Simple Sauteed Butternut Squash is flavored with honey and garlic and topped with toasted nuts. This tasty vegetable side dish is ready in less than 30 minutes and pairs well with anything.

This recipe is part of my butternut squash series! If you need a refresher, here is how to peel and cut butternut squash and how to cook butternut squash whole. It’s so easy with these tutorials.

Sauteed butternut squash with pine nuts and goat cheese in a bowl.

I have recently become obsessed with butternut squash recipes! I have been making it in a variety of ways including this honey garlic sauteed butternut squash.

I am in love with how easy it is to prepare plus it’s so delicious, versatile and healthy. The natural sweetness of the squash makes it a family favorite.

This delicious vegetable side dish comes together quickly (in less than 30 minutes!), is made with minimal ingredients, yet is so flavorful.

This recipe for sauteed butternut squash is also naturally gluten free, making it a suitable side for both holiday entertaining or easy weeknight dinners.

How to Select a Butternut Squash

Here’s what to look for when buying a butternut squash at your local grocery stores!

  • Color: Butternut squash should be a light orange or tannish color. If it has green spots, it’s not ripe. If there are brown spots present, it’s gone bad.
  • Size and feel: It should feel firm and heavy when picked up. For this butternut squash sauteed on the stove, you will need a 3 lbs squash.
  • Outside appearance: The skin should visibly not have any dents, bruises or soft spots.
  • Stem: If the stem is present, it should be dark brown.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Butternut squash cubes, pine nuts, pecans, garlic, goat cheese, oil, fresh thyme, honey, salt and pepper.

With less than 10 ingredients, this sauteed butternut squash makes such an easy side dish!

  • Butternut squash: A 3 pound large butternut squash will yield around 4 to 4 1/2 cups of cubed butternut squash.
  • Nuts: Pecans, pine nuts, almonds, or walnuts all work.
  • Honey: While honey is best for this recipe, any liquid sweetener like maple syrup etc. will technically work but taste will change.
  • Garlic: You know I love garlic, freshly minced is best. 🙂
  • Cheese: Crumbled goat cheese or even feta cheese works.
  • Oil: I prefer avocado oil, although olive oil will work, too. Also butter will be delish!
  • Salt and pepper: For taste. See below for additional spices ideas and flavor pairings.
  • Fresh thyme: A woodsy fall herb that pairs perfectly with sweet, earthy squash.

How to Cut a Butternut Squash

Winter squash and its hard outer shell can be intimidating! While I have learned how to roast a butternut squash whole, cubed fresh butternut squash is what you will need for this sautéed butternut squash recipe!

To start, you will need a sharp knife like chef’s knife, vegetable peeler and a cutting board.

Person showing how to cut butternut squash into cubes.
  • Peel your squash: Cut of the top stem, then cut off the base. Peel both the neck of the squash and the base to reveal the bright orange color flesh.
  • Cut neck of squash into slices: On one side of the neck, cut a flat edge to use as a base. Lay the squash on it’s now flat side and cut into 1/4″ slices.
  • Cut slices into cubes: Cut the slices into smaller strips, then turn the strips and cut them crosswise into small cubes.
  • Scoop out seeds from base: Slice the base in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy parts.
  • Cube base of squash: Slice off the end of each base half, lie flat and cut into 1/4″ slices. Then chop slices crosswise into smaller squash pieces.

Recipe Tip

In a rush? Buy pre-cut butternut squash in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

How to Cook Butternut Squash on the Stove Top

Step by step process how to cook butternut squash on the stove shown.

Once your butternut squash is both peeled and cut, it’s time to learn how to saute butternut squash in a few simple steps!

  1. Preheat large non-stick skillet on low heat and add nuts. Toast until golden brown and fragrant, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Return your large saucepan to low-medium heat and heat oil. Add squash cubes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and gently stir. Cover and cook for about 15-17 minutes or until medium firm, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add honey, garlic and toasted nuts to skillet. Gently stir and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Place crumbles of goat cheese and fresh thyme on top of your sauteed butternut squash and serve warm.

How Long To Sauté Butternut Squash?

How long do you cook butternut squash? When you cook squash on the stove top it’s relatively fast and for this sauteed squash recipe it’s ready in only 15 – 17 minutes of cooking.

