Maple Roasted Delicata Squash
This roasted delicata squash recipe is made with maple syrup, cinnamon, goat cheese, toasted pecans, and thyme. It’s sweet, savoury, and packed with so much flavour. An easy, healthy, vegetarian side dish!
When I first tested this maple roasted delicata squash recipe, I packed the leftovers for my husband’s lunch the next day. He came home with RAVE reviews, asking me exactly what I had made for him. That’s always an excellent sign in my books haha, so I’m very excited to share this recipe with YOU today 🙂
This veggie side dish is the perfect mix of sweet and savoury, pairing sweet flavours like maple + cinnamon with the savoury ones of goat cheese + thyme. Add the toasty pecans on top, and you’ve got a delicious combination of flavours in every mouthful!
As a dietitian, I’m happy to share that delicata squash is packed with nutrition benefits, like fiber, vitamin A, and antioxidants.
If you’ve never cooked delicata squash before, I’ve shared more in-depth, step-by-step instructions (with pictures) for both cutting it and roasting it. It’s really very easy, I promise!
Want more side dish inspiration? Check out my roundup of easy, healthy vegetable side dish recipes for more ideas. For more delicious winter squash recipes, you can check out my winter squash roundup, too!
Ingredients & substitutions
All you need to make this delicata squash recipe are 7 simple ingredients:
- Delicata squash: As pictured above, delicata is a cyclindrical-shaped yellow squash that has dark green and sometimes orange lines running lengthwise along the squash. It’s a little easier to work with compared to some larger squashes and the skins are entirely edible!
- Olive oil: Used to roast the squash in.
- Maple syrup: After being sliced into rings, the delicata squash is tossed in pure maple syrup which not only lends a beautifully sweet and seasonal flavour to this dish, but it also helps to caramelize the vegetable when roasting!
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon also pairs beautifully with squash and maple syrup. It’s such a seasonal, warming spice that I LOVE over hearty vegetables.
- Pecans: Pecans get toasted in the oven and added to the final dish. Their warm, toasty flavour goes SO well with everything. If needed, you can omit or swap with toasted pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version. You could also try with toasted walnuts or almonds instead, although I will say that toasted pecans are THE best, in my opinion 😉
- Goat cheese: crumbled goat cheese also gets added to the finished side dish. The savoury flavours of goat cheese offer the perfect contrast to the sweeter tastes of this delicata recipe. For a vegan/dairy-free option, swap this with a vegan/dairy-free goat cheese alternative. You could also try this with parmesan or feta instead.
- Thyme: The seasonal perfect garnish, with added flavour! You can use either dried thyme or fresh for this recipe (fresh thyme will look a bit prettier, but both taste just as great).
And if you can’t find delicata squash at your grocery store – the best alternative would be to use acorn squash. You can cut it into similar slices and eat the skin, too!
Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
Step-by-step: how to cut & roast delicata squash
I recommend using a sharp chef’s knife to get this job done! I find it easiest to cut off the hard ends, then stand the squash upright on one of the flat surfaces.
Next, cut down the center of the squash (lengthwise) to create 2 long halves. A dishcloth can help push the knife down if it’s a bit tough.
Once cut in half, scrape out the seeds and extra fleshy parts using a spoon.
Once you’ve removed the seeds, flip the squash halves over so that they sit face-side down on your cutting board.
Using your knife, cut down each half, creating 3/4-inch half-moon rings.
Then, transfer the delicata squash rings to a large mixing bowl.
Add the olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Toss everything together well.
then spread the squash onto a lined baking sheet in an even layer with a bit of space between each piece. Make sure to get all the excess maple syrup mixture out of the bowl and onto the squash!
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and allow to cook for about 25 minutes. The squash should be lightly browned, caramelized, and fork-tender.
In the last 7 minutes of roasting the squash, add your pecans to a small baking dish. Place them in the oven as well, allowing them to get toasted and fragrant (just make sure they don’t burn).
You can then remove the nuts and squash from the oven at the same time. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and roughly chop them up.
Finally, you can plate the delicata squash rings and top them with the chopped pecans, as well as the goat cheese and thyme. Serve and enjoy!
Can you eat the skin?
Yes, you can eat delicata squash skin. It gets super soft and tender when cooking, and is a great way to maximize your nutrient intake.
What to serve with delicata squash
This maple roasted delicata squash recipe is the PERFECT addition to your holiday menus, or any dinner party you may host in the fall or winter!
That said, if you’re simply enjoying it for dinner on a weeknight, I’d recommend pairing it with a quality protein and some non-starchy veggies to round out your meal! Some ideas for you:
- pair with some simple seafood, like baked salmon, baked cod, or garlic-sautéed shrimp
- pair with simple meats or poultry, like chicken or turkey
- pair with plant-based protein sources, like baked tofu or tempeh
- pair with other roasted veggies, like broccolini or cauliflower or some leafy greens, like sautéed spinach or kale
- add them to a salad or a grain bowl, with hard-boiled eggs (for example) – this could be a great way to use up cold leftovers, too!
Delicata squash nutrition benefits
Winter squash like delicata is a great source of dietary fiber, which helps to improve our digestive health, heart health, and blood sugar control.
Delicata squash is also a source of vitamins, like:
- vitamin A
- vitamin C
- vitamin K
- multiple B vitamins (like folate, thiamin, niacin, and B6)
…as well as minerals, like:
…and antioxidants, like:
More healthy squash side dishes:
- Quinoa Stuffed Delicata Squash
- Sautéed Butternut Squash With Parmesan
- Roasted Acorn Squash Slices
- Butternut Squash & Kale With Coconut Cream
- Vegan Zucchini Squash Casserole
Did you give this Maple Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!
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Get the Recipe: Maple Roasted Delicata Squash (Easy Side Dish!)
- 2 medium-large delicata squash
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup raw pecans
- 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut squash: Using a large chef's knife, cut off the hard ends of the squash, then stand the squash upright on one of the flat surfaces. Cut down the center of the squash (lengthwise) to create 2 long halves. Once cut in half, scrape out the seeds and extra fleshy parts using a spoon.Once you've removed the seeds, flip the squash halves over so that they sit face-side down. Then, cut down each half, creating 3/4-inch half-moon rings.
- Transfer the delicata squash rings to a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Toss everything together, then transfer to the lined baking sheet. If preferred, you could toss the squash directly on the baking sheet, too!
- Spread the squash out on the sheet in an even, single layer. Transfer to the oven and allow to cook for 25-30 minutes, until browned and fork-tender.
- In the last 7 minutes of roasting the squash, add your pecans to a small baking sheet. Place them in the oven as well, allowing them to get toasted and fragrant (just make sure they don't burn). Remove from oven, then roughly chop the nuts on a cutting board.
- Once everything is cooked, plate the roasted delicata squash and top with the toasted pecans, goat cheese, and thyme. Serve hot + enjoy!
- This recipe is best enjoyed fresh, however; leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
- You can reheat the squash in the microwave or in the oven, but I do find that it gets a bit dried out with reheating. I almost prefer serving leftovers cold, adding them to a salad or grain bowl the next day (for instance)!
- Pecans can be omitted or swapped with toasted pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version. If you don’t have pecans on hand, you could also try this with toasted walnuts or almonds instead, although I will say that toasted pecans are THE best, in my opinion 😉
- For a vegan option, swap this with a vegan/dairy-free goat cheese alternative. You could also try swapping goat cheese with parmesan or feta instead (regular or dairy-free, as needed).
- You can use dried thyme or fresh thyme for this recipe. I used fresh thyme simply because it photographed better, but when I tested the recipe I used dried. Both tasted great!
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!