This article gives some tasty, spicy, and sweet varieties and alternatives to the Kabocha Squash recipes.
What is Kabocha Squash?
Let’s start with a basic question where did Kabocha squash originate from?
Kabocha squash or Cucurbita Maxima is one of the sweet squash varieties in the pumpkin and gourds category. The Squash originated in America and was introduced in Europe and Asia by the 16th century.
Attributed as one of the crops that the Portuguese brought to other areas during their colonization period, the name kabocha is probably a mix of ‘Cambodia’ and the word for pumpkin in Portuguese ‘Abobora,’ renamed by Japanese as Kabocha.
The kabocha squash recipes have varied and developed in modern times, also referred to as the Japanese pumpkin. In Japan – Kabocha refers to the category of pumpkin and winter squashes, but in all other places, it only means the Kabocha squash varieties.
The texture of Kabocha Squash and its Uses
Kabocha squash differs in size and weighs up to 8 pounds; when uncooked, it has spongy flesh but cooked; it has a dry and tender texture with a buttery, nutty and sweet flavor like the pumpkin and sweet potato.
Fall through winter is the peak season for its availability. Multiple uses of kabocha are –
1) It tastes good with risottos, stews, soups, pasta, and curries.
2) It can be roasted alone or with other roasted vegetables.
3) It can be fried as well and used in sushi.
4) With the cooked and pureed squash – bread, desserts, sauces, and cakes, can be made as well.
Let’s look at the Kabocha squash recipes to see how it’s done.
1. Roasted Recipe (for fall Kabocha squash recipes)
A tasty side dish with the sweet flavor of the squash and nutty, one of the sesame ginger dressings is perfect for fall kabocha squash recipes.
1) Kabocha squash (1)
2) Extra virgin olive oil (2 tbsp)
3) Sea salt
4) Freshly ground black pepper
5) Sesame ginger dressing (to drizzle) – Click here for the recipe
6) Chopped scallions (1/4 cup)
7) Sesame seeds
8) Micro herbs
The preparation and cooking time for the dish would be 50 minutes, and the servings can vary from four to six.
1) Preheat oven to 425°F, warm the whole kabocha squash for 10 minutes in the oven. (it becomes easier to slice)
2) Take two baking sheets and line them with parchment paper
3) Slice half of the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and then cut to 1 and a half inch slices
4) Divide and keep the slices on the baking sheet. Drizzle Olive oil, then put salt and pepper.
5) Roast the squash for 25 to 30 minutes, flip it when it’s halfway. It should be ready when it appears of a golden brown color and is tender completely.
6) Arrange the roasted kabocha squash on a shallow plate, and drizzle the dressing. Sprinkle the scallions, microgreens, and sesame seed.
Try out a taste; add more salt and pepper if necessary. Once done, your roasted kabocha squash with a delicious sesame dressing is ready to eat.
Note: This can be eaten as a winter squash as well.
An interesting fact: the skin of the kabocha squash is edible, so do not chop and peel if you don’t want to. Just remove the brown and dry spots, rest is good to consume.
2. Roasted Kabocha Squash Recipe (winter kabocha squash recipes)
If one is looking for winter squash that is sweet and salty, apt for a small gathering, fitting the vegetarian category, and also gluten-free – this recipe might be the best choice in the kabocha squash recipes.
1) Kabocha squash (1 – medium size)
2) Olive or Avocado oil or melted coconut oil (2 tbsp)
3) Kosher salt
4) Freshly ground black pepper
The preparation and cooking time for this roasted kabocha squash is 45 minutes, and the servings are four.
1) Heat the oven to 400° F with the middle rack.
2) Rinse the kabocha squash thoroughly and let it dry. (Preferably, peel it now as well)
3) Cut the top and bottom part of the squash first, and then the rest of it.
4) Scoop the seeds out and cut them into thin wedges.
5) Mix it with any of the oil mentioned above, finish by sprinkling salt and pepper.
6) Place a single layer of the Kabocha squash on a foil or rimmed baking tray lined with parchment paper.
