Marinated Butternut Squash
Marinated Butternut Squash Photo courtesy of Erin McDowell

You always cook pork in barbecue sauce. You wouldn’t do fish without some sort of marinade. So why are your side dishes still going sauce-free? This citrusy, herby concoction is perfect for squash this fall, but it’s no one-trick pony: Make a double batch and use it as a dressing for greens or a grain salad. Best of all, you can make it in advance--come dinnertime, all you have to do is turn on the oven.

RELATED: Oven-Roasted Beets and Potatoes

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Start to Finish: 2 hours (includes marinating time)

Ingredients

¼ cup orange juice

¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves 

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves 

Black pepper

½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper (available at gourmet markets)

1 medium butternut squash, cut into ¾-inch chunks (about 3 cups)

4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

Kosher salt

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Make the marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk the orange juice with the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add the bay leaf, thyme and rosemary. Season with a pinch of black pepper and the Aleppo pepper.

3. Toss the squash with the garlic in a large (1 gallon) sealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade into the bag, seal and toss well to coat the squash. Lay the bag flat on the countertop and marinate for at least 1 hour, or overnight in the refrigerator.

4. Open the bag and pour the contents, including the marinade, onto the baking sheet. Season with salt. Roast until the squash is golden and tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and serve warm. 

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • Save those squash seeds! Rinse them well, toss with a little olive oil and coarse salt, and toast in a 350° oven until fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes.

  • This marinade doubles as a salad dressing. Try it with your favorite mixed greens or as a finish to a fall pasta salad.

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