Roasted Kabocha Squash with Umami Butter & Candied Pepitas

Roasted Kabocha Squash with Umami Butter & Candied Pepitas

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From: EatingWell Magazine, November 2019

Ever wondered how to cook kabocha squash without ruining your knife? Roasting it whole softens its armor and creates nutty, complex flavor inside. Topped with a savory butter sauce and sweet pumpkin seeds, this Thanksgiving vegetable recipe creates a superstar.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1 large egg white
  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ cup pepitas
  • 1 (3 pound) kabocha or buttercup squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons ( ½ stick) butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon gochugaru (Korean chile powder or flakes) or Aleppo pepper (see Tip)
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. Beat egg white in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Sift in confectioners' sugar and ⅛ teaspoon salt; beat just until combined. Fold in pepitas. Spread on the prepared pan. Cook, stirring every 10 minutes, until dry and lightly toasted, about 50 minutes. Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Crumble and set aside.
  3. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  4. Place squash, stem-end up, on the prepared pan. Pierce the squash a few times with the tip of a sharp knife. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Roast until a skewer easily passes through to the center, about 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, mix butter, fish sauce, tamari (or soy sauce), gochugaru (or Aleppo pepper), lemon zest, molasses, granulated sugar and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
  6. To serve: Carefully cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into quarters. Top with the umami butter and ¾ cup pepitas (reserve the rest for another use). Sprinkle with chives.
  • Tip: Both gochugaru (Korean chile powder or flakes) and Aleppo pepper, named for the city in northern Syria, provide gentle heat. Look for them in well-stocked supermarkets or online.
  • To make ahead: Store pepitas (Steps 1-2) airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Equipment: Silicone mat or parchment paper

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 slice
  • Per serving: 229 calories; 15 g fat(5 g sat); 3 g fiber; 19 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 8 mcg folate; 15 mg cholesterol; 10 g sugars; 4 g added sugars; 7,223 IU vitamin A; 19 mg vitamin C; 49 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 233 mg sodium; 113 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (144% daily value), Vitamin C (32% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 3 fat, 1 starch

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