Roasted Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin)

I’m obsessed with winter squash. OBSESSED.

In the last 3 years Delicata squash, Spaghetti squash, and Butternut squash have all become mainstay in my diet. These weren’t things I naturally gravitated towards. I don’t remember eating them growing up, and if I was actually offered roasted winter squash I probably would have turned my nose up.

I’m not sure why. They are all so delicious, but both The Husband and The Little Guy have been brainwashed against them too. I can get Little Guy to eat Butternut Squash fries every now and then, but that’s where he draws the line.

Yesterday I roasted my first ever Kabocha Squash hoping it would win them over.

Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin)

A few people have emailed me about them, but I never noticed them at the grocery store until recently.

I picked one up and decided to simply roast it in slices. I knew I’d love it, and I did!

The flesh is reminiscent of Butternut Squash, but denser and creamier like a sweet potato. It was super sweet and just downright tasty! Of course I’m the only one who thought so. The husband said, “meh” and The Little Guy made “The Face.” Thankfully Little Bean is now old enough to get in on the action and he was interested as ever!

Roasted Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin)

He may be my last hope. Although, I get the feeling I’m going to be surrounded be 3 picky boys soon. Dad seems to be more of an influence than Mom, but I’m not giving up that easy. ;)

Here’s how I made it.

  • 1 Kabocha Squash
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray
  • Kosher Salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Cut the squash in half. It’s going to take some muscle!

Roasted Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin) - step 1

Scoop out the pulp and seeds. I didn’t have time to roast them, but just like all winter squash, you can.

Roasted Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin) - step 2

Cut the squash in wedges and lay them on the cookie sheet. Spray with a bit more cooking spray and sprinkle with the salt.

Roasted Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin) - before

Roast for 10-15 minutes per side, based on thickness.

Roasted Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin) - after

In case you are wondering (and I know you are) YES I ate the skin. I simply picked up a wedge and took a bite. DE-LICIOUS!

Where are the Kabocha Squash fans? How do you prepare it?

Oh! And nutrtional info is based on generic winter squash. I couldn’t find Kabocha specifically.

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
varies 100g ~ 1 cup
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
35 0g 1g old: 1/2 new: 1
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
2g 0g 9g 1g
Posted in: 0 WWP, 1 WWP, 1 WWPP, Dinner Ideas, Vegetarian Ideas
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19 Comments and 2 Replies

  1. Kim F

    I just picked up an acorn squash and it has DANISH in parenthasis – so I don’t know what that means!! LOL

    I haven’t ventured beyond spaghetti squash… but I love what I have made so far.

    Is the acorn squash dense like sweet potatoes too?

  2. jesser

    We are obsessed with squash at our house too … me in particular, but my daughter’s mania is almost to the level of mine. She requests squash (and only squash) for meals on a fairly regular basis.

    We roasted a kobucha last year in a dutch oven. We drilled a hole in it either by pounding a knife in or with a real drill … I can’t remember now. It was a hard nut to crack. Once it was roasted, we ate it mashed/chunked with a little salt. We also like to roast winter squash in cubes and serve them over pasta … nothing else needed. The cookbook Time for Dinner has a the roasting method we used last winter and I think some recipes to go along with it. I also pinned a recipe from 101 Cookbooks that looks really tasty but have not gotten around to making it just yet.
    link to

  3. Valerie

    No one in my house will eat squash except me. I keep offering it. I make homemade pesto (no oil; I use the pasta water to make it creamy… delish! – email if you want the recipe (:) and serve it mixed with spaghetti squash (it only takes a tsp or two). It is so good! I love squash of all types so I will absolutely try kobacha next time I go grocery shopping!

  4. Eileen

    I couldn’t do acorn squash…the texture wasn’t creamy enough. However…butternut and I have a lovely relationship now:). I’ll check out kabocha if I can find it!

  5. Hally

    LOVE THIS!!! We eat it all fall/winter here in CA. My mother in law makes the most awesome potato-ish salad out of the leftovers and croquettes too. YUM!!

  6. Paula

    I loved the color and found a recipe in the Kind Diet book by Alicia Silverstone book. It is a Moroccan style couscous but I think this squash is good anyway you want to prepare it. Thanks for sharing the easy tasty recipe.

  7. Heidi @ Finishing the Hat

    Did you know that kabocha is one of the lowest-calorie squash varieties? We were surprised to see just how few calories (especially versus the great nutritive value.)

    My favorite kabocha recipe is one my husband found – we stir-fry it in homemade Thai curry paste. DELISH. That reminds me – now that we’re heading into winter squash season, I should post the recipe.

  8. Veronica Miller

    I have been hearing such good things about kabocha during the last year that when I finally found them (at an Asian market) I bought three of them! It is to die for! I will have to try roasting it. I was in a crazed rush to try it ASAP and just cut in half, placed face down on a plate, and microwaved for like 5 minutes or so until tender. So creamy!

  9. Sue

    My husband & I love the Kabocha. however, the flesh closer to the skin never gets tender for me. what am I doing wrong? :-( Thanks!

  10. Ross

    We eat them all the time here in Hawaii. To make cutting easier I poke a few holes in the side and stick the whole thing in the microwave for about five minutes. Let it cool a bit and it’s a lot simpler to cut.
    We love to roast them on the grill (brush with ghee first) and then grind sea salt and black pepper over them before serving.

  11. monica

    I love this squash but i get stomach pains when i eat the skin. I’m not sure why so i have to completely peel it before roasting

  12. Philippe D.

    My wife has started to cook kabocha squash in the pressure cooker. Seeded and cut in cubes in a little water, salted or not, it takes only 1 minute from the moment the cooker whistles, then she shuts down the heat and let the cooker cools completely. Once cool, she mashes it lightly and sometimes add a little milk or a couple of tablespoons of light sour cream before creaming. My wife’s mother who is Japanese adds some soy sauce and ginger before cooking it. Some also cook it with some home-made stock (veg. or chicken) and all-spice. I prefer my wife’s version, it is sweet and creamy.

    1. Jim

      We use the same recipe as Roni but instead of cooking spray we brush the squash with coconut oil then a little salt and pepper. (We use Trader Joe’s) Coconut oil is very good for you and and it gives it a flavor similar to coconut macaroons… our favorite instead of potatoes now!!!

  13. Cindy

    Kabocha is wonderful with coconut milk. Sautee some garlic and onions. Add bite-sized skinless chicken breasts and cubed kabocha, salt and pepper to taste. Pepper flakes (or hot pepper) makes it even wonderful. When kabocha is soft and chicken is cooked, pour a can of coconut milk (not coconut water) and boil for a few minutes for the flavors to blend. Add salt to taste. Enjoy over rice.

  14. ella

    That is a buttercup squash in the photo, not a kabocha. Similar but the kabocha has a denser, more flavourful flesh. They are often mislabelled. You can tell the difference by whether the bottom has a “button” (or even a “turban”) – then it is a buttercup – as in the photo above – or is flat’ in which case it is a true kabocha.

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