When it comes to festive pumpkin side dishes, this roasted Kabocha squash with cranberries and pecans brings all the autumnal feels to the table. This one-pan baked dish can also be made with butternut squash and is super easy to prepare. Serve alongside a variety of mains. It’s great for Thanksgiving, Christmas and your regular roast dinner. This squash recipe is gluten-free, paleo, dairy-free, vegan-friendly.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I wanted to share some of my favourite holiday season side dishes. This paleo-friendly roasted kabocha squash pumpkin side dish is a vegetable crowd pleaser and can be served at a festive gathering or as a hearty side dish with your next dinner meal.
How To Make Roasted Kabocha Recipe
You will find the full list of ingredients, instructions, notes and nutritional breakdown for this Kabocha squash side dish in the recipe card below. Here are some handy step-by-step photos to guide you along.
Pick The Right Winter Squash
The key to this dish is getting the right type of pumpkin or winter squash. I have a great guide to different types of pumpkin and winter squashes here.
For this particular recipe, you want to use a sweeter kind of pumpkin such as Kabocha, Kent or Japanese, Kabocha or Jarrahdale. Butternut squash is also okay to use but I find the texture less starchy and the flavour less sweet.
Step 1. Start by preheating the oven to 200 C / 400 F. Peel the squash, cut it into quarters and remove the seeds. Dice into cubes and add to a large roasting tray or baking dish.
Step 2. Add the onion and drizzle with olive oil. Toss through and place in the oven, middle shelf, for 10 minutes. In the meantime, chop most of the pecans roughly and reserve a few whole nuts. Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Step 3. After 10 minutes, remove the pumpkin from the oven and scatter the pecans (except for a few whole ones), cranberries, garlic, salt and spices over the top. Stir through and place back in the oven for 7-10 minutes. After 7 minutes, remove the tray again and scatter the remaining pecans over the top. Whisk together the glaze mix and drizzle over the tray contents. Place in the oven for 5 more minutes.
Make-ahead: If you’re preparing this dish for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, it works well as a make-ahead recipe. Simply pre-roast the dish in the morning and then reheat in the oven just before serving.
More Healthy Side Dishes
- Sautéed Green Beans With Bacon, Mushrooms & Almonds (with VIDEO)
- Spiced Cauliflower Sweet Potato Mash
- Roast Pumpkin & Beetroot Salad With Maple Walnuts
- Moroccan Carrot & Beetroot Salad
- Cabbage Pie
- Find more healthy Thanksgiving & Christmas recipes and ideas.
Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and nutrition notes below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.Print
Roasted Kabocha Squash with Cranberries & Pecans
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Side dish
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: British
- Diet: Gluten Free
An easy pumpkin side dish of roasted Kabocha squash with cranberries and pecans has all those fall feels and is great for Thanksgiving, Christmas and your regular roast dinner. This winter squash recipe is gluten-free, paleo, dairy-free, vegan-friendly.
- 1.8 kg / about 4 lb sweet winter squash such as Kabocha/Kent (the weight includes the skin and seeds)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large red onion, diced roughly
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
For the glaze
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, molasses or honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or tamari sauce
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F.
- Peel the pumpkin, cut it into quarters and remove the seeds. Dice into cubes and add to a large roasting tray or baking dish. Add the onion and drizzle with olive oil. Toss through and place in the oven, middle shelf, for 10 minutes.
- Chop most of the pecans roughly and reserve a few whole nuts. Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- After 10 minutes, remove the pumpkin and scatter the pecans (except for a few whole ones), cranberries, garlic, salt and spices over the top. Stir through and place back in the oven for 7-10 minutes.
- After 7 minutes, remove the tray again and scatter the remaining pecans over the top. Whisk together the glaze mix and drizzle over the tray contents. Place in the oven for 5 more minutes.
Dried fruit: I used dried cranberries but you could also chop up some dried apricots or throw in some sultanas. Nuts: Pecans are very traditional and I love the flavour, but you can easily use other nuts and seeds, or omit them completely.
Regular yellow onion can be used instead of red onion, but I find the latter a little sweeter and the colour much prettier for this dish.
Leftover roasted pumpkin is perfect with scrambled eggs or as a filling in frittata or quiche; or, you can turn it into a soup or a curry. That’s if you have any leftovers.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 185
- Sugar: 10.8 g
- Sodium: 562.1 mg
- Fat: 11.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 21.7 g
- Fiber: 3.5 g
- Protein: 2.6 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Kabocha Squash, Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, Roast, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Vegetables, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegan
This is delicious. I am definitely making this a regular for all holiday meals. I used butternut squash because in the south, all winter squash comes from Mexico and is bland and watery. An organic one would probably have more flavor and texture, too. This turned out perfect using the recipe exactly as written.
Thanks, Julie 🙂
Very tasty! I did need to double the roasting time however.