Traditional recipes

Winter Squash Slices

Winter Squash Slices

Blossom-shaped and beautiful, these easy roasted squash slices make a stunning side dish, or tasty afternoon snack.MORE+LESS-

Updated October 4, 2017


tablespoons brown sugar


teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


tablespoons chopped hazelnuts

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    Slice the acorn squash into five or six 1/2-inch thick slices with a sharp knife.

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    Place the slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil. Sprinkle brown sugar, orange zest, pumpkin pie spice, chopped hazelnuts, and anise stars over the top of the slices.

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    Place baking sheet into an oven preheated to 425°F, for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is easily pierced with a fork. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Serve and enjoy!

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More About This Recipe

  • Got Stars? How about blossoms? You'll be seeing both with this totally groovy Winter Squash side dish!Your food should excite you. It should smell good. It should make you feel like a million bucks. And it should look like Ty Pennington got hold of it and gave it a style makeover. This is not too much to ask from a plate of veggies, people. We must set high standards for ourselves. We're totally worth it, you know.Which is why this Winter Squash Slicesrecipe, flavored with brown sugar, olive oil, and a smattering of anise stars isn't just the sort of side dish you oogle over. No, indeed.Though it's wickedly decorated, and entirely more handsome than Bradley Cooper, it also smells like Teen Spirit and tastes like a roasted rainbow. Was that last one going a little too far? Quit challenging me on semantics and get in your kitchen! You've got a side dish to bake.This recipe is so super quick and simple. It'll become an absolute favorite in your house! Just grab an acorn squash.Roast those squash slices in a hot oven until soft and tender. Serve and enjoy!

Winter Squash Bharta

Bharta is a Bangladeshi style of seasoned meat or mashed vegetables usually served at room temperature alongside hot steamed rice. Its signature flavor comes from the use of pungent and fiery mustard seed oil. If you can’t find mustard seed oil, substitute with extra-virgin olive oil (the most flavorful oil you’ve got)—just don’t call it a bharta! This recipe is part of Sohla El-Waylly’s Thanksgiving-for-two-or-maybe-eight feast, see the full menu here. If you’re also making Sohla’s Milk and Honey Pie, roast the squash while you parbake the pie crust.

Recipe: Lidia Bastianich's winter squash

Squash is not one of the most popular vegetables, but I love squash and I love cooking with it. It is nutritious, versatile and delicious. Northern Italy consumes more zucca -- winter squash -- than Southern Italy, especially in the areas near Modena in Emiglia Romagna and Padova in the Veneto.

This is a great side dish or appetizer. Traditionally the zucca is fried before it is marinated, as I do here, but it is also delicious when made with grilled or boiled zucca. I recommend butternut squash but acorn, hubbard, and other varieties will work as well.

Marinated Winter Squash
Zucca Gialla in Marinata
Serves 6 or more as an appetizer or side dish

1 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt or more to taste
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
A butternut squash, about 2 pounds
1 cup vegetable oil or as needed
8-10 fresh basil leaves

A heavy-bottomed skillet or saute pan, 12-inches diameter or larger
A 6-cup glass or ceramic casserole dish, preferably about 6-inches wide, to marinate the squash in several layers

Mix the vinegar, sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt together in a small saucepan. Over high heat, reduce by half. Remove from the heat, drop in the garlic slices and let the marinade cool. Stir in the olive oil.

Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out all the seeds. Peel the halves, place cut-side down and cut crosswise, into 1/3-inch thick half rounds.

Pour vegetable oil into the skillet to the depth of 1/8-inch and set over medium-high heat. When the oil sizzles on contact with squash, fill the pan with a layer of slices, spaced slightly apart. Fry for about 3 minutes on the first side then flip the slices over. Fry on the second side another 2 or 3 minutes until the slices are cooked through (easy to pierce with the tines of a fork), crisped on the surface and caramelized on the edges.

Lift out the slices with a slotted spoon, draining off oil, and lay them on paper towels. Sprinkle salt lightly on the hot slices. Fry up all the squash, in batches, the same way.

Arrange a single layer of fried squash in the bottom of the marinating dish and scatter 4 or 5 basil leaves on top. Stir up the marinade and drizzle over a couple of spoonfuls. Scatter some of the garlic slices on the squash too. Layer all the squash in the dish this way, topping each layer of fried slices with basil leaves, garlic and marinade. All the seasonings should be used -- drizzle any remaining marinade over the top layer of squash.

Wrap the dish in plastic and marinate the squash for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight in the refrigerator. If chilled, let the squash return to room temperature before serving.

Roasted Winter Squash
6 servings

By roasting the vegetable here, the squash -- like Cinderella -- is transformed. It becomes the centerpiece rather than a side dish.

3 pounds winter squash, such as butternut, buttercup or acorn squash
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons butter, for the baking sheet

Ingredients for serving (optional):
1/2 cup or so orange sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons Balsamic reduction for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the squash in half through the stem and blossom ends. Scoop out all the seeds and fibers so the flesh is clean. Place each half cut-side down and, with a sharp chef's knife, cut straight across to trim the ends of the squash. Then cut the squash into even slices (cutting cross-wise) or wedges (cutting lengthwise) -- all about 2-inches thick at the widest part.

Remove the peel from the squash slices with a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife. (With acorn squash, strip off the peel just from the top of the ridges this will help the pieces cook faster and creates a decorative striped look.)

