It’s official – delicata is my favorite squash. I realize that’s a loaded statement, but try it once and you will understand. It’s less common than butternut or spaghetti squash, but that just increases its allure.
Although delicata is a winter squash, it’s more similar in size to the summer variety. This is both good and bad news. Good, because it is easy to cut. Bad, because you will run out of it more quickly.
It tastes like a mix between butternut squash and sweet potato – in the best way possible. And, because the natural flavor of delicata squash is so amazing, you don’t have to add much when you cook it. This is perfect for me because after a 12-hour work day the last thing I want to do is spend an hour in the kitchen.
Another great thing about delicata squash? It’s one of the few winter squash varieties that you don’t have to peel. My peeling skills are lacking and my knife skills aren’t much better. I can’t even tell you how many scars I have on my hands from peeling my fingers instead of the butternut squash in my hand.
How do you cut delicata squash?
I’m so glad you asked. I’m going to show you just how easy it is:
After you wash it, cut off each end so you have two flat sides.
Then, place the squash on one of the flat ends and slice it lengthwise down the center.
Using a spoon (or your tool of choice) scoop out the seeds.
As an added bonus, the seeds of a delicata squash are edible and can be roasted similarly to pumpkin seeds. Set them aside for cleaning later if you decide to go that route.
Once both halves are cleaned out, place them flat side down and cut them into half moons.
I typically make them 1/4-1/2 inch thick, but it’s really personal preference. Try your best to keep each half moon approximately the same size. They don’t have to be perfect, but if their thickness varies too much they will cook differently. There’s nothing worse than pulling something out of the oven and having half undercooked and half burnt.
How to roast delicata squash:
Place the half moons in a pile on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Yep, just pile them on there. Drizzle the olive oil on top and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Then, with your (clean) hands mix it all together. This step can be done in a bowl, but I think the oil is more evenly distributed when you mix it with your hands.
Once everything is mixed, line up the half moons on the baking sheet. They can be close together, but make sure you don’t put them on top of one another, otherwise, they will steam instead of roast. They’ll still taste good, but you won’t get the nice browning effect from roasting (which also adds to the WOW factor).
Bake them at 425° F for about 12-14 minutes (depending on how thick you made them). Then use tongs to flip them and put them back in the oven for another 8-12 minutes. It all depends on how brown you want them.
That’s it! See how easy?!
Unfortunately, delicata squash has a shorter shelf life than butternut because of its thin skin, so they’re only in season for a short period of time (typically late summer, early fall). That just means you should get them while you can. Honestly, I am about to roast another one as I’m writing this.
If you don’t eat them all off the baking sheet, which I frequently do, they are a great addition to fall salads. As the temperature outside starts to drop, my body craves more sustenance and roasted squash makes salads seem a little more hearty.
What is your favorite way to cook delicata squash? Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear about it!Print
The BEST roasted delicata squash. Seriously easy to make (only 4 ingredients) and tastes great on its own or added to pretty much anything.
- 1 delicata squash
- 1–2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of sea salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F
- Cut off both ends of the squash (see photo above), then cut in half lengthwise
- Scoop out the seeds (put them to the side to clean if you want to roast them)
- Place the cleaned halves flat side down and cut into half moons
- Put the half moons on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste
- Mix everything together with your hands
- Spread the squash flat on the baking sheet and roast for 12-14 minutes (depending on how thick the pieces are)
- Flip the squash over with tongs (or a fork – whatever works) and cook for another 8-12 minutes
- Try not to eat them all off the baking sheet
- Serving Size: 1/2 squash
- Calories: 100
- Sugar: 1
- Carbohydrates: 2.5
- Fiber: .5
- Protein: .5