Butternut Squash with Brown Butter and Thyme

Butternut squash cubes, seared in brown butter, tossed with thyme makes an easy Thanksgiving stove-top side! The browned butter brings out the most amazing flavor in the butternut squash.

Butternut Squash with Browned Butter and Thyme
Elise Bauer

If you have only one oven in your kitchen, any Thanksgiving side dishes you prepare generally need to be made on the stovetop, as the turkey is taking central stage in the oven.

Here is a simple butternut squash side that you can easily do on the stove.


How to Prepare Butternut Squash

The trick to this dish is browning the butter before adding the squash, so that the squash absorbs some of the complex and wonderful brown butter flavors, before it too is browned.

More Butternut Squash Recipes to Love

Butternut Squash with Brown Butter and Thyme

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 3 to 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups, see How to Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Brown the butter:

    Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the butter, whisking frequently. Once melted the butter will foam up a bit, then subside. Honey-colored browned milk solids will begin to form. The butter should have a wonderful nutty aroma.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    Remove from the heat. Add the thyme, whisking continuously. If using fresh thyme, the mixture will foam up a bit.

    (Note that it doesn't take much time to go from browned butter to burnt butter. Remove the pan from the heat and place it on a cool surface to help stop the cooking of the butter. If the butter burns, I recommend dumping it and starting over, something I've had to do on occasion when not paying close attention.)

  2. Brown the cubed squash in the butter:

    Add the cubed butternut squash pieces to the pan and return the pan to the burner, heating to medium high.

    Use a wooden or metal spoon to stir the squash pieces so they are all well coated with the butter thyme mixture.

    Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

    Spread the squash pieces out in an even layer and let cook, without stirring, so that they brown a bit on one side (several minutes). Stir and spread the pieces out again and let cook without stirring so more sides get browned.

  3. Lower the heat, cover, and cook:

    Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let cook until the squash is tender, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how big you cut the pieces.

    Add more salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with a bit more chopped fresh thyme before serving.

Butternut Squash with Browned Butter and Thyme
Elise Bauer
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
159 Calories
9g Fat
22g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 159
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 150mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 32mg 160%
Calcium 89mg 7%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 589mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.