7) After keeping it in the oven, let it roast for 30 minutes. Make sure to flip them over in between.
8) Once the wedges are crunchy outside and soft and fluffy inside, the Kabocha squash is ready to eat.
Take out your roasted kabocha squash and serve warm.
3. Roasted Kabocha Squash (savory and sweet kabocha squash recipes)
A sweet and spicy side dish is one of the kabocha squash recipes that work great for a Japanese pumpkin.
1) Kabocha squash (2 pounds or around 900 gm)
2) Olive or Vegetable Oil (2 tbsp)
3) Kosher salt (1/2 tsp)
4) Black pepper (1/4 tsp)
5) Maple syrup (2 tbsp)
6) Soy sauce (2 tsp)
7) Ground ginger (1/4 tsp)
8) Toasted Sesame seeds (1 tsp – optional)
The preparation and cooking time for this roasted kabocha squash is 45 minutes. The total number of servings would be eight.
1) Heat to 400°F or 204°C with the middle oven rack.
2) Completely wash the squash and let it dry. To cut kabocha squash in half, use a chef’s knife and then, with a spoon, scoop out the seeds.
3) Place Squash on its cut side, take off its stem and root. Use a rocking motion to cut 1-inch thick squash wedges.
4) Take a large bowl, put together the squash slices, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
5) Place the squash slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.
6) To cook kabocha squash, Roast it for 15 minutes, then flip it over. Roast again for another 15 minutes till it’s tender.
7) Take a small bowl, put in the maple syrup, ground ginger, and soy sauce. Brush this mixture on the roasted squash.
8) In the center of the oven, place the squash roasted kabocha and broil on high till the surface is light brown (around 2 to 3 minutes).
Then, flip it over, brush these squash wedges with sauce and broil again for 2 t0 3 minutes.
9) Take a small non – stick pan, toast the sesame seeds on medium heat until they are brown (around 1 minute)
10) Top the roasted squash with the toasted sesame seeds.
Your savory roasted kabocha squash is ready! Serve warm.
Tip: If you want a gluten-free alternative, use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
Interesting fact: the kabocha squash seeds can be roasted and consumed as a healthy snack.
4. Cinnamon Maple Roasted Kabocha Squash (sweet kabocha squash recipes)
For a caramelized sweet fall and winter squash, just in a small setting, this might be a good recipe with the squash wedges coated in maple syrup and cinnamon.
1) Medium kabocha squash (1)
2) Olive/Avocado oil (1 Tbsp)
3) Maple syrup (1 tbsp)
4) Sea salt (1/2 tsp)
The prep time would be 5 minutes and 30 mins cook time for this roasted kabocha squash, and it serves two people.
1) Heat the oven to 400°F. Toss the kabocha squash, maple syrup, oil, salt, and cinnamon on a rimmed baking sheet.
2) Arrange the kabocha squash wedges (cut into 1-inch thickness) in a single layer.
3) To cook kabocha squash, Roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway.
Once it’s golden and tender, the roasted squash kabocha recipe is ready to serve.
Note: There is no need to peel kabocha squash, making this recipe easier.
If a total sweet version isn’t the pick for you, a slight alteration to the dish might change the palette. Here are some picks:
1) With some minced garlic clove, chopped onion, a little bit of oil, and sea salt – a savory and sweet dish is ready.
2) Fresh rosemary (2 tbsp) or sage with a serving of kabocha squash gives a herby taste to the dish.
3) Cayenne or chili powder (1 tsp) would provide the spicy and sweet flavor needed on the squash.
5. Kabocha Winter Squash with Carrot Puree
In the Kabocha squash recipes, this is a winter squash made with a smooth carrot puree and a fresh herb like thyme.
1) Kabocha (1) or a buttercup squash can also be used (around 1 kg) – it needs to be cut in half without removing the seeds
2) Carrots (4 – thinly sliced)
3) Garlic clove (1 – large, thinly sliced)
4) Thyme (1/4 tsp)
5) Salt and pepper (freshly ground)
6) Unsalted butter (1 tbsp – small pieces)
1) Warm up the oven to 350°.
