Skip the expense and grease of deep-fried versions. Baked butternut squash chips are a crunchy, delicious snack that is both savory and naturally sweet. They don't take long to make in your oven, and are much healthier than conventional chips.
- 1 large butternut squash
- Optional: 2 teaspoons olive oil (extra virgin)
- Preheat oven to 400F/204C.
- Cut off the round, seed-containing part of the squash and reserve it for another recipe. Cut off the stem end of the squash's neck. Slice off the thick skin.
- Cut the butternut squash into very thin rounds or slices. They should be almost transparent. You can use a mandoline, the slicing blade of a food processor, a vegetable peeler, or a knife (be careful!) to do this.
- Toss the squash slices with the oil, if using. Use your clean hands to separate the pieces and coat each of them with the oil.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange the butternut squash slices on the baking sheets in a single layer (make sure none of the slices overlap).
- Bake for 20 - 35 minutes until the chips are curling up but still bright orange and not at all browned.
- They may not seem fully crisp while they are still warm: take them out of the oven and let them cool off at room temperature for 10 minutes. They will crisp up the way cookies do after they come out of the oven.
- If after the cooling off period they still aren't crisp, put them back into the 400F/204C oven for 5 - 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the salt, if using, over the chips. Eat immediately or transfer, once cooled to room temperature, into airtight containers.
The chips will retain their crunch for up to a week but can be stored for up to a month. If they start to lose their crispness, put them into a 250F/120C oven for 5 minutes.
Play around with seasonings in addition to, or instead of, the salt. Add a sprinkle of ground cayenne pepper if you like it spicy. Try a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a savory, cheese-y flavor. Dried sage goes well with butternut squash. A pinch of curry powder is also good.
Try this recipe with other varieties of winter squash. Pumpkin and acorn squashes work well. Thinner fleshed winter squashes such as Delicata are tasty but don't yield as many chips for the same amount of prep time. The only winter squash that is a total no-go for chips is Spaghetti squash.