Roasted Delicata with Maple Syrup and Thyme

Roasted Delicata Squash Tacos with Maple Syrup

Hard winter squash, from pumpkin to butternut, is enormously nourishing — an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and fiber in particular. But often when I spy these colorful, anti-oxidant-rich winter beauties at the market, and imagine myself back in my kitchen trying to wrestle the rock-hard flesh and awkward shape into a cooked dish, I walk on by. Winter squash makes me tired.

Delicata, however, is one squash variety that’s a little easier on the cook. It’s become a wintertime staple in our house, and one my kids quite fancy. Smaller than most varieties, delicata has a sweet flesh and a thin skin that is perfectly edible. If you are wondering how to cook delicata squash, read on.

My method for preparing them involves nothing more than splitting the squash down the center, scooping the seeds, dotting the insides with butter and maple syrup, and baking them until tender. No need to fuss with a peeler or strong-arm the flesh into fat cubes. If you want to take it a step further, they make an excellent vessel for stuffing.

If you like this recipe, you might also like my Delicata Squash Tacos. 
Delicata squash tacos

4.78 from 18 votes
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Roasted Delicata Squash with Maple Syrup and Thyme

The skin of this squash is entirely edible, though you may find it preferable to eat the tender insides. Figure about a half squash per person, although smaller appetites may do with a quarter of a squash.
Course Side Dish, Vegetable Side
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Author katiemorford

Ingredients

  • 3 whole delicata squash
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil for a vegan version)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 small sprigs fresh thyme or 1/8 teaspooon dried thyme

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Wash the squash. Use a large, sharp knife to slice off the stems. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and string. Discard. Set the squash cut-side-up on a baking sheet.

  3. Put a dab of butter in the center of each squash. Drizzle the maple syrup into the cavity of each one. Sprinkle salt and freshly ground black pepper over the flesh of the squash. Set a small sprig of thyme or sprinkle the dried thyme in each half.

  4. Bake until the squash is very tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. The time will vary depending on the size of the squash, but will range from 35 to 45 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and serve.

Comments

01.21.2013 at 9:49 AM #

Robin

I like easy. Roasting is pretty easy. Like the simplicity of the ingredients too. I’ve seen some delicata at the market recently. We’ll give it a try.

01.21.2013 at 9:49 AM #

katiemorford

Oh good. Let me know how you like it.

09.15.2016 at 6:33 AM #

Julia

Great time for me to stumble across this! Have had 2 of these beauts hanging around my kitchen since the farm share delivery last week with no idea what to do. Can’t wait now, to try your method 🙂 And I’m with you on the hard-to-handle winter squashes. Makes me wish my knives were sharper.

09.15.2016 at 6:33 AM #

katiemorford

This is so simple and really tasty. I also have a delicata squash taco recipe if that is up your alley.

02.02.2017 at 10:38 AM #

Jaime

Made this last night. Very easy and delicious. The perfect combination of sweet and savory.

02.02.2017 at 10:38 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks for sharing Jaime. It’s one of our winter staples.

07.06.2017 at 5:31 AM #

Curt seyler

Made a bread similar to Zucchini bread with walnuts using delicata squash. Turned out great.

07.06.2017 at 5:31 AM #

katiemorford

That sounds delicious. Summer squash makes great quickbread, so why not winter squash?

09.24.2017 at 5:08 PM #

Eugene Cuoco

Just made this recipe tonight. I ate the WHOLE thing. I sauted garlic and jalapeño and fresh spinach and poured that right into the delicata canal. Served with a dollop of sour cream. It was amazing! Salty, heat, creamy, smooth…awesome. Thank you for the recipe!

09.24.2017 at 5:08 PM #

katiemorford

Wowza! I love what you did with this recipe. Thanks for sharing so I can try it that way.

10.26.2017 at 1:13 PM #

Andrea

This was easy and excellent! First time I had ever made delicata squash!!

10.26.2017 at 1:13 PM #

katiemorford

Oh good! Thank you for taking the time to comment. Check out the delicata squash tacos on the site. Maybe you’ll like those as well 🙂

11.08.2017 at 3:11 PM #

Betsy

Easy peasy, delicious even without the butter,. But I’m writing to say, Don’t throw out the seeds; rinse off the fibrous strings, takes less than a minute, spread on an appropriate size pan, can use parchment, and toast them in the same oven with the squash. Watch carefully not to burn, because of high temperature, check a 8 minutes. they will get golden, and/or you’ll hear a few ‘pops!’, take them out , let them cool and munch away,. pure protein, can eat the shells too!