2) Set the cut side down of the squash on a lightly oiled sheet. Bake till soft, approximately 45 minutes.
3) Take a saucepan – mix the garlic, carrots, thyme, and water (2 cups).
4) Cover it and let it boil, then simmer it down on low heat when the carrots are tender (around 20 mins). Once done, puree it in a food processor.
5) Puree the squash (without skin) and the carrots—season with pepper and salt.
6) The puree can be spread in a shallow buttered baking dish. Bake till it’s hot (around 20 minutes).
Your kabocha squash is ready to eat.
Note: You can pair the Kabocha squash recipes with any nonveg dish of one’s choosing, like chicken and pork.
Some Tips to Make the Best Kabocha Squash Recipes
1) It should be round, with dark green skin that is hard. A yellow spot to show its ripen is also helpful.
2) The inner skin should be bright orange, and the seeds medium-sized
3) Make sure there are no soft spots, and the kabocha is heavy.
4) The stem shouldn’t have any mold; certain hard and bumpy areas on the peel are fine.
Suggestions to clean and cut the kabocha squash:
1) Washing the squash below running water is the best way. If there are any bumps or hard spots, peel it with a knife or a peeler.
- To cut the Squash:
- Cut the stem off first, as the inner orange flesh is easier to cut than the outer skin. A cutting board can be used. With a sharp knife, cut in half completely.
- The entire kabocha can be microwaved for 2 minutes or till it’s soft to cut. This is another option.
- Lastly, Cover the kabocha in foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. The kabocha will easily be cut in half.
Cooking Tips for the Kabocha Squash Recipes
1) The texture of each kabocha differs, so when roasting, some can turn out creamy and soft (like sweet potatoes that are baked), while others are chalky and dry. The tip to making decent kabocha squash recipes is to coat them with a lot of oil.
2) Kabocha itself is quite healthy
The nutrition calories can be around 227 (enriched with vitamin C), with one cup containing only 0.2 gm polyunsaturated fat. These facts prove kabocha squash recipes are quite nutritious.
To make the kabocha squash recipes healthier, roast seeds tossing them with olive oil and sea salt at 300° F for around 40 minutes. It makes a protein-rich snack as well.
Storage Tips for the Kabocha Squash Recipes
1) Once cooked, let the kabocha squash wedges cool down. Once done, place them in an airtight container.
2) It can last in the refrigerator for three to four days. To reheat:
In the oven
Bake at 400° F (approximately 5 to 10 minutes)
In the microwave
Heat it accordingly with intervals of 45 seconds. The only difference would be the squash turns soft.
Serving Suggestions for Roasted Kabocha Squash Recipes
1. Miso soup
The savory and umami flavor of this dish, both as a starter or a meal, will pair perfectly well with many kabocha squash recipes. Click here for an easy recipe
2. Crispy Sesame Tofu
A dinner that is both savory and sweet with a nutty taste is a good choice with one of the kabocha squash recipes. Click here for the recipe.
3. A simple steamed rice
The roasted kabocha squash recipes will be a perfect side dish with a simple soft and fluffy white rice. Click here for the short recipe.
4. Other Squash Recipes
Didn’t find your tastes in the above list? Don’t worry, below listed are more squash recipes that might be of your liking –
4.1 Butternut squash ravioli
Looking for a squash that has a creamy texture with a nutty flavor? Then click here for butternut squash, with some roasted shallots, fresh sage, and walnuts – paired with a tasty ravioli. It’s a perfect fall dish.
This great recipe is worth a try.
4.2 Stuffed Acorn Squash
This recipe is a good vegetarian choice for thanksgiving if your tastes involve a savory flavored squash with a mushroom filling and aromatic rosemary. Click here to try it out.
4.3 Maple Roasted Squash with acorns
A sweet and savory squash doused with maple syrup, and fresh herbs is an elegant pick for a fall dish. Click here for the recipe.
Try out these recipes, and make sure to follow the healthy and easy tips.
If you liked the recipes listed in this article, click here for an interesting article on the benefits of consuming pumpkin.
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