You don’t have to stick with typical winter squash soups this season. This Roasted Winter Squash recipe jazzes it up with the use of spicy Harissa seasoning. It’s an easy and simple recipe that will keep you comforted all Winter long.
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There are so many different things you can do with winter squash, and when paired with Harissa seasoning, the possibilities become endless. This winter squash recipe roasted with corn is perfect over a salad topped with my homemade mint sauce! You can also serve this over quinoa or rice!
WHAT IS HARISSA?
Harissa is typically a thick paste used in North African cuisines made with garlic, chiles, spices, and other good stuff. I first discovered it when I was learning how to cook Moroccan food.
In this roasted winter squash recipe, I use a dry harissa spice mix that I purchased from my farmers’ market. Amazon has several harissa pastes, and seasonings so order this online if you can’t find it in a grocery store near you.
TYPES OF WINTER SQUASH TO USE
Well, first, let me briefly explain what winter squash is. Botanically a fruit (all squash are fruits), winter squash does not grow in the Winter.
They grow slowly during late summer and harvest in the Fall. Their thick skin is thick, allowing that rind to be stored and enjoyed for the Winter. Examples include acorn, butternut, pumpkin, and delicata.
This Roasted Winter squash recipe is versatile in that it will work with any winter squash you choose, but what I recommend is using butternut squash.
Butternut squash is one of my favorite winter squashes to cook for the following reasons:
- It’s readily available: Out of all the squashes, butternut squash is typically easier to find in most areas.
- It has a hit of sweetness: While not overly sweet like a sweet potato, it has just the right amount of subtle sweetness that carmelizes beautifully when roasted.
- It pairs well Harissa Spice: Remember that sweetness I just mentioned above? Well, harissa’s heat pairs super well with butternut squash for that very reason.
HOW TO MAKE THIS ROASTED WINTER SQUASH RECIPE
1. Make Sauce & Cut Vegetables
- First, make your mint dressing in a blender and set aside.
- Cut your squash and onions and add them to a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil and seasonings.
2. Toss Vegetables in Seasoning & Bake
- Toss well to make sure your vegetables are fully coated with the oil and seasonings. Add to oven and bake until squash is fork-tender.
3. Pour Mint Sauce Over Vegetables
- Once your vegetables are fully roasted, immediately add your mint dressing.
- Toss well fully coating your vegetables and serve with rice, quinoa, or a salad!
TIPS FOR MAKING ROASTED WINTER SQUASH
Roasting squash is the tastiest way to eat them. Below are some tips for making roasting your winter squash easier (and a success).
- Use Frozen Squash: I used frozen butternut squash in this recipe as sometimes fresh squash can be tough to cut open.
- Use Oil: It helps keeps your winter squash moist and ensures the harissa seasoning is thoroughly coated.
- Bake Uncovered: I baked this recipe uncovered the entire time. You can cover for the majority of roasting if you like, but for the last 5 to 10 minutes, be sure to uncover so that you get good caramelization on your butternut squash.
- Use Parchment Paper: The best tip of all is to bake on parchment paper for easy cleanup!
Squash is a great food to eat often. Particularly Butternut Squash has a high carotenoid content, which is an antioxidant your body uses to convert into Vitamin A.
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant essential for good skin and vision. Plus, butternut squash is high in fiber, making it excellent for your digestion.
***NOTE: This blog is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner. All information contained in this blog is the opinion of Monique and is not to be interpreted as medical advice.
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Harissa Roasted Winter Squash
Easy winter recipe
- 1 butternut squash, about 4 cups, peeled & chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 red onion, cut into chunks
- 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon harissa seasoning or harissa paste
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon sweetener of your choice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or yellow mustard
- 18 mint sprigs
- ½ teaspoon harissa seasoning or paste
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Place all of the ingredients for the squash on a baking pan and mix. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender, but not mushy.
- While the squash is cooking, mix the first 5 ingredients for the Mint Sauce in a blender and blend well. Add the mint and harissa and pulse until little green specs of mint are seen throughout the sauce.
- When the squash is fresh from the oven and still hot put the sauce over it. You can use as mush sauce as you’d like. I didn’t use all of it and had a couple of tablespoons left over, which I used as a vinaigrette for a salad.
If you cannot find harissa seasoning then try it with just the curry powder and lemon pepper.