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:
- Spaghetti Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
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!
I made this recipe tonight with one addition: I added 1 pound of browned sage pork sausage. It was so delicious and my hubby couldn’t stop raving. This was the perfect introduction to delicata squash. Yum, yum, yum! Thank you soooo much!
I”m so glad you both enjoyed it!
This was easy to make and a perfect blend of flavours. My son who doesn’t eat much vegetables was raving about it.
I grew an abundance of kale which noone in the family loves and they all loved it in this recipe.
Thanks for this great addition to our favourite recipies.
This is absolutely delicious . I didn’t have Pearl
Onions, so I large diced half an onion. I didn’t have kale, but had beet greens from some beets I just roasted. Other than that, I made it exactly as directed. I will make this again – that is for certain!!
I’m so glad you loved it!
Absolutely delicious! I roasted the delicata seeds and used those in place of the pepitas. Great recipe, I added a bit of cut sausage to mix in, but it’s also great as is. I can’t wait for the next squash to ripen!
Thanks for the recipe! Couple of questions before I make for a date tomorrow: (1) has anyone roasted the apples along with the squash? Does it get too mushy? (2) Does the kale dry out in the oven? I’m considering blanching stovetop and then tossing in. Unnecessary?
Hi Molly, you could roast the apples separately if you want – but I’d do them on a separate sheet and/or chop them larger so they don’t burn at that time and temp. The kale doesn’t dry out since it’s in for such a short time. If you’d prefer to cook it separately you can.
First time making delicata squash and this was Amazing!!
I’m so glad you loved it!
This is the first time I ever heard of this squash and it was incredible! We get the Misfits Market delivery and are expanding our vegetable repertoire.. Anyway, I roasted as you described and made the wonderful, tangy salad dressing. But I modified from there – using what was available in my refrigerator- and put the roasted melange over a bed of mixed red leaf & frisee greens. AMAZING! We were pretty much licking our plates (even my 10-year old daughter)! I loved the flavors! Never would have thought to roast squash with apples and onions! Thank you!
Forgot to add my stars!
I made this to serve with a Meyer lemon chili pasta I found at farmer’s market and it was a lovely cold night meal. I omitted the apple and used both pepitas and pine nuts, but otherwise no change. Using the roasted squash to wilt the kale was so easy and will become my new hack. The heat of the chili in the pasta elevated the whole thing, so I will add that in future.
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!
Great dish. I will definitely make it again. I made the dressing with 1 TB of olive oil, and it was still delicious.
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!
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.
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..
Going to make this tonight but I cant find sage anywhere.. should I use dried sage instead along with fresh thyme? Any suggestions
Hi Rachel, you could use dried sage, I’d use just a few pinches since it’s much more potent. I hope you enjoy!
Thank you for introducing me to this vegetable. It’s amazing in texture and taste. Loved this recipe ❤️.
Easy and absolutely delicious!
I would love to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!!
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!
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.
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.
Turban squash is very closely realted to Buttercup squash, although larger. Perhaps give that a try.
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.