Food & Drinks,  Plant Powered,  Side Dishes,  The Main Dish

Hasselback butternut squash

You might have noticed I’ve taken a little break from food blogging over the last few weeks.  I only have two months left with Luna before I go back to work and I really want to savour every minute of it, which means that recipe creation, testing, photography and blogging have taken a backseat; and I’m ok with that.

I do wish I would have been able to post a few more things over the last month or so, but when it comes down to it, my time with Luna is just more important.

But, I have been working on a few things during her naps (which haven’t been steady lately) so it’s taken a bit longer than I expected.

I honestly have a list of close to a hundred things that I need to perfect, photograph and post, but alas it’s just me.  I don’t have anyone else working on any part of my business with me, I just can’t post regularly….yet.  You see, I built my website, and I maintain my website (which I’m to very good at), I create content to update my Pinterest and Instagram accounts.  I create the recipes, grocery shop, make the recipes (sometimes several times) to test them, photograph the recipes, edit the photographs, and write the blog posts.  I am working every position in this business essentially without pay…so with a now 9 month old it has been a bit of a challenge.  I’ve had to really think about where to spend my time and Luna wins out every single time, as she should. She is my everything.

Nonetheless I’m very proud that I’ve kept it going relatively well through the last 9 months or so.

So after a little break, I have a new recipe for you, and it is a perfect one to keep in your back pocket for Christmas Dinner.

It is a beautiful roasted hasselback butternut squash with orange butter, dried cranberries and crispy sage leaves.  This butternut squash recipe screams holiday dinner!!!  It is sweet and savoury and would be a great compliment to turkey, ham, pork tenderloin, roasted chicken and even a piece of halibut. It is versatile and full of flavour, you will love it.

Plus it is a simple recipe to execute – the squash itself takes no effort at all, and it’s only a couple easy steps for the sauce and the sage.


I mean how gorgeous does that look!

YIELD – Side Dish 4- 6 servings, Main Dish 2-4 servings


  • 1 butternut squash (average size about 2-21/2 lbs)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup butter * (can substitute for vegan butter, coconut oil, or ghee)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup fresh OJ
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • handful of sage leaves
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more for frying the sage leaves
  • Salt and pepper to season


  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Peel the butternut squash, and scoop out the seeds (you can roast the seeds for a yummy snack)
  3. Lay the squash halves flat side down and slice hasselback (horizontally) style from end to end, being sure not to cut right through. Slices should be about 1
  4. Put the butternut squash on a baking sheet (you can line with parchment if you want) and drizzle each half with one tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 45 min.
  5. Once the squash are almost done, turn a small heavy bottom pan on medium heat.  Once warm add butter, as butter starts to sizzle a bit (don’t let it turn brown), add the garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes.  Add orange juice, maple syrup, orange zest and dried cranberries and continue to cook, stirring frequently.  The sauce should thicken slightly without browning or burning.  If you need to turn the heat down, go ahead. Once sauce has started to thicken up, turn the heat off and leave for the moment.
  6. Remove the butternut squash from the oven and turn the heat down to 375F.  Drizzle the squash with the sauce and return to the oven for 15 minutes, or until soft and starting to brown on the edges.
  7. While the butternut squash is in the oven, take the pan you used to make the squash and our onto medium heat.  Once hot add just enough extra virgin olive oil to the cover the bottom of the pan.  Let heat until it bubbles a bit, sprinkle sage leaves in for about 30 seconds or until they have become a bright translucent green.  Then remove and set aside on paper towel to drain the oil.  Be careful not to leave them in too long, they can go from a beautiful bright green, to a burnt brown very quickly.
  8. Remove the butternut squash from the oven and let cool for a couple of minutes, Move onto serving dish, drizzle with the sauce left on the baking sheet (making sure to get all the cranberries) and sprinkle with the crispy sage.  Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve.


There are a few steps but they are straightforward and don’t take too much time.

For those of you that aren’t vegan, you can make the recipe as is, and for those of you that are (or are allergic to dairy), you can switch out the butter for vegan butter, ghee or coconut oil.  It will alter the flavour a bit, so you may want to add another tsp of maple syrup, or season more heavily with salt and pepper – you can give it a taste as you go and alter it to suit your tastes.












This dish is naturally gorgeous with all the vibrant colours – the orange from the squash, the green from the sage and the red from the cranberries, so you don’t need to do much to wow your guests with this one.

And if you make extra (and you should make extra) it tastes great the next day too.

I will definitely be making this one for Christmas dinner this year and I hope you will be too.

Till the next recipe,


Kristen xo


  • Melanie

    I totally can relate to food blogging. I am not regular, I have a bunch of draft and pics but we’ll, I work full time and have 2 kiddos! I hear you!
    Your recipe sounds delicious!
    Oh and by the way, I follow you on Instagram and your feed is beautiful 😉

    • kmysweetmess

      Aww thank you so much Melanie 🥰. It’s tough while working full time with kiddos isn’t it. But I still love it and when I can find time I’m all over it.

  • valisesetgourmandises

    Hasselback squash make such a good vegan main with quinoa and vegan stuffing! It also looks super fancy.
    I’ve always wondered how people with kids manage to keep a blog up and running. It’s SO much work! Don’t feel bad about not posting as regularly as you would like, family comes first 🙂

  • crumbtopbaking

    These hasselback squash would make a beautiful addition to Christmas dinner! I’m with you on the food blogging! There is so much to take care of with the business. It’s challenging to stay on top of it all. But I absolutely love your priorities and savouring your time with Luna!

  • Cathy

    What a beautiful presentation! I’m definitely saving this recipe!

    I’m with you in the work that food blogging is! You’ll never regret having spent time with your daughter.

  • zestandsimmer

    I haven’t seen butternut squash prepared like this before, and this has me so interested in trying it for my next holiday gathering! I think it’s a beautiful dish to include!

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