Butternut Squash and Eggplant Stir Fry


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Butternut squash, eggplant, and broccoli are quickly sauteed in a veggie-forward stir-fry, then doused in a sweet-and-savory balsamic soy sauce. It’s one sensational vegetarian side dish.

A bowl of butternut squash and eggplant stir fry

I’ll admit, this was a bit of a throw-together idea with fridge leftovers. But somehow these ideas always surprise me and turn into the best meals, like my Mediterranean ground beef stir fry. Who knew butternut squash, eggplant, and broccoli could make for one heck of a vegetable stir fry!

The veggies are perfectly cooked in a giant wok, then coated in a sticky sweet sauce that honestly tastes like restaurant quality (but even better). It’s lighting fast, makes for one tasty side dish, and bonus – can be turned into a full meal with a few simple additions (which I’ll show you below).

Ingredients for butternut squash and eggplant stir fry on a table

Ingredients For The Best Stir Fry Vegetables

This stir fry shines bright with a few of fall’s favorite vegetables. Here’s what’s in it.

  • Butternut Squash: You’ll need about two cups of diced butternut squash, which you should be able to get from one small to medium-sized squash.
  • Eggplant: Just one eggplant is needed for the perfect ratio with butternut squash.
  • Broccoli: When it comes to a veggie stir fry, you can never go wrong with adding broccoli florets for additional crunchy greens!
  • Green Onion & Garlic: This pairing always gives a fresh and delicious punch of flavor.
  • Thyme: Fresh thyme leaves add that little something extra. You could also swap in sage or rosemary.

It’s All About the Stir Fry Sauce

A good stir-fry sauce is a solid balance of tangy, sweet, and savory. Here’s my version that perfectly compliments this group of vegetables.

  • Soy Sauce: Since I’m gluten-free, Tamari is always my first choice for soy sauce. But you can also use coconut aminos for a soy-free version.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Just one tablespoon is needed for a mellow tart kick.
  • Honey: A key ingredient to help thicken the sauce and give it a hint of sweetness.
  • Sesame Oil: Helps to tie all the flavors of this sauce together.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How to Make this Butternut Squash and Eggplant Stir-Fry Recipe

Did I mention this stir fry recipe only takes about 30 minutes to make? The only hard part is chopping up the vegetables (especially the butternut squash). If you need some guidance on how to do that, I’ve got a post on how to peel and cut butternut squash. Otherwise, grab your wok (or large pan), and let’s get to it!

  • Make the sauce. Stir together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey, sesame oil, and set aside.
  • Caramelize the butternut squash. Heat some oil in your wok and stir fry the butternut squash for about 5 minutes, until it has slightly caramelized edges.
  • Add in the other veggies. Stir fry the eggplant with a bit of oil first, then add the broccoli, white parts of the green onion, and garlic. Continue cooking until the broccoli is perfectly tender.
  • Finish it off! Add in the sauce, rest of the green onions, thyme, and give it all a stir.

A Few Ways to Turn this Into a Hearty Dinner Idea

There’s endless possibilities when you’ve got a stir fry. All you need is a little creativity. Give one of these options a try!

  • Add vegetarian proteins into the mix. Chickpeas, lentils, or tofu chunks are great ways to add a hearty dose of protein.
  • Serve over grains. Top a large spoonful of this onto a bed of white or brown rice. You’re going to love how the rice tastes when it soaks up some of the sauce.
  • Turn it into a wrap. Trust me, this makes for one delicious stuffing. Especially if you plan ahead and chop the vegetables on the smaller side. And yes, you can use both lettuce or tortilla wraps.
A wok with butternut squash and eggplant stir fry

How to Store this Stir Fry

Leftovers of this stir fry taste just as good fresh (honestly). So count your lucky stars if you have leftovers. Here’s two ways you can store this.

  • To store: This will last in the fridge for 4 to 5 days in an airtight container.
  • To freeze: Although the eggplant might get a little soft, freezing this is an option. Just store in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.

Oh Yes, There’s More Easy Vegetable Side Dishes

From roasting to sauteing, here are delicious (and speedy) ways to get veggies onto the dinner table.

