1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place squash halves cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until soft, about 35 to 45 minutes.

  2. With a piece of aluminum foil, make a packet for the garlic cloves and oil. Seal with seam facing up to prevent leaks. About 10 minutes into the squash cooking time, place packet seam side up on the baking sheet with squash.

  3. While squash is baking, rinse the squash seeds until as clean as you can get them (they don’t need to be perfect).

  4. Around 15 minutes before squash is done, roast bacon and squash seeds in a small, rimmed baking sheet. After about 4 minutes, carefully flip the bacon and stir around the seeds. Roast for another 4 to 6 minutes, until bacon is crispy but not burnt. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Stir seeds again in the bacon fat and roast a couple more minutes if they need it, until puffed up and browned. Transfer seeds to a paper towel to drain. Coarsely chop bacon.

  5. When squash is just soft, flip them cut side up and continue to bake for a few more minutes. Carefully remove garlic foil package, pour contents into a large bowl and mash. When squash is done, scoop flesh into the bowl with the garlic-oil mixture and mash. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with the chopped bacon and roasted seeds.

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Butternut squash mash topped with bacon and roasted squash seeds.