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Scared Of Whole Butternut Squash? This Simple 15-Minute Recipe Is What You Need

Eliza Sullivan
October 21, 2021
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Image by Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers
October 21, 2021
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I love butternut squash—but if I'm being honest, sometimes the prospect of breaking down and cooking the whole vegetable can be a bit overwhelming. But that's where this simple dish from Carla Lalli Music's newest book, That Sounds So Good, comes in—and yeah, it seriously sounds so good.

"I don’t know what it is about green and orange foods together, but it's a combination I always crave when I want to eat well, especially in the colder months," she writes. "The grounding nature of butternut squash and sturdy greens, along with the crunch of the seeds and belly-warming spices in this dish, never gets old."

If you're not a butternut squash person, Lalli Music says you can swap in acorn, koginut, or honeynut squash instead—and you may not even need to peel them. In fact, she writes, "I usually don't peel the squash, but if the skin feels especially thick or waxy to you, take it off." You can also use any type of kale, though she warns that if you use curly kale you may need only half a bunch because they tend to be larger.

She offers swaps for many of the ingredients, too, which also makes this recipe perfect for tossing together even if you haven't planned on it. Don't have rice vinegar? Try lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Don't have the right seeds? Try pepitas, slivered almonds, and/or chopped hazelnuts. Plus, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, or coriander seeds can replace the mustard seeds.

15-Minute Roasted Squash With Spicy Greens & Yogurt

4 servings


  • 1½ pounds butternut squash
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup untoasted sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup hulled sunflower seeds
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds (any color)
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt


  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F with a rack in the lowest position.
  2. Starting at the neck end and continuing to the belly end of the squash, cut squash crosswise into ½-inch-thick rounds, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Transfer the squash to a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle generously with oil, turning to coat. Season both sides with salt, then arrange in a single layer. Roast on the bottom rack until the squash is tender and lightly browned around edges, 15 minutes (I don't even bother turning it, preferring to get one side as dark as possible).
  3. While the squash roasts, use your hands to strip the kale leaves from the stems, then cut leaves crosswise into ¼-inch-wide ribbons. Wash and dry the leaves, then transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle vinegar over, then toss to coat.
  4. Stir together ⅓ cup oil, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, mustard seeds, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small skillet or saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and cook, swirling the skillet often, until the seeds are golden brown and starting to pop, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, quickly stir in the red pepper flakes, and immediately pour oil mixture over the kale—there will be a bit of spattering as the hot oil hits the moisture on the leaves, so take care with this step. Toss to combine.
  5. Spoon the yogurt onto a platter or divide among four plates. Top with the roasted squash, then pile the sizzled greens on top.

Reprinted from That Sounds So Good by Carla Lalli Music. Copyright © 2021 by Carla Lalli Music. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Andrea Gentl and Martin Hyers. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Eliza Sullivan author page.
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine,, and SUITCASE magazine.