What has cinnamon, lots of nutrients, and that crowd-pleasing je ne sais quoi? That would be this squash recipe, which (calling it) is about to be the next mainstay of your Thanksgiving table. Thanks to a heady blend of the aforementioned cinnamon, fresh sage, and hazelnuts, it’s one of those dishes that fills your kitchen with an intoxicating aroma before you’ve even had the chance to take a bite.
And have we mentioned those good-looking nutrients? In addition to containing lots of fiber, winter squash also boasts some vitamin C, and thiamine, a B-vitamin that supports energy metabolism. That’s not even to mention the antioxidants found in cinnamon.
Leave it to integrative chef Blaine Arin Tacker to make this vegan-friendly dish as tasty as it is nutritious—and don’t just take our word for it. Find out how to whip up this winning recipe below.
Roasted Winter Squash with Sage & Spiced Hazelnuts
- 1 winter squash, kabocha or acorn (~2 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil or unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ cup raw hazelnuts, finely chopped
- 2 sprigs sage
- Pinch cinnamon
- Pinch red pepper or aleppo pepper flakes
- Flaky sea salt
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Put whole squash onto a baking sheet and pop into the oven for 20 minutes, just to soften the skin for easier cutting.
- Remove squash from the oven (carefully, it’s hot!) and let cool enough to handle.
- Slice squash in half from stem to bottom.
- Scoop out seeds with a spoon.
- Slice squash into 1 ½” - 2” wedges.
- Toss the wedges with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast until squash is tender and turning golden and caramelized (not need to stir), about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the coconut oil, maple syrup and sage leaves in a small saucepan over medium heat; warm up together for about 2 minutes, letting the sage sizzle and release its flavor. Remove from the heat.
- Add hazelnuts, cinnamon, pepper flakes and a pinch of salt; stir over the heat until the hazelnuts are lightly toasted and golden. Set aside.
- Arrange squash on a plate and spoon the spiced hazelnuts over the top. Finish with a light shower of flaky sea salt.
Notes: Pro tip for dealing with hard-skinned winter squash (because it’s scary throwing your whole weight against a sharp knife to cut into those things!): Just roast ‘em whole for 20 minutes—then deal with the cutting part! Squash can be roasted a few hours in advance. Leave out at room temperature until ready to serve.