Roasted delicata squash is an easy side dish to make in the fall and winter and its unique shape makes it a festive holiday dish. The squash is naturally sweet, similar to sweet potatoes, but with fewer carbs. I flavored mine with brown butter and thyme.
This is the first year I have tried delicata squash and I am very much in love with this squash. I was initially attracted to its green and orange stripes so I couldn’t resist picking up a few while grocery shopping.
What is Delicata Squash?
Much like its name implies, the rind of delicata squash is more delicate than most squash varieties. It is edible when roasted, so there is no need to peel the skin.
Delicata squash is sometimes known as sweet potato squash. The squash is naturally sweet, similar to sweet potatoes but with a firmer texture. The squash is rich in vitamins and low in calories. It also has less carbs than sweet potatoes, making it a good sweet potato alternative.
How to cut delicata squash
- The most common method I see for cutting delicata squash is to slice it lengthwise, remove the seeds and then thinly slice into half-moon slices.
- However, I did come across another method (from Table for Two) where the squash is sliced into whole rounds. The rind is soft enough that if you have a sharp knife or vegetable cleaver, you should be able to slice all the way through without cutting the squash in half. This preserves the beautiful and unique shape of the squash.
- Once cut into rounds, you can remove the seeds with a spoon. The squash rings reminded me of Christmas wreaths. I plan on serving this dish for Christmas this year.
How to Roast delicata squash
- Once the squash is cut and seeds removed, the squash slices are lightly brushed with olive oil. You can also season with salt if desired.
- The squash slices are then placed onto a baking sheet and placed into the oven to roast at 400F for about 20 minutes or until the squash is soft.
- Don’t be concerned if the tops of your squash don’t appear to have that lightly caramelized appearance like in these photos. After the squash is done cooking, flip them over and you should find that the undersides are lightly browned and caramelized.
- You can make both sweet and savory versions of roasted delicata squash. I’ve seen savory preparations where the squash is dusted with parmesan cheese, garlic and onion salt or Italian seasoning.
- You can also make a sweet variation by brushing the tops with maple syrup or honey.
- For my variation, I roasted mine with olive oil and thyme and then finished them with brown butter, which adds a nice nutty sweetness to the squash. I also added some pomegranate seeds which add a pop of color, texture and acidity. The vibrant red color of the pomegranate seeds also makes the squash rings look even more festive.
Roasted Delicata Squash with Brown Butter
- 1 delicata squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt to taste (optional)
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 ½ tbsp brown butter strained
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Wash squash and pat dry. Using a sharp knife or vegetable cleaver, slice off the two ends of the squash. Slice squash into 1/2 inch rounds. Use a small spoon to remove the seeds from each squash slice.
- Place squash slices in a single layer onto baking sheet, making sure none of the squash overlap.
- Brush squash with olive oil. Sprinkle thyme over surface of squash. If desired, you can also sprinkle a little salt onto each slice. I did not add salt to mine as I wanted a sweeter dish.
- Place squash into oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes or until squash is tender.
- Remove squash from oven. The tops should be golden but will not likely look caramelized or browned. Flip the squash slices over and you should find that they are caramelized.
- Brush squash with brown butter. Serve warm. If desired, garnish with fresh thyme and pomegranate seeds.
- If your knife is not sharp enough to cut whole rounds, you can also slice the squash in half, remove the seeds and slice into half-moons.
- I got the idea for slicing into whole rounds from Table for Two blog.
- To make brown butter: Add 2 tbsp of butter to a small saucepan and bring to low heat. Swirl butter as it melts so that it cooks evenly. Let the butter cook until it turns brown in color and a nutty aroma releases. Watch butter carefully because it can turn from browned to burnt very fast. Strain butter through a strainer to remove the small brown particles. You should be left with about 1 1/2 tbsp of brown butter.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.