Roasted squash is a real harvest time favorite of mine, and I recommend it to everyone who wants to try something different with squash.
When you take something like roast kabocha squash and season it up, it can add a delightful flavor and texture to your autumn spreads.
The flavor is really rich and complex, and then it takes to seasonings and spices really well too. So, I get to have a lot of fun flavoring in different ways and bringing out the different flavor accents it has to offer.
It’s just a fun food to play with, and then the color is really bright as well.
That makes it a great addition to a number of meals, and I want to share with you how to roast kabocha squash so that it comes out perfectly.
How Long to Roast Kabocha Squash?
At 425 degrees Fahrenheit, the squash takes about 25 or 30 minutes to cook. Your cooking time is going to change if you use a different cooking temperature. Keep that in mind as you’re preparing to roast the squash. 425 degrees is good for a thick squash and large pieces.
If you’re cooking a whole squash at once rather than slicing up, it will have to cook for longer. If you’re using a lower temperature, the squash will have to cook for longer as well.
If you have other food to with the squash in the oven that you want to bake at the same time, that can affect the cooking time as well. You want to make sure that the squash or whatever else is in the oven cooks all the way through so it’s tender all the way through.
You can test your finished food when it comes out of the oven by poking it with a fork. One your fork slides in easily, it’s been roasted thoroughly. If it’s still kind of tough and the squash offers resistance, then it could benefit from cooking for a few minutes longer.
Try adding about 5 minutes cooking time at once until you have your squash cooked all the way through.
How to Roast a Kabocha Squash Whole
You don’t have to cut the squash up into small pieces and peel the skin off to cook it. It can be roasted with the skin still on and actually roasting the entire squash at once, if you want to. The skin is edible as well, so no matter how you’re roasting it, you don’t have to remove it.
It is a good idea to get rid of any unsavory looking spots on the squash, like dry looking brown spots. If any of the skin looks green or orange, that’s okay to leave on, and it’s perfectly edible.
If you do plan to cut up the squash, however, it’s best to roast it first. That actually makes it a lot softer. You can pop it in the oven for about 10 minutes. It becomes much easier to slice, and it’s safer to work with.
There’s less chance that your knife is going to slide off and you’re going to have a hard time cutting through it and actually accidentally injure yourself.
How to Roast a Kabocha Squash
Now that you know a lot of the ins and outs of preparing your squash and cooking it based on different parameters, let’s talk about just cooking sliced kabocha squash pieces.
- 1 kabocha squash, whole
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil (avocado oil is another one I like to use that makes for a healthy alternative)
- Start by warming the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To make the squash easier to cut, you can warm it for 10 minutes, once the oven is heated. It can rest in the oven on the middle rack on a baking sheet.
- Then, prepare baking sheet with parchment paper. You may have to use two of them, depending on the size of the squash.
- Cut the squash in half along its length and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and ribbing. Slice the remainder of the squash into 1 1/2 inch to 2-inch slices.
- Place your slices onto the baking sheets with enough space between each of them so that they can cook evenly. Drizzle olive oil over all of your pieces and sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
- Allow the squash to roast for 15 minutes. Then, flip the pieces over with a spatula or tongs.
- Put the squash back into the oven and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. When it’s done cooking, the squash should be a golden brown color and the skin should be tender and edible.
This method for how to roast kabocha squash in the oven keeps things really simple. You can add a dressing or seasonings to your squash to make it more flavorful. I’ve just given you basic ingredients to work with, and you can expand on it from there.
You don’t need a dressing or additional seasoning for the squash, if you don’t want to. It comes out pretty soft and creamy on its own and is perfectly edible with just a little salt and pepper to bring out the flavor.
This squash pairs well with pasta cooked al dente, as well as chicken dishes, soup, toasted bread, potato salad, and more. The texture is soft and creamy, with the skin offering only minimal resistance. The flavor is earthy and much like other squashes.
The flavor can be subtle if you don’t use a little cooking oil and some salt and pepper to help bring it out, which is why I definitely recommend cooking with those ingredients, if not some additional ones as well for added flavor.
If you’ve never tried kabocha squash before, now you know how easy it is to make and how simple it is to create a squash dish that’s tasty and flavorful.