Honey Roasted Delicata Squash
This delicata squash recipe is roasted with honey, chili flakes, thyme and garlic for a sweet and savory side that’s perfect for fall and winter meals. Delicata squash is a delicious thin skinned winter squash that doesn’t get enough attention. Its small size makes it much easier to handle than other squashes and it cooks much faster. When roasted, the squash gets creamy and sweet and I can’t get over how pretty the flower shaped slices are!
Originally I made this recipe using Caribbean pumpkin instead of delicata squash as I was living in Trinidad at the time and that variety of pumpkin was the most widely available of the squashes. It suits any squash and pumpkin but the good thing about using delicata squash is that the skin is edible and you don’t have to peel it. The same goes for acorn squash although acorn squash is usually thicker and larger so keep those things in mind if you are using an alternative squash. That will definitely affect the roasting time. The thicker or larger the pieces, the longer you will have to roast them.
This dish heightens the natural sweetness of the delicata squash not only because you’re adding the honey to it but also because it’s roasted. Roasting squash or pumpkin - which I do whenever I’m using it for soups, purée or anything like that, makes it hands-down more delicious. It becomes sweeter, nuttier and caramelises naturally when roasting. No better way to eat it or prep it for some other use. This is great as a side but can be an entire meal if you ask me. I love to add some greens to it and it becomes somewhat of a harvest salad too.
If you prefer maple syrup or brown sugar instead of the honey feel free to replace it with either of those options. I also like using walnuts and almonds in place of the pecans but pecans are what I had on hand when I originally made this.
Finishing it off with the crumbled feta, toasted chopped nuts and an extra drizzle of honey makes this pumpkin dish over the top. Adding the salty brininess of the feta and extra sweetness from the honey is just too perfect. We loved this side and hope you do to!!
- 3 medium Delicata squash (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs plus more for garnish
- ½-1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you want them)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey plus more for drizzling
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup Pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup Feta, crumbled
- Arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower rungs in the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F degrees.
- Place the squash, and garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and honey, and sprinkle with thyme, red pepper flakes and generously with salt and pepper to taste; then toss to coat.
- Spread the squash evenly onto two large, rimmed baking sheets. Bake the squash on the upper and lower racks of the oven, tossing, rotating, and switching the pan positions half way through cooking, until tender and browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Taste and season again with more salt and pepper, if desired.
- Serve with an extra drizzle of honey, toasted chopped pecans and crumbled feta and garnish with fresh thyme
Adapted from Epicurious