Roasted delicata squash is easy and delicious! It takes 5 minutes to toss it in the oven and it is a great fall side dish for all of your favorite meats. If it is time you got some delicious and healthy new side dishes, start here! (Peleo and Gluten Free.)
Ever think the only winter squash in the store is Acorn or Butternut? They are both nice winter squashes but there is SO much variety out there! My favorite squash is the humble Delicata. It has a rich, sweet flavor and a creamy – soft texture. Also Delicata is on the small side so it is perfect for a couple or a family that does not want a bunch left over. For this recipe I’m roasting the squash with a little maple syrup, salt and some black pepper. It hits a wonderful sweet-savory note.
Roasted Delicata Squash With Maple Syrup
As the weather shifts from mild fall to cold weather I stock the pantry with delicata squash! These are some of the smallest winter squash so they are very easy to deal with.
I wash the squash, slice it in half, drizzle in the maple syrup and it goes into the oven.
In the world of health side dishes there are not very many that take five minutes to prep!
What Is A Winter Squash?
Delicata squash is a winter squash. Winter squash is squash we eat when it is fully mature as opposed to summer squash. Zucchini is a summer squash – it comes ripe in the summer and we eat it when the seeds are immature. Usually we remove the seeds and toast them up or discard them. Acorn, Butternut, and Spaghetti are some of the most common.
Winter squash is also very easy to keep in the pantry for months at a time so you always have some on hand. Usually I have a few in my pantry and some cooked up in my freezer.
Squash is a Fall Food You SHOULD Eat!
- The veggie is rich in Vitamin A.
- It is easy to cook.
- You can freeze leftovers to serve later.
- You also can’t beat the price!
- It is easy to bring home a delicata squash for $1-$2! That is a great deal for a nutrient dense food.
I serve winter squash like this roasted delicata with pork chops, next to roasted chicken, or even as a main dish for vegetarians! On days I have leftovers, I warm them up in the microwave with some butter and eat them for a snack!
Freezing Leftover Squash
If you plan to make extra to freeze follow the recipe and then let the squash cool. Use a spoon to scoop it into Ziploc freezer bags in single-meal quantities. Store it in the freezer until you need it.
To thaw the cooked squash leave it in the refrigerator the night before or leave it on the counter at room temperature for the afternoon.
If I’m in a big hurry I fill the sink with warm water and put the frozen container of squash into the warm water to thaw quickly.
You Need More Easy Side Dishes
How’s your dinner time going? Do you have a good rotation of side dishes? It is easy to get into serving endless rounds of broccoli but even great broccoli can get boring! A good side dish should be easy, not take your focus off the main dish, and be family friendly. This roasted delicata squash is a home run in all departments!
Making Healthy Side Dishes Beyond Pasta & Rice
Scientists estimate that there are more than 20,000 edible plants in our world. But what do we serve day after day? Pasta and rice. I love a good carb side dish but we need variety!!
Adding a nice roasted squash in to the mix gives you another healthy side dish option beyond your regular rotation.
Winter Squash Is A Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish
For Thanksgiving I’m always looking for easy side dishes that I can make in advance! Roasted delicata is perfect for this! Cook it a few days before and then warm it up in the microwave or oven on Thanksgiving right before you serve it. No need to spend the oven space on Thanksgiving to make your side dish! Get a complete list of my easy Thanksgiving side dishes here.
Brush the squash with a bit of melted butter if you feel like it needs a little extra something!
What to Serve With Roasted Squash
Roasted Delicata Squash: An Easy Side Dish
- 1 delicata squash about 2 pounds
- 2 teaspoon maple syrup
- 2 pinches salt about 1/2 teaspoon
- black pepper, course grind optional
- butter for serving if desired
- Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking pan with foil. (Baked on squash is hard to clean up so make sure the foil is covering the entire pan.)
- Slice the squash in half the long way. Scoop out and discard all the seeds and loose pulp. Put squash on the roasting pan with the skin down touching the pan.
- Put 1 teaspoon of maple syrup and sprinkle one pinch of salt in each squash half. Grind in some pepper if desired.
- Cover the pan with a sheet of foil. Bake for 45-90 minutes until the squash is tender when poked with a fork. (Time depends on the size of squash.)
- Serve the squash as "boats" and eat the flesh out of the rind with a spoon. Or scoop the cooked squash into a serving bowl. The rind of this winter squash is edible but this recipe is not a good one to use for eating the rind.
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This recipe was originally published in 2014. Photos and information were updated in 2020