Roasted Pumpkin with Cranberries & Pecans

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries & Pecans - Paleo, Gluten-Free

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to share some of my favourite holiday season side dishes. This paleo friendly roasted pumpkin dish is a vegetable crowd pleaser and can be served at a festive gathering or as a hearty side dish with you next dinner meal.

The key to this dish is getting the right type of pumpkin or winter squash. I have a great guide to different types of pumpkin and winter squashes here. For this particular recipe you want to use a sweeter kind of pumpkin such as Kent, Jap, Kabocha or Jarrahdale. Butternut squash is fine to use but I find the texture less starchy and the flavour less sweet.

Find more healthyThanksgiving & Christmas recipes and ideas.


You can modify other ingredients as well. I used dried cranberries (yes, the sweetened kind as that’s what I could find) but you could also chop up some dried apricots or throw in some sultanas. Pecans are very traditional and I love the flavour, but you can easily use other nuts and seeds, or omit them completely. Brown onion can be used instead of red onion, but I find the latter a little sweeter and the colour much prettier for this dish.

Leftover roasted pumpkin is perfect with scrambled eggs or as a filling in frittata or quiche; or, you can turn it into a soup or a curry. That’s if you have any left over.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries & Pecans (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Thanksgiving, Christmas)

If you’re preparing this dish for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, it works well as a make ahead recipe. Simply pre-roast the dish in the morning and then reheat in the oven just before serving.


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Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries & Pecans

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 22 mins
  • Total Time: 32 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Side dish



  • 1.8 kg / about 4 lb pumpkin (the weight includes the skin and seeds)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced roughly
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

For the glaze

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup, molasses or honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or tamari sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F.
  2. Peel the pumpkin, cut it into quarters and remove the seeds. Dice into cubes and add to a large roasting tray or baking dish. Add the onion and drizzle with olive oil. Toss through and place in the oven, middle shelf, for 10 minutes.
  3. Chop most of the pecans roughly and reserve a few whole nuts. Prepare the rest of ingredients.
  4. After 10 minutes, remove the pumpkin and scatter the pecans (except for a few whole ones), cranberries, garlic, salt and spices over the top. Stir through and place back in the oven for 7 minutes.
  5. After 7 minutes, remove the tray again and scatter the remaining pecans over the top. Whisk together the glaze mix and drizzle over the tray contents. Place in the oven for 5 more minutes.

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries & Pecans (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Thanksgiving, Christmas)


About the author: I share tasty recipes, tips, and meal plans to help you get healthier and lose weight. I am a qualified nutrition coach with an Advanced Diploma in Nutrition & Weight Management. More about me here.

PS. Some posts contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

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  1. This is delicious. I am definitely making this a regular for all holiday meals. I used butternut squash because in the south, all winter squash comes from Mexico and is bland and watery. An organic one would probably have more flavor and texture, too. This turned out perfect using the recipe exactly as written.

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