Roasted Delicata Squash

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.

Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe

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.

Delicata squash

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.

Chopped delicata squash on a cutting board

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.

Hand drizzling olive oil over chopped vegetables on a 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

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 with Apples

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!

delicata squash recipes

More Favorite Roasted Vegetables

If you love this recipe, try one of these easy roasted vegetables next:

Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples

rate this recipe:
5 from 19 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Serves 4 as a side
This roasted delicata squash recipe is a delicious fall side dish! Serve it straight out of the oven, or see the notes below for a make-ahead option.

Ingredients

  • 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

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • teaspoon maple syrup
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Make-ahead instructions:
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!

47 comments

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  1. Allie
    11.03.2017

    This sounds amazing! I have a sage plant so I’m gonna make this over the weekend.

  2. Ginger
    11.03.2017

    Looks terrific! Definitely an ‘add’ to our holiday table. I don’t see the reheating instructions…..

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.03.2017

      just fixed – thank you for pointing that out! I hope you enjoy the squash 🙂

  3. Amazing! I had delicate squash for the first time recently – it’s sweetness and deliciousness was divine. Thanks for sharing!

    Elisabeth

  4. Jan LeTourneau
    11.03.2017

    I was looking for those instructions too, I don’t see them.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.03.2017

      It’s in the notes section under the regular recipe instructions.

  5. Susan
    11.03.2017

    I am looking forward to trying this, especially since the last time I fed my husband kale, he didn’t offer his usual complaints.

  6. Angela from grapegravy.com
    11.03.2017

    This looks absolutely delicious!

  7. SO stunning — it’s literally asking to be the star of the Thanksgiving spread!

  8. Julie
    11.04.2017

    I’ve been making a version of this for awhile now and it gets repeatedly made until the squash disappears from the stores. I use Roasted red onion instead. I also season the delicata with tumeric and cumin and a dash of all spice. Sometimes some roasted chickpeas are added to make it even more substantial. Roasting whole cloves of garlic and adding those gives it a nice edge, too.

  9. Deborah
    11.04.2017

    I have never heard of a Delicata squash. You have gotten me curious to experiment should I be able to find one in my Virginia grocery store. Is the flavor more like a sweet winter squash or a savory summer squash?

  10. interesting source of inspiration for this recipe and the tweak you made to it, must have been interesting visiting the Wolf factory in Madison, thank you for sharing all of this, i love the side dishes too!

  11. D. Aaronson
    11.13.2017

    Made this tonight and it was Amazing! I will definitely be adding this to our Thanksgiving menu. Thank you!!

  12. GoMovies
    11.14.2017

    5 stars
    I LOVE sweet potatoes!

  13. Maureen
    11.15.2017

    I just made this and it is perfect. I thought there might not be sufficient dressing but it is just right. I will be making this all winter unless delicate squash runs out at my grocery store. Has anyone ever microwaved left overs?

    • Maureen
      11.15.2017

      Sorry – delicata. Good old spell check.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.15.2017

      Hi Maureen, so glad you enjoyed it!

  14. Annika
    11.19.2017

    5 stars
    This is a delicious side dish. I had never had delicata squash before but happened to see it at Trader Joe’s right before this recipe was posted. It felt like an omen when I saw the recipe so next time grocery shopping, I bought all the ingredients. I served it at a dinner party last evening and everybody really liked it. Even one person who said he normally doesn’t care much for any kind of squash. None of us had tried delicata squash before. Very yummy! I just saw you have another recipe that includes farro and chickpeas -two of my favorites – so next I will try that.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.19.2017

      Hi Annika,

      I’m so glad the recipe was a hit with everyone! Thanks for coming back to let me know! I hope you love the recipe with the chickpeas and farro 🙂

  15. Coco
    12.02.2017

    5 stars
    This was outrageously good! I made it for Thanksgiving this year and everyone adored it. The dressing is perfect and the pepitas are icing on the cake. Absolutely wonderful – thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.03.2017

      Hi Coco! I’m so incredibly happy to hear that everyone enjoyed it!!

