Butternut Squash With Chile Yogurt & Cilantro Sauce From Yotam Ottolenghi

October 29, 2019
14 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This bright and comforting recipe is as welcome on your Thanksgiving table as it is in your simplest winter dinner. An herby cilantro sauce (which will be just as delicious with your favorite fresh, soft herb of choice, cilantrophobes—try mint, parsley, tarragon, or a mix) and zingy yogurt sauce add life to the sticky sweet butternut squash. And Ottolenghi's no-peel casual approach to squash opens up our world to easier cooking with squash all fall and winter. The contrast between crispy skin and the soft squash interior cements this technique as a keeper. A caveat—if your squash has seen better days or is extremely difficult to carve through, it is probably best to peel the squash first (or not wrestle with it much at all—instead halve it, and roast it cut side down to make an easier puree; the seeds and peel will come right off). Recipe adapted slightly from Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi (Ten Speed Press, October 2014). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
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Butternut Squash With Chile Yogurt & Cilantro Sauce From Yotam Ottolenghi
  • 1 large butternut squash (3 pounds or 1.4 kilograms)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons (90 milliliters) olive oil
  • 1 3/4 ounces (50 grams) cilantro, leaves and stems, plus extra leaves for garnish
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • scant 2 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup (200 grams) Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha or another savory chile sauce
  • Salt and black pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 425º F.
  2. Wash the squash skin well, cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove and discard the seeds, and then cut into wedges 3/4 inch wide and about 2 3/4 inches long, leaving the skin on. Place in a large bowl with the cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and a good grind of pepper. Mix well so that the squash is evenly coated. Place the squash, skin side down if possible, on 2 baking sheets and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until soft and starting to color on top. (If they topple over and don't stay skin side down, don't worry.) Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. To make the herb paste, place the cilantro, garlic, the remaining 4 tablespoons oil, and a generous pinch of salt in the bowl of a small food processor, blitz to form a fine paste, and set aside. (If you don’t have a small food processor, a mortar and pestle will work, or consider doubling the amounts to make in a large food processor and save any extra sauce for other uses.)
  4. Turn down the oven temperature to 350º F. Lay the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes. The outer skin will pop open and the seeds will become light and crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  5. When you are ready to serve, swirl together the yogurt and Sriracha sauce. (Yogurt’s thicknesses will vary so feel free to adjust the consistency to your liking with a splash of olive oil or water.) Lay the squash wedges on a platter and dollop or drizzle the spicy yogurt sauce and then the herb paste over the top (you can also swirl the yogurt sauce and herb paste together, if you like). Scatter the pumpkin seeds on top, followed by the extra cilantro leaves, and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TXExpatInBKK
  • Rhonda35
  • Kristen Miglore
    Kristen Miglore
  • Traci
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

21 Reviews

aclincol September 4, 2023
Loved it. We used an kabocha squash w only a sprinkle of cinnamon. And used a homemade chili powder for lack of chili sauce. Will make again and try other iterations.
Cathy November 24, 2022
We made this for Thanksgiving and loved it! which is surprising since I'm usually not a butternut squash fan. We didn't have Sriracha so used sambal oelek instead. We also added pomegranate seeds on top for another pop of bright color and acidity. It was beautiful and enjoyed by all.
shannennorman November 8, 2022
I have a food sensitivity to cinnamon so left that out and forgot garlic in my herb sauce and couldn't get the herb sauce blended in the bottom of my vitamix bc it was barely hitting the blade, but it was still SO GOOD haha. Big fan!!! Will be making again!
Lisa L. February 22, 2022
Have to disagree with you on this one. We didn't enjoy the roasted skin of the squash or the flavor of cinnamon. I ended up peeling the pieces and using the squash in Merrill's Creamy Butternut Squash Soup w/Sherry.
TXExpatInBKK December 7, 2021
This was sooooo good and easy. I needed to use up some roasted squash I had in my freezer to I thawed it and mixed up the two sauces. I added a little lemon juice to the cilantro sauce but otherwise made this as written. I will definitely be making this again!
Premjivan February 24, 2021
Wonderful and delicious 😋
Thanks for sharing 🙏🏼
Erin October 11, 2020
I'm not a cinnamon fan but tried it anyway to give it a chance.... turns out I'm still not a cinnamon fan! But this could *easily* be tweaked with chili powder or something else... Still, it's a really easy recipe with ingredients you likely have in your cupboard right now and I believe I've peeled my last squash :) A win!

If I made it again I would se less cinnamon, or a whole other spice (aleppo pepper?) and ramp up the srichacha in the yogurt.
Julie Y. August 10, 2020
This is truly delicious and makes wonderful leftovers for lunch. This is the type of dish that you lick the plate as you don't want to miss any of it's delicious goodness.
Laurie G. April 29, 2020
This seems like such a lovely winter/fall recipe and it's hardly winter/fall here in Virginia at the end of April, but I needed a healthy & light dinner idea so I made this last night. OMG!!!!!!! Totally delicious!!! Light, but filling. I'll be making this year-round, for sure. And relatively easy. It came together quicker than I expected. Awesome cilantro sauce! And the chile yogurt perfectly spicy in the cool yogurt! All of it worked so well together. I made it exactly as written after watching Kristen's video (which was very helpful particularly in showing how to cut up the butternut squash). Thank you for an awesome new recipe!
Laura November 24, 2019
OMG! I love this! The skin is the best part! Thank you! I'll never peel squash again!
Ellzabeth R. November 3, 2019
Did this recipe along with a butterflied chicken last night. Love the texture and flavour...sweet without any sugar, the cinnamon is so good with this. Did the two sauces as well...perfect. This will allow us to use squash on a regular basis. This particular recipe will be on our Christmas Eve Italian dinner menu and I LOVE the idea of using the seeds as a garnish!
Kristen M. November 4, 2019
Love hearing that this will make squash more doable on a regular basis for you, Elizabeth!
Patti November 1, 2019
Roasting stovetop with skin on, is my favorite too. I ❤️ the skin. This recipe sounds delicious and one day I will make it. Thanks
Kristen M. November 4, 2019
I heart the skin, too, Patti.
Rhonda35 October 30, 2019
Love this and am giving it a go tonight - with acorn squash. Wanted to add, if you don't have pepitas on hand, toast the seeds from the squash you are using.
Traci October 31, 2019
How did it turn out with the acorn squash and using the squash's seeds? I've thought of it but have never done it.
Rhonda35 November 1, 2019
Kristen M. November 4, 2019
Woo-hoo! Glad you liked it, Rhonda. When you roast the squash seeds, how free of guts do you try to get them before roasting? That's the thing that holds me back sometimes, but I think I'm being too perfectionist about it and should leave some of the guts attached and get on with it.
Rhonda35 November 5, 2019
Hi Kristen! I used to be a perfectionist about getting the seeds perfectly clean of "guts", but then I discovered leaving behind some trace bits of the guts enhances the flavor, so I don't work that hard anymore. When I roast the seeds, there are no big chunks of the squash innards, but there are traces of the strings, etc. (I hope that makes sense.) Give it a try!
Kristen M. November 6, 2019
Good to know! Classic example of perfect being the enemy of good (and of efficiency).
erunuevo November 12, 2020
I'm like that too and I developed a hack. Put a collander in the sink, dump the seeds in. Run water as you smoosh them around. Try to move the fleshy goo out through the holes. If it refuses to cooperate, pop the seeds out of it with your fingers and toss them into a bowl as you do it. When you're done, if the seeds are still a little gooey, rub them between your hands, in a kitchen towel or paper towels.