If you’re looking for a stand-out Thanksgiving side dish or even vegetarian main dish Thanksgiving recipe, look no further than this Hasselback Butternut Squash with Maple Miso Butter! Butternut squash is halved and cut cross-wise but not all the way through. It’s brushed with a slightly sweet and savory, umami-packed maple miso butter while roasting. The sauce seeps into each of those crevices and results in endless caramelized, gorgeous edges.
You’ve had hasselback potatoes. But have you hasselbacked (can I make that a verb?) any other veggies? It works so well with butternut squash!
Hasselback is when you slice something crosswise, but not all the way through, before roasting. That way, any flavors, oils, or sauces you are adding can seep into each crack, enhancing the flavor and increasing the surface area being roasted and exposed to the hot oven air.
This hasselback butternut squash is absolutely delicious, easy to make, and not too sweet. I find butternut squash recipes often are overly sugary; the salty, umami flavor of the miso in this recipe helps balance the natural sweetness of the squash along with a little bit of maple syrup (though you can always add more sweetness if that’s what you prefer!).
You’re going to love this easy recipe, perfect for Thanksgiving or your holiday table, but easy enough for any old night!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Butternut Squash – any size, though different sizes and ripeness will affect cooking time (and they should be of uniform size for even cooking). Honeynut squash and peeled and halved sweet potatoes will also work for this recipe.
- Miso – you can find this Japanese fermented soybean paste at most grocery stores. Any kind will do, but white has the least salty, most mellow taste. Soy sauce will work as a substitute in a pinch and impart a similar salty umami flavor. Read more about miso here.
- Maple syrup – or honey, or brown sugar.
- Butter – preferably unsalted, since miso itself is so salty.
How to make Hasselback Butternut Squash
- First, prep your squash and baking sheet. Peel the squash, slice in half, and scoop the seeds out. Drizzle olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and preheat your oven.
- Make the maple miso butter. Melt together equal parts maple syrup, miso, and butter (I do this in the microwave, but a saucepan will work too).
- Place the squash on the baking sheet and brush with the miso butter. Roast until slightly softened.
- Now it’s time to hasselback! Cut the squash crosswise about a quarter-inch wide, not all the way to the bottom. I use wooden spoons or chopsticks placed on each side to prevent the knife from going all the way down. Transfer back to the backing sheet and brush with more maple miso butter.
- Continue roasting the squash, brushing with the maple miso butter every 15 minutes. Once it’s cooked, brush one more time and broil it until it’s nice and toasty and browned on top.
Yes! Use olive oil or vegan butter in place of the butter.
Yes! Just make sure the miso you use doesn’t have a gluten containing ingredient (like wheat or barley), and for a dairy-free version, use ghee or a vegan substitute instead of butter.
This hasselback butternut squash reheats beautifully, meaning you can cook the whole thing up a day or two ahead of time. Just place on a roasting pan and reheat for 10-20 minutes in a 350 degree F oven before serving. I recommend slightly undercooking at first if you make it ahead of time.
Yes! Toss with other roasted veggies, or slather on a chicken before roasting. Get creating. This stuff is super salty and delicious – use in place of traditional salt seasoning (you probably won’t need any extra).
Sure! Just use more maple syrup or brown sugar in the sauce, and/or sprinkle the top with some brown sugar before broiling in the end.
Other butternut squash recipes
- Butternut Squash Alfredo
- Moroccan Spice Roasted Butternut Squash
- Ginger Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup
- Brown Butter and Maple Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Mash
- Butternut Squash, Chickpea, and Spinach Stew
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Hasselback Butternut Squash with Maple Miso Butter
- 2 small to medium butternut squashes or 1 large
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons miso
- herbs and black pepper, for garnish optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and drizzle a rimmed baking sheet with the olive oil (2 tablespoons). Peel the squash, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop the seeds out. Place the squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet.
- In a small microwave safe bowl, add the butter, maple syrup, and miso paste (2 tablespoons each). Microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute, or until melted. Stir together. (Alternatively, do this in a small saucepan on the stovetop.)
- Brush the tops of the squash with the maple miso butter. Roast at 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, until slightly softened.
- Working one at a time, remove the squash to a cutting board and slice cross-wise, not all the way to the bottom, about ¼-inch apart. You can place wooden spoons or chopsticks along the sides of the squash to aid in making sure not to cut all the way through (see photo).
- Place squash back on the baking sheet after slicing. Brush again with the miso butter and roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Brush again with the miso butter, and roast again for 15 minutes, or until squash is very tender. Brush one more time, and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until nice and browned on top.
- Remove to a serving dish and garnish with herbs and black pepper, if desired. Drizzle with any remaining miso butter (you may need to warm it up a bit if it has thickened too much to pour). Serve. See notes for preparing ahead of time.
- Prepare ahead of time: You can cook this ahead of time and reheat at 350 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes, until warmed through. If you do this, you may want to slightly undercook it initially.
- Cooking time: Butternut squash can vary greatly in size and ripeness which can affect cooking time. If you are unsure and on a tight timeline, make sure to allow for extra time just in case!
- Substitutes: Honeynut squash or peeled and halved sweet potatoes also work well for this recipe. They are smaller, so will require less cooking time. Brown sugar or honey may be used instead of maple syrup. Ghee, olive oil, or a vegan butter substitute may be used instead of butter for a dairy-free or vegan version. Soy sauce may be used in place of miso in a pinch.
- Miso is a Japanese fermented paste that packs a very salty, savory, umami punch. It’s widely available at most grocery stores or specialty Asian grocery stores. Any will do, but different types have different types. White miso tends to be least salty and more mellow, and some are fermented with barley or other grains (so you may need to look for a specifically gluten-free variety, if that applies to you).
- Like things sweet? Feel free to add more maple syrup or supplement with extra brown sugar.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools:
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