Easy Roasted Kabocha Squash Recipe

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By Barbara Hodge • Last Updated: October 27, 2023
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Easy Roasted Kabocha Squash Recipe

Naturally sweetened, roasted kabocha squash cooked to perfection, is one of my favourite sides. The delicious rich flavour and velvety texture make this roasted kabocha squash recipe a winner for the whole family. And, it’s quick and easy to make!

Roasted Kabocha Recipe

I love kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) and roasted kabocha squash is the one of the best ways to appreciate it. When kabocha is roasted, it becomes smooth and velvety, and it’s rich flavour shines through. It’s taste and bright orange colour is a great addition to a family lunch table. Watch it disappear at thanksgiving, Christmas or any weekend lunch or dinner!

If like me, you don’t want to spend lots of time on each side, when cooking a variety of things for lunch, this recipe is what you’re after. Just place some herbs and garlic cloves next to sliced kabocha wedges, splash olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper, and put it in the oven. That’s it!

You can serve a perfect flavourful, seasonal dish with little effort!

I’ll show you how to prep and cook kabocha squash perfectly, including:

  1. Cleaning kabocha squash
  2. Cutting Kabocha Squash for Cooking
  3. Roasting kabocha squash

Kabocha squash is a seasonal vegetable that’s enjoyed in many places around the world. It makes a great change from everyday pumpkin or other roasted vegetables, and is every bit as tasty. And, cooking kabocha squash is fun!

Bring joy into your life and share it with loved ones. Read on!

Miso Glazed Roasted Kabocha Squash
Credit: Instagram @heartbeetkitchen

What is kabocha squash

Kabocha squash is a winter squash, often also called a Japanese pumpkin. It’s becoming very popular as an alternative to everyday pumpkin. Kabocha tastes like roasted chestnut and is a bit sweeter than butternut pumpkin.

Kabocha has a fresh bright orange colour inside with a dark green thick skin. The texture becomes tender, fluffy and velvety when it’s roasted.

This winter squash is highly versatile, and works well with sesame based sauce, mayo flavour dressings or balsamic vinaigrette sauce.

My favourite savory Japanese kabocha squash recipes are:

  • kabocha squash curry
  • kabocha squash soup
  • kabocha squash salad
  • simmered kabocha squash (kabocha no nimono)
  • kabocha croquette
  • kabocha no tempura

How to find the best kabocha

So how to tell if kabocha is ripe and ready for cooking? Here are some tips:

  • Find a kabocha with a dark green skin. It should be well shaped and heavy.
  • If the stem becomes sunken and dried like a coil, that’s the sign of a ripened kabocha squash. Select the thick dried stem. The thicker, the better.
  • Needless to say, look out for, and avoid, mould on the skin.
  • If the dark green skin is partly orange, that’s a sign of a ripen sweet pumpkin.

If you find half or quarter cut kabocha squash at shops, pick up the fresh, vibrant colour. I prefer orange coloured pumpkin, which is sweeter than the yellow coloured.

If you can’t find kabocha squash

If you aren’t able to find Japanese kabocha squash for this recipe, try to use Mexican pumpkin for the replacement. It works well too.

Roasted kabocha ingredients

OLIVE OIL

I used olive oil to coat the fresh kabocha wedges. This is to avoid drying them out in the oven. Maple syrup and soy sauce can also be used to glaze the surface.

GARLIC AND HERB

Garlic clove is optional, but it works really well with this recipe. I enjoy roasting kabocha with herbs, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. You can choose any herbs, but rosemary and oregano work very well.

For topping, I selected broccoli sprouts and red onion. You can choose your favourite vegetables.

How to Roast Kabocha Squash

How to Roast Kabocha Squash
Credit: Instagram @plantpurechef

Preparing the kabocha for roasting

HOW DO YOU CLEAN JAPANESE KABOCHA PUMPKIN?

I first clean the skin with running water. No peeling needed as kabocha skin is edible.

If the kabocha is half cut, wash only the skin. No need to wash orange flesh.

WHAT IS THE EASIEST WAY TO CUT KABOCHA SQUASH?

I am not good at cutting a whole kabocha squash, so here’s a few tips.

  • Needless to say, use a large sharp knife. Blunt knives are not safe.
  • Place the knife next to the stem. Then simply cut the squash into half. Remove the stem.

REMOVING THE SEEDS

Remove the seeds. Also remove the fiber surrounding the seeds because the texture is not great.

SLICING

Always put the flat part on the chopping board when you are cutting the kabocha. Hold the knife handle with one hand, and place the other hand on top of the knife, pushing down with some pressure when you cut.

Slice the halves into 4 wedges. It’s easier to cut in half first and slice smaller wedges.

If it’s really hard for you to cut it, put the kabocha halves in microwave for two minutes. This helps to make the skin softer and easier to cut.

Roasting kabocha

Preheat the oven at 410 °F degree (210 °C). Place a baking sheet on a sheet pan. Place kabocha squash wedges and splash it with olive oil. Shake the tray a bit to ensure that all the wedges are covered.

Make sure the kabocha skin is also coated with the oil. Sprinkle rosemary, oregano and garlic cloves on it. Make sure you place the wedges in a single layer.

How long do you roast kabocha squash

I love the kabocha tender on the inside and golden brown on the outside. So it usually takes about 25 minutes on 410 °F degree (210 °C degree). If the surface is getting too brown, cover the wedges with an aluminum sheet to avoid burning.

FAQs

How long does kabocha squash last

A whole kabocha can be kept for a month at room temperature. Avoid direct sunshine.

Can you roast kabocha squash seeds?

Yes! No need to throw out the seeds. You can roast them. Kabocha seeds are edible and highly nutritional.

HOW TO ROAST KABOCHA SQUASH SEEDS?

Remove the fiber, wash with running water and dry them on a sieve. Then you can roast them with the kabocha or separately with a splash of olive oil. Sprinkle some salt on them once cooked. They can be great snack or topping on savory dishes. It’s delicious!

Do you cut the skin for roasted pumpkin squash?

No need to cut kabocha skin. It’s edible. You can eat skin of roasted kabocha squash.

Easy Roasted Kabocha Squash Recipe

Roasted Kabocha Squash Recipe

Barbara Hodge
Naturally sweetened, roasted kabocha squash cooked to perfection, is one of my favourite sides. The delicious rich flavour and velvety texture make this roasted kabocha squash recipe a winner for the whole family. And, it’s quick and easy to make!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 4 SERVINGS

Ingredients
  

  • 1 kabocha squash (about 3.5 lb or 1.6 kg)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (or crystal kosher salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup broccoli sprouts (topping)
  • ¼ cup sliced red onion (topping)

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 410 °F degree (210 °C). Line two baking sheets with a parchment paper..
  • Clean the skin with running water.
  • Use a sharp knife, and place it next to the pumpkin stem. Cut the kabocha squash into half. Remove the stem.
  • Remove the seeds with a spoon.
  • Place the flat side of kabocha squash on the chopping board. Cut the squash into half. Then cut the halves into four, yielding about one to one and a half inch wedges.

Cooking

  • Place the wedges on each baking sheet in a single layer. Splash olive oil, and rub each pumpkin wedge. Make sure the skin is also coated to avoid them out. Sprinkle herbs, garlic cloves, salt and pepper.
  • Cook them in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the surface becomes golden brown, and tender inside.
  • Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Place the roasted pumpkin squash on a plate. Garnish with broccoli sprout and red onion slices. Sprinkle more salt to taste. Add any extra dressing.
    That's it! Serve immediately and enjoy!