Albeit simple, one of my favorite ways to cook butternut squash is roasting. It’s an unbeatable method to bring out the natural sweetness of squash, and really, who doesn’t love the texture and flavor of browned, caramelized deliciousness? In this recipe, the apples compliment the squash by adding another layer of subtle sweetness and texture. If you’re a fan of dried apples, you’ll love it.
Even if you usually take the skin off of apples when you cook/eat them, I recommend keeping the skin on here. The skin helps the apples withstand the high heat and adds that warm, apple-y aroma. If you’re worried the skin will be tough, don’t worry. The skin softens and I promise it won’t be overbearing.
Caramelized Butternut Squash & Apples
I used Gala apples, but you can get away with a wide array of types—just choose an apple that is relatively crisp, sweet, and a bit tart.
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 2-3 Gala apples
- 4-5 springs of rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- pinch black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chop butternut squash into cubes—see my post here on the best way to do it. Chop apples into cubes that are similar in size to the butternut squash pieces.
Why it’s Worth it to Buy Organic Apples
In my opinion, buying organic apples is worth it. Ranking #1 on EWG’s trusty “Dirty Dozen” list, 98% of conventional apples are sprayed with pesticides. Additionally, compared to some other fruits, there isn’t that big of a price difference between organic and conventionally grown apples.
In a large bowl, toss the squash and apples with the chopped rosemary, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and pepper until all pieces are coated in oil. Place the pieces on an oiled/sprayed baking sheet. Make sure there is some room in between pieces. They should NOT be piled on top of one another (the below photo is not the best example of nicely spaced pieces, FYI).
Put in oven for about 45 minutes, or until the squash is browned. In general, the apples will cook quicker than the squash, so go by when the squash is done; the apples won’t burn, and undercooked squash is nothing compared to correctly-cooked squash.
Eat right away or store in the fridge–it’ll stay about 4 days and is great for leftovers or an extra salad topping the next day.