Baked butternut squash and leeks


Roasting vegetables in parchment paper is an elegant yet simple method that intensifies the inherent flavor of the vegetables inside.

Roasting vegetables in parchment paper pockets is an elegant yet simple cooking method that intensifies the inherent flavor of the vegetables inside.

Imagine, the hot, dry heat of the oven surrounds your vegetables, releasing moisture and steam that waters the vegetables. Their juices surround the chopped pieces and mix with olive oil and butter to caramelize to a golden color. How would that taste?

(Courtesy of Buttered Veg)

With your butternut squash and leeks neatly contained in a sealed parchment pouch, none of their flavorful juices are lost to evaporation. No other method can accomplish this in the same way.

The addition of butter produces a delicious caramelization at the bottom of the cooking, which adds volume to the flavor and aroma of this dish.

Plus, the fresh sage leaves turn into delicate, crispy bites, which is a rare treat indeed.

You can easily customize this dish with your own flavors, for example by adding red pepper flakes or any other fresh herb you have on hand, such as parsley or oregano.

culinary sage
(Courtesy of Buttered Veg)
Baked butternut squash and leeks
(Courtesy of Buttered Veg)
Baked butternut squash and leeks
(Courtesy of Buttered Veg)

The inventor of roasted vegetables in parchment

This recipe is the brainchild of two, yes two, illustrious American female chefs.

This version of the recipe, with butternut squash and leeks, was posted in “The Greens Cookbooka classic 1987 vegetarian cookbook by chef Deborah Madison.

All I did to this classic was add extra garlic and more delicious sage leaves. I also doubled the recipe to enjoy more.

‘The Greens Cookbook’ Celebrates San Francisco Bay Area Restaurant Cuisine Restaurant The Greens.

I had the pleasure of eating there and it was the finest vegetarian dining experience of my life. Just like gastronomy, only vegetarian style.

However, according to Madison, the idea for vegetables roasted on parchment paper originated with Alice Waters, who is arguably one of America’s most well-known cooks.

Waters is the celebrity chef and local food activist who founded In Panisseone of the nation’s premier farm-to-table restaurants.

Waters served new potatoes and whole garlic cloves cooked in this parchment style.

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I love Madison’s description of what Waters told her it was like serving parchment roasted vegetables to her restaurant guests:

“The crackling and aromatic smells that come from opening packages, along with the fun of putting together different tastes and textures, always seem to lift people’s spirits.”

Make it a complete meal!

It is true that the smell of these vegetables is intoxicating, but the tasting of the final product is just as pleasant.

I recommend to enjoy it with mashed potatoes mixed with celeriac or turnip.

Baked butternut squash and leeks
(Courtesy of Buttered Veg)

To complete the meal, you can also try having roasted vegetables in parchment with some salted tofuor one curried bean or lentil stew.

You might even like having two combinations of vegetables cooked this way on the same plate.

See my recipe for Fennel and white onion cooked in parchment for more ideas of what you can bake inside the parchment.

Baked Butternut Squash and Leek Recipe

Printable version of the original article

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Total duration: 40 minutes

Servings: 2 servings

Calories: 114KCAL


  • 1 cup butternut squash, cut into ⅓-inch cubes
  • ⅓ cup leeks, cut into ½-inch squares
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Himalayan pink salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 piece of parchment paper, approximately 15 x 15 inches
  • 2 teaspoons butter, plus extra to grease the parchment
  • 6 fresh sage leaves


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl, except the sage and butter. Add salt and pepper as desired.

Fold the parchment paper in half and make a crease. Generously butter the bottom half of the parchment, leaving an inch of the edge clean.

Pile the prepared vegetables in the center of the buttered area and tuck in the sage leaves. Sprinkle with a few small pieces of butter.

Fold the top half of the paper down and firmly fold and roll the two halves together to form a seal. Now fold and roll the outer edges of the paper inwards until everything is sealed in a pocket. It will look rustic, and that’s exactly the fun, so don’t worry. Just seal it.

Place the package on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes. The package will start to brown and once you see it, you’ll know the roasted vegetables are ready.


It is very possible to double this recipe and still put everything in the 15×15 inch parchment paper. In fact, that’s what you see in the photos.

Be creative with your choice of vegetables and seasoning. Don’t like sage? No problem. Use oregano. Add chillies if you like it spicy. Do what pleases you.

See my companion article Baked Fennel and White Onion for more ideas.


Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 41mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 7815 IU | Vitamin C: 16.9mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 0.8mg

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