This recipe Roasted Delicata Squash and Fennel is quick and easy to prepare, since the squash doesn’t have to be peeled. The delicata squash is roasted with fennel and maple syrup for a sweet and savory side dish for fall meals.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Winter squash is the epitome of fall vegetables. It is inexpensive, healthy, tasty and a classic dish to serve at holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. While butternut squash and pumpkin are the most popular winter squash and a staple of the fall pantry there are many other types of squash which are quite tasty!
Why use Delicata Squash?
Delicata squash is one of my favorite winter squash partly because it is so easy to prepare. It has a thin and delicate skin, so you don’t have to peel it before cooking and eating it, which is a huge time saver! I also like the fact that it is relatively small. Sadly, my children are not big squash fans, and if I cook a large squash like butternut or acorn squash I know I will leftover squash for days. Delicata squash is the perfect size for two people, or for families with less than enthusiastic squash eaters.
But my favorite thing about delicata squash is that, as the name suggests, it has a very delicate flavor. It has a much more subtle flavor than strongly flavored squash like butternut, which makes it preferable for me, because like my kids I am not a huge winter squash fan.
How to Make Roasted Delicata Squash
The first step in making roasted delicata squash is to cut the well washed squash into halves and scoop out the seeds.
Then since you don’t have to peel it all you need to do is slice it up into rings, about a quarter of an inch thick. If you have ever tried to cut the thick skin of an acorn or butternut squash you will appreciate how easily this squash slices!
You can roast the squash by itself or combine it with some other herbs and vegetables to make taste even better. For this recipe I combined the squash with a bulb of fennel and some sage. Raw fennel smells kind of like licorice, but when it is roasted it has a slightly sweet and bright taste that pairs well with the squash. I added fresh sage mainly because I had received a bunch in my CSA box so I figured why not? But in the final dish the taste of fennel and squash drowned out the sage, so it was not necessary.
I combined the vegetables on a baking sheet and drizzled them with olive oil and maple syrup, and then sprinkled on salt and pepper. The vegetables are roasted in the oven until they are cooked and slightly brown on top.
The maple syrup adds a hint of sugar to the dish, which goes nicely with the caramelized vegetables. If your family is used to sweet winter squash dishes which add things like marshmallows and brown sugar then adding a little maple syrup is a great way to get a little of that sweetness with a lot fewer calories.
This recipe is perfect for fall meals, even fancy meals like Thanksgiving or Christmas. It is nice to have some easy to make side dishes for the holidays that don’t take massive amounts of peeling and cooking, and yet still bring out seasonal flavors like winter squash. The Plus this dish is easy to make for a larger group of people, since you can just slice up a few more squash and add them to the baking sheet.
Roasted Delicata Squash and Fennel
- 2 Delicata squash
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 sprig sage (optional)
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 F
- Wash the delicata squash and cut in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out the seeds and slice into rings about 1/4 inch wide.
- Wash the fennel and thinly slice the bulb.
- Slice the sage leaves.
- Combine the squash, fennel and sage on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, and then mix well to combine. Then spread out evenly on the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Roast for 30 minutes, stir once half way through.
- If you don’t have fennel or don’t like fennel you could substitute a sweet onion like a Vidalia or red onion in the recipe.
- You could leave out the maple syrup if you prefer a less sweet side dish.