In this recipe, pumpkin’s sweeter cousin – kabocha squash – is perfectly roasted with aromatic thyme and garlic, and finished with nutritious crunchy pumpkin seeds.
Kabocha squash is my favourite type of winter squashes/pumpkin. It’s also known as Japanese pumpkin and is widely available in most countries, especially in autumn and winter. It has a green/blue-ish skin and starchy, sweet orange flesh. It’s sweeter and starchier than say a butternut pumpkin and is delicious roasted or blended into a soup. Check out my full guide to winter squash and pumpkin types here.
I love roasting kabocha squash with hardy herbs like rosemary, sage, or thyme in this case, and lots of garlic. It’s such an easy dish and can be served as a sharing vegetable side at a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or as a nutritious carbohydrate component of your weekly dinner meal. I often make a batch of this roasted squash to use up in salads and to have with some eggs for breakfast.
Depending on how thick the skin is, you can roasted the squash pieces with the peel on. I like to remove the peel and slice the squash into half moon slices, but you can easily cut it up into cubes as well, like in this cranberry pecan roasted butternut squash recipe.
It’s important to note that garlic slices should be added in the second half of roasting as it cooks much quicker and can easily burn. Herbs like rosemary and thyme can be added at the start and if you don’t have the fresh stuff, simply sprinkle a teaspoon or two of dried herbs over the top. Sometimes I splash a little balsamic vinegar or pomegranate molasses over the top.
- 1/2 of kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin), seeds out, peeled and sliced into half-moon wedges
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 10–12 sprigs of fresh thyme (dried thyme can also be used)
- 5 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
- Optional: 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar (aged Balsamic or Pomegranate Molasses)
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 395 F.
- Line a flat baking tray with parchment paper and arrange the squash slices. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with sea salt. Top with thyme and place in the oven, middle shelf, for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and sprinkle garlic and pumpkin seeds over the top. Drizzle with a tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar, if using, and pop back in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Serve hot or cold.