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Butternut Squash Spinach Skillet

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Butternut Squash Spinach Skillet - tasty, healthy, nutritious, vegan, and ready in just 20 minutes. You'll LOVE the flavors of pan-fried butternut squash.

butternut squash and spinach on a plate

Butternut Squash is in my top 5 favorite vegetables list, hands-down. I love everything about it - the flavor, texture, subtle sweetness. The fact that it feels a little more like comfort food and a little less like a vegetable that you HAVE to eat just to be healthy.

And I love the fact that it can be cut into perfect little cubes.

I don't know why, but that brings me joy.

butternut squash and sauteed spinach on a fork

Needless to say, we eat a lot of butternut squash in our house. We eat it roasted on top of a grain bowl or a buckwheat bowl and pureed in a soup (lentil butternut squash soup, coconut curry butternut squash soup).

We make this mashed butternut squash with white beans side dish on the regular.

We also LOVE using butternut squash to make a hidden-vegetable creamy sauce, such as butternut squash alfredo sauce for pasta, or in this Butternut Squash and Chickpeas Recipe.

Heck, you can even make easy wonton vegetarian ravioli with butternut squash. It's so good with a little bit of fresh sage. 

So yea, butternut squash. We have a good relationship. I have a list of 20 Butternut Squash Side Dish Recipes here.

close up of cubed pan-fried butternut squash with spinach

Butternut squash spinach skillet

In this recipe, the butternut squash is cooked quickly in a skillet with shallots, garlic, cumin, and paprika. At the very end I add two handfuls of baby spinach for a pop of color and added nutrients.

butternut squash and spinach in a skillet

Not a fan of spinach? Skip it. 

Love spinach or want even MORE nutrients? Double it. Baby spinach wilts so nicely and it's easy to eat a lot of it once it's cooked down.

Don't have shallots on hand? Use half a yellow onion.

Why we love this recipe

I love this dish because it's SO quick to make. If you can get diced butternut squash from your supermarket, then this whole dish is ready in just about 20 minutes.

This is a super duper healthy recipe. Vegan, loaded with nutrients and fiber, grain-free and gluten-free. 

I am a big fan of this recipe because sometimes my picky two year old actually eats butternut squash when I cut it into tiny cubes like this and get it to be just the right texture.

This recipe is also highly customizable. As I said above, you can add more spinach or skip it.

You can also:

  • Add spice with a pinch or two of cayenne pepper
  • Add a few pinches of curry powder
  • Serve it with a fried egg on top
  • Add even MORE nutrients by sprinkling hemp hearts or nutritional yeast on top (I have these hemp hears here in the recipe photos, if you look close). If you want to add nutritional yeast (a nutrient POWERHOUSE!), I recommend this brand
  • Add some nuts for crunch. Toasted almonds or pine nuts would be fantastic
  • Add a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Add some sweetness and give it more of a "Fall recipe" feel by tossing in some dried cranberries at the end
  • Add some chopped fresh sage and/or thyme for another "Fall recipe" variation
  • Make it into a cilantro lime type of situation by stirring in 1 tablespoon of lime juice (from 1/2 lime) and lots of fresh cilantro right before removing it from the heat
  • Season it with tajin for a little Tex-mex spice


Will you try this recipe?? If yes, please let me know in a comment below and give it a star rating right by clicking on the stars right in the recipe card!

And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it for later on Pinterest:

butternut squash spinach skillet pinterest graphic

Yield: 4 side dish servings or 2 large dinner servings

Butternut Squash Spinach Skillet

butternut squash and spinach on a plate

Butternut Squash Spinach Skillet - tasty, healthy, nutritious, vegan / vegetarian, and ready in just 20 minutes. You'll LOVE the flavors of this pan-fried butternut squash recipe with baby spinach.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 5 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1.5 lb)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional, for a smoky flavor)
  • 2-4 handfuls baby spinach, to taste
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1 lemon wedge)
  • Optional: 1-2 tablespoons hemp hearts or nutritional yeast


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the cubed butternut squash and finely minced shallot and mix well. Use a spatula to evenly spread the cubed butternut squash throughout the skillet (it's OK if it doesn't all fit in one layer). Cover with a lid and allow to cook undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, or until the butternut squash starts to brown at the bottom
  2. Add the minced garlic, salt, paprika, and cumin, and stir well. Spread the butternut squash around again and cover. Allow to cook for 3-5 more minutes.
  3. Stir the butternut squash, add the baby spinach, and cover for 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and stir until the baby spinach is wilted. Add the lemon juice and parsley and stir. Season with more salt, if desired. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with hemp hearts or nutritional yeast, if using.


A few variation ideas:

  • Add spice with a pinch or two of cayenne pepper
  • Add a few pinches of curry powder
  • Serve it with a fried egg on top
  • Add some nuts for crunch. Toasted almonds or pine nuts would be fantastic
  • Add a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Add some sweetness and give it more of a “Fall recipe” feel by tossing in some dried cranberries at the end
  • Add some chopped fresh sage and/or thyme for another “Fall recipe” variation
  • Add lime juice and fresh cilantro
  • Season it with tajin for a little Tex-mex spice

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/4 skillet

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 327mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 11gSugar: 6gProtein: 8g

The nutrition is estimated for 4 side-dish servings and does not include the optional ingredients. The nutritional information displayed is just an estimate and will vary depending on the actual ingredients and brands used and the exact amounts used. Please consult with a dietitian or nutritionist if you are actually tracking nutritional information for health reasons.

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