Cranberry Butternut Bake Recipe

This cranberry butternut bake recipe is perfect for your holiday table!

This is the first cranberry recipe I’ve done this year, and it set something off in me that has made me want to cook every dish hereafter with cranberries, cranberries, cranberries!!!

Clean Eating Holiday Butternut Cranberry Bake Recipe

This dish is perfect for any Thanksgiving table. In fact, it’s even a great dish for a Halloween dinner party! 

This is a fairly versatile dish. You can adjust the spices and maple syrup to your liking and even switch out the butternut for pumpkin if you prefer. 

Most dishes like this add a ton of brown sugar. But to make this healthier, I stuck with maple syrup, and I was not disappointed. The flavors are a fantastic blend of sweet, tart, and savory. 

Have some fun with this one! Just be sure to give it a good stir after baking. You want those cranberries to be popped and more of a jelly-like substance than full, whole berries. So if there are any whole ones left when you pull this out of the oven, just use a wooden spoon to smash them and then stir well. It’s a perfect dish for the upcoming holidays!

What Squash To Use For This Butternut Bake

As I mentioned this recipe is versatile. You can use just about any winter squash you like. The important thing is to cut it into small, bite-sized chunks or cubes. You want the squash pieces to be hearty, but not so oversized that they are hard to eat. Try:

  • Butternut
  • Pumpkin
  • Kabocha
  • Acorn
  • Sweet potatos – not a squash, but they work!

To Peel Or Not To Peel

Make sure you do a thorough job of peeling your squash, even if the squash you use has an edible skin, like Kabocha squash.

Do You Need To Peel Butternut Squash Before Roasting?

Yes! The skin of butternut squash, while edible, will not be very good here. The finished texture is much better without it.

Butternut Bake Cooking Time

Each oven will vary slightly. In the end, the important thing is to bake this until the squash is fork-tender and the cranberries easily pop. 

Extra Additions

You can garnish this dish with chopped pecans or walnuts, raisins, or just a little cinnamon if you wish. You can even add dried cranberries. It might be a little over the top, but if you love cranberries, it could work!

Special Diets

If you follow any special diets, here are some of the diets this dish works great for.

Vegan Recipe

For those of you who are plant-based, this dish is naturally vegan! So enjoy!


This recipe is naturally gluten-free. That being said, I don’t know a lot about cross-contamination. So if any of the ingredients are a risk for you, make sure to purchase those labeled as gluten-free.

Paleo Recipe

This dish is naturally paleo! And if something here doesn’t fit into your personal Paleo plan, all the ingredients are super easy to substitute with something else.

What Goes Well With Butternut Squash Bake?

This is a Thanksgiving side dish. So it will pair well with pretty much anything you’ll find on a traditional Thanksgiving table.

Clean Eating Holiday Butternut Cranberry Bake Recipe Ready To Serve

What Protein Goes Well With Butternut Squash?

Your best bet for proteins are as follows:

  • Turkey (obviously)
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Salmon

Needed Ingredients

1 lb. butternut squash – Peel and chop this into bite-sized cubes. You can also purchase pre-cut butternut squash.

1 large apple – Peeled and cored.

½ lb. fresh cranberries  – I used a (227 g) bag. If your store sells them in a slightly different quantity, it’s okay. Buy what you can get.

1 tbsp. olive oil – Or coconut oil in a liquid state.

¼ cup maple syrup – Use the real stuff.

2 tsp. ground cinnamon – Just the spice, no added sugar.

½ tsp. ground nutmeg – You can use pre-ground, or grind it yourself from the nut.

1 tsp. ground cloves – This should be a scant measure.

How To Make Cranberry Butternut Bake

Place all ingredients in a 1 gallon-sized ziplock bag or a large container with a tight-fitting lid.

Shake well to coat everything in spices and maple syrup.

Pour out into baking dish (Mine was 9×13) and bake at 350 F. for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Note that if you have a smaller, deeper baking dish that this will take longer in the oven. The bigger and more shallow the dish is, the quicker this will cook. (I do not recommend a cookie sheet unless it has edges, due to the cranberries.)

Add salt to taste after cooking if needed.

How To Store Cranberry Butternut Bake

You’ll want to store this in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can You Freeze This?

Once it’s cooked, you can freeze this in an airtight container for up to 4 months. Thaw in the fridge.

Need Recipe Supplies?

Holiday Cranberry Recipes:

Cranberry Butternut Bake Recipe

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry
Clean Eating Holiday Butternut Cranberry Bake Recipe

Holiday Cranberry Butternut Bake Recipe

This delicious cranberry butternut bake is sure to become a family favorite!
3.34 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings, approximate
Calories: 195.85kcal


  • 1 lb. butternut squash (chopped/cubed, peeled)
  • 1 large apple (peeled and cored)
  • ½ lb. fresh cranberries (227 g) bag
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (or coconut oil in liquid state)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 scant tsp. ground cloves


  • Place all ingredients in a 1 gallon-sized ziplock bag or a large container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Shake well to coat everything in spices and maple syrup.
  • Pour out into baking dish (Mine was 9×13) and bake at 350 F. for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • Note that if you have a smaller, deeper baking dish that this will take longer in the oven. The bigger and more shallow the dish is, the quicker this will cook. (I do not recommend a cookie sheet due to the cranberries)
  • Add salt to taste after cooking if needed.


Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 0.25the recipe | Calories: 195.85kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.53g | Protein: 1.57g | Fat: 3.92g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Sodium: 8.94mg | Potassium: 552.29mg | Fiber: 6.83g | Sugar: 22.74g | Vitamin A: 12118.33IU | Vitamin C: 33.92mg | Calcium: 94.27mg | Iron: 1.09mg

Reposted from The Gracious Pantry archives from 11-16-13.

