Planning for a get together and thinking of a side dish to serve? Give this Hassleback Butternut Squash a try, it’s simple and easy to make, a great side for roasted chicken or turkey, not to mention it’s quite pleasing to the eye. Just look at those thin slices of Squash, so pretty 🙂
I’m attracted to anything “Hassleback”. From potato, squash as even zucchini. There’s something so beautiful about it, how it was thinly sliced, and how nice they look when they are baked. They are so beautiful that they look so inviting and they always stands out from the rest of the other side dishes. But there’s more to it than beauty, this Hassleback Butternut Squash for instance had a natural sweetness, not as sweet as sweet potato but the mild sweetness is just perfect when paired with chicken or turkey.
Learn the Hasselback Technique to Cut Butternut Squash
Using the tip of a sharp knife, pierce the squash all over to allow the steam to escape when you microwave it, otherwise the squash could explode in the microwave. The time depends on the size of the squash. Basically, you just want the squash to be slightly soft so that it is easier to cut it, I would say 5 – 8 minutes. Remove from the microwave and let cool, just enough to handle it. Use a towel to hold the squash so as not to burn your hands. Cut the squash into the size required for the recipe. For this recipe, we need to cut the squash in half. Go ahead and score the squash. This means creating a vertical line marking (using a knife) as a guide when you cut it, then just follow the line and push the knife to fully cut it into half. Remove the seed.
What are the Ingredients for Hassleback Butternut Squash?
- Butternut Squash – Any size, just remember that roasting time affects the size of the squash so adjust as needed.
- Butter – This can be replaced by olive oil
- Olive Oil – This can be replaced by melted butter
- Garlic – Use garlic powder. Fresh minced garlic will get burnt because of the longer roasting time
- Italian Seasoning – Can be substituted with other herbs like dried basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary etc
- Salt – Very important to balance the natural sweetness of the squash
- Black Pepper – Can be substituted with other hot peppers, the likes of paprika or cayenne pepper
- Parsley – Can be substituted with other herbs like dried basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary etc
- Parmesan Cheese – Can be substituted with other types of cheese, the likes of Asiago will be nice too
How To Make Hassleback Butternut Squash
You have a very minimal participation in this, the most that you need to do is to peel an slice the squash, the rest of the time it will be your oven who will be doing the job. The most challenging part of making this is the pre-cutting of the squash, especially if you have a huge butternut squash to cut. Follow the cutting instruction mentioned above, then next is to remove the skin on the squash. You can use a peeler or a sharp knife, whichever works for you. Then rub oil or melted butter on the squash and dash with salt and pepper. It is now ready to go in the oven for the first part of roasting. Roast the squash until soft but still slightly firm, again this will depend on the size of the squash. Roast each side of the squash. Take it out and start thinly slicing it, but not all the way to the bottom. Use a wooden spoon and position it on both side. This will be the guide on how deep you can cut. If you do not have a wooden spoon, then just be careful on cutting it making sure it doesn’t go all the way through. Brush with oil mixture and continue roasting until soft to your liking. Brush with more oil mixture before serving.
Learn the Hassleback Technique
Here is short demonstration on how to use hassleback technique. You can use this technique for butternut squash, zucchini, potato, carrots or even for fruits like Apple or Pears
- 1 large Butternut Squash
- 1 tbsp salted Butter, melted
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 clove Garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 pinch of Salt
- pinch of ground Black Pepper
- Chopped Parsley, for garnish
- 1 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Cut Squash – Pierce the squash all over using the tip of sharp knife. Microwave for 6 minutes (or more). This depends on how small or big the squash you are using. You basically want the squash to be slightly soft so that it is easy to cut it. Remove from the microwave, be careful as it is going to be hot. Let cool, grab a towel and score the squash. Create a line as a guide for cutting the squash. Cut one end of the squash, this way it will be easier to have it standing without slipping. Cut the squash lengthwise with a large sharp knife following the line you created as a guide. Scoop out the seeds. Using a peeler (or sharp knife), remove skin as the thin whitish layer beneath it. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Initial Baking: Place both squash halves cut side down on a roasting pan and bake for 20 minutes; Remove from oven and turn the squash to bake the other side. Bake for another 20 minutes.
- Mix the Seasoning: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine melted butter, oil, minced garlic, black pepper and Italian seasoning. Set aside.
- Cut the Butternut Squash: Remove one squash half to a cutting board and place wooden spoons (or other wooden utensil) on both side of the squash. These will prevent the blade of the knife from going all the way as you slice through the squash. At this stage, the squash should already be soft and easy to cut. With the help of a sharp knife, carefully cut very thin slits in the squash, starting at the narrow end; Remember, do not to cut all the way through. Return the sliced squash to the baking sheet and repeat with the second half.
- Brush the Butternut Squash with Butter: Brush about 1/2 of the butter mixture over the squash halves, force the mixture down the slits. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until soft to your liking. After 15 minutes, remove the squash from the oven and brush with more of the butter mixture. Spoon the remaining butter mixture over the top of the squash, dividing it equally between both halves. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese, dash of salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
- Very carefully transfer to a serving plate and serve.
Note: Roasting time depends of size of your butternut squash, adjust as necessary.
Serves 2 -3 (depending on the size)
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Enjoy! If you make this, share and tag me in Instagram #SweetNSpicyLiving. I would like to see your creations too.
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So pretty! I have used this technique on potatoes or apples, but never on a beautiful squash! Thanks for the idea.
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You’re welcome Dorothy. It is so easy to cut them that way
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This recipe was delicious and very easy to make! Thank you! I am also interested in knowing what that pasta dish is next to the butternut squash. It looks delicious!
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Thanks for trying it and letting me know. That’s Mushroom Bourguignon Pasta using Vegan Homemade Pasta. Here are the recipe links:
1. Vegan Pasta: https://sweetnspicyliving.com/2019/09/08/video-small-batch-3-ingredients-homemade-vegan-pasta-no-pasta-machine-needed/
2. Vegetarian Mushroom Bourguignon: https://sweetnspicyliving.com/2019/05/20/meat-free-monday-mushroom-bourguignon/
3. Mushroom Bourguinon Pasta: https://sweetnspicyliving.com/2019/09/16/mushroom-bourgignon-pasta-using-vegan-homemade-pasta/