Roasted Squash with Goat Cheese, Cranberries and Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Have you started planning your Thanksgiving menu yet? If you haven’t, you’ll definitely want to include this roasted squash as one of your side dishes. Even if you typically stick to your traditional family dishes, don’t be afraid to mix it up and give this recipe a try! You won’t be disappointed!
A few weeks ago when Jess and I did a kitchen photo session with our friend Sheena of Sheenism, we developed this tasty combination. We planned out our original 4 recipes, but when things came together quicker than we thought we had time to do a 5th! I brought this squash up not really knowing what to do with it, but then we thought of doing some sort of stuffed squash recipe. A little brainstorming and searching through the pantry and soon enough we had the idea of stuffing this squash with goat cheese, candied pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. I’m so glad we had enough time to come up with this creation – it was my favourite recipe we did that day!
We prepared this recipe all within about an hour or so, but this could definitely be put together the day before then heated through just before serving. This recipe will look beautiful next to your roasted turkey or ham! The candied pumpkin seeds are spiced with flavours that scream Thanksgiving.
1 medium to large squash (Jess has tested this recipe again using a Kabocha squash. It would also be lovely with an acorn or butternut squash)
Candied Pumpkin Seeds (recipe below)
~70 grams goat cheese
maple syrup to drizzle on top
Roast squash for 45 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While squash is roasting, make candied pumpkin seeds.
Once the squash is roasted, allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes or until you are able to handle it long enough to cut it. Depending what type of squash you are using, cut the top 1/3 off. Alternatively, if you are using a butternut squash or a longer shaped squash, you could cut your squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Scoop out some of the flesh from the remaining two thirds and remove any flesh from the top 1/3. Dice and set aside.
Assemble the squash in a round casserole dish or a dish that will fit the squash with extra room around it. Start with a layer of the diced squash. Break goat cheese into small chunks and layer on top of squash. Take cooled candied pumpkin seeds and crumble on top of squash and goat cheese. Any leftover squash and candied pumpkin seeds can be sprinkled in the dish around the squash. Drizzle with maple syrup to taste. Return to oven and reheat until warm throughout, approximately 5 minutes if still warm from initial cooking and for 15-20 minutes if prepared ahead of time.
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp chili powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
To make the candied pumpkin seeds, start by roasting pumpkin seeds in a non-stick pan over low-medium heat. Once pumpkin seeds start to brown, add all the spices, salt and brown sugar. Stir until pumpkin seeds are evenly coated. Add 1/4 cup water and stir. Continue to cook over low-medium heat until liquid starts to reduce and brown sugar starts to caramelize onto the pumpkin seeds, about 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup dried cranberries and stir. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes until very little liquid remains. At this stage remove the pumpkin seeds from heat and allow them to cool.