Cream Soda Butternut Squash 6.000

Dayna Smith for The Washington Post

Jun 11, 2014

"In anticipation of fall" is just as good a reason as any to make this savory-sweet side dish now, says chef Bryan Voltaggio, with tongue planted firmly in his cheek. Superfoods at play: the squash (which he's reading as pumpkin), pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil, garlic, cinnamon.

Voltaggio's technique for making brown butter differs from the standard in that he incorporates the milk solids back into the melted butter.

Re the cream soda: The recipe was inspired by the chef's experiments over the past few years.

6 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-8 servings

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus a pinch
  • 6 pounds whole butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes (may substitute about 6 cups frozen/defrosted cubed butternut squash)
  • 12 ounces cream soda (do not use diet)
  • 1/2 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds, toasted (see NOTE)
  • Ground cayenne pepper
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Pumpkin seed oil, for garnish


Fill a large pot halfway with cool water.

Combine the butter and the pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just browned, whisking constantly to evenly disperse the milk solids. Immediately transfer to the pot of cool water; seat the bottom of the saucepan in the water to stop the browned butter from cooking further.

Transfer the browned butter to a large saute pan, over medium heat. Add the squash and stir to coat. Once the butter is melted to translucence, add the cream soda, stirring to dislodge any browned bits and deglaze the pan. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 25 to 35 minutes, until the squash is fork-tender.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have a large rimmed baking sheet at hand.

Use a slotted spatula to transfer the squash to the baking sheet, spreading it in a single layer to cool. Pour the cooking juices/browned butter from the saute pan into a blender; add the remaining teaspoon of salt and puree on HIGH for 2 to 3 minutes, then pour evenly over the squash. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until glazed and thoroughly warmed through.

Season lightly with pepper. Transfer to a serving dish; drizzle with pumpkin seed oil and sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds.

NOTE: Spread the pumpkin seeds in medium, dry skillet. Sprinkle lightly with cayenne and cinnamon. Toast over medium heat until they begin to pop and become fragrant and lightly browned. Cool before using.

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Recipe Source

From Bryan Voltaggio, chef-owner at Range and Aggio in Chevy Chase.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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