Quick pan-fried butternut squash rounds

A fast and easy side dish!

I adore butternut squash and use it in many dishes. Recently I had a craving for my popular baked butternut squash rounds but my oven was tied up for hours nurturing a batch of mini pavlovas for dessert so I decided to try a pan-fried version. It turned out to be so spectacularly easy and delicious – not to mention even quicker – and I expect I’ll be preparing squash this way quite often now.


  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g ) butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) maple syrup
  • Pinch ground cinnamon or freshly-ground cardamom


  • Wash the butternut squash and pat dry. Working from the stem end (not the more bulbous blossom end where the seeds are), slice the squash into rounds about 1/3 inch or 1 cm thick, stopping your slicing just before you reach the portion with seeds. Reserve the seed portion for soup or some other use.
  • Note that there is no need to peel the squash – the rind softens beautifully when cooked and is delicious to eat.
  • In a large, heavy-duty skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add the butter and heat, swirling pan, until melted. Place the squash slices in the pan and increase heat to just below medium-high. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Set a timer for 5 minutes.
  • Check the underside of the squash after 3 minutes – it should be getting golden brown (but not burned – reduce heat a little if they are looking too dark). Flip at the five minute mark and reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking for 4 more minutes.
  • Brush the exposed sides of the squash with half the maple syrup and sprinkle with cardamom or cinnamon. Flip and brush the other sides with maple syrup. Increase heat to medium high and cook for 30 seconds; flip and cook for 30 seconds more.
  • Transfer to a platter and serve warm.

Serves 2 – 4 depending upon the size of your squash.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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