Looking for a squash recipe that kids will love? Cinnamon Roast Butternut Squash is the most kid-friendly way to prepare squash! Tossing the squash in cinnamon and maple syrup and putting it back in the oven for a few minutes adds a heavenly sweet flavor to this already delicious fall vegetable. Packed with nutrients and bursting with sweet, aromatic flavors, this side dish is not only a treat for tiny taste buds but also a stress-free win for busy parents.

Cinnamon Roast Butternut SquashPin

Why I Love Cinnamon Roast Butternut Squash

  • Flavorful Bliss: The sweet maple syrup and cozy cinnamon team up to create a chorus of deliciousness with every bite of roasted butternut squash.
  • Nutritional Goodness: Not only does it taste amazing, but it’s also a nutritional powerhouse! Packed with vitamins and fiber, squash is like a friendly boost for your well-being, making your meal both scrumptious and nourishing.
  • Versatile: Whether it’s the perfect side dish or the star of your dinner table, it’s a guaranteed hit that will have everyone asking for seconds!
  • Kid Friendly: This recipe will turn your kids into squash lovers. Adding cinnamon and maple syrup creates an irresistible flavor they won’t be able to turn down.
Cinnamon Roast Butternut Squash on serving platterPin

How to Get Kids to Eat Winter Squash

I’m often asked if my kids eat everything. Well, let’s just say if I served up chopped liver and super stinky cheese, they might stage a hunger strike. But overall, they’re pretty good about trying different foods. Back in their baby days, they couldn’t get enough of my butternut squash puree. I thought I had little squash fans for life, but then the toddler years hit, and suddenly, squash was a no-go. I’m a huge fan of all things squash—acorn, butternut, delicata, kabocha, you name it. So, it was a bit baffling to have kids who didn’t share my love for it.

I kept trying to get my kids to eat it when they were toddlers, but it was the same old story for a few weeks—turned-up noses and “I don’t want it” choruses. Then, one night, I had a lightbulb moment. I let the kids take charge in the kitchen. We tossed diced squash with a little oil and let them go crazy with the cinnamon and maple syrup. The kitchen smelled like a cozy fall wonderland in no time.

Even after all that effort, they were still hesitant. So, I set out two little dishes drizzled with a touch of maple syrup (okay, maybe it was a bit more than a touch, as per my husband), and suggested they try dipping their squash in it. Lo and behold, four helpings later, they declared their love for butternut squash and have been asking for it ever since.

The lesson here? When you think your kids have made up their minds about a certain food, it never hurts to give it one more shot!

Cinnamon Roast Butternut SquashPin

How to Make Cinnamon Roast Butternut Squash

The Ingredients

  • Butternut Squash: Any squash will work for this recipe! Feel free to try acorn, curry, delicata, honeynut or even kabocha squash! More on different squash varieties below!
  • Oil: Any oil will work, just make sure it has a pretty high smoke point. Olive oil, vegetable oil or avocado oil are great.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon actually has a lot of benefits, so adding it to this recipe makes it even better!
  • Maple Syrup: I opt for 100% maple syrup which you can find pretty easily as most grocery stores.
Butternut and delicata squash on roasting pan before being cooked.Pin

The Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Prep the Squash: Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet, drizzle or spray with oil and toss to coat well.
  3. Bake: Bake for 40 minutes or until fork-tender. Keep an eye on them, as every oven cooks differently! Remove from oven, sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with the maple syrup. Toss to coat, return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.
Cinnamon Roast Butternut Squash on plate.Pin

Winter Squash: Skin or No Skin?

I get asked a ton of questions during the fall and winter about how to prepare different kinds of squash. What do the different varieties taste like? Do you peel them? How do I cook winter squash? Here’s a little winter squash breakdown for you:

  • Butternut Squash: Think sweet and nutty goodness with a smooth, orangey inside. I recommend to peel this one as the skin is quite thick and as a tough bite.
  • Acorn Squash: It’s got this cute little acorn shape and a slightly nutty taste. I don’t peel acorn squash, but you can if you want.
  • Kabocha Squash: A Japanese pumpkin look-alike with a sweet, fluffy inside that’s like sweet potatoes. Don’t peel the skin on this one. The skin becomes super tender when you cook this one.
  • Delicata Squash: This one’s known for its edible skin and sweet flavor, with a smooth and creamy texture. Don’t peel and just roast it up for hassle-free cooking.
  • Honeynut Squash: It’s like a mini butternut squash, packing a sweet punch. You can roast it whole or in halves and you don’t peel the skin unless you want to.
  • Curry Squash: There are different types, but generally, they’re sweet and nutty with a smooth texture. Don’t peel this one either. The skin is tender after it’s cooked!
Roasted winter squash on baking sheet.Pin

More Winter Squash Recipes

Now that you’re a squash pro, here are some of my favorite recipes for all the beautiful produce!

Cinnamon Roast Butternut SquashPin

There you have it – an easy, kid-friendly recipe that’s as nutritious as it is delicious. Cinnamon Roast Butternut Squash is a perfect way to introduce the little ones to the wonders winter squash, all while making mealtime fun and enjoyable for the whole family. Add this recipe to your weekly rotation and let me know what you think in the comments or tag me on social media if you make it!

