If you've never roasted delicata squash, get ready to fall in love! It's a breeze to prepare, and it has a rich, creamy texture and delicious sweet flavor.
If you’ve never roasted delicata squash before, get ready to fall in love! When winter squash appears at farmers markets and grocery stores each year, I’m excited to get my hands on all of it – acorn squash, butternut squash, sugar pie pumpkins, and more. But delicata squash is my favorite by far. Nicknamed the “sweet potato squash,” it has a sweet, velvety flesh that caramelizes beautifully in the oven. But that’s not all. Thanks to its small size and thin, edible skin, it’s super easy to work with. That’s right – you don’t have to peel it! In fact, the combination of the creamy flesh and the chewy skin is so good that I think it’s better with the peel on.
Delicata squash is at its best in early-mid fall, so now is the perfect time to cook it. Below, you’ll find my go-to method for roasting it, as well as one of my favorite delicata squash recipes (pictured above). Made with kale, pearl onions, apples, and sage, it’s packed with sweet and savory autumn flavor. This recipe is a show-stopping side dish, but if you’re looking for something simpler, just roast the squash, and eat! At this time of year, it’s creamy, sweet, and delicious all on its own.
How to Cook Delicata Squash
One of my favorite things about delicata squash is how easy it is to prepare. My method for cooking delicata squash takes under 30 minutes total, with just a few minutes of active prep. Here’s how it goes:
First, cut the squash. Because you can eat the skin, there’s no need to peel the squash before you chop it. Start by slicing it in half lengthwise. Then, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and the stringy flesh. Finally, cut the seeded squash halves into thick slices.
Next, season it. Drizzle the chopped squash with olive oil, and season it with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, and spread it in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Finally, bake! Transfer the baking sheet to a 425° oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the squash is completely tender and golden brown.
That’s it! Enjoy the roasted delicata squash on its own, or use it in any of these delicata squash recipes:
- Roasted Delicata Squash & Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce
- Fall Kale Salad
- Roasted Delicata Squash Tacos
- Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples and Sage (see below!)
Delicata Squash with Apples and Sage
I’m always excited to eat roasted delicata squash, but I especially love it in this recipe. A few years ago, Jack and I visited the Sub-Zero and Wolf headquarters in Madison, and a dish we enjoyed there inspired me to make this recipe. It was a beautiful, flavorful combination of roasted delicata squash, apples, and a sort of tangy vinaigrette. It stuck with me, so when I got home, this first thing I made was my own apple + squash recipe. It’s aromatic, sweet, and tangy – a favorite side dish in our house. In addition to the apples and squash, here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Roasted pearl onions – For savory, caramelized flavor.
- Kale – It adds beautiful flecks of green.
- Sage and thyme – Their cozy flavors make this dish taste like autumn!
- A tangy apple cider-Dijon vinaigrette – I couldn’t resist combining apple cider vinegar and apples to make this recipe a real fall celebration! Its tangy flavor makes the whole thing pop.
- And toasted pepitas – For crunch!
You’ll start by roasting the squash and onions. When they’re tender and caramelized, toss them with the kale, apples, herbs, and the tangy cider-Dijon dressing. Next, pop the final dish back in the oven for a few minutes, to wilt the kale slightly. Drizzle the remaining dressing on top just before serving, and enjoy!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe Serving Suggestions
This recipe is delicious hot from the oven, but you can also prep it a few hours in advance! (Find the make-ahead instructions in the recipe below.) As a result, it’s a great candidate for a special occasion meal or Thanksgiving feast. It pairs wonderfully with other autumn side dishes like green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and roasted Brussels sprouts. See this post for more favorite Thanksgiving recipes, and don’t forget the pumpkin pie or apple crumble for dessert!
Of course, this roasted delicata squash recipe is a yummy addition to an everyday dinner too. Pair it with a protein of your choice, or toss in some roasted chickpeas or cooked farro to make it a meal on its own!
More Favorite Roasted Vegetables
If you love this recipe, try one of these easy roasted vegetables next:
Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples
- 2 delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeded, cut into ½-inch pieces
- ½ cup pearl onions, halved
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons pepitas and/or pine nuts
- 2 cups torn lacinato kale, 2 to 3 leaves
- 6 sage leaves, chopped
- Leaves from 3 thyme sprigs
- 1 small gala apple, diced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon maple syrup
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the squash and onions on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and generous pinches of salt and pepper. Toss to coat and arrange on the sheet so that they’re not touching. Roast until the squash is golden brown on all sides and until the onions are soft and browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, mustard, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a small pan over medium-low heat, toss the pepitas with a pinch of salt and cook until toasted, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the kale, sage, and thyme. Add the warm roasted squash and onions, the apples, half the pepitas, and half the dressing. Toss to coat. Transfer to an oven-safe serving dish. (If you’re making this dish in advance stop here and follow the saving/reheating instructions in the notes below).
- Place the serving dish into the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the apples and kale are warm and the kale is just wilted. Just before serving, drizzle with the remaining dressing, and top with the remaining pepitas.
Once the roasted vegetables are transferred to the serving dish, cool to room temp. Cover with foil and chill the dish until ready to reheat (Ideally, make this around 4 hours in advance). When ready to reheat, preheat the oven to 425°. Loosen the foil and bake, very loosely covered for 12 to 15 minutes or until everything is heated through. Just before serving, drizzle with the remaining dressing, and top with the remaining pepitas.
Special thanks to Sub-Zero and Wolf for partnering on this post!