it's so beautiful, everyone will be impressed by your skills in the kitchen--and only you know how easy it was.
Roasted Honeynut Squash FAQs
Is honeynut squash skin edible?
Yes, you can eat the skin of the honeynut squash. When fully roasted in the oven, the skin turns soft--although, I typically avoid the skin near the stem because it tends to be tougher. When pan-frying the squash, I like to peel it first; the skin is so thin that I can easily use my vegetable peeler. The skin of the honeynut squash is a great source of fiber, so eating it will help keep you feeling full for longer.
Are honeynut squash seeds edible?
Yes, honeynut squash seeds are edible. Although, because they are smaller than a pumpkin seed, it can be a bit more tedious to clean them--and because the squash is so small, you won't find as many seeds as you would in a larger squash. But if you're up for the task, rinse the seeds, dry them, and throw them in your air fryer to make them crispy!
Where can I buy honeynut squash?
Finding honeynut squash may be tricky, depending on where you live. From what I've gathered online, honeynut squash isn't readily available everywhere--likely because it's a fairly new variety of squash. Your best bet is to look at local farmer's markets, or if you're feeling bold, ask the produce staff at your local grocery store. I've been able to find it easily here in Connecticut, and it was even available for one week with Imperfect Foods!
If you can't find honeynut squash, you can easily swap in a buttercup or butternut squash. The honeynut squash is actually a cross between those two, so it's the closest you can get.
How can I tell if my honeynut squash is ripe?
One of the most fascinating features of this squash is that it was bred to have a ripening indicator, meaning that it changes color as it ripens. This may seem obvious when you think about how vegetables like tomatoes and peppers ripen, but a traditional squash does not change color as it ripens, making it difficult to tell when it reaches peak ripeness.
The honeynut squash rind begins dark green, similar to zucchini, and slowly turns to orange over its 8-week ripening process. If you look closely around the stem, you may be able to see remnants of the dark green hue.
What should I do with the leftovers?
These roasted honeynut squash hold up well in the refrigerator for several days after roasting. Because of their sweetness & roasted flavor, I love having the leftover squash with a hot cup of tea for breakfast. If you're not excited about eating squash for breakfast, try cutting up the squash, warming it up, and throwing it over a salad, like this one.
Roasted Honeynut Squash Nutrient Notes
At this point, I'm having trouble finding a reputable source that gives specifics on the nutrient profile of honeynut squash. I don't want to mislead you in any way, so at this point, I can't speak to the nutrient benefits of honeynut squash. Because of this, I will use butternut squash to generate the nutrition facts for this recipe. I will keep tabs on this and update the article as sources become available. Thanks for understanding!
Honeynut squash vs. butternut squash: In my opinion, the texture is the most significant difference between these two squashes. The roasted flesh of the honeynut squash is less stringy, less watery, and much richer than the butternut squash--and the red-orange color is unparalleled. In my opinion, the texture is more similar to a roasted sweet potato than it is butternut squash.
Brown butter vs. regular butter: If you're short on time, you can easily use regular melted butter in this recipe. I chose to use brown butter because its nuttiness complements the sweetness of the honeynut squash. If you're looking for a more in-depth explanation of brown butter & how to make it, check out this article. (Note: Because we're browning such a small amount of butter in this recipe, it typically takes only 5 minutes to brown the butter.)
Rubbed sage vs. ground sage: Rubbed sage has become increasingly difficult to find in grocery stores lately (my guess is because of its uncanny resemblance to marijuana), but it can be easily found online. I always choose rubbed sage because of its texture, aromatic flavor, and aesthetically pleasing look. Ground sage just doesn't measure up, especially in terms of flavor--it tends to taste a bit dusty, and that's definitely not the flavor we're looking for.
Tips & Tricks
Browning the Butter
- Use a light colored pan; it's much easier to tell when the butter
- Never walk away from the butter when it's browning. Consistently scrape the melted butter from the bottom of the pan, allowing it to brown slowly & keeping it from burning.
- This is what the butter should look like when it's done:
Cutting the Squash
- Be careful when cutting the honeynut squash in half; the area near the stem is typically the least ripe, so it may be tough to cut through.
- When cutting the crosshatch pattern, use a light, sawing motion to make the cuts. Because the squash is so small, you want to be sure not to cut all the way through the squash. Ideally, the cuts will only be about ¼ in thick.
- Feel free to leave the bulbous end of the squash uncut; because of the hole in the middle, it makes it a bit trickier to cut.
- Check out this video for a more detailed view on how to cut a crosshatch pattern on your squash
This roasted honeynut squash is the perfect side dish to bring to Thanksgiving or an autumn dinner party among friends. It's a dish that's guaranteed to impress, and only you know how easy it is!
All my love & a little butter,
Olivia Sokolowska, MBA, RD
This caramelized, roasted honeynut squash is the perfect side dish to make for Thanksgiving or bring to an autumn dinner party among friends.
- 2 honeynut squashes
- 1 ½ tablespoon salted butter
- ½ teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly cracked pepper
- Maple syrup (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Cutting the Crosshatch Pattern
2. While the oven is preheating, rinse and dry the squash. Cut each squash in half lengthwise & scoop out the seeds. Be gentle as you scoop, this squash is a bit more tender than butternut squash.
3. Using a chef's knife in a light, sawing motion, make diagonal cuts across the top of the squash at a 45° angle, about ¼ inch deep. Flip the squash 180° and make the same cuts going the other direction to make a crosshatch pattern.
Browning the Butter
4. In a small frying pan, turn the stove to medium heat and melt the salted butter. Sprinkle in the sage. Using a rubber spatula or whisk, stir the butter constantly, always scraping the melted butter from the bottom of the pan. Once the butter has fully melted, it will start to foam. Continue to stir the butter and the foam will dissipate, and the milk solids will brown quickly. When the milk solids have turned a golden brown color, immediately remove the pan from the heat. *If you're looking for a more in-depth explanation of brown butter & how to make it, check out this article.
Basting & Baking
5. Prep a small cookie sheet (the half sheets are 8" x 13") by covering it with parchment paper. Place the halved squash on the cookie sheet and using a pastry brush, brush the brown sage butter onto the top half of the squash, brushing butter into all of the crosshatch cuts & the inside of the bulbous end.
6. Season generously with freshly cracked pepper and crushed sea salt.
7. Once the oven is ready, place the squash in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes. Roasting time can vary depending on the size of the squash. You'll know the squash is ready when all of the flesh has turned golden orange and the edges where the flesh meets the skin are slightly browned.
8. Be careful when removing the squash from the oven; butter may have pooled in the bulbous end of the squash & may spatter. Allow squash to cool for several minutes before serving.
*If you're looking for a little extra sweetness, feel free to drizzle maple syrup over the hot, buttery squash. Enjoy!
*When browning the butter, if possible, use a lightly-colored pan (not cast iron). The contrast of the light color allows you to easily see when the butter has browned.
*Personally, I prefer to use a pastry brush with boar bristles, not one with silicone bristles. The silicone one just doesn't hold onto the butter as well.
*NOTE: Because a reputable source for honeynut squash's nutrition information cannot be found, the nutrition facts for this recipe were calculated using butternut squash as a replacement.
Serving Size½ squash
Amount Per Serving Calories 70Total Fat 4.4gSaturated Fat 2.8gSodium 107mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 1.5gProtein 1g
Please note that nutrition information is a computer-generated estimate and should not be interpreted as a registered dietitian's advice. Nutrition facts calculations vary based on brands, products, and serving sizes.