maple roasted squash

Digging for Recipe
a one-act play

It’s evening, in a church’s fellowship hall cram-packed with tables and metal folding chairs. I am sitting at a table, friends across from me, friends beside me. Friend A, let’s call her Tina, takes a bite of some squash cubes she has on her plate.

Tina: Wow… (moan) … wow.

Friend B, let’s call him Matt: The squash? Oh, yeah. I made that.

Me (fork hovering over Tina’s plate): Can I have a taste? (Jab. Pierce. Chew.) Okay, Matt. What did you do.

Matt: It’s just some butternut squash that I roasted in the oven.

Me: It’s more than just squash, Matt. Come on.

Matt: No, really! I just tossed the squash with olive oil and salt, added some garlic—

Me: One clove? Two? Minced?

Matt: Two? I don’t remember. Minced, yes.

Tina: There’s an herb…

Matt: Oh, some rosemary.

Me: Dried or fresh?

Matt: Dried. It’s what I had.

Tina: But it’s sweet!

Matt: Oh, yeah. Towards the end I drizzled in a little maple syrup. Squash gets sweeter the longer it sits, and since the ones I was using were new, I thought some syrup might help.

Me: How much syrup?

Matt: I don’t know! A drizzle!

Me: (piercing glare)

Matt: A tablespoon, maybe? Two tablespoons?

Me: Anything else?

Matt: No, that’s it.

Me: Are you sure?

Matt: Yes! That’s it!

Maple Roasted Squash
Matt’s recipe. But that was already obvious.

I’ve made this roasted squash twice (and still have no pictures of the final product). My mom and my husband were both
impressed. My husband said he had never eaten squash that tasted so
good. Also, I took a crockpot load to a potluck. The dish came back

I love to serve this squash as a side to a bean meal. With corn tortillas, it’s the holy trinity of food. Because foods that grow together—and everyone grows squash, beans, and corn together—tastes good together. But you knew that, right?

So far, I’ve only used maple sugar, not syrup. Also, I always double the recipe.

1 large butternut squash
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
lots of salt
a couple tablespoons maple syrup or maple sugar

Wash and peel the squash. Chop it into medium-sized cubes. Discard the seeds and pulp.

In a large bowl, toss together the squash cubes, garlic, olive oil, and rosemary. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Tumble onto a large baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until nearly fork tender. Remove from the oven and drizzle/sprinkle with syrup/sugar. Return to the oven and roast another ten minutes or until tender. Serve hot.


  • beckster

    Thanks for this. Butternuts on the counter. I would not have thought to put garlic, rosemary, and maple together, so this is a find.

  • Shannon

    Scene II (further down the potluck table):
    Me (tasting the first of only 3-4 cubes of squash I put on my plate): WOW! This is AMAZING!!
    Neighbor: What is it, squash?
    Me: Yes but it is amazing–I am going back up for more!

    Scene III (later that day–talking on the phone to my friend Jennifer):
    Jennifer: Did you get any of the squash at the potluck?
    Me: YES–it was AMAZING!
    Jennifer: Well, I got the recipe…

    Thank you for sharing the recipe here because I have a butternut waiting to be prepared!

  • Tina

    You captured all the nuances of that complex scene at the potluck so well. Haven't made this yet, but now I will. (Can I play myself in the screenplay?)

  • Margo

    Native Americans call corn/beans/squash the three sisters. I have a three sisters' stew recipe that we love – kind of tastes like chili.

    I adore rosemary. I will be trying this.

  • Theresa

    Funny! I roast butternut squash in a similar manner – butter, maple syrup, salt – but I add a cinnamon instead of rosemary and garlic. People go ga-ga over it. Vegetables that taste like pumpkin pie!

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, butternut or any type orange winter squash is truly glorious with butter (okay, olive oil might be a decent sub), garlic and rosemary. Try more garlic and lots of fresh rosemary and see what you think of that. I've done it in a large cast iron skillet too: brown the butter & sauté garlic, add the squash and cover, maybe a bit of water to steam, then toss in fresh rosemary at end. Even Sophie likes it, and usually asks why I didn't add more garlic & rosemary!! I haven't added maple syrup, but I've used sweeter squashes up to now.


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