Images by Ivan Solis

Pin

Cinnamon Roast Butternut Squash

Tossing the squash in cinnamon and maple syrup and putting it back in the oven for a few minutes adds a heavenly sweet flavor to this already delicious fall vegetable making it super kid-friendly!
4 from 2 votes
Course: Side
Servings: 4
Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet, drizzle or spray with oil and toss to coat well.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until fork-tender. Keep an eye on them, as every oven cooks differently! Remove from oven, sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with the maple syrup. Toss to coat, return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Notes

This recipe works with tons of different winter squashes! Here are some of my favorites: 
  • Butternut Squash: Think sweet and nutty goodness with a smooth, orangey inside. I recommend to peel this one as the skin is quite thick and as a tough bite.
  • Acorn Squash: It’s got this cute little acorn shape and a slightly nutty taste. I don’t peel acorn squash, but you can if you want.
  • Kabocha Squash: A Japanese pumpkin look-alike with a sweet, fluffy inside that’s like sweet potatoes. Don’t peel the skin on this one. The skin becomes super tender when you cook this one.
  • Delicata Squash: This one’s known for its edible skin and sweet flavor, with a smooth and creamy texture. Don’t peel and just roast it up for hassle-free cooking.
  • Honeynut Squash: It’s like a mini butternut squash, packing a sweet punch. You can roast it whole or in halves and you don’t peel the skin unless you want to.
  • Curry Squash: There are different types, but generally, they’re sweet and nutty with a smooth texture. Don’t peel this one either. The skin is tender after it’s cooked!

Nutrition

Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 7441IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @Weelicious or tag #weelicious!

About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

Comments

  1. I wish I had read your comment before doing the same thing. Looks like my twins will not be having squash charcoal for lunch. 🙁

  2. How not to do it: I cut the squash into “toddler bite sized pieces” and didn’t check on it until the 40 minutes was up. I don’t think I’ll be serving my son the black charred squash I ended up with:) Our oven does run a LITTLE hot, and I used sunflower oil. I loved the last 2 recipes from this website though!

  3. I made this for my picky, vegetable-hating 16 month old son. He would start making his “ewwww” face, then do a double take and start shovelling the cubes into his mouth! Thanks for a great recipe!

  4. So my 14-month old, totally picky eater LOVES this!! I’m so happy — its actually helped him eat other things.
    Questions — can this squash be frozen after roasting?
    Would this work with sweet potatoes?

    Thanks!!!!

  5. I use the same as I use for pancakes! I buy pure maple syrup from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and sometimes the Farmers Market when they have it!

  6. Seriously, so incredibly delicious!!!!!!!! It’s almost like eating dessert!! Love this and making or Thanksgiving!!!

  7. I’ve been making something similar for my daughter with all the lovely squash at the grocery store and farmers market. It’s amazing to me that she did the same thing. She loved the puree with cinnamon and now, at 11 months she didn’t like the small cubes of it I was giving her. The teeniest bit of maple syrup and roasting turned her around!

  8. this looks delicious! i might have to make some and puree it for my 9 month old 🙂

  9. Catherine – I really am glad you said that your kids don’t eat everything. Sometimes I have watched your videos and thought that you have to be bribing Kenya and Chloe! I feel like I have tried so many of these techniques (keep presenting the food, let them help make it, give them something new as well as something familiar) and really have very little success getting my son to eat ANYTHING. Its not just that he only wants chicken nuggets or mac n cheese, even if I give him those he will only eat a bite or two (sigh).

    Anyway, thanks for letting us know there are sometimes food battles at your house too. That gives me new resolve!

  10. You should try this recipe.

    He said you marinate it in
    2 parts olive oil
    1 part honey
    1 part red wine vinegar

    I usually use about a tablespoon as my measure so 2 tbsp oil; 1 tbsp honey; 1 tbsp vinegar Marinate it for about 30 minutes or so. I grill mine.

  11. I now roast my butternut squash too and love it! It really brings out the flavors. I love the addition of maple syrup to this!

  12. What fun! And it answers my prayers for a good autumn breakfast vegetable for my 2 year old. I’ll try putting it out alongside pancakes or french toast fingers. Thank you. <3

  13. I just made butternut squash last night and my 17 month old refused to eat it. I too am a huge lover of squash so, I was a little surprised he didn’t want to try it. I have leftovers so I may be cubing it up and adding cinnamon and syrup and seeing if that gets him to at least try it! Thanks for the recipes!

  14. This recipe sounds delicious and I’m looking forward to trying it!

    The scenario you described plays out almost daily in our house, and most times my 5-yr old son decides not to try some portion of our meal. But every once in a while we get a small victory and my son discovers he actually likes something he thought he didn’t, so there’s always hope!

  15. I’m assuming this can be done with any kind of squash? My son devoures about 1/2 a squash a day, so I am always looking for new ways to prepare it!

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