Roasted Honeynut Squash

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5 from 3 votes

With its charming small size, honey-like sweetness and creamy flesh, honeynut squash is bound to become your new favorite this fall!

Have you ever believed in the saying that if it’s cuter then it’ll taste better? Well, this couldn’t be more true for honeynut squash! These cute little squashes are the smaller, sweeter cousins of butternut squash. 

Not only that, honeynut squashes have a sweet, velvety, deep orange flesh that’s the perfect canvas for loading up with your favorite fall flavors. My favorite way? Load the roasted honeynut squash with melted maple butter, sage and toasted walnuts, and prepare for your heart to just melt with the butter! 

It’s not too late to add this honeynut squash recipe to your Thanksgiving spread! Serve it alongside roasted turkey, homemade French Baguettes, and Roasted Green Beans.

What Is Honeynut Squash?

A honeynut squash is the delicious, smaller, and more sweet cousin of the butternut squash. It was actually developed as a cross between butternut squash and buttercup squash quite recently when famous Chef Dan Barber met with Cornell professor, Michael Mazourek, in a challenge to make a smaller, better-tasting squash. Voila! After a few years, the honeynut squash was born!

Honeynut squash is not only smaller than its butternut squash counterpart, but it is also much sweeter and creamier. The benefit of their smaller size is that it’s the perfect individual portion. Plus, the skin is edible and doesn’t need to be peeled! Honeynut squashes are perfect for purées, soups, and especially as a standalone roasted side dish or appetizer.

What Does Honeynut Squash Taste Like?

Honeynut squash absolutely lives up to its name. It is very sweet especially when roasted. It is sweeter, creamier, deeper orange, and much smaller than a butternut squash. Some describe it to taste like a cross between a butternut squash and a sweet potato!

Ingredients

  • Honeynut squash – honeynut squash is a smaller, sweeter and creamier variety of winter squash. Plus, its smaller size makes it the perfect individual portion!
  • Walnuts – walnuts are rich and earthy in flavor with a nice crunchy texture. When roasted, their nutty flavor intensifies and they become a perfect crunchy topping. 
  • Maple syrup – maple syrup is rich and caramel-like in flavor with hints of sweet vanilla. 
  • Salted butter – salted butter adds a touch of creaminess and richness that’s undeniably delicious. 
  • Fresh sage leaves – fresh sage leaves are slightly peppery with hints of mint and eucalyptus.

How To Cook Honeynut Squash

Learn how to roast honeynut squash! Full instructions in the recipe card; this is an outline!

  1. Place.

    Place walnuts on a baking sheet and roast in a 375℉ oven for 6-8 minutes until lightly toasted.  Remove and set aside.

  2. Add.

    Add ½ inch of water to a glass pan and then add squash halves, cut-side up.

  3. Roast.

    Roast in a 375℉ oven for 1 hour.

  4. Remove.

    Remove squash from the oven and place squash halves on a serving dish or on individual plates.

  5. Add more.

    Add ½ tablespoon of butter to the hollowed out “bowl” of the squash.

  6. Melt.

    Then add ½ tablespoon of maple syrup to each squash “bowl”.

  7. Sprinkle.

    Sprinkle sage and walnuts on top of the entire dish.

Serving Suggestions

Honeynut squash is a wonderful side dish and appetizer, especially for the holidays. Here are a few of my favorite options!

  • Accompaniments: Serve honeynut squash alongside other fall-inspired side dishes like Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Pulled Pork or another protein.
  • Holiday dinners and entertaining: roasted honeynut squash is the perfect addition to a holiday dinner menu, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other festive occasion. It pairs well with traditional holiday fare and adds a touch of elegance to the table. Serve the squash as a beautiful appetizer or side dish that’s already individually portioned and isn’t too filling.
  • Main Course: While honeynut squash can serve as a side dish, you can also make it the star of the meal by serving it as a vegetarian main course. Pair it with a grain pilaf or a wild rice blend.

Where To Buy Honeynut Squash

Honeynut squash can be found at your local farmers’ markets and oftentimes Whole Foods stores from late September through December. Since honeynut squash is not as widely available as its other squash counterparts like butternut squash or acorn squash, make sure to pick some up whenever you see it!

How to Store Leftovers and Tips

  • Choose the right squash. Choose a honeynut squash with a vibrant orange skin, an attached stem, and one that feels firm to the touch. Try to avoid any with green patches (not fully ripe) or any that feel soft/mushy to the touch (overripe). 
  • Use the seeds. Don’t discard the seeds! Honeynut squash seeds can be roasted and used as toppings for salads, soups or even as a crunchy snack. Just rinse the seeds clean, toss them in olive oil and your choice of seasonings, then roast in a 300℉ oven until crispy and golden brown. 
  • To store: allow the honeynut squash to fully cool before placing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Top the honeynut squash with the maple sage butter and walnuts last minute!
  • To reheat: gently reheat in a 350℉ oven until heated through or in the microwave in 30 second increments, topping after heating.

More Squash Recipes You’ll Love!

Roasted Honeynut Squash

With its charming small size, honey-like sweetness and creamy flesh, honeynut squash is bound to become your new favorite this fall!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fall
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 279kcal
Author: Tastefully Grace

Equipment

  • Baking dish (preferably glass)

Ingredients

  • 2 honeynut squashes cut in half lengthwise and seeds scooped out
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter softened
  • Small handful fresh sage leaves the small leaves are the most tender

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375℉. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 6-8 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • In a baking dish, add about a ½ inch of water to the pan and place squash halves, cut-side up, in the pan. Roast squash for 1 hour at 375℉.
  • Remove squash from oven and place squash halves on a serving dish or on individual plates.
  • While squash is hot, add ½ tablespoon of butter to the hollowed out “bowl” of each squash half. Let butter melt.
  • Add ½ tablespoon of maple syrup to each squash “bowl.”
  • Sprinkle sage and nuts on top. Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 1366mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 40038IU | Vitamin C: 79mg | Calcium: 197mg | Iron: 3mg
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