And if you have leftover cubed butternut squash, you can roast the butternut squash and toss into other meals throughout the week!

If you make this butternut squash and eggplant stir fry, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

A large white bowl of butternut squash and eggplant stir fry

Butternut Squash and Eggplant Stir Fry

4.91 from 11 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


An easy, healthy butternut squash and eggplant stir fry that makes for the perfect side dish or hearty meal with a few simple additions.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 green onion, sliced, with white and green parts separated
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped

Soy Balsamic Sauce


  • In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, honey, and sesame oil. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large pan over medium heat. Add the butternut squash, salt, and pepper. Stir frequently and cook for 5 minutes, until the squash becomes slightly caramelized on the edges.
    A wok with stir fry butternut squash
  • Add the eggplant plus 1 more tablespoon oil and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the broccoli, white parts of the green onion, and garlic, and stir for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the broccoli is crisp tender.
    A wok filled with butternut squash and eggplant stir fry
  • Add the soy balsamic sauce along with the green parts of the green onion, and the fresh thyme leaves. Stir until well combined. Garnish with extra thyme leaves before serving.
    A wok with stir fry vegetables including butternut squash, eggplant, and broccoli


Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 817mg | Potassium: 720mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 7889IU | Vitamin C: 62mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Butternut Squash and Eggplant Stir Fry, Stir-Fry Recipe, Vegetable Stir Fry
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I know this is an older one of your recipes, but I made this today because I wanted to do something different with my butternut squash. This was really good!! I love the balsamic soy sauce!! It takes the squash, eggplant and broccoli to a new level!!! It was easy to make (after dicing the veggies!!). Thank you Lisa!!5 stars

  2. I give this 5 stars for a quick and easy dinner, but a 3 for flavor. The sauce dried up too much and didn’t flavor the veggies enough, so I made another batch of sauce. For my family, it still wasn’t “saucy” enough. It was good, just not enough to drip into and flavor the rice.  I would say it’s not a favorite for the kids, as my husband and I scarfed it down and were done ten minutes ago, but our two kids are crying over the butternut squash. 😂 4 stars

    1. This dish is meant to be on the lighter side, but you can always double the sauce :) Even though this wasn’t a winner with the kiddos, happy to hear you and your husband enjoyed it!

  3. I’ve been trying a new Downshiftology recipe every few days and I think this one is my favorite so far. I’ve never made butternut squash before (and have only had it a couple of times in restaurants) but it’s delicious! I made exactly as directed but next time I might throw a can of chickpeas in to stretch it a little further and give it another texture. It was so yummy – definitely a solid 5 stars! 5 stars

    1. Sounds like you’re on a Downshiftology roll! But, happy to hear you’re trying new things in the kitchen and can now make spaghetti squash right at home :)

  4. I haven’t even tried your recipes but I am HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY I’ve found your site here and on Youtube. I’ve recently started a gluten free diet (and after just 2 weeks feel amazingly better) so I’ve been searching for tasty things t replace all those gluten-loaded stews and sauces I’ve loved for years. I’m going to try the zucchini fritters today…this eggplant thing looks fantastic and I’ll probably get these ingredients when I go to the store today for the zucchini…thank you so much.
    PS: The 5 star rating isn’t for this recipe (sorry) but I just didn’t want to risk running the reviews down. – Sue

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Sue! I simply cannot wait to see how all your Downshiftology creations turn out. Also – I just took off the ratings for this comment since it’s not correlated to this specific recipe :)

  5. This was definitely unique and strange but it actually turned out great! I used acorn squash instead of butternut because that’s all I had but it worked. 5 stars

  6. This recipe really turned out well! Delicious, as were the leftovers!

    I have Hashimoto’s, and I’m concerned about eating nightshades. Do you eat these types of veggies? Or just occasionally?5 stars

    1. Glad you enjoyed this stir fry Sally! I am okay to eat nightshades, although I know some people who are sensitive to it. Just be mindful if you have any reactions or inflammations arise.