I’ll show you how to roast Honeynut squash, the sweetest new variety of winter squash! This easy maple glazed squash is so yummy.
what’s a honeynut squash?
Honeynut squash (AKA: CUCURBITA MOSCHATA + C. MAXIMA) is one of the new kids on the block when it comes to winter squash ~ honeynut was born in the 1980s in upstate New York as a cross between butternut and buttercup squash. It looks just like a short, squat butternut squash, averaging about half the size. The flavor? It’s definitely sweeter. The smaller size makes it very convenient for serving because each half is a perfect individual portion. Diminutive Honeynut squash may be cute but they’re also packed with nutrition. They’re filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and they have twice the amount of healthy beta-carotene of their parent, the butternut squash! In fact winter squash as a group is so healthy for us I believe we should know how to cook all the varieties. Today I’ll show you my favorite way to prepare honeynut squash, with a fabulous spiced maple syrup glaze.
what does Honeynut squash taste like?
This little squash lives up to its name ~ it’s super sweet. It tastes like a sweeter, less ‘earthy’ version of butternut squash. The flesh is a little creamier and less watery, too. Pretty nice, huh?
how to roast honeynut squash
step 1. slice your squash in half lengthwise
You’ll need a large sharp knife. Just slice the squash from stem to stern. Honeynut squash is much easier to cut than other varieties, a huge plus in my book.
step 2. remove the seeds
Use a thin edged spoon to scoop out the seeds + stringy stuff. Rinse and save the seeds to roast for later (see below!)
step 3. place on a lined baking sheet
Add a pat of butter, salt and pepper to the squash.
step 4. roast at 425F
Roast the squash, basting with the melted butter, until tender, about 30-40 minutes. For the last 10 minutes of baking brush liberally once or twice with the spiced maple syrup (recipe in recipe card below.) We created this amazing maple syrup for our Mezcal Cider Cocktail earlier this fall, and it was so delicious I knew I would find more uses for it.
The maple syrup complements the sweetness of the squash, but the spices temper the sweetness, so the whole thing works in perfect harmony. This is an easy side dish that goes with just about any fall or winter meal, and it’s super healthy, which is a plus. It’s a conversation starter, too ~ everybody’s interested to learn about this new squash!
how do you serve it?
That’s the best part, just give everybody their own little half squash, the flesh spoons out so easily. I like to serve a little spiced maple syrup on the side so people can drizzle on more if they like. The peel of the Honeynut is thin, like Delicata squash, and is completely edible.
roasted honeynut squash seeds have a deliciously umami flavor
Honeynut’s diminutive size means their seeds are also smaller and more tender. I show you how to toast the seeds, too, so nothing goes to waste!
You only need to know one thing about roasted honeynut squash seeds ~ they taste like bacon! Use them for snacking, or topping salads and all sorts of things! I know I’m going out on a limb here, I adore bacon, but I mean, think about it. According to a study by the University of Michigan School of Public Health, eating just a piece of bacon can shave 26 minutes off your life expectancy. Eating a hot dog? 36 minutes. With odds like that I’m always open to something that gives me the taste of bacon with being bacon, lol.
Even small squash have a prodigious amount of seeds!
You’ll be surprised how many seeds come out of this little guy! I’ve roasted and taste tested all sorts of winter squash seeds and the results are clear ~ smaller squash seeds are the best simply because they’re more tender.
to roast honeynut squash seeds
- Rinse them to remove all the strings of squash and let them dry on paper towels. Don’t worry if some orange flesh clings to the seeds, that’s fine.
- Toss with a little olive oil.
- Spread out on a dry baking sheet and roast at 375F for 15-20 minutes, until they become golden and crisp. Toss them around a couple of times during baking so they toast evenly.
- Sprinkle with a little coarse salt when they come out of the oven.
more fall side dishes
- Authentic Irish Colcannon Recipe (Mashed Potatoes with Kale)
- The Creamiest Creamed Corn
- Creamed Brussels Sprouts
- Green Beans Almondine
- Butter Pecan Pumpkin Souffle
- Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary
Roasted Honeynut Squash
- Sheet pan
- parchment paper or foil (for easier clean up)
spiced maple syrup
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 star anise
- 4 cardamom pods, crushed
- 4 allspice berries
- 2 Honeynut squash
- 4 Tbsp butter
- coarse salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can also use foil or a silpat mat. This helps with cleanup.
- Prepare your spiced maple syrup. Put all the syrup ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let steep until it cools to room temperature. Strain and set aside. Note: you can make the syrup up to several days ahead.
- Slice the squash in half lengthwise. You’ll need a large sharp knife. Just slice the squash from stem to stern. Scoop out the seeds and stringy parts.
- Place the squash halves, cut side up, on your lined baking pan. Add a pat of butter to each of the 4 cavities and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast the squash, basting with the melted butter, until tender, about 30-40 minutes. For the last 10 minutes or so of baking brush liberally once or twice with the spiced maple syrup. Note: roast as long as it takes the tip of a sharp knife to slide in easily. (You want to be sure you’re testing the neck, that’s where the flesh is the thickest.)
- Serve the squash with extra spiced maple syrup on the side for drizzling.