Simple roasted delicata squash halves are an easy and healthy side dish when winter squash is in season! Delicata squash is flavored with maple syrup, cinnamon, and thyme, then oven roasted until tender and caramelized. Follow my step-by-step instructions for how to cut, remove seeds from, and roast delicata squash halves.

six roasted delicata squash halves on a platter lined with parchment paper

Do you love the flavor of winter squash, but hate the effort that goes into peeling and cutting tough squash skin?

You’ve got to try delicata squash!

This type of winter squash has a thin, edible skin. Because of this, it’s much easier to prep than other winter squash varieties like butternut squash.

And because you can eat the skin, food waste minimal!

three delicata squashes

Delicata squash has a similar sweet and nutty flavor to butternut squash. As a Registered Dietitian, I love that it provides important nutrients like fiber and potassium.

My favorite way to cook delicata squash is by roasting it in the oven.

You can roast delicata squash slices that are perfect for hearty salads or as a side dish.

Or, you can use it as a tastier alternative to acorn squash and roast delicata squash halves!

Seasoned simply with maple syrup, cinnamon, and thyme, roasted delicata squash halves are an easy and healthy side dish for a weeknight meal or holiday dinner.

Prep time is minimal, and this recipe is ready in one hour or less. It’s vegan, gluten free, nut free, and dairy free.

roasted delicata squash halves ingredients measured out

Ingredients

Here is everything you need to make this recipe:

  • Delicata squash: This winter squash variety has an oblong shape with cream or yellow colored skin with bluish-green stripes. When shopping for delicata squash, try to choose squashes that are similar in size and shape for even cooking.
  • Maple syrup: Just a little bit of maple syrup enhances the naturally sweet flavor of delicata squash. Honey would be a delicious replacement for maple syrup.
  • Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon pairs perfectly with the flavors of delicata squash and maple syrup. It’s one of my favorite spices to use when cooking any variety of winter squash.
  • Thyme: Fresh thyme adds an herby, peppery flavor and savory aroma to this recipe. You can also try using rosemary or sage!
  • Olive oil: A little olive oil ensures the squash gets that rich caramelized color and flavor.
  • Salt: A generous pinch of salt enhances all the flavors in the roasted delicata squash.

This roasted squash would be totally delicious with a drizzle of homemade balsamic glaze on top!

Kitchen equipment needed

  • Sharp chef’s knife, preferably 8 inch
  • Cutting board
  • Spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet

Step-by-step instructions

three delicata squashes on a wooden cutting board with ends trimmed off
1. Use a sharp knife to trim off the stems and tough ends of delicata squashes.
6 delicata squash halves on a wooden cutting board
2. Cut the squashes in half lengthwise.
6 delicata squash halves with seeds scooped out into a bowl on a wooden cutting board
3. Using a spoon, scoop out all the seeds and stringy bits from the center of the squash. Discard.
olive oil and maple syrup whisked together with a small whisk in a small speckled bowl
4. Whisk together olive oil and maple syrup in a small bowl.
6 delicata squash halves on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
5. Place the delicata squash halves, cut side up, on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
6 delicata squash halves on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
6. Drizzle the olive oil and maple syrup onto the squash and use your hands to rub it in. Then sprinkle with cinnamon, salt, and thyme leaves.
6 delicata squash halves on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
7. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the squash is fork tender and it has formed areas of caramelization.

Storage

If you have leftovers, store the roasted squash in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Reheat in the oven on a baking sheet at 300°F for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through. Or, reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Serving suggestions

Delicata squash is considered a starchy vegetable, similar to potatoes, peas, and corn. It’s a delicious alternative to rice or potatoes with any meal!

I’d pair these roasted delicata squash halves with a protein source and a non-starchy vegetable side or salad to make a well-balanced meal.

Some recipe pairing suggestions:

six roasted delicata squash halves on a platter lined with parchment paper

Delicata squash nutrition benefits

Winter squash like delicata are a healthy addition to your diet.

One cup of delicata squash provides:

  • 2 grams of plant-based protein
  • 2 grams of dietary fiber (8% of your daily needs)
  • 600 mg potassium (12% of your daily needs)
  • 1.172 mg iron (8% of your daily needs)

Winter squashes get their bright orange hue from compounds called carotenoids. These compounds have antioxidant properties, so they keep our cells healthy and may help prevent certain diseases.

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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six roasted delicata squash halves on a platter lined with parchment paper

Simple Roasted Delicata Squash Halves with Maple & Thyme

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

Simple roasted delicata squash halves are an easy and healthy side dish when winter squash is in season! Delicata squash is flavored with maple syrup, cinnamon, and thyme, then oven roasted until tender and caramelized. Follow my step-by-step instructions for how to cut, remove seeds from, and roast delicata squash halves.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 small-medium sized delicata squash, relatively the same size and shape as each other
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp thyme, fresh


Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Trim off the stem and hard bottom of each squash.
  3. Cut the squash in half lengthwise.
  4. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and the stringy bits from the inside of the squash. Discard.
  5. Place the squash halves on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up.
  6. In  a small bowl, mix olive oil and maple syrup together.
  7. Drizzle the olive oil maple syrup mixture evenly over each squash. Use your hands to rub it around the squash to spread it out evenly.
  8. Sprinkle the squash with cinnamon, salt, and thyme leaves.
  9. Roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the squash is fork tender and the flesh has begun to brown and caramelize in areas. Smaller squashes will take less time to cook, and larger squashes will take more time.

Notes

Storage

If you have leftovers, store the roasted squash in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Reheat in the oven on a baking sheet at 300°F for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through. Or, reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.