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Brown Sugar Sage Hasselback Butternut Squash, a simple roasted butternut squash recipe cut “hasselback” and topped with browned butter, brown sugar, and sage. A perfect fall side dish!

Hasselback cut butternut squash on a white plate

Are you a fan of hasselback recipes? I can’t get enough of stuffed hasselback baked potatoes and have even gone as far as hasselback-ing pears in this Hasselback Fall Fruit Platter. But when my eye caught a recent Bon Appetit magazine recipe featuring hasselback butternut squash, I knew I had to try.

While butternut squash in and of itself is a vegetable that screams fall, I topped it off with a bit of browned butter with brown sugar and crispy fried sage. It doesn’t get more autumn than that.

Ready for the so-simple 5-ingredient, under 60-minute hasselback butternut squash recipe? Let’s do it!

butternut squash, butter, sage, and salt on a round plate

How to make Brown Sugar Sage Hasselback Butternut Squash

“Hasselback” refers to thinly slicing a food about 75% through, so that the food — like a potato or even a fruit, like an apple or pear — can roast until crispy, usually stuffed with herbs or breadcrumbs. Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables to hasselback, as its beautiful orange color is a definite crowd pleaser.

To start, “hasselback” your squash by first cutting it in half, removing the seeds, and peeling the outside skin. Bake the squash halves for about 20 minutes and then, using a very thin paring knife, cut small slices in the squash until about 75% through. Allowing the squash to bake first will make the squash easier to cut and prevent you from accidently cutting it all the way through.

Next top the squash with a browned butter with brown sugar glaze mixture (see “how to brown butter” below), and alternate baking for 15 minutes with more glaze. The squash is done when it’s soft, yet browned, throughout. Serve immediately (or else the soft squash may “deflate”) topped with sage or other toppings (nuts like pecans and walnuts are great options).

peeled butternut squash on a baking sheet

How to brown butter

Browned butter is simple to make and adds a depth of flavor to any dish. Making browned butter is simple, using these three steps:

  1. Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat
  2. When pan is heated, add stick of butter and cook until it begins to brown and releases a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes
  3. Optional: Add brown sugar, sage, garlic, or other herbs for extra flavor

Brown Sugar Sage Hasselback Butternut Squash: Tips, tricks, and tools

This simple hasselback butternut squash recipes is as easy as it gets, but there are a few kitchen tools, ingredients, and easy recipe variations I recommend:

  • Eco-friendly cookware! Every green eater needs a set of green cookware; I love Greenpan’s baking sheets and sauce pans for this butternut squash because they are non-stick but toxin-free
  • Prep ahead of time: cut butternut squash in half and store in the refrigerator for up to three days before baking
  • Make it vegan: swap real butter for vegan butter to make this recipe plant-based
  • Get creative with toppings: add oregano, butternut squash seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or pecans to change up this hasselback butternut squash recipes

thinly sliced butternut squash on a white plate

I hope you enjoy this simple butternut squash recipe! For more simple autumn-inspired sides check out our Maple Mustard Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash Cranberry Kale Salad recipes, both fall vegetable side dishes that are perfectly seasonal.

Did you make this Brown Sugar Sage Hasselback Butternut Squash recipe? Leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out. Save this recipe for later by pinning to your favorite fall Pinterest board and make sure to tag me on Fork in the Road’s Instagram to show me your squash creations!


Brown Sugar Sage Hasselback Butternut Squash

thinly cut roasted butternut squash with fried sage on top

Brown Sugar Sage Hasselback Butternut Squash, a simple roasted butternut squash recipe cut “hasselback” and topped with browned butter, brown sugar, and sage. A perfect fall side dish!

  • Author: Kristina Todini, RDN
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings (1.5 cups each)
  • Category: Salads + Side Dishes
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 large (or 4 small) butternut squash, peeled and cut in half
  • ½ stick unsalted butter (or ½ cup vegan butter)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons sage, thinly sliced + more for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 475. Place squash halves face down on lightly oiled baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes (do not “hasselback” the squash yet).
  2. Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. When pan is heated, add stick of butter and cook until it begins to brown and releases a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add brown sugar and cook until dissolved, about 1.5-2 minutes more. Finally, add sage slices and fry in butter until they start to harden, about 1minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour butter through a strainer to remove sage.
  4. Remove squash from oven and, using a thin paring knife, make small slits across the back of the squash, making sure to stop the cut about ¼ inch above the bottom. Top with browned sugar butter mixture and add back to oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Cook for 30-45 minutes more, or until the squash have released water and begin to brown, removing squash from oven to brush on more browned sugar butter every 15 minutes.
  6. Remove squash from oven, let cool slightly, and then transfer to serving platter. Top with the last of the browned sugar butter and the fried sage before serving.


  • Tools needed: thin paring knife or vegetable peeler, melon peeler (to remove squash seeds), baking sheet
  • Notes: to prep butternut squash, cut off bottom rind and top stem, then stand upright and peel outer skin. Then scoop seeds and flesh with a melon peeler and finally cut in half lengthwise.
  • Leftovers and storage: to prep, peel and cut squash the day before and keep in refrigerator until baking. To store, place squash in airtight container and refrigerate up to five days.
  • Nutrition: This butternut squash recipe is high in vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C. It is high in fat due to butter, however if you are plant-based or want to reduced the saturated fat then substitute with vegan butter or oil.
  • Inspired by: Bon Appetit Hasselback Butternut Squash with Bay Leaves


  • Serving Size: 1 serving (1.5 cups)
  • Calories: 335
  • Sugar: 20g
  • Sodium: 290mg
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 49g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg

Keywords: hasselback butternut squash, roasted butternut squash, butternut squash sage

thinly cut roasted butternut squash with fried sage on top

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  1. I tried this for a dinner party with friends and it was really good. I got really big butternut squash so I didn’t have a problem with the slices losing shape. Everyone thought it was a really good idea.

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