Hasselback Butternut Squash

5 from 2 votes

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Hasselback butternut squash is a flavorful Thanksgiving side dish that will make your table shine. This savory butternut squash recipe is easy to make and customize to your personal flavor preference.

Bookmark this side dish recipe for Thanksgiving this year! It’s one of our favorite ways to use butternut squash!

Butternut squash on a holiday serving plate
This savory squash recipe only looks like a fancy side dish. It’s easy to make.

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What is it?

Hasselback butternut squash looks like a fancy side dish. But its simple to make and a squash recipe for Thanksgiving that you have to try this year.

Butternut squash side dish on a serving platter.

If you’re new to the Hasselbacking method of cooking, let me catch you up to speed. This cooking technique started back in the 1950s, at the Hasselbackem Restaurant and Hotel in Stockholm, Sweeden.

It started with potatoes, but you can do it with many other foods, like this butternut squash. It involves cutting thin slices, almost all the way through, and then roasting the squash.

Midway through the roasting process, we will drizzle a tangy sauce over the butternut squash. It will continue to roast and the sauce will seep deep within the flesh creating a savory butternut squash recipe.

This creates more surface area, allowing for more flavor to reach the vegetable while it roasts. It also makes for a crispy outside with a soft and perfectly cooked inside.

What’s in it?

Ingredients for butternut squash recipe

The star of this recipe is butternut squash, of course. The rest is a sweet and sassy sauce that we use as a flavorful glaze. In this version, we make the base of the glaze using a combination of maple syrup and orange zest that is infused with jalapeño pepper.

A holiday dinner table filled with food
Make this hasselback butternut squash for any special dinner.

How to make it

(Full recipe is at the end of this post)

Making this savory squash recipe is simple and takes just over an hour of your time. To start with, this recipe calls for one butternut squash.

Butternut squash being prepped and hasselbacked

You’ll start by peeling and then gutting the squash. Then it is roasted in the oven for about 15 minutes. After allowing to cool for a few minutes, you will make slices across the backs of the squash.

  • Make the slices about 1/8″ apart
  • Do not cut all the way through. Leave about 1/4″ uncut at the bottom. This will keep the squash intact and hold it together.
Sauce ingredients in a pan

During the initial 15 minutes in the oven, you’ll create the sauce that goes on next. This will make a roasted butternut squash with maple syrup and brown sugar. In this version, we infuse that sauce with jalapeño pepper and orange zest.

A squash on a cutting board with a pan of sauce

After slicing the squash, you’ll brush a layer of the sauce over it. At this point you can also tuck some bay leaves into the slits, along with some pepper slices.

Return to the oven for another 45 minutes. You’re going to baste the sauce over the squash every 10 minutes, to keep it moist and flavorful.

Pro Cooking Tips

  • Use the smallest baking pan (that fits the squash).
  • Brush up any residual sauce from the pan back onto the squash.
  • Adjust the amount of jalapeño and/or remove from simmering sauce earlier to adjust the spice level in the sauce.
A holiday table with a bunch of fancy-looking food


What’s the Best Way to Peel a Butternut Squash

Microwave the squash for about 2 minutes (depending on the size of it.) This will soften the skin considerably! Allow it to cool and then peel with a pairing knife.

What Pairs Well with Butternut Squash?

You can serve this savory butternut squash recipe with almost any meat or salad. Of course, it makes a great squash recipe for Thanksgiving, but you can serve it for other meals with things like:


As prepared, this hasselback butternut squash has tones of citrus and sweetness, with a little spice to offset the sweet.

If you don’t care for jalapeño, you can use any of the following:

  • Fresno chiles
  • Thai red chile
  • Spanish paprika

Instead of bay leaves, you can use sprigs of rosemary or thyme.

An alternative to the sweet and spicy version is a savory combination of sage, rosemary, and garlic. This is a little sweeter, not sticky sweet, but buttery sweet. The use of these herbs with the garlic can compliment certain savory dishes, like our roasted pork tenderloin with fennel.

Two hasselback butternut squash on a serving plate

I hope you try this simple butternut squash recipe. It looks like a fancy side dish, but it’s really nothing more than roasted butternut squash with maple syrup and brown sugar. And a couple of additions.

Be sure and make this Thanksgiving side dish and let us know how you like it. We love it when our readers leave comments below!

Hasselback Buternut Squash

5 from 2 votes
A savory butternut squash recipe that makes a fancy side dish for any special meal.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 8 People


  • Small casserole baking dish


  • 1 Butternut squash, Peeled and seeded
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice, fresh
  • 1/4 cup Pure maple syrup, grade B (darker)
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper, sliced
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Orange zest
  • 6-8 Bay leaves


  • Preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Peel off the skin to expose deep orange flesh. 
Scoop out and remove seeds.
  • Coat the squash with olive oil and rub with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Nestle squash, flat sides down, into a small baking dish – the squash should set flat in baking 
dish side by side, with as little extra room in the baking dish as possible. Roast for 15 minutes, then allow to cool slightly.
  • Transfer the squash to cutting board and slice every 1/8” across the back of the squash halves. 
Do not cut all the way through – leave about 1/4” uncut space at the bottom to keep the 
squash intact. Return the cut squash to the baking dish.
  • Meanwhile, in a a small saucepan, combine the butter, lemon juice, maple syrup, 4-5 slices of 
jalapeño, brown sugar, and orange zest. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low-medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, just until 
sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
  • Brush a layer of sauce over the backs of the squash. Tuck some bay leaves into the sliced 
squash at even intervals. Place the baking dish back into oven and continue roasting for 45 minutes longer.
  • Baste the squash with additional sauce every 10 minutes. Be sure to brush up any residual 
sauce in the baking dish and brush it back onto the squash. Do not allow the residual 
sauce to burn.
  • Cook the squash until golden brown and tender all the way through.


  • Using the smallest baking dish that fits the squash is important because it reduces the area that the residual sauce can spread.
  • The residual sauce browns quickly and can easily burn if it spreads too much in the bottom of a baking dish.
  • Adjust the amount of jalapeño and/or remove from simmering sauce earlier to adjust the spice level in the sauce.


Calories: 165kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 93mg, Potassium: 353mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 10162IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Fancy Side Dishes, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. Modified by only using kosher salt rubbed on inside of squash, 6 slices of jalapeño & 2 slice cloves garlic along with melted butter inserted in squash cuts.
    Used a 1.5lb squash. Baked @400* approx. 1 hr, basting 3 times.

  2. I can not wait to try this recipe. I keep thinking about how beautiful the squash looks & what the added ingredients are going to lend to the flavor profile.