Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole with Cinnamon Crunch Topping 

butternut squash

Butternut Squash Made Delicious

Whether you are getting ready to challenge yourself and hop into the paleo-friendly lifestyle or just love butternut squash, this recipe is a seasonal home run.

To me feasting on a dish of roasted butternut squash casserole with cinnamon crunch topping is like some peoples pumpkin-spice coffee addiction. Yes, it’s that good!

Fall is my favorite season to prepare this roasted butternut squash casserole.

My belief is that this dish should be on every Thanksgiving table.

It seems like the flavors match the season.

From September through January this is a staple I am never without.

Today’s recipe, a roasted butternut squash casserole with cinnamon crunch topping is my most coveted and one that I am certain you will make frequently.

The ingredient list is common, while the prep time is fast!

Yes, it’s easy to recreate this recipe.

For those who prefer a vegetarian-style roasted butternut squash casserole, you can easily tweak the recipe to be meatless!

Butternut squash’s sweet nutty flavor makes this winter squash perfect for all fall take-along meals too!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole with Cinnamon Crunch Topping

butternut squash

When I first tasted butternut squash, I gotta say, I was not it’s the biggest advocate.

The next time I tried it, someone suggested roasting it and adding a little Yakon Syrup atop. That my friends was the magic ticket.

Since that day, I literally can’t get enough roasted butternut squash.

Knowing there were other ingredients I could add in and keep it Paleo Friendly, I started working out a few different combinations.

First I tried 1/2 butternut squash and 1/2 sweet potato. That just ended up being too much work.

The sweet potato actually has a few more sugars and carbs than this precious winter squash.

However, when it comes to fiber and protein the sweet potato wins.

After weighing the pros and cons of this mixture, I opted to strictly use the butternut squash solo, and not with the sweet potato.

Why Butternut Squash is So Paleo-Loveable –

butternut squashDid you know that butternut squash is wonderfully generous in magnesium, potassium, coupled with vitamin A and B6?

It’s got 297% of your daily Vitamin A serving.

WOW!

So it’s good for our vision as well as your heart!

Last, based on a one-cup serving you yield only 16 carbs! I’m in!

Now you are starting to understand how good this winter squash is for you!

Tips On Working With Butternut Squash – Before preparing roasted butternut squash casserole

Cutting The Butternut Squash In Half

Below you will see the butternut squash halved.

Yours will look the same.

Isn’t it so colorful?

I love this winter squash.

First, wash the butternut squash.

Then use a paper towel to thoroughly dry it.

Now, as you might have noticed, butternut squash is a weird shape.

Before you make that first cut, read this to help you learn how to ‘safely’ tackle this winter squash.

Since it is an awkward shape, truly it becomes a moving PIA on the cutting board! Just saying how it is.

Thus, the butternut squash can be a safety hazard when it comes to cutting!

So to survive this, let me share a little insight.

If you’ve ever used a paper trimmer, you’ve put the paper in, and then brought the latch down to cut right?

So let’s parallel this to a paper trimmer.

Place the butternut squash on the cutting board in front of you, horizontal.

In other words, it will be long side to side.

Next, take your hands off of it and put the TIP of the knife in the dead center of that horizontal squash.

Again, no hands on the squash, it is not going to roll away, lol!.

Once the tip is in and secure (all the way through) pull the knife down as though you were using a paper trimmer.

Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole with Cinnamon Crunch Topping You got it! Now the butternut squash is severed on ONE half.

Continue the same process on the other side, by reversing the squash in front of you and repeating the procedure.

In the end, you will have it split into 2 pieces and you can prep your recipe!

Before Preparing Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole – Seeding & Peeling Tips

Since you split the butternut squash in 2, you may find seeds.

Get a spoon to scrape the seeds.

Just like you would scrape seeds out of a cucumber or a cantaloupe, take your spoon and scrape seeds out of the butternut squash.

After you’ve scraped the seeds out, you can peel the squash, if your recipe requires such.

I always suggest rinsing the butternut squash again after all the handling, but that is optional.

Ingredients For The Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole with Cinnamon Crunch Topping

butternut squash

INGREDIENTS

Prep For The Roasting Pan

3 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 C. butternut squash, rinsed, peeled, cubed.
2 medium firm apples, cubed with skin on (you can peel it if you prefer)
1 small red onion, chopped
1½ teaspoons of both fresh sage, chopped and fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Cooking Tools For Roasting Prep

Knife
Peeler
Large Mixing Bowl
9×13” baking dish

Prep For The Cinnamon Crunch Topping

6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into ½-inch pieces* (be sure to use Paleo-friendly bacon)
½ c. pecans, roughly chopped (optional- walnuts)
2 T. raw honey (or Yakon Syrup – my personal fave)
½ t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. ground cloves

Cooking Tools For Crunch Topping

Paper Towel
Small Mixing Bowl
Microwave Bacon Tray or Paper Plates covered or Skillet.
Tongs
Mixing Spoon

Directions For Preparing the Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole

butternut squash

Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a 9×13” baking dish with 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, using a pastry brush to coat each side.

Set aside after coating.

Next, in a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, butternut squash, red onion, as well as the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil.

Give it a good stir to mix thoroughly.

Add in sage, thyme, and lightly season (to taste) with salt and pepper and combine with a good mix.

Now it’s time to transfer the butternut squash mixture onto the prepared baking dish.