It really is one of the best ways to cook butternut squash especially if you are in a hurry!

Tips and Tricks for Best Results

  • Evenly sized pieces: For this recipe you will need 1 inch cubes. Cutting them all the same size ensures they cook evenly at the same time.
  • Fork tender: Every stove and pan cooks slightly differently, your butternut squash is ready when it is medium firm fork tender. Don’t be afraid to test a piece to ensure it’s done to your liking.
  • Don’t overcrowd the skillet: Evenly space your squash in a single layer, this prevents overcrowding and steaming your squash vs. sauteing.

How to Serve It

Stovetop butternut squash side dish is perfect to serve with so many fall and winter meals! We especially love it paired with chicken, turkey or seafood dishes.

How to Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat throw butternut squash on a ceramic non-stick skillet with 1 tsp of oil. Stir gently until warmed through. Repurpose it into a hash by adding some kale into the skillet and an egg!

You could also heat in the microwave until warmed through.


Do you have to peel butternut squash?

If you are roasting whole squash in the oven or microwave, no you don’t have to peel the skin. And while technically the skin is edible, most recipes that use diced squash will require you peel it first.

How to season butternut squash?

Add in some variety and extra flavor by using different spices for butternut squash! Try a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg with brown sugar, rosemary, garlic powder, Italian seasoning with parmesan cheese, or even some fresh sage leaves. Add a pinch of cayenne for heat.

How long does butternut squash last?

Uncooked butternut squash can be stored in a cool dry place for 2-3 months. Cooked butternut squash is best eaten within 3 days.

How do you know when butternut squash is cooked?

When the squash is softened it is ready. Don’t overcook as that will lead to mushy squash!

Is butternut squash healthy?

Yes, you will want to add this to your health recipes repertoire! It is low calorie yet high in dietary fiber and contains vitamin c and a. It is also a great source of potassium and magnesium.

More Butternut Squash Recipes

More Vegetable Side Dish Recipes

You may also love this list of over 65 healthy sides!

Fried butternut squash with pecans, pine nuts in a bowl with wooden spoon and towel nearby.
Sauteed butternut squash with pine nuts and goat cheese in a bowl.

Honey Garlic Sauteed Butternut Squash

Sauteed Butternut Squash with honey and garlic pairs well with so many main dishes! It's the perfect side for fall and ready in under 30 minutes.
5 from 10 votes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 398
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes



  • Preheat large non-stick skillet on low heat and add nuts. Toast until golden brown and fragrant, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  • Return skillet to low-medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add squash, sprinkle with salt and pepper and gently stir.
  • Cover and cook for about 15-17 minutes or until medium firm, stirring occasionally.
  • Add honey, garlic and toasted nuts. Gently stir and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Place crumbles of goat cheese and fresh thyme on top and serve warm.


  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat: In a skillet on the stove top with a little oil or microwave until warmed through.
  • Don’t overcrowd skillet: If needed, cook your squash in two batches to avoid steaming.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 289mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 13g
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    My mom sent me your recipe. I finally made it tonight. First, your mom is right, peeling this is hard…. BUT WORTH IT!!! Second, I loved it. I only had pecans so that’s what I used but everything else (other than just sea salt) was the same. Really good. Nutrition info (carbs) was also spot on. Thanks Olena! Great flavor combos.

    1. Haha, I will have to pass it on to mom. Unwillingly but I admit it too. Try to peel an acorn squash, you will stop complaining about the butternut one haha. You are welcome. I used pecans just like you. You have to use only one kind of nuts.

  2. 5 stars
    This looks great! I buy peeled and cubed butternut squash in the cold produce section at Costco 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    My mother never cooked with squash but we ate a lot of sweet potatoes.
    I usually use sweet potatoes in place of squash in recipes.
    I really need to start using the squash.

  4. 5 stars
    That looks SO GOOD! I love sweet potatoes, but this! This is just as good and so many fewer sugars! The nuts and goat cheese are the perfect go-with, I am sure. Can’t wait to try it.

    I tried peeling dicing, and freezing several fresh butternut squash in the fall and was so disappointed when I thawed it to find it was soft and watery. I emptied it all out of the freezer and threw my hard work out, not thinking of just making some soup..darn!

5 from 10 votes (1 rating without comment)

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