11.09.2017 at 4:50 PM #

Carole M Cole

I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have in my veggie basket on the counter: one delicata, one acorn squash, a butternut and some unidentified squash. I saw this article and thought “great – one I won’t have trouble cutting open”. Went into the kitchen, picked out the Delicata and grabbed my best knife and… just as hard to cut as any other winter squash. I was so looking forward to squash for dinner. I have a shoulder injury so cutting a hard squash is beyond challenging. Maybe I’ll try to cook it whole for a while and then see if it will slice open. I am so disappointed in your misleading article.

11.09.2017 at 4:50 PM #

Hubie

Punch some small holes in squash with sharp fork. Place in microwave for about three minutes to soften. Then your knife should cut through with no problem.

11.09.2017 at 4:50 PM #

katiemorford

Hopefully the tip re: the microwave will help. That works for other types of squash as well. You might also want to check out my recipe for Genius Butternut Squash in which you roast the squash whole and then cut it. You’ll find the link for that here: http://www.momskitchenhandbook.com/uncategorized/easy-vegan-butternut-squash-soup/

11.10.2017 at 3:43 PM #

Bob

One of my favorite sides at supper time!
Nutty and soft and the epitome of comfort food.

11.10.2017 at 3:43 PM #

katiemorford

Glad you like it. Good-for-you comfort food 🙂

12.17.2017 at 11:50 AM #

Leah

I got a delicata squash in my farm share and had no idea what to do with it. Found this recipe and gave it a whirl. It’s DELICIOUS. I didn’t have thyme on hand, so I just did the butter and real maple syrup with salt and pepper. I scraped the goodness out of the skins and served with the sauce drizzled over it. This is definitely a new favorite in our household.

07.14.2018 at 12:07 PM #

Dixie Burch

Used molasses, toasted walnuts, some butter, & thin sliced Vidalia onion in filling…..delicious. Could

07.14.2018 at 12:07 PM #

katiemorford

That sounds wonderful!

09.28.2018 at 8:55 AM #

Charlotte Riddle

I roast my delicata abd also acorn squash with breakfast sausage stuffs in the middle , and i lso roast the seeds with butter and sweet and salty flavors, it’s a delicious little appetizer to have while you wait for your squash and sausage to cook.

09.28.2018 at 8:55 AM #

katiemorford

Sounds amazing. The smokiness/spiciness of sausage seems a perfect fit for squash. Thanks for sharing.

10.05.2018 at 5:37 PM #

Joy Hazucha

Everyone loved it!
Will need to make it again.
And so easy!!

10.05.2018 at 5:37 PM #

katiemorford

Yay! Love hearing that. Thanks for the comment.

10.06.2018 at 7:53 AM #

Henrietta

If/when you are unable to cut any squash in half easily, wrap it it foil. Set it in a roasting pan of near size. Pour water in the bottom of the pan to about 2″. Oven roast at 325 – 350 for an hour or hour and a half….until you can feel it softened…using an oven mitt of course. Then bring it out and let it cool for about 20 min. Cut it in half. Proceed with your recipe. Even if it is filling it and roasting it a short time in the oven again. Works perfectly for those of us with arthritis or other issues that prevent us from being able to cut a hard squash in half. Good Luck.

10.06.2018 at 7:53 AM #

katiemorford

I so appreciate this tip! Thanks for sharing.

10.07.2018 at 10:44 AM #

Sally Baker

I totally agree with your assessment. The skin is so thin and edible it’s a Plus. I like to roast it as rings for visual interest.

10.07.2018 at 10:44 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks for the comment, Sally. I agree, cut into rings is so pretty. I sometimes toss that into a salad.

11.15.2018 at 11:02 PM #

Alana

I do this same recipe with Acorn Squash so I tried it with the delicata and it took way less time in oven because way smaller. That’s ok though. This can also be done with other squash like butternut. It is very good. If you want just sweet, use maple syrup, salt, butter and brown sugar inside and score the squash. The thyme is nice to make it savory also here.

09.16.2019 at 10:19 AM #

Frederick Jackson

This has become one of my favorites…not always easy to find..i like this method..give me choice to leave my wife’s plain ..and the skin is yummy as well.

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