If you only make one squash side dish this fall, let it be Roasted Delicata Squash with Sage and Dried Cranberries. Easy to prepare, with layers of sweet-tart flavor, did I mention this squash recipe is also ready in about 30 minutes, gluten-free, and practically begging to make an appearance on your holiday table?
Delicata squash doesn’t get as much love as butternut or acorn, but it absolutely should. Besides being a gorgeous, creamy orange color with long green stripes, the skin is soft, tender, and edible (!), which makes this squash incredibly easy to prepare. If you’re someone who avoids squash at the farmer’s market or grocery store because the skin is so difficult to slice off, delicata is the squash for you. Why else does Roasted Delicata Squash with Sage and Dried Cranberries have ‘harvest season’ written all over it? The simple roasting method, similar to the method used in my Herb Roasted Vegetables, brings out the color, texture, and flavor of the sweet squash and crispy sage.
DO I NEED TO PEEL DELICATA SQUASH?
No peeling required! You’ll love Delicata Squash because the skin is soft and edible – it will soften during roasting. You can also save and roast the seeds for a healthy snack, just like you would with a pumpkin!
HOW DO YOU CLEAN DELICATA SQUASH?
Clean Delicata Squash just as you would other squash varieties. Cut the squash lengthwise down the middle, then scoop out the seeds and any stringy pieces. Slice and cook!
- Delicata Squash – One of the sweeter squash varieties, this squash has tender, yellow-orange flesh and skin that softens as it roasts. If you can’t find delicata, acorn squash is a great substitute.
- Sage – Fragrant sage offers a beautiful contrast to the sweet squash flavor.
- Cranberries – Bright red cranberries add texture and sweetness to the apple cider vinegar-olive oil dressing,
- Apple Cider Vinegar – The acidity in apple cider vinegar blends with and balances the olive oil and Dijon mustard.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – A pantry staple, the flavor of olive oil complements the sweet and tart flavors of this dish.
- Dijon Mustard (Stoneground) – Thicker and with a stronger “bite” than regular mustard, stone-ground Dijon mustard adds texture to the dressing.
- Maple Syrup – This natural sweetener adds a hint of richness.
- Garlic – Grate fresh garlic, instead of chopping or mincing, for uniform pieces and easy clean up.
- Sprinkle with nuts – Add a little crunch to your roasted Delicata Squash with toasted pecans, pepitas, hazelnuts, or walnuts.
- Add cheese – Parmesan, feta, or gruyere would add more richness and savory flavor to this dish.
More Squash Recipes
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Garam Masala
- Butternut Squash Soup with Turmeric and Ginger
- Creamy Butternut Squash and Spinach Casserole
- Spaghetti Squash Bowls with Marinara and Italian Sausage
- Spaghetti Squash Egg Nests
If you’re looking for more ways to use Delicata Squash, 101 Cookbooks has a great list!
Roasted Delicata Squash with Sage and Dried Cranberries
- Mixing Bowls
- Half Sheet Pan
For the dressing:
- 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon Mustard, preferably stone-ground
- 1 ½ teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 1 clove Garlic, grated
- ½ cup Dried Cranberries
For the squash:
- 2 pounds Delicata Squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, sliced into ½-inch pieces
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped Fresh Sage
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- Chopped Parsley (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450°F / 232°C.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together vinegar, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, and garlic. Heat in the microwave until warm, just about 30 seconds. Stir cranberries into warm dressing. Set aside to soak.
- Meanwhile, toss squash with 2 Tablespoons olive oil, sage, and salt. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast, until tender and golden, about 20 minutes. (Note: Remove the pan from the oven and gently slide a spatula under the squash to help prevent sticking, but don't flip it over. Cooking it just on one side will help that side to get extra golden brown and crisp.)
- When squash is tender, carefully transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle dressing (including cranberries) over squash. Top with parsley. Gently fold everything together.
- Serve warm or room temperature.
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