This Roasted Delicata Squash side dish features a browned butter sauce flavored with maple syrup, roasted garlic, and toasted pepitas. With such a short ingredient list and simple process, you’ll be surprised at how much flavor this sweet and savory delicata squash side dish has.
Table of Contents
Tricks to Roasting Delicata Squash
Roasting delicata squash is easy, but there are a few tricks that’ll help you achieve perfect roasted delicata squash every time.
Trick 1: Size matters
For even cooking, try to choose squash that are similar in size and shape. Otherwise, you risk over- or under-cooked squash slices.
Trick 2: Steam then roast
Similar to how I roast Brussles sprouts, I start roasting the squash slices covered, then finish roasting them uncovered so they can brown. This simple step allows the squash to steam before roasting.
Steaming makes the cooking process faster, and allows us to cook the squash at a higher temperature. High temperature is important for achieving browning (aka flavor) and the quick steam shortens the cook time, which helps to avoid dehydrating and shrinking the squash.
Trick 3: Increase oven temperature mid-way through roasting
The second trick helps mitigate some of the issues we run into when roasting squash with a high moisture content. Plus, after steaming it can be hard to achieve browning. To help the browning along, I increase the oven temperature slightly for the last 20 minutes of roasting.
You may wonder why steam at all if the moisture causes issues. Aside from jumpstarting the cooking process, steaming also softens the skins. And if you’ve had or cooked delicata squash before, you know you can eat the thin skin, and we want to make it as texturally pleasing as possible!
Can You Eat the Skin of Delicata Squash?
If you’ve had delicata squash before, or have looked for a few recipes, you’ll know that most often it’s cooked and served with the skin intact. The reason for this is two-fold. Peeling the skin is awfully difficult and time consuming. And, it’s thin enough that it softens just a bit during the cooking process, making it possible to eat the skin.
Some people aren’t bothered by it, and some are. But I will say, my two-step process of steaming and roasting does a nice job of softening the skin.
If you’re averse to eating the skin, I recommend slicing the squash in half lengthwise, removing the seeds, and roasting as halves. Drizzle the roasted halves with the browned butter sauce and eat the squash by scooping out the flesh.
How to Make Roasted Delicata Squash
- Wash the winter squash well! Since you won’t be removing the skin, it’s important to clean the skin well before slicing.
- Halve the squash lengthwise, then using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard. Cut squash into ½ inch-thick slices.
- Arrange squash slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, cover and roast.
- Remove the foil and roast until both sides are golden brown.
- Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette by browning the butter and pumpkin seeds together in a skillet. Stir in maple syrup, coriander, smashed roasted garlic, and vinegar.
- Spoon browned butter sauce over squash and serve with parsley and flaky sea salt.
Step-By-Step Photos: How to Prepare Delicata Squash
Variations on This Roasted Delicata Squash
- Use slivered almonds or pecans instead of pepitas.
- Add sliced apple (Granny smith or Honeycrisp) to the finished dish.
- Swap half of the squash for halved Brussels sprouts.
- Try this with Acorn squash!
More Fall Side Dishes to Try
Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple Browned Butter Sauce
- 2 delicata squash (1.5 pounds each), ends trimmed, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced crosswise into ½ inch-thick slices
- 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup raw pepitas
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Flaky sea salt
- Heat oven to 425°F (218ºC) with rack set in lowest position.
- On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle squash and garlic with oil; toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Arrange squash in a single layer, cover tightly with foil, and roast until squash is just starting to soften, 12–15 minutes.
- Remove foil, increase oven temperature to 450ºC (232ºC) and continue to roast squash until side touching the pan is golden brown, about 10–12 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and using a thin spatula, flip squash. Return to oven and continue to roast squash until side touching the sheet is golden brown, about 10–12 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, melt butter and pepitas in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until butter and pepitas are golden brown and fragrant, 4–5 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and stir in maple syrup and coriander (mixture will bubble). Let cool 1 minute. Meanwhile, remove skins from roasted garlic and smash into a paste. Stir mashed garlic and vinegar into brown butter mixture; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer squash to a serving platter and drizzle with vinaigrette and pepitas; sprinkle parsley and sea salt over top.