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  1. Hi, first of all I am in love with your blog. Every time I am on pinterest looking for recipes, yours always comes up.

    I have a qu re: clean eating specifically with this recipe. I am wary of fruits because of the sugar content, especially eating them at night. What would your view on this be? Are cranberries high in sugar?

    I am trying to optimise as much fat burning and lean muscle gain as possible, would this dish conflict with these goals or is it a suitable side dish for my protein? (of course I am aware of the carb content/existence in butternut)?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jess – It would completely depend on how your body handles it. There are only about 4g of sugar in 1 cup of raw cranberries. The sugar goes up considerably though when they get dried as sugar is always added to make them taste good.

  2. Can acorn squash be used instead of butternut squash?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Bev – I don’t see why not. Keep any eye on the baking time though. It could need a small adjustment.

  3. Janet Fazio says:

    This will pair nicely with the prime rib for Christmas Eve. Looking forward to trying it.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Janet – I hope you enjoy it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Prepping this for Thanksgiving but have to bring it cold … how will this do reheated?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jacqui – If you use a casserole dish, you could just reheat it in the oven and it should be fine. I hope you enjoy it!

  5. nina.cancellieri says:

    made this last night. Liked it very much. I did cut down on some of the spices and I may add salt and pepper next time. Felt it was missing something. Thanks so much for sharing this. am golng to make it again for Christmas.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nina – I’m glad you enjoyed it! I try not to cook with too much salt because different people like different amounts. You can always add salt, but you can never take it out! So you may find that many of my recipes require salt if that’s more suited to your tastes.

  6. Thank you so much for coming up with another use for fresh cranberries, other than sauce or chutney. Absolutely delicious!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kim – My pleasure! So glad you liked it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. I think this looks delicious, but I planned to put everything on a cookie sheet so that it roasts as opposed to steams, which is what happens when you crowd the pan. Then I saw your not about not using a cookie sheet because of the cranberries. What will happen to the cranberries? Thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jennifer – They pop and basically cook down to nothing. They burn on the pan.

  8. Elizabeth Jones says:

    I found your recipe 2 years ago and have been making it ever since! Whenever cranberries show up in the stores, I begin making this recipe! I absolutely love it and so does most of my family. My husband, however does not like butternut squash (it must be a texture thing!). I think I’ll substitute sweet potatoes next time so he will eat it. Thanks for such a great recipe!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Elizabeth – I’m so happy you are enjoying it! Sweet potatoes might be a good sub. You could also try other squash if he doesn’t mind. Thanks for stopping by! ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Currently baking this very yummy looking dish and cant wait to see how it turns out!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ im a big fan of both cranberries and butternut squash!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Laura – Wonderful! I hope you enjoy it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. I made this for Thanksgiving. It was good but needs something to sweeten it a little. The scant tsp of cloves was a little much. Will go,with half teaspoon next time.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Ann – Glad you could adapt it to your liking! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I cooked this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit!
    One thing, the cranberries were still pretty tart. Do you have any recommendations without adding more sugar or maple syrup. Has anyone else had this problem? I was thinking about soaking them overnight with the apples, maple syrup, and olive oil, but I am not sure it would make a difference.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Hilary – I doubt it would make a difference. Cranberries are supposed to be tart, but you could always add fewer of them.

  12. I wasn’t sure with what to serve it, so I found out that this type of roast goes well with pork roast with rosemary. The combination is really good. Otherwise, I liked the roast, but it turned out a bit sour (from the cranberries) when eaten on its own. In any case – a great idea. Don’t forget to add some salt at the end, it brings out the flavors very well@

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Gergana – A tablespoon or less of honey can help too. But I like the sour cranberries, so I think it just comes down to personal taste. But I’m happy you enjoyed it in the end! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Hi–if I wanted to make this as a main dish by adding chicken, what do you suggest for cooking time?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Erin – I would just cook the chicken separately and stir it in.

  14. Barbara Schall says:

    Have you tried this in the crock pot? I really want to make it for Thanksgiving, but fear I have too many dishes for the oven!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Barbara – I don’t recommend it. A slow cooker is a very moist cooking environment which could ruin this dish. However, you can certainly make it ahead of time and then warm it up in the slow cooker the day of. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. This looks so good. I realize that I hadn’t posted any of my cranberry recipes yet either! Need to get on that.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      AZ – Please do! ๐Ÿ™‚ You can never have enough cranberry recipes!

  16. PDBlaeser says:

    I have made this and similar variations of this recipe (using butter and brown sugar instead of oil and maple syrup). I make it in the crockpot all the time and it turns out great. Also for the person asking if sweet potatoes can be used instead of squash, I routinely do both or a combination (love them combined. … Very easy recipe. Love the use of crockpot as I make a triple batch of this and it keeps my oven free for other things.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      PDBlaeser – Wonderful! Thanks for sharing that! ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. HI! I’ve made this before and love it. I was looking for a way to add fat/protein. Is there a nut that would work well? Would I stir it in for cooking or use as a topping after?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Jen – I think pecans would be nice, but I would sprinkle them on after. They would give the dish a nice crunch. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this dish and make it a regular carb staple for my meals. Many people have asked for the recipe, which I gladly shared. Sometimes I mix in a sweet potato because the pre-chopped squash is only 15 ounces ~ and I usually have an extra sweet potato available. It cooks the same as the squash because I cut it up into thin squares. I also use frozen cranberries, because the stores only carry fresh ones during the holidays. Thank you for this great recipe!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Loretta – My pleasure! I’m so happy you’re enjoying it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. This is the type of recipe I was looking for, although I am going to change it a tad. I’m going to use a mix of acorn & butternut, and add some pieces of brie. Thanks for the inspiration.