Weekend Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash with Browned Butter and Hazelnuts

Taking a cue from famed chef Yotam Ottolenghi, Cook's Illustrated sought to create a savory recipe for roasted butternut squash that was simple and presentation-worthy.

We chose to peel the squash thoroughly to remove not only the tough outer skin but also the rugged fibrous layer of white flesh just beneath, ensuring supremely tender squash. To encourage the squash slices to caramelize, we used a hot 425-degree oven, placed the squash on the lowest oven rack, and increased the baking time to evaporate the water. We also swapped in melted butter for olive oil to promote the flavorful Maillard reaction. Finally, we selected a mix of toppings that added crunch, creaminess, brightness, and visual appeal.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Browned Butter and Hazelnuts
Photo: Courtesy of Cook's Illustrated

Roasted Butternut Squash with Browned Butter and Hazelnuts
Serves 4 to 6


1 large (2 ½- to 3-pound) butternut squash
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
⅓ cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and chopped coarse
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

Story continues below

More Weekend Recipes


For plain roasted squash omit the topping. This dish can be served warm or at room temperature. For the best texture it’s important to remove the fibrous flesh just below the squash’s skin.

1. FOR THE SQUASH: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Using sharp vegetable peeler or chef’s knife, remove skin and fibrous threads from squash just below skin (peel until squash is completely orange with no white flesh remaining, roughly 1/8 inch deep). Halve squash lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Place squash, cut side down, on cutting board and slice crosswise 1/2 inch thick.

2. Toss squash with melted butter, salt, and pepper until evenly coated. Arrange squash on rimmed baking sheet in single layer. Roast squash until side touching sheet toward back of oven is well browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Rotate sheet and continue to bake until side touching sheet toward back of oven is well browned, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove squash from oven and use metal spatula to flip each piece. Continue to roast until squash is very tender and side touching sheet is browned, 10 to 15 minutes longer.

3. FOR THE TOPPING: While squash roasts, melt butter with hazelnuts in 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until butter and hazelnuts are brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Immediately remove skillet from heat and stir in water (butter will foam and sizzle). Let cool for 1 minute; stir in lemon juice and salt.

4. Transfer squash to large serving platter. Drizzle butter mixture evenly over squash. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Want recipes and food news emailed directly to you? Sign up for the Food newsletter here!

We are dedicated to providing you with articles like this one. Show your support with a tax-deductible contribution to KCET. After all, public media is meant for the public. It belongs to all of us.

Keep Reading