  16. Jen
    10.02.2018

    5 stars
    It’s that time of year when squash fills our CSA box and I’m scrambling to find dinner recipes to use them! I’m so pleased I gave this one a shot – I added a lot more kale, used roasted red onion, combined pepitas with pine nuts. It was insanely delicious with a nice bite and came together so easily. The real test for me was how it would taste reheated and eaten for lunch the next day — I heated it up on the stove with a nonstick skillet and topped it with two fried & runny eggs. Amazing. Can’t wait to

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.02.2018

      Hi Jen! I’m so thrilled this was a it! Ooh, I love that egg idea 🙂

  17. Torrey Ratay
    11.06.2018

    Looks delicious. Where is that copper serving pan from?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.06.2018

      Thanks! I got it on Etsy really cheap (a no-name brand), I think I just searched “copper pans” or “french cookware.” Hope that helps!

  18. Mary Kay Naioti
    11.16.2018

    I really enjoy delicata squash, yet this was better than any other recipe I’ve tried. I also used red onion, mixed in some quinoa and topped with craisins, making it into a meal.
    Delicious and flavorful!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.17.2018

      I’m so glad you loved the recipe! I love the idea of adding quinoa to this to make it a meal – yum!

  19. Sueja
    12.09.2018

    If you can’t find delicata squash, what other squash would be a good replcement

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.09.2018

      Hi Sueja, I’d make it with roasted sweet potatoes – cut them into about 1-inch cubes and the baking time should be about the same. Or you could use acorn squash, but depending on the squash, it’s skin can be tougher and less desirable to eat. Hope that helps!

  20. Rachel Penna-Scheer
    09.24.2020

    Just made this and it was AMAZING!!! Trying the Delicata squash for the first time and it was so yummy, this recipe is so flavorful and healthy. I added some lentils on the side for some protein. Definitely will be making this again!

    • Rachel Penna-Scheer
      09.24.2020

      5 stars
      Forgot to add my rating – 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  21. Artemesia
    10.07.2020

    5 stars
    Have made this twice with substitutions — I can’t have onions and we didn’ thave peppitas and kale and it was great both times. I used nuts and some other greens. Making it today for a dinner party tomorrow (socially distanced with friends). Will have the peppitas and kale for this version. Great recipe. First time I have cooked delicatas — got them in a farm share.

  22. D. Smith
    10.13.2020

    I prefer butterCUP squash to butternut squash. Whole different flavor entirely.

    I LOVE delicata squash made the same way I make all squash and sweet potatoes. Cut in half, put in a few pats of butter, salt and pepper and roast in the oven until browned. I roast everything laying with the skin side up.

    • Lisa
      10.15.2020

      D.Smith

      I have been searching for Buttercup squash for over a year now, since i first heard about it. Where did you find it and is it similar to any particular squash? Thanks so much.

  23. Amanda
    10.13.2020

    5 stars
    I love delicata squash and this is a lovely preparation of it. The recipe is flexible – I used half-slices of sweet onion in lieu of pearl onions, and spinach instead of kale. The simple dressing is bright and brings everything together. Two of us polished off the entire salad!

  24. Hofterzielbeek
    10.14.2020

    I would love to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!!

  25. Krystina
    10.19.2020

    5 stars
    Easy and absolutely delicious!

  26. Sunshine
    10.19.2020

    5 stars
    Thank you for introducing me to this vegetable. It’s amazing in texture and taste. Loved this recipe ❤️.

  27. Rachel
    10.20.2020

    Going to make this tonight but I cant find sage anywhere.. should I use dried sage instead along with fresh thyme? Any suggestions

    Thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.20.2020

      Hi Rachel, you could use dried sage, I’d use just a few pinches since it’s much more potent. I hope you enjoy!

  28. Leone
    10.27.2020

    Oh Five Star! &Loved the mixed flavors & textures. I put the kale in a plastic bag with a little olive oil to soften it a bit first. What a lovely Thanksgiving sidedish it will make..
    thank you.

  29. Elaine
    10.29.2020

    5 stars
    Delish Delicata! Pearl onions weren’t available at our local grocery store, so we substituted shallots, and we used baby kale. We would cook it again, but will use half the oil; it seemed a bit much.

  30. Laura
    11.04.2020

    5 stars
    Just found this recipe and served it last night to the family – delicious! I subbed a few things I had on hand: baby bok choy instead of kale and almonds instead of pepitas, and the flexibility worked out fine. The squash and apples are delicious together!

  31. Karen Lipsey
    11.05.2020

    5 stars
    Great dish. I will definitely make it again. I made the dressing with 1 TB of olive oil, and it was still delicious.

  32. Kate
    11.05.2020

    5 stars
    Wow, this is amazing! I clicked on the recipe to find the cooking time for the squash but ended up making the full recipe. Two thumbs up!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.