Together with St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor’s Executive Chef, Ryan Kendall, we’re bringing you a delicious and healthy side dish that would be perfect for Thanksgiving, or any time of the year: Herb Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecans.

Butternut squash are rich in antioxidants, low in fat, high in dietary fiber, with significant amounts of potassium and vitamin B6. With a one-cup serving, you get nearly half the daily recommended dose of vitamin C!

To choose a butternut squash, look for one that’s unblemished and seems heavy with a matte skin. Uncut butternut squash can be stored in a cool, dry place (not the refrigerator) for up to three months.

When you’re ready to cook the Herb Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecans, you’ll need to gather the following ingredients and materials:

large knife
wide vegetable peeler
cookie sheet
mixing bowl
sheet pan
3 large butternut squash
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp paprika
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp fresh parsley
1 tsp fresh sage
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh rosemary
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup agave nectar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Start by cutting off the top and bottom ends to make them both flat. Then cut the squash lengthwise into halves. The seeds will be in the bottom, use a spoon to scrape them out and discard.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel each half. Usually a downward motion, away from you, is the easiest. Slice the halves into ½” to 1” chunks, as uniformed in size as possible.

On a separate tray, spread out the pecans and toast in the oven for 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, toss squash with olive oil and add herbs and seasonings. Coat pieces will.

Place squash on sprayed or oiled sheet pan in the oven and roast for 25-45 minutes (depending on the size of your squash pieces) until tender.

Remove from sheet pan and place in serving dish. Toss lightly with pecans and drizzle with agave nectar. Serve warm.

This article was originally published on November 21, 2014, and was updated on October 27, 2016.
Lisa has extensive experience providing nutrition counseling. She specializes in sports nutrition, weight management, gluten intolerance, diabetes, wellness and health promotion. Her methods promote the use of wholesome, plant-based food and sound fitness strategies to improve health and manage chronic disease. Additionally, Lisa is both a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).