Roasted Butternut Squash combined with goat cheese, pomegranates, and rosemary makes an absolutely delicious, simple, and flavorful dish. It makes a healthy Thanksgiving and holiday side dish or is perfect for weeknight meals for fall and winter. Gluten-free and vegetarian.
Last updated on November 12, 2020.
This recipe screams fall and holidays. The butternut squash, the rosemary, the pomegranates, I mean what more can do you want?!
I don’t want to brag, but this roasted butternut squash is so, so good. Maybe one of my favorite side dishes I’ve made. That’s a bold statement, but I just love it.
It’s sweet and savory, has a little zip from the citrus and balsamic vinegar, and different textures from the goat cheese to the pomegranates. The best part is, it is SO SIMPLE to make. And it will be the star of your Thanksgiving side dishes.
Because we all know it’s all about the side dishes!
This roasted butternut squash can actually be enjoyed all fall and winter long though, no holidays needed. It makes the perfect side dish to just about any meal – turkey, pork, chicken, beef, salmon – and is easy to prepare. To save some time, you can use precut butternut squash and prepackaged pomegranate arils from the grocery store.
How to cut butternut squash
There are a few different ways to cut butternut squash, but I find this the easiest way for chopping.
- First, chop off both ends of your butternut squash. Then, using a vegetable peeler, peel about the skin. You may need to do it a couple of times over similar areas as the skin is thick.
- Then, lay the squash down on its curvy side and slice widthwise into 1 inch thick rounds. When you get to the bulb, stand it up and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds.
- Lay a couple of rounds on top of each other and cut into 1-inch pieces. Chop the bulb into the same size pieces.
Make sure you use a sharp knife as it makes a huge difference.
How to cut a pomegranate
Pomegranates are so pretty, but how on earth do you cut them? They can look a little intimating because of the hard shell and all the membrane on the inside once you cut it open, getting out the arils is quite simple.
There are a few ways to do it, but this is the easiest way for me.
- Start by slicing it in half width-wise. Some juice will come out, so make sure you are on a surface that won’t stain. Then, over a bowl filled with water (I like to do this in the sink), break apart the halves into a few pieces with your hands. The seeds will fall down into the bowl.
- Hold the pieces just above or under the water in the bowl and free the arils from the membrane. The white membrane will float to the top while the arils sink, making it easy to separate the two.
You can also cut it this way, but I find that is too many steps with slicing and cutting. But if you like that way better, go for it!
And you can always buy pomegranate arils at the grocery store!
How to make roasted butternut squash
Just 7 simple ingredients to make this flavor-packed roasted butternut squash with goat cheese and pomegranates. Easy to make and an absolutely delicious side dish that goes with any entree, holidays or not!
Here is what you need:
- butternut squash
- goat cheese
- fresh rosemary
- lemon juice
- balsamic vinegar
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
First, start by prepping your butternut squash. See above for how to chop the butternut squash. Add to a large baking sheet (you may need two depending on how big they are) lined with parchment paper, add your coconut oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper, and mix well to combine.
I like to mix it up on the baking sheet as it saves me dirtying another dish. Roast butternut squash for 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until fork-tender.
Then, while the squash bakes, prepare your dressing by mixing together the lemon juice, balsamic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Next prep your pomegranate seeds (see above for how to cut a pomegranate).
When the butternut squash is done, add to a large bowl and pour the dressing overtop. Mix well to combine. Then add your goat cheese and pomegranates and carefully mix well to combine. Top with a little more rosemary if you like.
Substitutions for roasted butternut squash with goat cheese & pomegranates
While this roasted butternut squash is pretty simple and doesn’t call for much, there are a couple of substitutions you could do:
- squash – you could also substitute another kind of winter squash (everything except spaghetti squash), pumpkin, or sweet potatoes if you don’t have butternut squash.
- cheese – any kind of cheese will work. I would suggest a soft cheese like feta or gorgonzola as a good alternative.
- oil – I used coconut oil, but any kind of cooking oil will work.
Additions to this recipe
Here are some things you could add to this dish:
- nuts – pecans or walnuts would be good! Even better if they were a little bit candied!
- dried fruit – if you like dried fruit in dishes, I think dried cranberries or raisins would work.
- herbs – you could also add more herbs like thyme, sage, or parsley.
More healthy holiday side dishes
- Whole30 Mashed Potatoes
- Green Beans with Mushrooms and Bacon
- Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms
- Rosemary Roasted Radishes
- Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese & Pomegranates
For the Butternut Squash
- 10 heaping cups chopped butternut squash (1 large/1360 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)
- 1/2 heaping cup pomegranate arils
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Toss the butternut squash with coconut oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and mix well to combine. I like to do this on the baking sheet to save dirtying another dish. Spread out evenly on the baking sheets and bake for 30-40 minutes or until fork-tender, stirring once around 20 minutes.
- While the squash bakes, make the dressing by whisking together the lemon juice, balsamic, rosemary, and salt and pepper.
- Once squash is done, transfer to a baking dish or serving bowl. Stir in the dressing until combined. Add pomegranates and goat cheese and mix carefully to combine. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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