Butternut squash, apples and onions are roasted in the oven with a sweet, rich, and slightly tangy maple glaze. You can make this easy side dish with only 8 basic ingredients. It makes a wonderful addition to a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!
This post was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2021 with new photos and improved instructions.
Who says maple syrup and butter are only for pancakes? This recipe for maple glazed squash and apples is so deliciously buttery, rich and just a bit sweet, you will happily choose them instead of pancakes. (Well, maybe!)
This recipe does have a secret ingredient - apple cider vinegar! You can’t really pinpoint the vinegar, but it helps to round out and balance the flavor of the maple and butter.
This easy vegetable side dish would be a lovely addition to Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner, or anytime you need a cold-weather side dish that's a little bit extra special! (This would pair great with my recipe for brussels sprouts salad with cranberries!)
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- Apples: a firm apple that keeps its shape while baking is the best type to use for this recipe. I used Mutsu (aka Crispin) apples here and they held their shape really well! Some other good options would be Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady. Here is a great list of apples for baking, divided up by sweet versus tart!
- Maple syrup: you will want to use pure maple syrup for the best flavor, not pancake syrup flavored with maple!
- Onions: yellow onions or sweet onions will work best here.
Step by step photos
1. Before you do anything else, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C! Then, start prepping the veggies and apples. All you need to do is peel the apples and onion and cut them into about 1 inch chunks.
2. Turning to the butternut squash, you can start be either peeling it with a vegetable peeler or knife. I prefer the vegetable peeler because it's quicker and saves more of the squash (in my opinion!). You may need to do a few swipes with the peeler in each spot to get down to the orange flesh.
After peeling the squash, I like to make a cut to separate the long neck from the round bottom. Then, cut the neck portion into 1 inch thick planks. After that, slice them into strips. Finally, cut them cross-wise into 1 inch cubes.
3. Then, to deal with the round portion of the squash, take a small metal spoon and scoop the seeds out. I like using a grapefruit spoon; the little serrations on the side help cut through all those stringy bits! After scooping out the seeds, you can cube it in a similar manner as you did with the neck.
4. Once all the produce is in cubes, add it to your baking pan or casserole dish.
5. Then, in a separate small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, kosher salt, black pepper, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar.
6. Pour the butter mixture over the squash, apples and onions. Give everything a good stir with a large spoon so every piece is coated with the maple glaze.
7. Now roast the veggies and apples for 25 minutes in the pre-heated oven. After 25 minutes, remove the pan and give everything a gentle stir.
8. Place the pan back in the oven for an additional 20 - 30 minutes. The maple glazed squash and apples are done when you can easily pierce a piece with a fork, and the edges of the squash and apples have started to caramelize.
To finish the dish, give the squash and apples another gentle stir.
9. If you like, add an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper. You can also garnish with some fresh herbs like I did here, it adds a pretty dash of color but this is optional!
Tips and tricks
- To easily melt the butter using the microwave, cut the butter into chunks and add to a small, microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a paper towel to catch any possible spatter. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute. Check the butter, and if it needs it, microwave for an additional 20 - 30 seconds on 50% power.
- When pouring the maple butter glaze over the veggies, make sure to scrape out any of the salt and pepper from the bowl that may have sunk to the bottom!
- If you have it, flaky sea salt is a nice way to finish the dish - it looks pretty and it adds some extra texture due to the large flakes. My go-to flaky salt is Maldon! (Affiliate link.)
Yes, you can definitely substitute other types of hard winter squash for the butternut squash. Some good squash options would be acorn squash, kabocha squash, buttercup squash, or honeynut squash. For a very comprehensive list of winter and summer squashes, check out this great guide on 23 types of squash!
This dish will taste the most delicious when made right before serving. However, to save yourself some prep time, you can definitely cube the squash and onion up to one day before and store them in a zip top bag or food storage container in the fridge. (I would save the apples for right before so they don't get brown.)
Any leftovers can be stored covered in the fridge for 3 - 4 days.
To make this dish, you can use either a 4 quart shallow casserole dish or a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
When choosing a casserole dish, it's most important to just pick one that’s big enough so the veggies aren’t piled up too high. As you can see from the pictures in the Step by step photos section, my veggies aren’t in a single layer but they aren’t mounded up either.
Also be aware that different pan/casserole materials can affect how quickly foods cook and get brown in the oven. For example, dark metal tends to brown food faster than light metal. So, just keep an eye out on the squash in the last few minutes of cooking to make sure it doesn't get too brown, especially if you are using a dark metal pan!
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Butternut squash, apples and onions are caramelized with a sweet and slightly tangy maple butter glaze. This dish is easy to assemble yet looks stunning on your dinner table.
- 2 medium apples (recommendations: Granny Smith, Mutsu/Crispin, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady)
- 2 medium onions (recommendations: yellow or sweet onion)
- 1 small butternut squash (2 pounds/907 g size) (about 4 ½ cups when cut into 1 inch cubes)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup (59 ml) pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling (see note 1)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 425° F/220° C
- Peel and cube the butternut squash, onions and apples into roughly 1 inch pieces.
- Place the squash, onions and apples into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan or 4 quart capacity shallow casserole dish. (See note 2.)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
- Pour the butter mixture over the vegetables and apples, making sure to scrape out any salt and pepper clinging to the bottom of the bowl. Toss together to combine the butter mixture thoroughly with the vegetables and apples.
- Bake in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Stir and place back in the oven for another 20 - 30 minutes, or until the vegetables and apples are soft when pierced with a fork and browned around the edges.
- Carefully stir the cooked squash and apples and sprinkle with additional salt and/or black pepper if desired. Serve immediately.
This recipe uses kosher salt, which is coarse grained. If substituting with fine grain salt, start with ¾ teaspoon salt instead of the 1 teaspoon called for, and add more at the end if needed. And, if you have it, flaky sea salt is nice to use for the final (optional) sprinkle of salt at the end!
This recipe will work with either a 9 x 13 inch baking pan or a 4 quart capacity shallow casserole dish, which is slightly larger than a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. When choosing a dish, just make sure that there is enough room for the ingredients; they don't have to be in one flat layer, but should not be mounded up.
The nutrition information below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator, and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical, health, or nutritional advice. See our full nutrition disclosure policy.
- Serving Size: ⅙ recipe
- Calories: 238
- Sugar: 19.4 g
- Sodium: 328 mg
- Fat: 11.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 7.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 34.8 g
- Fiber: 4.7 g
- Protein: 1.8 g
- Cholesterol: 31 mg
Keywords: glazed butternut squash, maple glazed butternut squash