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Butternut Squash Spinach Skillet

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

Related recipe: Green Beans with Cranberries and Almonds

Butternut squash spinach recipe

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.

More winter squash recipes: Air Fryer Acorn Squash

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 ½ lime) and lots of fresh cilantro right before removing it from the heat
  • Season it with tajin for a little Tex-mex spice

More squash recipes to try: Air Fryer Delicata Squash

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

butternut squash and spinach on a plate
Print Recipe
4.55 from 60 votes

Butternut Squash Spinach Skillet

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 Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Vegetarian
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Kosher, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 side dish servings or 2 large dinner servings
Author: Kate


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot - finely diced
  • 5 cups cubed butternut squash - (about 1.5 lb)
  • 2 garlic cloves - minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt - (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin - (optional, for a smoky flavor)
  • 2-4 handfuls baby spinach - to taste
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves - finely diced
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice - (from 1 lemon wedge)
  • optional: 1-2 tablespoons hemp hearts or nutritional yeast


  • 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
    1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 shallot, 5 cups cubed butternut squash
  • Add the minced garlic, salt, paprika, and cumin, and stir well. Cover, and allow to cook for 3-5 more minutes.
    2 garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 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.
    2-4 handfuls baby spinach, ¼ cup parsley leaves, ½ tablespoon lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Sprinkle with hemp hearts or nutritional yeast, if using. Serve warm.



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


Calories: 200kcal (10%) | Carbohydrates: 34g (11%) | Protein: 8g (16%) | Fat: 7g (11%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (5%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 327mg (14%) | Fiber: 11g (44%) | Sugar: 6g (7%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

Comments or questions about the recipe?
Recipe Rating

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Monday 11th of March 2024

I just made this tonight because I has two small butternut squash sitting on my counter and some fresh spinach in my fridge so I googled butternut squash and spinach and this is what came up! This recipe was super easy to make and so tasty, plus I love that you can make it taste however you want. I put pumpkin seeds, feta, and dried cherries in mind and it was devine!


Tuesday 12th of March 2024

Ooh feta and dried cherries sound amazing here!!

Ruth Walker

Thursday 18th of January 2024

Absolutely delicious! Easy to prep. Would add more spinach & lemon juice. And like the idea of adding pine nuts for the crunch. This will be on our dinner table often.

Wendy Cooper-Wolfe

Tuesday 9th of January 2024

Made this for 2 people with plenty of squash, cumin and curry powder, lashings of spinach and served with quinoa. It was quite filling, yet not stodgy, and the lemon gave it a lighter flavour, just right for a cold winter's evening. I'll be doing this, or variations of this regularly.


Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Delicious and so easy! I added toasted almonds, dried cranberries, and ricotta. Like fall in a bowl.


Monday 27th of November 2023

This recipe was a great success. I prepped most of the ingredients before I went to my mother's home for the day and we enjoyed it for supper. I added toasted pine nuts, as suggested by you, to increase the protein content and add a new texture. Mum is 94 and lives alone, so providing her with freshly prepared healthy food makes a big difference to her. I will be using this recipe again. Thank you!

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