Pile the squash in a mixing bowl, drizzle the oil and sprinkle the salt over the pile and toss to coat the slices with the seasonings. Spread the butter on a large baking sheet (or line it with a non-stick silicon sheet.). Lay the slices flat on the sheet with plenty of space between them for even caramelization.

Bake about 20 minutes then flip the pieces over bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until they are tender all the way through (poke with a fork to check) and nicely caramelized on the edges.

Serve hot, piling up the squash pieces on top of a pool of orange sauce drizzle Balsamic reduction in thin streaks all over the top.

The squash is also delicious with just one of the sauces or with only a final drizzle of good olive oil and another sprinkle of salt before serving by itself!


What does it taste like? Spaghetti squash has a super mild, nutty and slightly sweet flavor. The name for this squash is perfectly appropriate, because once cooked, the squash breaks up into a “stringy” type of texture that resembles – and can even taste like – spaghetti!

How do you prep it? Because spaghetti squash is usually eaten in halves, you don’t have to worry about peeling off the skin. Simply cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out all pulp and seeds from the center. Don’t try to cut through the stem, as it’s too thick for kitchen knives – either cut to one side of it, or chop off the top of the squash to remove the stem entirely.

How do you cook it? Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the pulp, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 400 degrees until golden brown and tender – about 30-40 minutes.

Recipes: After roasting, top spaghetti squash with Giada’s Parmesan Pomodoro, Simple Bolognese, Mushroom Ragu, or even Slow Cooker Short Rib Ragu for a decadent spin. Simply topping with some salt, pepper and Parmesan is delicious, too!

Winter squash recipes

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Y'all may have noticed I have been running a giveaway for free winter squash seeds. Some of the people getting them have never grown them, and I think a few have never cooked them.
Anyone who has read any of my cooking posts knows I don't use recipes or cook the same thing twice, so I'm no use for sharing recipes.

Permies to the rescue!
What are your favorite winter squash recipes?

Gardens in my mind never need water
Castles in the air never have a wet basement
Well made buildings are fractal -- equally intelligent design at every level of detail.

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I don't know that I'd call 'em recipes, but my favorite methods are pretty simple, and I almost always save the seeds for planting, roasting, or drying and adding to my natural critter de-wormer. With the exception of spaghetti squash, I love to:

* Halve them (stem to blossom), slice a thin bit off the rounded side(so they'll sit level, like a bowl), and throw in some butter, salt and pepper, and roast them until they're fork-tender (easy to stick a fork in), and serve them up, usually with some critter that was roasted at the same time.

* Peel, then cut them into bite- sized chunks, toss with a bit of olive oil, onions, garlic cloves, and whatever herbs (and often root veggies) I'm in the mood for, and roast until the edges are caramelized, and they're fork tender. Sometimes, we eat them like that, other times, I'll take it a step further, and turn the roasted squash(and whatever else was with it) into a mash, adding butter, at the table - YUM!!

* Halve, butter (no salt/ pepper), and roast to fork tender. Remove from the oven and cool, then peel, and puree. From this point, I'll either freeze it in an ice cube tray or dry and powder it, to add to soups and stews as a nourishing thickener, make pies, add to baked goods for added nutrition, flavor, moisture retention, and texture, or add sweetener, baking spices, and make butters, to top toast, biscuits/scones, fill cookies, etc.

AND!! (Bonus!) It's great for adding to homemade dog and cat food, and the leaves and vines are also great fodder, for many livestock breeds!

The only thing. more expensive than education is ignorance.

Ben Franklin
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Carla Burke wrote:
* Halve, butter (no salt/ pepper), and roast to fork tender. Remove from the oven and cool, then peel, and puree. From this point, I'll either freeze it in an ice cube tray or dry and powder it, to add to soups and stews as a nourishing thickener, make pies, add to baked goods for added nutrition, flavor, moisture retention, and texture, or add sweetener, baking spices, and make butters, to top toast, biscuits/scones, fill cookies, etc.

Gardens in my mind never need water
Castles in the air never have a wet basement
Well made buildings are fractal -- equally intelligent design at every level of detail.

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I LOVE winter squash anyway you cook it. Small ones like acorn squash are great as Carla suggests cut in half and baked with butter or oil, and a bit of your favorite seasoning. Brushed with a mix of oil, maple syrup, and chili pepper is really good. Add some chopped nuts if you like. Or stuff with chopped apples and cinnamon, or your favorite cooked rice or grains, or bread stuffing.

My kids shockingly do not love baked squash as I do. However, since the pureed squash is so easy to incorporate into other things, I get them to consume the fall bounty anyway. Easiest way to get to squash puree is to bake a whole (uncut) squash. Just prick the skin to avoid explosions and bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, turning once. Put it on a baking dish because it might leak a bit. You can also do this in the microwave, try increments of 5 minutes until color changes a bit and it is somewhat soft all over.

Cut the cooked squash in half and the seeds are super easy to scoop out. Throw the seeds in a colander and rub them a bit to separate from the stringy goop. Put the seeds back in oven on a cookie sheet until they are dry and maybe just barely browned.

Now scoop out the rest of the squash from the skin and mash it, and you have a puree that you can add to almost anything. A cup or two mixed into masa for squash tamales or squash arepas. Added to your favorite pancake or muffin batter. Add to custards, casseroles, whatever. Any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin, or mashed sweet potato, you can substitute your own squash puree.

Weeds are just plants with enough surplus will to live to withstand normal levels of gardening!--Alexandra Petri