This cheesy baked butternut squash is oven-baked for a gorgeous cheese pull and a soft bite. With lots of cheese and garlic, this buttery casserole is much healthier than it seems and is the perfect side for your holiday menu.
Easy Butternut Squash Recipe
Loaded with parmesan and white cheddar, this cheesy baked butternut squash is the perfect holiday casserole for all your gatherings. With a lovely cheese pull and lots of garlic, it’s comforting and healthy all at once. Plus, it’s vegetarian!
Baked until fork-tender, the squash is subtly sweet and nutty— perfect to balance out the richness of the cheese. Fortunately, it’s also ready in less than an hour and is practically a one-dish side for easy clean-up.
The oven does all the hard work for you, so can you really complain about being in charge of bringing a side dish this year? Trust me, after the first spoonful, you’ll be signing up for side-dish duty every year from now on.
Why You’ll Love This Cheesy Butternut Squash
It’s easy, prep-friendly, and vegetarian, is there anything not to love?
- Prep-friendly. Making it ahead and freezing it will save you lots of time this holiday season. Just thaw it a day before your gathering, bake, and enjoy.
- Vegetarian. Packed with butternut squash, cheese, and garlic, this recipe is perfect for the vegetarians in the family or group.
- Easy. The “hardest” part of the recipe is tossing the butternut squash with olive oil. The oven does the rest for you.
You won’t believe how flavorful this butternut squash turns out with only 10 ingredients. For full ingredient amounts, check the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Butternut squash – Spaghetti squash and acorn squash work too.
- Butter – I use unsalted, but you can also use salted butter.
- Garlic cloves – You can also use 1 tsp garlic powder instead.
- Panko crumbs
- Extra virgin olive oil – Grapeseed, canola, sunflower, and peanut oil are wonderful substitutes.
- Parmesan cheese
- White cheddar cheese – Feel free to use mild cheddar, Edam, Gouda, or Colby cheese instead.
- Salt and black pepper
- Fresh parsley – It adds a nice herbiness and a pop of color, but you can skip it.
How to Make Cheesy Baked Butternut Squash
Making this butternut squash only requires 6 easy steps.
- Prepare the baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Generously grease a 9×13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Set it aside.
- Cook the garlic. Melt the butter in a large pan over low heat. Add the garlic and let it cook for 2 minutes.
- Make the panko. Add the panko to a bowl and pour the melted garlic butter over it. Toss to combine and set it aside.
- Toss the butternut. Place the butternut squash in a large bowl. Drizzle it with olive oil. Add the parmesan and cheddar cheese. Mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake. Transfer the butternut squash to the prepared baking dish. Top it with the garlic-panko mixture. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender and slightly browned.
- Serve. Remove it from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Serve, garnish with parsley, and enjoy.
Tips for Success
Follow these tips for perfectly baked and seasoned squash:
- Use a cheese-blend. This tip is a life-saver and a great way to use up leftover cheeses in the fridge.
- Cook the squash well. There’s nothing like pulling a dish out of the oven for it to be undercooked. Probe it with a fork by making sure the squash is tender all the way through.
- Go easy on the salt. Cheese is very salty, so take it easy with the salt when seasoning.
Hopefully, the answers to these frequently asked questions will set you on the right path.
How Long Does It Take Butternut Squash To Soften In The Oven?
Butternut squash will soften after 40-45 minutes of baking. However, if you cut it into 1″ cubes, it can cook in up to 30 minutes.
Do You Peel Butternut Squash Before Baking?
For this recipe, yes. However, the skin is edible so you can also bake butternut squash without peeling it.
Is Butternut Squash Healthy?
Yes! It’s loaded with fiber, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It also helps protect against cancer and mental health diseases.
This butternut squash is a wonderful, healthy side you need to add to your holiday menu right now. Paired with my Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast and Easy Roast Turkey Recipe, it screams fall and winter from start to finish.
To complete the meal, don’t forget to serve it with other sides like my Maple Roasted Carrots and Roasted Green Beans with Squash and Tomatoes.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat it by sprinkling it with 1 tsp water and then microwaving it for 1-2 minutes or until warm.
Can You Freeze This?
Once baked, no. However, you can prepare it up until the baking part and then place it in a freezer-friendly container. Freeze it for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, transfer it to the fridge the night before so it thaws. Top it with the garlic-panko mixture and cook as usual.
More Butternut Squash Recipes
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Pie
- Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash
- Crock Pot Butternut Squash with Apples, Walnuts, and Raisins
Cheesy Baked Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash (about 3-pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 1/4 cup panko crumbs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
- salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
- fresh parsley , for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Coat a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Melt butter in a frying pan.
- Reduce heat to low and add garlic; cook until garlic is soft, about 2 minutes.
- Place panko crumbs in a bowl and drizzle melted butter-mixture over the crumbs; toss to combine and set aside.
- Toss chunks of butternut squash with olive oil; add cheeses and mix until well combined.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to previously prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle with prepared panko crumbs.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until squash is tender and lightly browned.
- Remove from oven. Garnish with parsley. Serve.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.