Looking to showcase a new side dish on your Thanksgiving table this year? This dish is filled with all the wonderful flavors of fall. Sweet roasted butternut squash with cinnamon and nutmeg combined with savory sauteed onions and perfectly tart cranberries. Every bite just screams Thanksgiving.
I recently sampled a salad like this at Whole Foods and fell in love. I thought about being bold and asking the sales associate for the recipe, but then I thought what’s the fun in that? I’ll just take a leap of faith and attempt a similar version of my own. Mission accomplished!
I tried using as LITTLE added sugar as possible. I’ve tried some sweet potato & squash casserole dishes that are just so overwhelming sweet. To the point where I feel like I might as well be eating a slice of pie with my turkey (which wouldn’t be the worst idea I’ve ever had…;). So i’m happy to say that the pecans in this recipe were only “glazed” with 1 tbsp of brown sugar. No need to worry about damage to the waistline with this dish, folks!
Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries & Glazed Pecans
Depending on the size of your squash, this recipe could easily serve 6-7. Serving size: 1/2 cup
- One 2-3 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup halved pecans
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp Stevia (or granulated sweetener of choice)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 large white onion, finely sliced
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Dash of kosher salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
- To attack the butternut squash: Cut off the stem and bottom ends of the squash so both ends are flat. Slice the squash in half. Use vegetable peeler or Chef’s knife to peel away the skin. Cut the larger end in half and spoon out the seeds (seeds are great roasted, just like pumpkin seeds). Cut each piece into 1-inch-thick sticks then slice into 1-inch cubes.
- Toss squash with 1-2 tbsp olive oil until well coated. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. Transfer squash to a foil-linked baking sheet. You may need two baking sheets depending on the size of your squash. You want the squash cubes to lay in a single layer; these guys are very particular about their “personal space”. If they are too crowded, they won’t properly brown.
- Pop them in the oven and roast for ~35-40 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned.
- In the meantime, in a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and add chopped onions. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes, until soft and golden. Transfer onions to a large bowl.
- In the same skillet, add 2 tbsp water, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Stir until well combined. Add pecans and allow to simmer for ~5 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. This is your lightened up “glazing” process. Once the spice mixture is well absorbed into the pecans, transfer to the bowl your onions are patiently waiting in.
- Using the same skillet (don’t you love this? Less dishes to clean is always a win!), add another 2 tbsp of water, 1 cup of cranberries and one tsp of Stevia (or granulated sweetener of choice). Simmer over medium-low heat for ~5 minutes. You’ll start to hear the cranberries “snap, crackle & pop” but that’s what you want. Let them slightly burst so the sweetened water gets absorbed into their flesh. Transfer into bowl with your onions and pecans.
- Combine ALL of these glorious ingredients with your roasted butternut squash and give it a couple good tosses. Add finely chopped parsley and give it a final toss. Those specks of green from the parsley really add a beautiful finishing touch.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am so very thankful for you. Right now. Reading this recipe. Browsing this blog. Thank you Happy Thanksgiving!
Nutrition facts per serving (~1/2 cup)
Calories: 190; Total Fat: 15 gms; Saturated Fat: 1.5 gms; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 50 mg; Carbohydrates: 16 gms; Sugar: 4.5 gms; Protein 2.5 gms