Roasted Cinnamon Butternut Squash

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Here’s a funny thing. Growing up in Romania, I never ate butternut squash! Yes, I know it sounds odd but there are actually lots of foods I’d never been exposed to before moving here. I don’t even think I tried it for years after starting to eat “American Food”. That’s probably because I was busy gorging on Lucky Charms. Oh the horror (but you know you did too).

I saw the funny looking vegetable in passing but never knew what it was about. I’m fairly certain my mom was in the same boat as it didn’t enter the house. At least not for a long while after establishing roots. 

I still remember the first time I tried it. It reminded me much of a pastry my grandmother used to make with pumpkin. As a little girl, she used to let me get my hands dirty and help with cleaning out the slimy pumpkin. 

Apartments in Bucharest were small and kitchens even smaller. Navigating around in such a tiny space was rather challenging, but I didn’t know it at the time. Perched on a chair, arms deep in pumpkin goo and seeds was pure happiness. Being able to help in the kitchen in any capacity was the highlight of my day. 

I’m hazy on the details of trying butternut squash for the first time but what I distinctly remember is being transported back to the little kitchen, eating pumpkin pastry. The taste was remarkably similar. 

So over the years of eating squash I’ve toyed around with various recipes and used it in many different dishes. But one of my favorites is a rather indulgent side, which tastes very similar to a dessert. It’s absurdly easy to make and all you need is a butternut squash, dried cranberries, toasted pecans and pumpkin seeds. So let’s get to making it!

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roasted cinnamon butternut squash

  • Prep time: 5 minutes

  • Roasting time: 30-35 minutes

  • Makes: 4


  • 1 medium butternut squash

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1-2 tbsp avocado oil

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tbsp re-hydrated cranberries

  • 2 tbsp pecans

  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds


  • 2 roasting sheets

  • parchment paper

  • 2 small mixing bowls


Preheat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, combine avocado oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and pepper. 

Place butternut squash on parchment lined sheet and drizzle with oil mixture. Mix thoroughly. Roast for 30-35 minutes, until fork tender, tossing once half way through. 

Meanwhile, line your other sheet with paper and toast pumpkin seeds and pecans for about 5 minutes until fragrant. Set aside to cool. 

In a small mixing bowl, cover cranberries with enough hot water to submerge. Hydrate cranberries for 15 minutes and drain. 

Once squash is cooked, remove from pan, add to serving dish and sprinkle with nuts, seeds and cranberries. 

* Squash takes a little longer to roast so feel free to roast longer if not completely soft. 

 A perfect holiday side that's indulgent and simple to make. All you need are 4 ingredients. Butternut squash, cinnamon, cranberries and pecans. Sweet and salty and loved by all. It's paleo and vegan as well. #thanksgiving, #paleo, #holiday, #butternutsquash, #paleosides, #vegansides, #vegan, #vegetarian, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, #calmeats, #cranberries, #thanksgivingsides


Do you find this recipe helpful? Your shares would be much appreciated! You can find me on Facebook , Pinterest and Instagram . If you make and like a recipe, tag me on Instagram and I'd love to share your posts in stories! x - Daniela

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  • Reply
    November 12, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Oh sounds amazing! What’s the difference between rehydrated cranberries and craisins? This is definitely on my idea list for a Thanksgiving side dish.

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      November 12, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      Ah that’s awesome Ashley! I’m so happy to hear it! So the squash is sweet because of the maple syrup and cinnamon and I wanted to brighten up the flavor and add some juiciness into the cranberries. I’m using craisins and just sticking them in water to cut back on some of the sweetness and have them pop a little more. I hope that helps! I tried it both ways and definitely think rehydrating them is better 🙂

  • Reply
    November 14, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    titles says cinnamon, directions say add cinnamon. But no cinnamon is listed in the ingredients. How much do you add?

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      November 14, 2017 at 6:50 pm

      Hi Rachel – thanks so much for pointing that out! I fixed it. You need 1/4 tsp! Thanks again!!

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