Easier Roasted Winter Squashes

Okay, maybe all of you already do this, but I didn’t!  I always used to cut my winter squash–acorn, butternut and other hard-shell varieties–in half and scoop out the seeds before cooking.   That’s what it says on the sticker that comes on some grocery store squash, in fact.

I read somewhere that you don’t have to, and I stopped.  It’s easier to scoop them out cleanly after cooking, and it is even easier to separate the seeds from the center fibers if you want to roast them separately.    If you usually put butter in the cavity while roasting, you can do that later.

I didn’t think to take a before photo of this lovely little squash. Sigh.

Simple recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Wash squash skin and cut it in half.

Place the squash in a deep pan, seed side down, in about half an inch of water.

Bake for about 1 hour, then flip the squash seed side up so it’ll brown.  You could add some olive oil or butter to the flesh around the edges, but I didn’t on this one.  Test for tenderness, and reset your timer for another 15+ minutes as needed.

When it’s done, scoop out the seeds.  If you want to roast the seeds,  turn the oven down to 275 degrees and separate the seeds from the fibers, cleaning them a little as you go.    Spread them on a baking sheet coated with spray olive or veggie oil (or not) and salt them (or not).

This would also be your opportunity to go a little crazy with spices if you want…probably a good idea to use a little oil in this case so the flavor will stick to the seeds.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, till toasty brown.   Kind of cool to serve a little dish of these with the squash.  I pretty much like my squash plain or with a little butter.



2 thoughts on “Easier Roasted Winter Squashes

  1. RuthG says:

    Cool–this will make squashing much easier for me!

    I have fallen in love with an “Afghan pumpkin” (or butternut squash, or sweet potatoes) recipe. You lightly saute chunks of squash & then add tomatoes, onions & a couple of spices & cook. (Your method would greatly reduce the cooking time–I might just cook the tomato mixture into a sauce while the squash is roasting.) You spread plain yogurt on the serving dish, then spoon the squash mixture into it, then drizzle more yogurt on top, then add diced fresh or crumbled dried mint leaves! Heaven!

  2. Sundry says:

    Oh, that sounds good! I wonder if you could take the squash out a little before it gets really soft and still have it be cooked but cube-able. I love using fresh mint, too.

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