Easy paleo butternut squash and Italian sausage side dish recipe

Paleo Roasted Butternut Squash & Italian Sausage

Can you guess which gourd is going to grab all the attention again this fall?  That’s right, the pumpkin!

Thanks to decades of hype from Halloween, Charlie Brown, and pumpkin pie lovers everywhere, all the other perfectly delicious and nutritious winter squashes don’t stand a hayride’s chance in hell of getting much recognition.

Well today I’d like to do my part to change that with a shout out to one of my personal fall faves, the butternut squash.

No it doesn’t get to bask in the same orange glow as its famously rotund cousins. But just because it’s a boring beige on the outside and shaped like a bowling pin reject doesn’t mean the butternut isn’t beautiful.

Especially when it becomes the main ingredient in this simple and scrumptious fall dish.

It’s sweet and savory flavor infused with vitamin A was made for this paleo-approved side that spices things up with some hot or mild Italian sausage and includes a little maple syrup to sweeten the deal even more.

This one is incredibly easy. You throw everything together in the same baking dish – yes both the raw squash and the uncooked sausage – and after 45 minutes of roasting, it’s ready. One and done cooking – you gotta love it!

The hardest part? It’s the peeling and chopping – this butternut can be a real tough nut to crack. You can always wimp out and buy a package of the pre-cut kind if your supermarket carries it. Or, there is another way … a secret weapon you can use to break down the rind’s resistance – your microwave! 

Here’s how this ingenious hack works: When you’re ready to prepare the squash, just pierce the skin a few times with a sturdy fork. Then place the whole squash in your microwave for about 3 to 4 minutes. Now take it out, let it cool down and grab your vegetable peeler. You will be amazed how easily that tough skin peels right off. For the next step, simply slice off the ends (that will be easier too) cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and chop the squash into cubes. This little microwave cheat makes this recipe so much easier.

Hope you enjoy this delightful paleo fall side dish! And as always, please let me know what you think!

paleo recipe for easy butternut squash and sausage side dish

Paleo Roasted Butternut Squash & Italian Sausage Recipe

October 13, 2016

paleo recipe for easy butternut squash and sausage side dish


1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (average 1.5 pound squash = about 4 cups cubed squash)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 pound hot or mild Italian sausage (bulk, not links)

Salt & pepper to taste

3-4 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

3 Tablespoons water

Garnish options: Chopped rosemary, thyme or crumbled bacon


1Peel, seed and cut a butternut squash into 1/2" chunks

2Preheat oven to 425ºF.

3Place squash chunks in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Next add the raw Italian sausage, to the bowl, breaking the bulk sausage into smaller chunks. Mix squash and sausage together by hand, then season as desired with salt and pepper

4Place squash/sausage mixture in an oven-proof baking dish – an 8" x 8" size or slightly larger should work well. Drizzle contents with maple syrup, and then add 3 Tablespoons of water to the dish

5Bake uncovered on center rack of 425ºF about 35-45 minutes, or until butternut squash is tender and sausage has cooked through. If dish starts to brown too much while cooking, loosely tent with aluminum foil

6Some water will likely remain in the bottom of the baking dish after cooking. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the squash and sausage from the baking dish to a serving dish, allowing the excess water to drain.

7Taste the cooked mixture and stir in additional maple syrup or other seasonings if needed.

8Garnish with chopped rosemary, thyme or crumbled bacon. Serve hot and enjoy!

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13 replies
  1. Laura Menard
    Laura Menard says:

    Kraig Menard has not cooked for me in days!!! I’m dying over here. LOL, in his defense, he was out of town, but he could have planned ahead of time. This recipe and the chicken thighs are on request now.


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