Men, Cooking, and a Butternut Squash

Bruce Tretter loves the trial and error of the cooking process. Here’s one of his favorites for the holidays.

I didn’t learn how to cook until push, no kidding, came to shove. I’d finished college, where all my meals were provided, jumped in the Navy, and very suddenly, either had to spend all my money on takeout food or learn how to deal with a stove.

My mom gave me a cookbook that I closed about as fast as I opened it. The book was full of gourmet recipes, used language I didn’t understand, required ingredients and pieces of equipment I neither had, wanted, nor could afford—and it had no pictures. Don’t tell me, show me.

I learned to cook through lots of trial and error and from watching what others did in the kitchen. The key to me was visual direction, and that’s what I’m gonna try to give you with these directions for roasting a butternut squash. Here’s how the squash will look when it’s done. Its bright pumpkin-orange flesh and balanced sweet and savory flavors make it one of my fall favorites.

It takes about 10-12 minutes to prepare the squash and about 25-40 minutes, depending on oven temperature and the size of squash pieces, to roast it in the oven. The toughest part about roasting butternut squash in cube shaped pieces is removing the outer skin of the squash.

But after that, it’s easy. The roasting method is hands-free, quick, easy, and fully flavorful.

Here’s what you’ll need for ingredients and equipment:

Ingredients(for 4-6 people):

  • 1 Butternut Squash (about 2-3 pounds)
  • Olive or Vegetable Oil
  • Garlic Salt
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Balsamic Vinegar (optional but compliments the sweet and savory flavors)


  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Teaspoon
  • Big Spoon
  • Bowl
  • Baking Pan
  • Timer
  • Potholder

And for preparation and roasting directions, follow this link. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

photo by missmeng (top), Bruce Tretter, (inset)

About Bruce Tretter

Bruce Tretter helps people feel comfortable making practical, flavorful and quick & easy meals for themselves---even if they’ve never boiled water---through Gotta’ Eat, Can’t Cook step-by-step picture book and short video directions. He’s a father of 3, Former Naval Intelligence Officer, current school board member, and avid cyclist.


  1. Can’t wait to try this out, Bruce!

  2. Balsamic Vinegar on roast squash – that’s the way to go!

    Works wonders on roots too!

  3. Julie Gillis says:

    I. Love. Butternut. Squash.

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