Do you want to know how to make butternut squash everyone will actually enjoy? Because I’ve cracked the code for the perfect butternut squash recipe that adults and kids alike absolutely love. It also works great with sweet potatoes! Take the stress out of the side dish with this simple and delicious butternut squash that goes with just about anything.

sauteed butternut squash in a skillet topped with fresh thyme

Cooking Butternut Squash is incredibly easy and delicious!

Butternut squash is such a delicious and versatile option for fall and winter dishes. But it can be really hard to get the little ones to eat it. Well get ready for that to change. I’m the mom who got kids to eat butternut squash and actually request it at least once a week! This recipe for a slightly sweet and savory side dish will have you saying “Oh. My. Gourd!”

This recipe is a simple combination of herbs and spices like thyme, cinnamon and nutmeg that give this dish an amazing flavor that stands apart from other squash recipes. And the process couldn’t be easier. Just cube the butternut squash and saute it with the spices in some butter. The methods are simple, but the results are sublime. Your whole family, kids included, will be begging for more!

Sauteed Butternut Squash Ingredients

  • butternut squash
  • butter
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • salt
  • thyme

Butternut Squash Recipe substitutions

You can actually substitute the butternut squash in this recipe with sweet potato. They have similar flavors. You will need to peel and cube the sweet potato in the same way as the squash.

ingredients for sauteed butternut squash

How to Cook Butternut Squash on the stove

How to Peel Butternut Squash

To peel butternut squash, I like to trim both the top and bottom from the squash and use a standard vegetable peeler to peel off the skin.

Detailed instructions and measurements to make sauteed butternut squash are listed in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.

  1. Add the butter to the skillet over medium high heat and let it melt.
  2. Once it has melted, add in the chopped butternut squash and stir until the butter fully coats the squash pieces.
  3. Place a lid on the skillet and allow the butternut squash to cook down, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and sprinkle in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir to combine.
  5. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, mix and serve!

How Long to Saute Butternut Squash

You will want to saute butternut squash covered for about 10 minutes.

Tips for Cooking Butternut Squash

You can buy butternut squash already peeled and chopped in the produce section of most stores. Save yourself time by buying these and just throw them in the pan.

If you aren’t used to nutmeg, go easy. Don’t add too much because it can be overpowering in a dish.

sauteed butternut squash in a skillet topped with fresh thyme

How to serve this Recipe for Butternut Squash

Sauteed butternut squash is an excellent side dish for chicken and seafood.

How to store Sauteed Butternut Squash

Allow it to cool completely and then store it in an airtight container up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

How long does butternut squash last?

Uncooked, unpeeled butternut squash will last 2-3 months when stored properly.

Once cooked, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will last up to 3 days when stored properly.

How to Reheat Sauteed Butternut Squash

When you’re ready to reheat, I recommend placing it in the microwave, covered for 1 minute at a time.

Cook Butternut Squash FAQs

Do you peel butternut squash before you cook it?

Yes. You will need to peel the squash and chop it before placing it in the skillet.

How do you know when butternut squash is cooked?

The squash should be softened, but not mushy.

How long do you cook butternut squash?

If you chop the squash into 1/2-1 inch squares, it should only need about 10 minutes to soften with the lid on the skillet.

Is butternut squash healthy?

Butternut squash is full of vitamins and nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium.

What flavors go well with butternut squash?

Butternut squash pairs really well with flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and thyme.

How can you tell if butternut squash has gone bad?

Uncooked, uncut butternut squash should not have any soft spots or strong odor. If it has either of these, it has gone bad.

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How to Cook Butternut Squash

5 from 14 votes
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
A sauteed butternut squash recipe that's equal parts sweet and savory. It's simple, easy to make, and ready in under 15 minutes.


  • 1 whole butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½-1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt (do not use table salt – it does not measure the same)
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme


  • Take the butternut squash and cut the bulb part away from the long part. Then, cut the long part and the bulb part in half. Scoop out any of the seeds and as much of the stringy texture as possible. Peel the skin off of the squash with a vegetable peeler and cut the squash into 1/2 – 1 inch cubes.
  • Add the butter to the skillet over medium high heat and let it melt.
  • Once it has melted, add in the chopped butternut squash and stir until the butter fully coats the squash pieces.
  • Place a lid on the skillet and allow the butternut squash to cook down, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and sprinkle in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir to combine.
  • Sprinkle with fresh thyme, mix and serve!


Serving: 0.25of recipe, Calories: 64kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 1164mg, Potassium: 28mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 261IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American

Hi! I’m Kara!

Kara loves all things food and spending time with her family and dogs. She has a passion for cooking and loves making yummy, family-friendly recipes.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Followed recipe exactly for my first time. I thought 2 teaspoons of salt was a misprint but followed it anyway. Too much salt, even for us huge salt lovers.
    I’ll try it again but cut back on salt

    1. Hi Caren, Thank you for pointing that out! That was a typo. It should be 1/2, not 2. I appreciate you pointing that out so that I could correct it. I hope you enjoy it when you make it again!