This delicious butternut squash is roasted to perfection and then tossed in a savory brown butter sauce with flavorful, crispy fried sage.
As far as flavor profiles go, it rarely gets better than butternut squash, fried sage, and brown butter. This combo is killer and can impress even the most discerning palettes. I’ve been obsessed with this trio for years and figured its about time I share it with you in case you’ve never tried this delicious flavor bomb for yourself.
As I mentioned when sharing a new bean dip recipe earlier this week, we’re trying to get back on team healthy after eating and drinking the days away in Costa Rica. Any recipe with butter blatantly being a key ingredient might not strike you as “health food” per say, but hear me out on this one. Butternut squash is so low in calories that I’m pretty much sure its asking to be doused in a good coating of butter.
Butter is absolutely critical in this recipe. There are no substitutions. Just when you thought butter couldn’t taste any better as is, something magical happens when you let it cook a bit longer than normal. As it browns, it takes on a toasty, almost nutty aroma. If you go ahead and taste it (you know you want to), you’ll see what I mean. The flavor enhances and becomes rich and savory in a whole new way.
And even with all that butter, a good sized serving only has about 225 calories. You’ll also get almost 500% of your necessary daily Vitamin A intake. This means that your bones, skin, immune system, and vision will all do a happy dance and forgive you for the butter. See, I told you we could call butter health food.
And the fried sage?!?! Oh fried sage! 😍 Its truly what dreams are made of. Weird butter filled dreams that is. The kind of dreams where you wake up salivating and hot and bothered on a whole new level. (As an aside – please tell me I’m not the only one that dreams of food… please?)
The underlying note of flavor left by the fried sage will wow your tastebuds even further than the brown butter alone could. If you haven’t tried fried sage yet, you really need to move it to the top of your priority list. Its simply divine.
The squash takes about twice as much time to roast as the mushrooms do so you can pop that in first and then prep the mushrooms. I used two separate half sheet baking pans, but you could probably squeeze them onto one larger pan when you add the mushrooms in.
Then, while both veggies roast together, get on that fried sage! Breaking the recipe into chunks makes it go sooo much faster.
I’ve served this both as a side dish, and combined with with other ingredients as a main. My favorite version was one time when I tossed in some leftover pulled pork and served it on top of sage polenta. That was heaven.
Then another time, I roasted a couple of red peppers along with the veggies, and tossed it all in angel hair pasta, topped with roasted butternut squash seeds and a good dose of parmesan. That made for a scrumptious vegetarian meal that got rave reviews from everyone at the table. Another time, I just threw a poached egg on top and called the leftovers breakfast. Yum.
This recipe has been through the ringer in our house and altered in more ways than I could possibly count. Each time created a winning new spinoff. Try it out as is, or create your own main dish version. If you do tweak it, let me know how it goes so I can try it out too!
Fried Sage Butternut Squash Tossed in Brown Butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 lb. butternut squash
- 1 lb. mushrooms
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 oz. sage leaves (about 25 - 30 leaves)
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425° F (218° C).
Cut off ends and half squash lengthways. Scoop out seeds and stringy parts and discard. Peel squash with a sharp knife and then cut into 1 inch cubes/pieces.*
Toss squash pieces in 1 Tbsp. oil and season generously with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Lay squash out in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in oven for 20 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, rinse and halve mushrooms. Toss in remaining 1/2 Tbsp. oil and season with salt and pepper. Remove squash from oven after 20 minutes and flip pieces over using a long flat spatula.
Add mushrooms to pan and roast for 20 additional minutes, or until squash pieces are cooked through and mushrooms are starting to brown.
During this last portion of cooking time, melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add sage leaves and stir several times per minute for 2-3 minutes until sage starts to turn crisp and butter starts to brown. Remove from heat and set aside. If sage leaves get crisp before the butter has reached a nice light brown shade with a nutty aroma, remove them using a slotted spoon and continue cooking butter until it is lightly browned.
Remove squash and mushrooms from oven and gently toss together with the sage leaves and brown butter. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed and serve.
*To make squash easier to peel, microwave for 2 minutes. Also, you don't need to throw butternut squash seeds out. They can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds!