I’m sharing some fantastic Thanksgiving recipes this week in preparation for the big day next week!
Yesterday, we made the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer. Today, I’m moving on to the side dishes. I don’t know about you, but my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is the side dishes! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good turkey (spoiler alert: look forward to my Turkey Tips later this week!), but really it is all about the sides for me.
Normally, I really prefer traditional, no fuss, no jazz side dishes-green bean casserole (with the fried onions), regular old mashed potatoes with gravy, candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows, and my mom’s stuffing and cranberry sauce.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a few mixed up and new side dishes on my Thanksgiving plate.
Meet the butternut squash! In all my years, I do not ever remember my mother making butternut squash for Thanksgiving, or any other meal for that matter. So, while I have come to know butternut squash as great autumn dish and a mainstay in many people’s kitchens, this super food is totally a non-traditional Thanksgiving food in my book.
Begin by peeling the skin off your butternut squash. This is one place that I will often pay the premium price to get already peeled and cubed butternut squash because peeling these guys is NOT easy. I find that a small paring knife or a sharp peeler works best. The skin comes off in small scraps but if you keep working at it, you will get it all off.
Slice off the top and bottom ends of the squash.
Then cut off the top “tower” part of the squash (just above the bulb) and cut the bulb in half. Dig out and discard the seeds and stringy stuff.
Then, cut your squash into 1/2 inch cubes and put the cubes in a large bowl. (Doesn’t that look like a huge bowl of cubed up cheddar cheese!? Next year’s side dish? Just kidding…maybe.)
Drizzle your squash with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper. Transfer the squash to a baking sheet and spread it out into a single layer. Roast the squash in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, tossing it half way through the cooking time.
When your squash is almost done roasting, mix up this quick vinaigrette with white vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup, olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Toss your squash with the vinaigrette, and you have one fabulous side dish!
The vinaigrette is tangy, sorta spicy and slightly sweet and goes perfectly with the caramelized roasted squash.
If butternut squash isn’t a traditional staple on your Thanksgiving table, give this recipe a try and maybe it will be!
Maple Mustard Roasted Butternut Squash
makes 8 servings
- 1 large butternut squash (or 5 cups peeled and cubed squash)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Peel skin off of squash. Cut off the top “tower” part of the squash (just above the bulb) and cut the bulb in half. Dig out and discard the seeds and stringy stuff. Cut squash into 1/2 inch cubes and add cubes to a large bowl.
- Drizzle squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Transfer squash to a large baking sheet. Roast squash in preheated oven for 45 minutes, tossing half way through cooking time.
- Meanwhile, combine vinaigrette ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add roasted squash to vinaigrette and toss to coat. Transfer squash to a serving bowl, and serve warm.