Sautéed Butternut Squash is the perfect vegetable side dish. Easy to make, goes beautifully with some many dishes, and made with just diced squash, olive oil, salt, garlic power, and broth.

Sautéed butternut squash in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon.

Loaded with nutrients and amazing flavors, the butternut squash tends to steal the veggie show during the colder months. Easy to find in most places, a whole butternut squash has a nice long shelf life and is a veggie that is easy to incorporate into many different kinds of recipes. Mildly sweet and earthy in flavor, it is a family friendly vegetable that makes eating your veggies a delight.

While there are many ways to it, this simple sautéed butternut squash is a personal and family favorite. It comes together quickly (about 20 minutes), simple to make with minimal ingredients, and perfectly flavorful.

Bonus: this sautéed butternut squash is gluten free, vegan, and Paleo…making it the perfect side dish to so many meals, regardless of eating styles and needs.

Cubed butternut squash on a cutting board with a knife.

How to cut a butternut squash

Do you ever find yourself passing over buying or preparing a butternut squash because you find it such a pain to cut?

Yeah, I have been there. I love this squash, but I used to be so intimidated about peeling and cutting it that I used to skip it more often than I like to admit.

While I have found a few hacks along the way (like cooking a butternut squash whole or simply buying the precut squash in the grocery store), cutting a whole squash has become less intimidating (and difficult) with practice and a few basic tips.

TIP: make sure you have a sharp knife. This is a safety thing as well as a tip to make the process of cutting a squash easier. Dull knives can lead you struggling with the squash and possibly lead to the knife slipping or your hand or fingers being injured.

Step 1: cut the tops and bottoms off of the squash. Discard.

Step 2: Using a peeler, peel the skin off of your butternut squash. I find this goes much easier if I start the blade of the peeler at one of the freshly cut ends and work down. Discard peel.

Step 3: Slice the round bottom portion of the squash off. Slice round portion in half, exposing the seeds.

Step 4: Use a large metal spoon to scoop out seeds. I found metal works best for scrapping the seeds and pulp away easily.

Step 5: Cut peeled and deseeded portions of squash lengthwise. Then turn slices, arrange in a stack, and cut into cubes of desired size.

How to select a butternut squash

If you are on board with cutting a whole squash for this recipe, here are a few things to look for when selecting a whole squash at the store or market.

  • Pick a squash that doesn’t have any bruises, soft spots, or dents.
  • A good butternut squash should be firm and have some weight to it.
  • If the squash still has its stem, it should be dark brown.
  • The squash should be light orange in color. If it has green spots, it means it isn’t quite ripe. If there are brown spots, it means it is starting to go bad.

Time saving hack: Use precut squash from the refrigeration section of the grocery store!

Chef’s tips and tricks

Cut squash into even pieces. This will help the sautéed butternut squash to cook at an evenly.

Cook until your squash is fork tender. Every stove and every sauté pan conducts heat a bit differently. Some might cook faster than others. You will know your sautéed butternut squash is done when you can easily spear a piece with a fork. Also, don’t be afraid to taste a piece to make sure it is done to your preference.

Loving this squash recipe? Here are some more delicious vegetable sides you might enjoy

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5 from 3 votes

Sautéed Butternut Squash

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
Sautéed Butternut Squash is the perfect vegetable side dish. Easy to make, goes beautifully with some many dishes, and made with just diced squash, olive oil, salt, garlic power, and broth.


  • 1 medium butternut squash, about 1.5-2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup broth or water


  • Peel, deseed, and cut squash into small, bite-sized pieces. About 1/2 inch cubes.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Once hot, add butternut squash carefully and stir to coat them with oil. Season with the salt and garlic powder. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. This will give the squash a lovely caramelized crust.
  • After 10 minutes, add the broth or water. Cover and cook another 10 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  • Enjoy warm.
Calories: 148kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 416mg, Potassium: 662mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 19994IU, Vitamin C: 39mg, Calcium: 90mg, Iron: 1mg