Much like pumpkin, butternut squash has become a quintessential ingredient during the fall. After seeing these little orange cubes sprinkled across magazines, restaurant menus and Pinterest posts, it occurred to me it was time to jump on the band wagon. Prior to the pre-spiraled noodles I used during Whole 30, I’m not even certain I had eaten butternut squash outside of a Lean Cuisine ravioli!
Several inspirational mental notes later (squash + faro + seeds+ cranberry; squash + pear+ feta + arugula; squash + lintels + pomegranate) I settled on the butternut squash and brussel sprout recipe you’ll find below.
I started this experiment off with a quick trip to Whole Foods. I had been eying their on-the-stalk display of brussel sprouts for a while and this was the perfect reason to take a bouquet home! (Although looking back the regular bagged kind is cheaper and less labor intensive). I also grabbed 1 medium sized squash (little over a pound), 2 pink lady apples, and 1 small scoop of roasted pumpkin seeds (no more than 4 ounces).
Although the preparation for this recipe is super simple, I handled the bulk the prep work over the weekend (as I am usually less ambitious during the week). I plucked the brussel sprout buds off the stalk, then washed, dried and halved them before placing them into a Tupperware container. For the squash, I peeled (which I’m not sure why I had to google that), then chopped, then scooped out seeds (apparently there’s a little cul-de-sac of seeds at the bottom end…) and then placed these guys into a separate Tupperware container.
Whether or not you do this in one day or two, the only tasks left at this point is chopping the apples into cubes and dressing the veggies (I had leftover bacon on hand from breakfast but at some point you’d need to cook that too). For the brussel sprouts, I simply tossed this in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. I placed the sprouts directly onto a large baking pan and then set it aside. For the squash, apples, pumpkin seeds and cranberries, I lined another pan with foil and tossed these ingredients in a mixture of maple syrup, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
Music up, lights lit, and ornaments out, the 50 minute cook time was just the perfect window for Tam, Jon and I to finally decorate our tree!
B U T T E R N U T S Q U A S H & B R U S S E L
S P R O U T S
5 Cups brussel sprouts
1 1/2 Pounds butternut squash
1/ 4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
1 / 2 Cup cranberries
2 Teaspoon olive oil
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/ 3 Cup maple syrup
1 Tablespoon honey
4 Bacon strips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Rinse brussel sprouts thoroughly and chop into halves. Toss in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place sprouts face down on a baking sheet and set this aside.
- Peel, remove seeds, and chop one butternut squash into 1/2 – 3/4″ cubes.
- Rinse and chop 2 apples (you can peel the skin or leave it on) in the same size cubes as the squash.
- Combine apple, squash, pumpkin seeds and cranberries with maple syrup, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Once everything is coated evenly, place the contents of the bowl on a large sheet pan (I lined mine in foil for fear of sticking). Place the sheet pan into the oven for a total cook time of 50 minutes.
Note: If you do not already have cooked bacon bits, now would be a great time to whip up a few slices! Once your strips have cooked on the skillet, pad down with a paper towel to remove excess grease and chop the strips into bits.
6. At the 20 minute mark, place the baking tray of brussel sprouts into the oven to cook for the remaining 30 minutes. If you are using two shelves, place the sprouts below the squash.
7. At the 40 minute mark, add the crumbled bacon to the squash baking tray. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of honey on top of the pan and mix everything around with a spatula.
8. At 50 minutes, remove both pans from the oven and combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Be sure to give it a good toss with the spatula so all of the flavors are nicely mixed.