Make sure to spread the butternut, apple, onion, and spice mixture thoroughly into an even layer.

Place the baking dish, uncovered, in the preheated oven to roast for 30 minutes, until the butternut squash is just fork tender.

Prepping The Cinnamon Crunch Topping for Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole

While the butternut squash mixture is roasting, the bacon and nut prep begins.

Lay your bacon across the bacon- tray, cover with a paper towel, or the bacon tray lid.

Microwave bacon according to your microwave directions. Generally 1 minute per piece, but this varies.

Once the microwave cycle is done, allow to sit for a minute before removing.

Lift paper towel (carefully) to ensure crispiness was achieved.

If bacon is not crispy repeat the microwaving cycle for an additional 30 seconds each cycle until crisp, not burned is achieved.

Carefully remove bacon platter from microwave (remember hot bacon grease is in the reserve).

Transfer the bacon with tongs, to a small mixing bowl lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease.

Allow this bacon to continue to cool for 5-10 minutes and once cooled, discard the paper towel.

Next, crumble bacon into pieces and add in a tablespoon of coconut oil, chopped pecans, Yakon Syrup (or raw honey).

Mix that portion of ingredients well, making sure it all gets coated with syrup and coconut oil.

Finally, season with cinnamon, ground cloves, a dusting of both salt and black pepper. Combine well.

Putting the Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole All Together

Remove squash from the oven (it’s first roasting cycle) and top with the crunchy mixture.

Use a rubber scraper to ensure that all honey, coconut, and spice is out of the bowl and scattered atop your casserole.

Return the entire mixture to the oven.

Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the topping is nicely browned.

When the casserole is browned, remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Time & Effort

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35-45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

You can download the fabulous recipe below. Enjoy!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole with Cinnamon Crunch Topping 

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Ingredients

Prep For The Roasting Pan

  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil melted
  • 3 C. butternut squash rinsed, peeled, cubed.
  • 2 medium firm apples cubed with skin on (you can peel it if you prefer)
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • teaspoons of both fresh sage chopped and fresh thyme leaves
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking Tools For Roasting Prep

  • Knife
  • Peeler
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • 9 x13” baking dish

Prep For The Cinnamon Crunch Topping

  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon chopped into ½-inch pieces* (be sure to use Paleo-friendly bacon)
  • ½ c. pecans roughly chopped (optional- walnuts)
  • 2 T. raw honey or Yakon Syrup - my personal fave
  • ½ t. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ t. ground cloves

Cooking Tools For Crunch Topping

  • Paper Towel
  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • Microwave Bacon Tray or Paper Plates covered or Skillet.
  • Tongs
  • Mixing Spoon

Instructions

For The Squash Mixture

  • Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a 9x13” baking dish with 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, using a pastry brush to coat each side.
  • Set aside after coating.
  • Next, in a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, butternut squash, red onion, as well as the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil.
  • Give it a good stir to mix thoroughly.
  • Add in sage, thyme and lightly season (to taste) with salt and pepper and combine with a good mix.
  • Now it's time to transfer the butternut squash mixture onto the prepared baking dish.
  • Make sure to spread the butternut, apple, onion and spice mixture thoroughly into an even layer.
  • Place the baking dish, uncovered, in the preheated oven to roast for 30 minutes, until the butternut squash is just fork tender.

Prepping The Cinnamon Crunch Topping for Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole

  • While the butternut squash mixture is roasting, the bacon and nut prep begins.
  • Lay your bacon across the bacon- tray, cover with a paper towel or the bacon tray lid.
  • Microwave bacon according to your microwave directions. Generally 1 minute per piece, but this varies.
  • Once the microwave cycle is done, allow to sit for a minute before removing. Lift paper towel (carefully) to ensure crispiness was achieved.
  • If bacon is not crispy repeat microwaving cycle for an additional 30 seconds each cycle until crisp, not burned is achieved.
  • Carefully remove bacon platter from microwave (remember hot bacon grease is in the reserve).
  • Transfer the bacon with tongs, to a small mixing bowl lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease.
  • Allow this bacon to continue to cool for 5-10 minutes and once cooled, discard the paper towel.
  • Next, crumble bacon into pieces and add in a tablespoon of coconut oil, chopped pecans, Yakon Syrup (or raw honey).
  • Mix that portion of ingredients well, making sure it all gets coated with syrup and coconut oil.
  • Finally, season with cinnamon, ground cloves, a dusting of both salt and black pepper. Combine well.

Putting the Roasted Butternut Squash Casserole All Together

  • Remove squash from the oven (it's first roasting cycle) and top with the crunchy mixture.
  • Use a rubber scraper to ensure that all honey, coconut, and spice is out of the bowl and scattered atop your casserole.
  • Return the entire mixture to the oven. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the topping is nicely browned.
  • When the casserole is browned, remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

if you are not paleo but vegetarian, sub in Vegetarian bacon or eliminate it. 
Use Raw Honey if you prefer instead of Yakon Syrup. 
Add in a touch of Cayenne Pepper for a little more warmth in flavor. 
Drizzle when baking with a touch of brown sugar if you don't adhere to any particular eating lifestyle. 
Sub in Pancetta if you don't want bacon and are not eating Paleo. 
Alternatively, Mix in Sweet Potatoes. (read my notes in the story as to why I eliminated but could have kept it.