How to Cook Squash in the Oven: Tips and Tricks for a Delicious and Healthy Meal

Squash is a versatile and nutritious vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Whether you’re looking for a side dish to complement your meal or a main course to satisfy your hunger, squash is an excellent choice. One of the easiest and most delicious ways to cook squash is to roast it in the oven. The result is a tender and flavorful dish that is sure to please your taste buds. In this article, we’ll show you how to cook squash in the oven, step by step.

What Type of Squash Is Best for Roasting?

Not all squash varieties are created equal when it comes to roasting. Some are too watery, while others are too dry. Here are the best types of squash for oven roasting:

1. Butternut Squash: This squash is sweet and nutty, with a dense texture that holds up well in the oven.

2. Acorn Squash: This squash has a mild and slightly sweet flavor, with a tender texture that becomes creamy when roasted.

3. Spaghetti Squash: This squash is unique in that it has a noodle-like texture when cooked, making it a great alternative to pasta.

4. Delicata Squash: This squash has a sweet and nutty flavor, with a creamy and tender texture that caramelizes beautifully in the oven.

How to Prepare Squash for Roasting in the Oven?

The first step in roasting squash in the oven is to prepare it properly. Here’s how:

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.

2. Wash the squash under cold running water and pat dry.

3. Cut off the top and bottom ends of the squash, then cut it in half lengthwise.

4. Scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh using a spoon.

5. Peel the skin off the squash using a sharp knife or vegetable peeler.

6. Cut the squash into 1-inch cubes or slices, depending on your preference.

How to Roast Squash in the Oven?

Now that your squash is prepped and ready, it’s time to roast it in the oven. Here’s how:

1. Transfer the squash to a large mixing bowl.

2. Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and stir to coat the squash evenly.

3. Season the squash with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices, such as paprika, cumin, or cinnamon.

4. Spread the squash out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Roast the squash in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.

6. Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Roasted Squash in the Oven

1. Cut the squash into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking.

2. Don’t overcrowd the baking sheet, as this can cause the squash to steam rather than roast.

3. Check on the squash halfway through cooking and give it a stir to ensure it cooks evenly.

4. Add some garlic or onion to the mix for extra flavor.

5. Use a high-quality olive oil for a better taste.

Cooking Squash in the Oven: FAQ

Q: Can I add other vegetables to the squash when roasting?
A: Yes! You can add other vegetables such as onions, garlic, bell peppers, and zucchini for extra flavor and nutrition.

Q: Can I eat the skin of the squash?
A: It depends on the type of squash. Butternut and acorn squash skin is tough and not usually eaten, while delicata and spaghetti squash skin is edible.

Q: How long will roasted squash last in the fridge?
A: Roasted squash can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Q: What can I serve with roasted squash?
A: Roasted squash pairs well with grilled chicken, roasted turkey, steak, or roasted vegetables.

Q: Can roasted squash be frozen?
A: Yes! Roasted squash can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Just thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating it in the oven.