Basic way to make Japanese Roasted Kabocha Squash

Tracy Hilton here from Food and Meal, excited to share with you one of my favorite fall side dishes – beautifully Roasted Kabocha Squash!

As the weather turns cooler and farmers markets overflow with winter squash, I can’t resist grabbing those vibrant green Japanese pumpkins called kabocha. Their sweet, nutty flavor and silky smooth texture make kabocha squash perfect for roasting.

Roasting kabocha brings out its natural sweetness and concentrates those rich flavors. I love slicing the squat pumpkins in half, scooping out the seeds, then letting the wedges roast until the flesh becomes velvety soft and caramelized. A quick brush of maple syrup or honey before roasting adds even more warmth and sweetness.

The best part is how versatile roasted kabocha squash can be. I like to serve it alongside pork chops or chicken, letting the juices mingle deliciously. It also makes a stellar base for grain bowls and fall salads paired with kale or arugula. And it’s amazing just on its own as a side dish with some crumbled feta or toasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top.

Roasted Kabocha Squash Recipes

Roasted Kabocha Squash
Golden perfection – roasted kabocha squash.
Basic Way To Make Japanese Roasted Kabocha Squash 1

Roasted Kabocha Squash - Oven

Kabocha squash is a Japanese pumpkin with a velvety texture and sweet flavor, especially when roasted. Tossing it with an umami-loaded mixture of miso and soy sauce intensifies the flavors even further, making it an ideal topping for a vegetarian or vegan ramen.
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Course: Appetizer, Side Dishes
Cuisine: French, Japanese
Diet: Vegan
Keyword: kabocha, squash
CookingStyle: Baking
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 86kcal
Author: Tracy Hilton
Cost: 10
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  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the miso, soy sauce, oil, and brown sugar to combine well. Add the squash and toss to coat.
  • Spread the squash out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender and beginning to brown.



Ingredient Tip: You can find kabocha squash in Asian markets and some supermarkets or farmers’ markets. If you can’t find it, feel free to substitute sugar pumpkin or butternut squash.
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Serving: 1serving | Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 412mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1542IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg
© Food And Meal

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the Spoonacular Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.

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Alternative Method: Air Fryer Roasted Kabocha Squash

Roasted Kabocha Squash
Kabocha squash slices before their crispy transformation.

To prepare the Kabocha Squash, start by washing it and patting it dry. Slice off the top and bottom ends, then halve it horizontally and scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh. Cut the squash into wedges or slices, about 1/2 inch thick, leaving the skin intact for added flavor. In a large bowl, toss the squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika if desired. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for 5 minutes. Arrange the seasoned squash slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Continue cooking for 8-10 more minutes until tender and golden-brown. Adjust cooking time as needed. Serve the roasted squash hot, optionally sprinkling with extra seasoning, as a delightful side dish or snack.

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Tips for making Roasted Kabocha Squash

 - Roasted Kabocha Squash.
A symphony of flavors – kabocha squash roasted to perfection.

Cooking Tips

When prepping kabocha squash, choose ones that feel very heavy for their size. That means a higher flesh-to-seed ratio so there’s more to eat! I like to carefully slice off the stem, then cut the squash in half lengthwise. Now for my favorite trick – instead of scooping out the seeds, roast the halves seed-side down first. The seeds help the cavity retain its shape better.

As the kabocha roasts, keep an eye on it. I poke the skin with a fork and when it’s tender enough to pierce easily, it’s done! Then I let it cool just enough to handle and scoop out those amazingly toasted seeds for snacking.

When it comes to seasoning my roasted kabocha, I keep things simple to let its natural sweetness shine. Just a brush of olive oil, sprinkle of salt, pepper, and maybe a little maple syrup drizzled over the top. That’s it! Roasted plain, it’s luscious enough to eat with a spoon. I also love tossing cubes of roasted kabocha into fall salads, grain bowls, or pasta dishes. It plays so nicely with other flavors.

Serving Suggestions

Roasted Kabocha Squash
Pair it right – roasted kabocha squash and a glass of sauvignon blanc.

For a wholesome and nutritious meal, pair the Roasted Kabocha Squash with a side of Spinach Quiche. The earthy flavors of the squash complement the savory richness of the quiche, creating a satisfying and balanced dish. Alternatively, serve the squash alongside a refreshing Kohlrabi Salad for a lighter option. The crispness of the salad with its vibrant flavors will contrast beautifully with the tender, caramelized squash. Whichever you choose, these serving suggestions will elevate your dining experience with the delightful taste of roasted Kabocha squash.

Frequently Asked Questions about Roasted Kabocha Squash

Roasted Kabocha Squash
Quick and easy – your guide to roasted kabocha squash
  • Can I eat the skin of Kabocha squash? Absolutely! The skin is edible and becomes tender when roasted. Plus, it adds a delightful texture and flavor.
  • How do I store leftover Roasted Kabocha Squash? Place any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, use the oven or air fryer to maintain the crispy texture.
  • Can I freeze Roasted Kabocha Squash? Freezing may alter the texture, making it slightly mushier upon thawing. It’s best enjoyed fresh, but you can freeze it in a pinch.
  • Can I use other spices for seasoning? Absolutely! Kabocha squash pairs well with various spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cumin, depending on your flavor preference.
  • Can I roast Kabocha squash without olive oil? You can, but the olive oil not only enhances the flavor but also helps achieve that irresistible crispy texture. You can use a light coating of cooking spray as a healthier alternative.
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Tracy Hilton here, wrapping up my blog post on this wonderful Roasted Kabocha Squash recipe. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little foray into cooking with seasonal winter squash as much as I have. There’s just something so warm, earthy and satisfying about roasting up this underrated gem.

If you give this Roasted Kabocha Squash a try, I’d love to hear how it turns out! Post a photo on Instagram and tag @foodandmeal so I can see your delicious creations. Did you add any special twists or serving suggestions? I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy this sweet, nutty squash.

And be sure to keep checking the Food and Meal blog for more cozy fall and winter cooking inspiration. As the weather turns cooler, I find myself craving all those rustic, comforting dishes that take me back to my grandmother’s kitchen. I’ll share my favorite squash recipes along with tips for making them perfectly tender and caramelized every time.

Thanks for cooking along with me today! Here’s to many more happy days in the kitchen making memories around the table with those we love.

I'm Tracy F Hilton, a devoted culinary professional shaped by a mix of natural aptitude and refined skills from a top culinary school. In the dynamic kitchen environment, I'm a catalyst for seamless operations and timely, high-quality dish preparation. My culinary creations are a blend of art and skill, offering visually and gustatorily delightful experiences. A learner at heart, I'm continuously honing my craft, embracing new techniques, and culinary innovations. My positive, collaborative nature is amplified in fast-paced settings, showcasing my commitment to team efficiency and guest satisfaction. Each dish I present is a meticulous blend of tradition and innovation, promising an unforgettable dining experience that marries taste, aroma, and aesthetic appeal in perfect harmony. Join me on a gastronomic journey where each bite encapsulates a rich, evolving narrative of flavors and culinary artistry.

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