Squash on a sheet pan

Squash Anyone?

Last weekend, while grocery shopping, I was searching for cubed sweet potatoes, but instead I ended up with cubed butternut squash. I often purchase pre-prepped vegetables (and sometimes fruit) to save time. I was uncertain how my family would respond to the new vegetable; to my delight the squash was a huge success! In a moment of excitement, I decided to share my recipe creation with the Type2Diabetes.com community.

What is butternut squash?

  • Butternut squash is technically a fruit, as it contains seeds, but is more traditionally served as a vegetable.
  • Squash belongs to the Cucurbitaceaeplant family (gourd family), which also includes cucumbers, pumpkins, and melons.
  • Squash is slightly sweet with a nutty flavor. It has been described as a good cross between a pumpkin and sweet potato.
  • Squash has been sold commercially since 1944 and is now readily available at most grocery stores.

A lower carb starchy vegetable

  • Squash has often been labeled, along with potatoes and sweet potatoes, as a “starchy" vegetable. However, by comparison butternut squash has nearly 40 percent less carbohydrates than potatoes and sweet potatoes. This makes squash a great alternative for those following a lower carb diet.

Benefits for people with type 2 diabetes

  • Butternut squash gets bonus points for being rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
    • “Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease, cancer, and other conditions.” 1
    • According to researchers, Bajaj and Khan, “Hyperglycemia promotes auto-oxidation of glucose to form free radicals.”2
    • Learn more about antioxidants and free radicals
  • Butternut squash is a good source of dietary fiber. It has 3 grams of dietary fiber per 1 cup serving.
    • Fiber has a number of health benefits; one of which is the ability to slow down the absorption of other digestible carbs, thus resulting in less of a blood sugar spike following a meal or snack.
    • Learn more about dietary fiber

Healthy butternut squash recipe


(Servings: 6)

  • 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place cubed butternut squash on paper towel for approximately 5 minutes. This will help soak up extra moisture.
  • Combine butternut squash, olive oil, salt, pepper, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
  • Spread butternut squash evenly on a large baking sheet.
  • Roast squash in oven, at 400 degree Fahrenheit, for 30 minutes.
  • Once out of the oven, drizzle butternut squash with balsamic vinegar.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition (per ½ cup serving)

  • Calories: 83
  • Carb: 11 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Sodium: 199 mg

Do you have a favorite squash recipe? Please share your creations with the Type2Diabetes.com community!

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