mains/meat free/recipes

Honey Garlic Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe

Posted January 8, 2018 by Stephanie
honey garlic roasted butternut squash | i am a food blog

It’s a new year and I know most people are focusing on eating healthy and maybe doing the Whole30 thing, but here I am, still in Tokyo, eating enough noodles to last me through to 2019. It’s probably not the way most people start off a new year, but I think everyone should start the year off on the right foot, whether it be filling their bellies with comfort food, or eating healthier, lighter options.

honey garlic roasted butternut squash | i am a food blog

Thankfully, this recipe is both healthy-ish and comforting. I love squash because it’s filling and takes on whatever flavor you toss at it – in this case, a simple, yet addictive honey garlic sauce. I ate this with some rice, because, um, I love my carbs, but you could easily have it just on it’s own or as a side with some protein. I love the way the cilantro added a light herb-y punch and the roasted pumpkin seeds were a nice crunchy textural contrast.

honey garlic roasted butternut squash | i am a food blog

Anyway, I hope your 2018 is going well so far. It’s a rare rainy evening here in Tokyo and we spent the morning waking up early to head to Tsuta (the first ever Michelin starred ramen joint – more on our visit in another post!) to get a ticket for ramen. After noodles, we took the train to Shinjuku because I wanted to peep the cute Japanese girls getting dressed up in kimono for Coming of Age Day. Joke was on me though because there weren’t many girls dressed up this year.

But then, we went home, after some stationary/pen shopping and I spotted a bunch of newly minted 20 year olds, in the rain, holding umbrellas, in our neighborhood. Mike and I guessed that they took photos at the garden near where we’re staying. It was too gorgeous: the shininess of neon lights reflecting in the rain slicked streets, the girls in their elaborate flower pinned updos and brightly colored silk furisode kimono. The contrast between old and new in Japan and the way they exist in harmony always makes my heart clench a little bit. I love how they celebrate tradition here, while still embracing the future.

Honey Garlic Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
serves 2

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • cilantro, to serve
  • roasted pumpkin seeds, if desired

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Toss the squash cubes with the oil and spread out, in a single layer, on a parchment paper or foil lined baking sheet. Roast until the squash is tender, cooked through, and lightly brown, about 25-30 minutes.

When the squash has about 5 minutes left, make the honey garlic sauce. In a non-stick pan, heat up a touch of oil and cook the garlic on medium heat until slightly golden, but not browned, 1-2 minutes. Add the honey, soy sauce and ground pepper. Turn the heat up to high so the honey-soy mixture bubbles, thickens and turns into caramel-sticky goodness.

Toss the roasted squash with the sauce and top with cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds, if using. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy!


  1. This sauce sounds really interesting! I’ve always gone classic with butternut squash — salt and pepper, garlic, maybe some sage around the holidays… But honey and soy sauce? I’m intrigued!

  2. Bev says:

    Would this work with kabocha? On a side note, it was a rainy Monday here in Kyoto, and it was great to see them in a celebratory mood despite the rain. Now I kinda want my own kimono too but they’re darn expensive.

    1. Stephanie says:

      yes, it would totally work with kabocha!

      also, kyoto in the rain, so gorgeous :)

  3. Addie says:

    This looks amazing and I’ve got two CSA butternut squashes burning a hole in my pocket (oven?) – may try a way to incorporate tangerine juice into the sauce, as some friends with a tree left us with a massive collective of citrus. Turns out you can squirt tangerine juice on almost anything and it’s delicious.

  4. Always appreciate new ways to use this lovely squash. The sweet, savory and salty combo sounds great. Would not have thought about soy sauce and cilantro…both flavors I like…but paired with butternut squash is an idea worth trying.

  5. Juri Juster Jensen says:

    Will try it this weekend. Sound like a perfect side dish to roasted duck legs in oven.

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