- Food: Roasted Kabocha Squash
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
A tasty side dish for the fall is this quick recipe for roasted kabocha squash! The sweet squash is topped with sesame seeds, scallions, and a nutty sesame ginger vinaigrette.
For Thanksgiving last year, my brother-in-law Josh prepared the most incredible roasted kabocha squash. He fried it with the skin still on after cutting it into wedges.
The rich, vivid orange flesh was smooth and creamy when it came out of the oven, and it tasted sweet, nutty, and caramelized. I questioned, “What did you do to this?” He said, “I just roasted it.
Kabocha squash also referred to as Japanese pumpkin, is a superbly adaptable winter squash species.
In Japanese cuisine, it is frequently fried and served as part of vegetable tempura or cooked in a fragrant dashi stock to produce Kabocha no Nimono.
It is made into a salad and boiled into porridge in Korea. In the past, I’ve boiled it into a soup and blended it into pasta sauce.
But I didn’t fall in love with roasted kabocha squash until I tried Josh’s Thanksgiving side dish. It has such a delicious flavor and is quite easy to prepare.
I started adding sesame seeds, scallions, and my sesame ginger dressing to it earlier this fall to create a well-balanced side dish, and I’m still crazy about the combo. I hope you adore it as well!
How to Cook Kabocha Squash at Home
I don’t blame you if you don’t enjoy peeling and cutting winter squash. I don’t particularly enjoy doing it either. The good news is that kabocha squash does not require peeling because the skin is completely edible.
Trim away any brown, dry spots if your squash is unusually nubbly, but feel free to leave the orange or green skin on.
I also have a method for making cutting the squash simpler. I bake the full, unpeeled squash for 10 minutes instead of attempting to cut it raw. It is so much simpler (and safer!) to slice after this pre-bake.
After pre-baking the squash, cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds using a sharp knife.
The seeded halves should then be sliced into 1 1/2-inch wedges.
Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and season with salt, pepper, and large amounts of olive oil.
The squash should be placed in a 425°F oven and baked, turning halfway through, until it is soft and golden brown. I’m done now!
Recipe advise for kabocha squash
- Maintain the seeds! The seeds of kabocha squash are completely edible, just like pumpkin seeds. They make a tasty, protein-rich appetizer or snack when roasted. Pull off any orange, stringy flesh that remains after removing the squash’s seeds, then rinse, dry, and mix the seeds with a little sea salt and olive oil. When golden brown and crisp, roast for 35 to 45 minutes at 300°F, tossing halfway through. Yum!
- Take care with the oil. Different kabocha squashes can have varying textures when roasted. While some are incredibly creamy and smooth, resembling a baked sweet potato, others are a little bit more dry and chalky. Make sure to generously oil these squash before baking them to avoid them getting overly dried out. For one medium kabocha squash, I use around 2 tablespoons.
Serving ideas for roasted kabocha squash
My preferred accompaniment for roasted kabocha squash is sesame seeds, thinly sliced scallions, and sesame ginger sauce. Microgreens are an optional addition for a colorful finishing touch if I chance to have any on hand.
Together, they produce a straightforward side dish that combines sweet, nutty, and salty flavors wonderfully. Serve it with steaming rice, crispy sesame tofu, or any other desired protein along with a cup of miso soup.
Not feeling sesame ginger today? Instead, try one of these sauces with this roasted kabocha squash:
- Sauce Gochujang
- Honey-Chipotle Vinaigrette
- Simple Peanut Sauce
- Lime Cilantro Dressing
- Dressing with apple cider vinegar
Roasted Kabocha Squash
|10 minutes to prepare
forty minutes to cook
4 to 6 portions
A great side dish for the fall or winter is this recipe for roasted kabocha squash. It is flavored with sweet, salty, and nutty notes and is topped with sesame seeds, scallions, and my sesame ginger dressing.
- 1 kabocha squash
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Sesame Ginger Dressing, for drizzling
- ¼ cup chopped scallions
- Sesame seeds
- To make slicing the squash simpler, preheat the oven to 425°F and warm the squash (completely).
- Use parchment paper to line two baking sheets.
- Slice the squash into 112-inch pieces after cutting it in half lengthwise and removing the seeds and ribbing. To roast the slices for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating them halfway through, until golden brown and soft, divide them among the baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. (Note: The skin is edible and ought to be soft.)
- Place the roasted butternut squash on a small plate. Add the microgreens, scallions, and sesame seeds once the dressing has been drizzled over the dish. Add extra salt and pepper to taste before serving.