Our roasted kabocha squash recipe is a nutty and deliciously tender vegetable side dish. The winter squash is quick–cooking, with edible skin, and it takes only 25 minutes of roasting.
Check out our best vegetable sides recipe collection!
Kabocha squash, pronounced Kab-BOH-chah and sometimes called Japanese pumpkin, is a winter squash with a mildly sweet taste and smooth texture.
When roasted, this squash has a flavor similar to butternut squash and sweet potato, but with slightly meatier, denser, and drier orange flesh.
For quick and hassle-free preparation, we keep its edible peel on, increasing the nutrients and fiber content.
This recipe requires minimal effort but delivers! All you have to do is cut the squash in half, discard the seeds, and slice it into wedges. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs, and roast it for 25 minutes until fork tender.
Like roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes, you can make savory or sweet roasted kabocha squash.
Our base version is savory, but in our variations chapter, we’ll show you how to make it with maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon.
Its smooth and velvety textured flesh and mildly sweet and nutty taste make it our favorite roasted winter squash. Let us know what you think!
We make this recipe with whole kabocha squash. We cut it in half, seed it, slice it, and roast it. There’s no need to discard the peel, as it becomes soft and edible once cooked.
However, if you don’t want to eat the skin, you can easily discard it after the squash is roasted or cut it off before roasting (instructions below).
You can substitute kabocha squash with other winter squash such as butternut squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, and delica squash.
Use a couple of cloves of crushed garlic for a light garlic aroma or garlic powder for a more pronounced garlic flavor.
Like most other fall and winter orange vegetables, kabocha squash goes perfectly with fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme. Pick one or more.
Salt and Pepper
We sprinkle sea salt (or kosher salt) and freshly ground black pepper to season our roasted kabocha squash. Chili powder or red pepper flakes are optional.
We cook kabocha squash with heart-healthy and good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is stable at high temperatures and rich in antioxidants. Regular olive oil or avocado oil is the next best alternative.
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wash and scrub the kabocha squash well, dry it, and cut it in half with a sharp knife. Then, with a spoon, scoop out the seeds.
Now, place one-half of the squash on a cutting board, cut side down. Slice it into 1/3 inch (0.8 cm) slices with a sharp knife.
Arrange it on the baking sheet on a single layer without overlapping.
You should be able to fit about 2 pounds of squash on a baking sheet.
Season with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and chopped herbs (we used fresh rosemary and sage).
Toss to spread the seasoning, then bake at 400°F or 200°C for about 25 minutes, until the kabocha squash is fork tender.
Serve as is, or use it to make other delicious recipes such as soups, pasta, gnocchi, ravioli, and more.
Peeled roasted kabocha squash
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, then put it flat on a cutting board. Then, with a sharp knife, cut off the peel.
Chop the squash into slices or cubes, and season with olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic, sage leaves, and rosemary. Optionally you can add chopped onion.
Toss, then roast in a preheated oven at 400°F or 200°C for 25 minutes, or until fork tender.
Cinnamon and maple syrup roasted kabocha
To make a sweet variation of roasted kabocha squash, season it with a drizzle of olive oil and maple syrup, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of grated nutmeg, a bit of salt, and one of pepper.
Roast for 25 minutes until fork tender and enjoy as a side dish for the holidays or a special weeknight dinner.
Serve roasted winter squash as is or with a pinch of fresh herbs or a squeeze of lemon on top.
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- Lentil pasta with fresh herbs and authentic Italian flavor
- Tofu with Pizzaiola Sauce and a serving of sauteed spinach
- Marinated tofu on a bed of white rice or cauliflower rice
As a healthy lunch, you can try roasted kabocha squash in one of these crispy salads:
- Easy chickpea salad ready in just 20 minutes
- Lentil tabbouleh salad – a Mediterranean favorite with fresh tomato and cucumber
- Cauliflower lentil salad with a creamy
- Green bean salad – a favorite for Thanksgiving and Christmas
Or make this 5-minute lunch: add tofu scramble on toasted bread and serve with kabocha wedges on the side; you’ll get a nutritious and protein-packed meal!
Store leftover roasted winter squash in an airtight container or a bowl covered with plastic wrap for up to 3 days in the fridge. Reheat in a preheated oven, air fryer, or microwave.
You can roast kabocha squash with the skin or without. Toss it in olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic or garlic powder, and herbs such as sage, rosemary, and thyme, and bake at 400°F or 200°C for 25 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300°F or 150°C, wash the kabocha squash seeds well under running water, discarding all squash strings.
Pat the seeds dry with a kitchen towel and transfer them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Season with olive oil and salt, toss the seasoning and arrange flat on the baking tray without overlapping.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until roasted and brown. Let cool down before serving.
Yes, absolutely! Like many other orange-fleshed vegetables kabocha squash is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and beta-carotene. It offers a wealth of health benefits such as heart health, eye health, skin health, oxidative damage prevention.
More vegetable sides
If you’re looking to add more veggies to your diet, these vegetable sides can brighten up your next dinner:
- Shaved Brussels sprouts salad with a finger-licking mustard dressing
- Steamed artichokes with easy and quick preparation tips
- Red cabbage salad – a crispy winter slaw with walnuts and apple
- Green bean salad – a top side salad for Thanksgiving and Christmas
- Oven roasted broccoli with garlic and shaved almonds
- Roasted zucchini with breadcrumbs and Italian herbs
- Easy side salad with a quick vinaigrette
- Roasted cauliflower and broccoli florets – ready in 25 minutes!
More winter squash recipes
Add extra color, flavor, and healthy vitamins to your table with these tasty winter squash recipes:
- Butternut squash soup made with our easy bake and blend technique
- Ravioli with butternut squash and ricotta filling
- Butternut squash risotto – a creamy and vibrant risotto recipe
- Kabocha squash pasta with ricotta and parmesan sauce.
- Easy butternut squash pasta – a weeknight dinner favorite ready in 30 minutes
Roasted Kabocha Squash
- 2 pounds kabocha squash about a small one, or half a big one – cut into 1/3 inch (0.8cm) slices.
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig rosemary or thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 5 leaves sage chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.Wash and scrub the kabocha squash well, dry it, and cut it in half with a sharp knife. Then, with a spoon, scoop out the seeds.Now, place one-half of the squash on a cutting board, cut side down. Slice it into ⅓ inch (0.8 cm) slices with a sharp knife.
- Arrange it on the baking sheet on a single layer without overlapping.You should be able to fit about 2 pounds of squash on a baking sheet.
- Season with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and chopped herbs (we used fresh rosemary and sage).
- Toss to spread the seasoning, then bake at 400°F or 200°C for about 25 minutes, until the kabocha squash is fork tender.
- Serve as is, or use it to make other delicious recipes such as soups, pasta, gnocchi, ravioli, and more.