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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F.
- 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.
- Chop most of the pecans roughly and reserve a few whole nuts. Prepare the rest of ingredients.
- 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.
- 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.