Spiced and Smoky Butternut Squash

Spiced and Smoky Butternut Squash

This butternut squash can be served alongside quinoa, lentils, baked tofu, or your favorite protein of choice. It can also be enjoyed on its own.

Category Paleo, Side Dish, Vegetarian
Compliance Level Kickstart, Lifestyle, Performance
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tulika Venugopal


  • 1 pound butternut squash cubed (~3 cups cubed butternut squash)
  • 2 teaspoons ghee; also known as clarified butter or regular butter or avocado oil
  • 1 small tomato diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or more, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cilantro for garnish


  1. Prepare the butternut squash. I use frozen cubed butternut squash and steam it. Alternatively, roasting a butternut squash is a great option. The squash can be roasted by first peeling it and cutting it into cubes, and then tossing the cubes in olive oil, salt, and pepper before baking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Once the butternut squash has been roasted or cooked, transfer the cubes to a bowl and mash with a fork. This does not need to be completely smooth; feel free to leave some small chunks for texture.
  3. In a cast iron skillet or a non-stick skillet, melt the ghee over medium-high heat. Once it has melted, add the cumin seeds. After about one minute, the cumin will become fragrant.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Use a spatula to distribute the tomatoes and spices and allow the tomatoes to soften for about three minutes.
  5. Add the mashed butternut squash and stir to combine.
  6. Add the garam masala and liquid smoke, stir to combine, and remove from heat.
  7. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

Recipe Notes

If you’re not familiar with garam masala, it is a spice mixture of ground cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves.

The cook times on this recipe are for using frozen squash. If you roast your own squash, then prep time will be 10 minutes and cook time will be 45 minutes.