This easy and delicious Thanksgiving Maple Pecan Roasted Kabocha Squash Recipe combines tender, roasted Kabocha Squash with a flavorful Maple Rosemary Dressing and toasted chopped pecans for a show-stopping and healthy Thanksgiving treat!JUMP TO RECIPE
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A super flavorful and easy Kabocha Squash Thanksgiving recipe!
This easy, elegant and tasty Kabocha Squash Thanksgiving recipe with tender, flavorful and nutrient rich roasted Kabocha Squash (aka Japanese pumpkin), a simple and delicious Maple Rosemary dressing, and crushed pecans is a great addition to any holiday table!
All you need to do is roast the squash on a baking sheet, and make a quick and easy Maple Rosemary dressing while the squash bakes! The beautiful orange flesh of the Kabocha Squash makes for a vibrant addition to your Thanksgiving meal!
- A medium Kobocha Squash (about 3-4 lbs). You'll clean, slice and roast the whole thing, skin and all! The skin is tasty and fork-tender after roasting.
- Olive oil, for both roasting the squash, and making an herb infused oil for the dressing.
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper- for seasoning the squash prior to roasting.
- Toasted pecans, for garnish and extra nutty flavor.
- Microgreens for garnish, (optional). These add a pretty pop of color to the dish! You can also garnish with a few fresh rosemary sprigs.
- Real Maple syrup. This is a big component of the dressing, so go for the good stuff.
- Some mayonaise (full fat recommended). This adds a creamy texture and rich flavor to the Maple Rosemary dressing.
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary and 2 cloves garlic -these will help flavor the oil for the dressing, as well as get blended into the dressing for extra flavor!
- Apple cider vinegar (preferably organic)
- Dijon mustard, or stone ground mustard. This will help flavor and emulsify the dressing.
How to make the Kabocha Squash (Thanksgiving recipe)
Roast the Squash
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Clean squash well, slice squash in half, and remove seeds and pulp. (Optionally- to make squash easier to slice, you can place it in the oven for 10 minutes, then slice).
- Slice into 1” half moons.
- Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Toss the squash with olive oil, and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Assemble in a single layer across on a sheet pan. Repeat with both sheet pans until all squash is laid out flat.
- Roast for 30-45 minutes, flipping halfway, until tender (time may vary depending on thickness of squash slices).
Make the Maple Rosemary Dressing
- While squash roasts, make the garlic herb oil for the dressing.
- Add olive oil to a small saucepan, and add rosemary sprigs and peeled and smashed garlic.
- Heat over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Turn off heat and remove from burner and allow to cool completely.
- Remove rosemary stems, and discard any charred garlic bits.
- Add the cooled oil, rosemary stems and garlic to a immersion blender cup or blender along with mayonaise, apple cider vinegar, mustard, and maple syrup. Blend until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Add chopped pecans to a dry nonstick skillet over medium heat, ad toast, moving occasionally, for 3 -5 minutes. Remove to bowl until ready to assemble.
Serving the Kabocha Squash
Transfer roasted squash to a platter, and drizzle on dressing. Top with chopped pecans and micro greens. Serve additional dressing alongside for guests.
What is Kabocha Squash?
Kabochas Squash is a Japanese variety of winter squash, also referred to as "Japanese Pumpkin." It is similarly shaped to a small sugar pumpkin, with dull, green skin. With a sweet flavor than that of butternut squash, and a similar texture to sweet potato, these uniquely delicious squash is a staple of Japanese cooking, and is excellent for roasting, soups, and tempura. The squash has a bright orange flesh and dark green skin. It's edible skin makes for easy preparation, too!
Kabocha is great for you, too! It's loaded with b vitamins, beta carotene, calcium, and vitamin c!
The outer skin of the Kabocha Squash is edible, nutritious and delicious! You can also roast the kabocha seeds like you would pumpkin seeds for a snack!
Where can I find Kabocha Squash?
Kabocha Squash can be a little tricky to track down, but your best bet is your local Asian grocery store. In my area, H Mart carries them! Some farmer's markets also carry them!
Tools for easy roasted Kabocha Squash
- A very sharp knife. Kabocha Squash is a hard little pumpkin, and you need to be careful cutting through. Use a steady hand, and well anchored cutting board, and cut the squash in half to remove the seeds and slice into half moon rings.
- Parchment paper, for easy roasting and cleaning.
- A couple sheet pans, to roast the Kabocha Squash to golden brown.
- An immersion blender or food processor, to get a silky smooth consistency for the Maple Rosemary dressing.
- A medium non-stick skillet, for toasting the chopped pecans.
Substitutions and Additions
- Not a fan of mayonaise? Try subbing in some full fat greek yogurt in it's place to make the dressing.
- If you can't find Kabocha squash, this recipe would also be great with acorn squash, delicata squash, butternut squash, or even sliced sweet potatoes! Any of your favorite winter squashes would work well!
- Like a little kick? Sprinkle on some red pepper flakes just before serving!
Allow Squash to cool to room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
More delicious Thanksgiving side dishes
If you love this Kabocha Squash Thanksgiving recipe, you'll love these delicious Thanksgiving side dishes, too!
- Bacon Brussels Sprout Skillet
- Smoked Oyster Stuffing
- Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Smoked Gouda and Rosemary
- Honey Glazed Carrots and Parsnips with Goat Cheese
- Browned Butter Boursin Mashed Potatoes
Thanksgiving Maple Pecan Roasted Kabocha Squash Recipe
- sheet pans/ baking sheets
- parchment paper
- immersion blender or blender
- 1 medium Kabocha Squash , (about 3-4 lbs)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil , (plus more as needed depending on size of squash)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- microgreens for garnish, (optional)
Maple Rosemary Dressing:
- ¼ cup real Maple syrup
- ¼ cup mayonaise , (full fat recommended)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar , (preferably organic)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard , (or stone ground mustard)
- Roast the Squash: 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 2. Clean squash well, slice squash in half, and remove seeds and pulp. (Optionally- to make squash easier to slice, you can place it in the oven for 10 minutes, then slice). 3. Slice into 1” half moons. 4. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. 5. Toss the squash with olive oil, and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Assemble in a single layer across both sheet pans. 6. Roast for 30-45 minutes, flipping halfway, until tender (time may vary depending on thickness of squash slices). Dressing/Topping: 1. While squash roasts, make the garlic herb oil for the dressing. 2. Add olive oil to a small saucepan, and add rosemary sprigs and peeled and smashed garlic. 3. Heat over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. 4. Turn off heat and remove from burner and allow to cool completely. 5. Remove rosemary stems, and discard any charred garlic bits. 6. Add the cooled oil, rosemary stems and garlic to a immersion blender cup or blender along with mayonaise, apple cider vinegar, mustard, and maple syrup. Blend until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use. 7. Add chopped pecans to a dry nonstick skillet over medium heat, ad toast, moving occasionally, for 3 -5 minutes. Remove to bowl until ready to assemble. Serving: 1. Transfer roasted squash to a platter, and drizzle on dressing. 2. Top with chopped pecans and micro greens. 3. Serve additional dressing alongside for guests.
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