This quick and easy Steamed Garlic and Herb Butternut Squash recipe is an fast and flavorful side dish to add to your menu. It can be made entirely on the stovetop! Follow these simple steps for perfectly tender chunks of savory squash goodness in only 13 minutes!

super close up into the bowl of squash garnished with sage sprig

I originally shared this Easy Garlic Herb Butternut Squash on November 4th, 2015. I have updated the text to share it with you again today.

Why Make This Recipe For Steamed Butternut Squash with Herbs and Garlic

If you’ve been around here for a while you know that butternut squash is one of my all time favorite veggies in the fall. While Roasted Butternut Squash is usually my go-to way of preparing it, I also love the ease and simplicity of steaming squash on the stovetop.

  • Cooking the squash in the steamer is much faster than roasting. It’ll be tender in 13 minutes flat!
  • Doesn’t take up oven space. This is especially important on a holiday or Thanksgiving when there are lots of other side dishes and turkey in the oven.
  • It’s healthy because the squash retains most of its nutrients when it is steamed.
  • The garlic and herb mixture is a classic flavor combination that pairs perfectly with almost any meal.

Ingredient Notes For This Recipe

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is in season from late summer through the winter. It is an excellent storing crop and can be kept in a cool dark place for months.

Butternut squash is one of the easiest winter squashes to peel due to it’s long neck and smooth skin. Additionally, it doesn’t have any bumps or ridges, which can be bothersome when using a vegetable peeler. That makes it perfect for peeling, cubing and steaming!

Look for clean squash that are free of dirt or signs of rot. You’ll need one large squash or 2 1/2 to 3 pounds for this recipe.

If you want to buy pre-cut squash that is fine too! Cut raw squash is often sold in the produce department in plastic-wrapped trays. Use 8 cups of cubed butternut squash, or about 2 ¼ to 2 ½ pounds. 


You’ll need 1/3 cup chopped fresh blended herbs. When choosing your blend keep in mind the following tips:

  • Try to use about 1 part parsley and 1 part a blend of woody herbs, such as sage, rosemary and thyme.
  • Look for “poultry blend” packages of mixed herbs in the produce department.
  • Don’t use 1/3 cup of straight woody herbs without the parsley or it will be medicinally strong.
  • This recipe also works with tender fines herbs (parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives) but I think it’s better suited to serve with beef or fish.


The garlic in this recipe is one of the stars of the show, so chopping fresh cloves of garlic is essential for the best flavor.

How to Make Easy Garlic Herb Butternut Squash

steam the squash and cook the garlic in oil

Step 1: Steam The Squash

Set up a saucepan with a steamer basket. Fill the pot to the bottom of the basket with tap water. Bring it to a boil. Add in the cubed squash, cover and steam it until it is fork tender.

Step 2: Sauté Garlic

While the butternut squash is steaming, chop up some garlic and herbs.

I go heavy on the extra-virgin olive oil but you can use less if you’re trying to cut calories. I think it is really nice to have a generous coating of the oil, because it keeps the squash moist and carries the savory flavors.

Plus, this recipe makes enough for 10 people, so you are not going to even get a full teaspoon of oil per serving!

  • Note that it is important to watch the garlic while it sizzles in the oil. You want it to start to brown, otherwise, it is too strong and raw tasting, but you also don’t want to take it to the point where it is toasted or burnt.
  • As soon as you see color on the garlic, transfer the garlic and oil to a large mixing bowl. The room temperature bowl will stop the browning of the garlic.
  • Then immediately add the herbs, to bloom them in the hot oil.
mixing the steamed squash with the herbs and garlic in a metal bowl

Step 3: Mix The Steamed Butternut Squash with the Garlic and Herbs

  • Once the squash is tender lift the steamer basket carefully out of the saucepan and tip the squash into the bowl with the garlic and herbs. Alternatively, use tongs or a spoon to transfer it.
  • Add some salt and pepper and toss everything to coat.
  • If you overcooked the squash by mistake that is fine, but be very gentle while stirring so you don’t end up with mush.
  • Transfer the squash to a thick ceramic serving dish or serving bowl, and cover. Keep warm until everything else is ready.
cubes of butternut squash in a white bowl

FAQs and Expert Tips

How To Cut Butternut Squash

The technique to make this butternut squash is really easy. Just cut up the butternut squash into cubes (about 1 inch each). Here’s how:

cutting squash
  1. Peel the squash first with a good vegetable peeler.
  2. Wash your hands afterward since the vitamin A in the squash will actually start to break down the outer layer of skin, which results in roughed-up dry palms.
  3. Then cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
  4. When I cut a butternut squash, I separate the rounded bottom part that houses the seeds from the long solid part. I find doing that makes it easier to cut the squash into evenly sized pieces.

How to Reheat Butternut Squash

Don’t fret if the garlic and herb butternut squash goes cold while you’re preparing the other Thanksgiving dishes. If this happens, you can reheat the squash in the microwave in just a few minutes.

To Microwave: Just make sure to reheat the squash in shorter intervals to avoid overcooking the squash. Every 30 seconds or so, test the squash to see if it’s heated through and continue cooking accordingly.

In The Oven: You can also reheat the butternut squash in the oven, assuming you have room for it. Just make sure to keep the baking dish covered!

What goes with butternut squash?

Butternut squash is mildly sweet and pairs well with roasted pork. Try out Skillet Pork and Apple dinner or our festive Roasted Pork Loin recipe. It also is lovely with our Crispy Skin Chicken and Simple Skillet Green Beans.

side view of the bowl of squash with a spoon in it

More Winter Squash Recipes

At Healthy Seasonal Recipes, we specialize in cooking with fresh veggies and creating weeknight meals. Sign up HERE to get more produce-forward dinner ideas for FREE! If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought! Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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garlic herb steamed butternut squash in a white bowl with chopped herbs and sage sprig

Easy Steamed Garlic Herb Butternut Squash

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4.5 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x


This Easy Steamed Garlic Herb Butternut Squash is a simple stovetop recipe to make for Thanksgiving, or for a fast side dish. It’s vegan and whole30 approved!


Units Scale
  • 1 large butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (2.75 to 3 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, thyme and rosemary *see note
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add squash to the basket, cover and steam until the squash is tender, 13 to 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often until the garlic is fragrant and just starting to brown slightly, 1 to 3 minutes. Immediately pour the garlic and oil into a large mixing bowl, add herbs and stir.
  3. Add the cooked squash to the garlic herb mixture. Add salt and pepper and gently stir to combine. Keep warm until ready to serve.


A 2.75 pound squash (untrimmed with seeds and peel) yields 6 cups cooked squash. A large squash will work great, but you’ll have to add a pinch more salt. Just taste to see.

For the herbs, try to use about 1 part parsley and 1 part a blend of woody herbs, such as sage, rosemary and thyme. Don’t use 1/3 cup of straight woody herbs without the parsley or it will be medicinally strong

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Steamed
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2/3 cup
  • Calories: 98
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 179 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 2 g