Hasselback Butternut Squash
’Tis the season for Hasselback Butternut Squash with maple pecan drizzle! This dish will be a stunner on the holiday table, but it’s not all about looks—the maple flavour, tender squash, and caramelised nuts make it delicious.
Every time I look at the photos for this hasselback butternut squash I remember just how delicious it was. I mean, truthfully you can never go wrong with butternut squash, but let me tell you friends: this dish is worth making. Again and again.
I really wanted a holiday dish for vegans and non-vegans alike that would have everyone saying “WOW” as it was placed on the table. Of course, not only does it look beautiful, it tastes that way too. The squash itself has so much flavour and that maple pecan drizzle does wonders to complement it.
The best part is that even though this is a stunner for the holiday table, it’s easy enough to make anytime!
Why You’ll Love This Hasselback Butternut Squash
- A show-stopping side dish. This is a side dish that will definitely impress your guests, whether they are vegan or not. The beautiful presentation and layers of flavour make it a standout on any table.
- Easy to prepare. While it may look intimidating, making the slits in the squash is actually quite simple and doesn’t take much time at all. Plus, the maple pecan drizzle is just a quick mix of ingredients—the oven does most of the work!
- Perfect for special occasions. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other holiday, this hasselback butternut squash is a perfect dish to serve up for special gatherings.
Notes on Ingredients
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
For the Hasselback Butternut Squash:
- Butternut squash – Cut it in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds and pulp. I peel the squash too, but you can leave the skin on if you’d like; it is edible, but the texture is a bit tougher than delicata and acorn squash.
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Thyme – Fresh thyme has a woody flavour that pairs beautifully with earthy, sweet winter squash.
For the Maple Pecan Drizzle:
- Maple syrup – Be sure to buy maple syrup, not pancake syrup!
- Cayenne – I like it hot, but you can use less or omit it altogether.
- Dried sage – I recommend rubbed sage, not ground.
- Fresh thyme
- Chopped pecans – Since you’ll be chopping the pecans anyway, buy the less expensive pecan pieces instead of whole pecans.
How to Make Hasselback Butternut Squash
- Prepare. Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet or dish with parchment paper, foil, or a silicone mat.
- Season. Set the butternut squash halves on the lined baking sheet. Coat them with oil, then season with salt and pepper.
- Roast. Place the pan in the oven and roast the squash halves for 15 minutes.
- Make the drizzle. Whisk together the maple syrup, allspice, cayenne pepper, dried sage, and fresh thyme.
- Cut the squash. Transfer the squash to a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to create slits ¼” apart on the butternut squash.
- Add the drizzle and herbs. Return the sliced squash to the baking sheet. Brush with the maple drizzle, reserving about a tablespoon. Push a few pieces of fresh thyme into the slits of the squash, then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water into the bottom of the baking dish to prevent burning.
- Bake. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 50 more minutes. Add the chopped pecans to the reserved maple drizzle, then pour the mixture over the top of the squash. Bake for 5 minutes more. Cool slightly, then serve.
Tips for Success
- Make sure to slice the squash carefully. Don’t slice too deep! This will ensure that the slices stay together and create a beautiful presentation. You can set a a chopstick on either side of the squash (the long sides, not the short ones!) and they’ll keep you from slicing too far down.
- Top off the water as needed. Check every 15 minutes or so to make sure the water hasn’t baked off. If the pan is dry, add more.
- Tent with foil. If the tops of the hasselback butternut squash begin browning too quickly, loosely tent the pan with foil.
If you want to go more savory than sweet, you can skip the maple glaze and use browned butter. Not all vegan butter will brown, but my homemade vegan butter does! Add vegan Parmesan and minced sage leaves for the perfect finishing touch.
Enjoy this hasselback butternut squash as a side dish for vegan turkey or vegan meatloaf. If you’re serving it for a holiday, it’s fantastic alongside other vegan favourites like cranberry orange sauce, vegan mashed potatoes, vegan gravy, and sweet potato soufflé.
How to Store Leftovers
Store leftover hasselback butternut squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the oven at 350°F until warmed through or in the microwave.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
You can freeze hasselback butternut squash for up to 3 months. Place the squash in an airtight container or freezer bag. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat according to the instructions above.
More Butternut Squash Recipes
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
- Butternut Squash Pasta Bake
Enjoy friends! If you make this hasselback butternut squash, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much!
Hasselback Butternut Squash
Hasselback Butternut Squash
- 1 butternut squash, halved, peeled, seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Thyme on stems to push into butternut squash
- 2-3 tablespoons water
Maple Pecan Drizzle
- 2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon all spice
- ½ teaspoon cayenne – I like it hot, you can lower to ¼ teaspoon or remove
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped pecans, reserve until the end of the recipe
- Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C.
- Line a baking sheet or dish (with slightly high edges) with parchment paper, foil, or a silicone mat. Set aside.
- Halve your squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds with a large spoon. Using a peeler, remove skin and white flesh below (until you reach the deep orange flesh). Place your butternut squash halves down on the lined baking sheet/dish.
- Rub oil all over both sides of the butternut squash, including the side facing down. Use more oil if needed depending on the size of your butternut squash. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Roast your squash halves for 15 minutes.
- While squash halves are roasting, mix the Maple Drizzle ingredients – the maple syrup, all spice, cayenne pepper, dried sage and fresh thyme together with a whisk (everything except the pecans). Set aside until ready to use.
- Remove squash from baking sheet and place onto a cutting board (I use a large spatula to help move them).
- Using a sharp knife, create slits ¼” apart on the butternut squash (look at the photo above). Try to slice deeply, but don’t cut through it. It’s okay if you do once or twice, it’s still beautiful! You can use chopsticks on either side of the butternut squash to help guide you so you don't slice all the way through.
- Place the now sliced squash halves back onto the baking sheet. Brush the squash with the maple drizzle, reserving about a tablespoon. Push a few pieces of fresh thyme still on their stems into the slits of the squash.
- Add in the 2 to 3 tablespoons of water into the bottom of the baking dish to prevent burning. The liquid will also caramelise beautifully. Bake for 50 more minutes. Check every 15 minutes or so to see if the water has run out, then add more. If the tops of the butternut squash begin browning too quickly, tent with some foil.
- Remove from oven, add the chopped pecans into the last of the reserve maple drizzle, then pour it all over the top of the squash. Bake for 5 more minutes.
- Remove, allow to cool slightly and enjoy!
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