Cranberry Butternut Bake Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Privacy Policy.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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!
3.67 from 3 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
Author: Tiffany McCauley


  • 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.

Website | + posts

Who me?
I'm Tiffany, a cookbook author, food lover, mom, and writer for MSN and the AP Newswire.
Looking to stock your freezer for busy weeknights?
I wrote the book! Grab a copy of my book, Clean Eating Freezer Meals on Amazon here, or at select bookstores nationwide!   

Did you make one of my recipes?
Tag @graciouspantry on Instagram or post your pic on Facebook! I love to see my recipes in action!

Similar Posts


  1. Luv What You Do says:

    Wow! This looks incredible!

  2. Esther Barker says:

    That looks so good, I can’t wait to try it!

  3. Wow, that looks so delicious! I’ve been searching for just the right extra dish… this is perfect – Thank you! We’ll definitely try it this year – I’m sure it’ll be a great hit!

  4. I’m wondering if you could substitute sweet potatoes for the butternut squash?

  5. My family really enjoyed this delicious recipe. Easy peasy!

  6. Melanie @ M&M says:

    Trying this for lunch today. Yummy!

  7. Hi! Thanks for the recipe! This may be to specific, but I’m new to cooking (and definitely clean eating). Is there a particular variety of apple that works better in the butternut cranberry bake? Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving

    1. Laura – As the produce guy (or gal) for the sweetest apples available. They can tell you. 🙂

  8. I’d like to try this for Thanksgiving, but I’m not sure what butternut squash tastes like. We aren’t crazy about the sweetness of sweet potatoes. Is there anything you could compare the taste to?

    1. Jo – I would say it’s closer to pumpkin than to sweet potatoes. It’s really not sweet at all. But this dish is a sweet dish, so….

  9. I know what I will be bringing to Thanksgiving dinner. Can’t wait to make this and I know it will be delicious!

  10. How in the world do you peel a squash? Can’t do it like a cucumber. And squash is hard as a rock! Just cutting it in half makes me feel like I’m going to cut off a hand. Someone PLEASE tell me there’s an easier way!

    1. Alicia – If it’s really a struggle to cut it in half, then poke a few holes in it and microwave it for a few minutes first. It’ll soften up for you. You can also put it in the oven whole and bake until it’s soft enough to cut. I do cut mine in half raw and peel with a vegetable peeler. You can also purchase peeled and cubed butternut in some stores. Hope that helps.

  11. Barbara D. says:

    Made these tonight and my hubby loved them. I used agave instead of the maple and they turned out great!

  12. Could this be cooked in a crockpot?

  13. I have roasted squash and apples this fall adding only a sprinkle of cinnimon. You inspired me to use the cranberries; added them during the last 10 mins of roasting with a drizzle of honey, they turned out great. Thanks

  14. Would this be as good if made a day ahead, or do you not recommend reheating in a microwave? Just wondering, as I don’t think I’ll have room in the oven for everything to be made at once.

    1. Jo – I think you could probably get away with making it the day before. It should hold up okay in the microwave as well.

  15. I’m thinking about putting it in the crockpot. Do you think that will work?

    1. Carrold – I couldn’t say as I haven’t tried it. I think the sweetener would have a hard time caramelizing and you’d probably end up with a lot of liquid in the bottom with not much flavor in the dish itself. Just a hunch though.

  16. I prepared this tonight and it is delicious! We had never eaten butternut squash before and it was so good with the apple, cranberries and all of the spices. Thanks…..

  17. Angelique says:

    Trying this dish tonight, looks beautiful all tossed together. Can’t wait to taste it!

  18. I made this for Christmas dinner. I was very potent. I followed the recipe exactly. Although it was not eaten, it smelled wonderful!

  19. The flavors were super strong and overpowering. Maybe using less cranberries and spices would make it better. The flavor of the butternut squash was lost. Great idea for the recipe, my chef son-in-law took the leftovers and was going to make some type of sauce out of it by adding other ingredients. I would be interested to see other comments from people that have actually made this dish. Most of the comments listed are from people that will be trying this recipe.

    1. Marilyn – Sorry you didn’t care for it. I thought it was pretty yummy. But I do enjoy strong flavors. So it may not be for everybody.

  20. Marilyn, I made this for Thanksgiving for my daughter. She can’t eat anything that is too intense or spicy. She really loved this. My husband thought it looked and smelled good, so he tried it and loved it. I must add, he doesn’t like ANY strong flavors. He ate this until it was gone. I followed the recipe exactly. It doesn’t have anything that would give it a strong or overpowering taste. I thought it might have needed a little extra something, but I do like things a little stronger. But it’s definitely a keeper in my recipes!

  21. 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. 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.

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

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

  23. Janet Fazio says:

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

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

    1. 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!

  25. 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. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.