So… still not sure about another side dish for Thanksgiving dinner?
Here you go: Oven Roasted Butternut Squash with Fresh Cranberries that cooks in less than 20 minutes. This dish is a delightful balance of sweet and tart... a great alternative to some of the heavier items on the table.
You can buy the whole butternut squash (and cut it up yourself)… or purchase prepackaged sliced/cubed butternut squash. If you decide to cut it up yourself, you can do that today... or (or have some else do it).
This dish cooks in no time at all because the squash is cut into 1-inch pieces. Right after you remove the turkey from the oven (once it’s finished cooking, of course), throw the squash in. Don’t worry… the squash will have enough time to cook while the turkey “rests” before carving.
If there are leftovers, this dish easily becomes a soup that you can serve on Sunday, right alongside the turkey sandwiches. How easy is that? A side for Thursday and a satisfying soup for later.
Now… your side dish dilemma is solved. On to the turkey… you HAVE started thawing the turkey, right?
Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries
prep: 15 minutes
cook: 15 to 20 minutes
1 2½ to 3 lb. butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (stripped from their stems)
let’s get to it…
Heat the oven temperature to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Place the cut up squash in a gallon-size Ziploc® Bag or in a large bowl.
Measure the honey and stir in the salt. Pour the honey mixture over the squash. Seal the bag and gently turn to coat the squash evenly, or stir gently to coat.
Pour the squash onto the lined baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.
Add the cranberries to the baking sheet; stir gently. Sprinkle the top with the brown sugar. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes longer or until the squash is fork tender, but not too soft. The cranberries should be soft, not mushy. A few may burst, but that’s okay.
Remove from oven and spoon into a serving bowl. Top with fresh thyme leaves.
cooking know how: It is important not to overcook the squash. Test for doneness by gently piercing a cube of squash with a fork. If it is still hard, continue cooking in 2 minute increments until the squash gives slightly.
For the soup: Place the leftover Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberries in a blender, reserving a few cranberries to use as garnish. Add vegetable or chicken stock to the blender container until you have the consistency of the soup you desire. Place in a saucepan on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Top with the reserved cranberries just before serving.
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