Roasted delicata squash makes a delicious side dish! The caramelized rings pair perfectly with chopped pecans, fresh thyme, and grated parmesan. This recipe is simple enough for weeknight and special enough for the holiday table.
Today I have for you one of my favorite easy sides! When I first discovered delicata squash and found out all you had to do was slice and cook (no peeling needed!) I immediately brought some home to roast for dinner. I’ve been making this recipe for years now and I hope you try it too!
What is delicata squash?
They are a type of squash with a thin and easily eaten rind. Additionally they are fairly small and are cream to yellow in color with green stripes.
Are they a winter or a summer squash? Eh, both really. While they are closely related to zucchini, they behave and taste like a winter variety. 🙂
Delicata was first introduced into the US in the 1890’s, but it was a more perishable and less prolific version than we have today, so the rise of factory farming just about obliterated it. Like many of our heirloom varieties, a few people kept it going. However, it was likely to remain in obscurity, occasionally seen at farm stands, but unknown to most of us.
Luckily some breeders at Cornell University got a hold of it.
Now this is the exciting bit, at least to me since I’m a food nerd. They managed to create a disease resistant (less fungicide), high producing, open pollinated plant. This means that the seeds can be saved and still produce the same squash and the squash is easier to grow organically. They won a well-deserved award for their work.
What do you need?
- Delicata Squash – You want to use two medium for six people. No peeling needed! Just seed and slice.
- Olive Oil and Salt – The basics of roasting.
- Thyme – Fresh thyme if you have it, but dried works well too.
- Pecans – Crunch and flavor!
- Parmesan – Just about everything is better with some parmesan.
- Sherry Vinegar – To add a hit of bright acidity at the end.
How to make this
To make roasted delicata squash seed and slice into rings then toss with salt and olive oil. Roast flat against a baking pan until the squash is deeply browned and tender.
- Seed and slice the squash.
- Toss with olive oil and salt
- Roast until well browned in a 375F oven.
- Add chopped pecans, fresh thyme, and grated parmesan.
- Cook until the nuts are toasted.
- Sprinkle with a little sherry vinegar and serve.
If you try my recipe for Roasted Delicata Squash, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Roasting, Annemarie
Roasted Delicata Squash with Pecans and Thyme
- 2 medium delicata squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried
- 4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- Move a baking rack to the lower middle position in the oven. Preheat oven to 375F.
- Slice the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Then slice them into 1/2 inch thick half moons.
- In a large bowl, toss squash with olive oil and salt. Spread them out evenly onto a greased baking pan so that all the rings are laying flat against the surface.
- Place baking pan in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until well caramelized on the bottom.
- Take the baking pan out of the oven and sprinkle the pecans, parmesan cheese, and thyme leaves over the squash.
- Return pan to oven and roast for another 3-5 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure the pecans don't burn.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the sherry vinegar. Serve.
- Baking pan: A metal baking pan with no liner will give you the brownest roast squash. Using parchment paper or a glass dish will produce less browning.
- Turning the squash: To have the squash browned on both sides, you will need to turn them after 15 minutes and increase the cooking time by 10 minutes (from 20 to 30). Note: Turning the rings is annoying so it's up to you on whether you want to do it.
- Dried thyme: If you are using dried, you can add it with the pecans as in the recipe or toss it with the salt and olive oil at the beginning.
- Lowering the baking rack: Lowering the rack brings the baking pan closer to the heat and makes for better browning.
First published September 2015. Rewritten, expanded, and rephotographed.