Roasted Squash with Toasted Quinoa, Dates and Sage

Roasted Squash with Toasted Quinoa, Dates and Sage
Loving this roasted squash with toasted quinoa, dates and sage. Kind of like having Thanksgiving flavors all in one dish!

Without Manservant home, I’ve been turning to foods that are more of the one dish style. I love this roasted squash with toasted quinoa! Toasted is definitely the way to go with quinoa. It brings out its wholesome flavors and helps separate the seeds a bit more.

As for squash? Well, I’ve always loved squash. It never mattered whether it came out of the frozen Bird’s Eye paper package or not, I always liked squash. It was when I was in high school that I believe my mother tried her hand at a real acorn squash. At this point I love trying any squash variety and roasting them is my go to method.

Roasted squash with toasted quinoa would make a perfect Thanksgiving side and also for those who can’t abide the bird, a more nutritious and possible center of the meal. Yeah, I know it might be a bit much with potatoes and stuffing, but hey-Thanksgiving is about gluttony; is it not? This is such a pretty dish and pretty tastes good. I  jazzed it up with fresh sage leaves, but one could use browned butter sage leaves too. Since I just gave you a recipe like that, I decided to keep this simple.

I am partial to maple vinegar on  top, but a drizzle of maple syrup and some balsamic would work great also. The addition of pomegranate arils and pumpkin seeds give this quinoa some texture and taste, and they aren’t just for the pretty! The dates could be subbed with raisins, though I do think dates give this a richer taste and add some chewiness too.

Use your favorite kind of squash. I didn’t even add all the recipe called for, because I could eat roasted squash like one eats crackers and cheese. It is so good coming out of the oven, that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it!

Roasted Squash with Toasted Quinoa, Dates and Sage

This toasted quinoa with roasted squash was a wonderful addition to my staples of grilled cheese, p,b, and j’s and turkey sandwiches that I’ve been eating since Manservant has been gone. And yes, that occasional bowl of cereal! I should keep a container of this in my fridge and munch on it all day long. That being said, it certainly deserves to be the center of one’s table or at least part of the posse.

What’s the best way to roast squash?

Well, it depends on the squash. Some require peeling and some can be cut into cubes or chunks, drizzled with oil and seasoned. Then it’s a matter of placing your baking sheet into a hot oven (375 degrees or higher) where the squash will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to roast, if it is cut into pieces. I used a pretty red kuri squash which did not require peeling.

Butternut squash also does not require peeling and everyone loves butternut. Another way to cook a butternut or other squashes that are easy to slice through is to slice through them vertically. Once sliced remove the seeds, (roast those if you want, just like pumpkin seeds) and then place the squash on an oiled baking sheet with the flesh side down. This will allow the squash to steam and you will know it is ready when you poke it with a fork easily.

Need a guide to the varieties of squash? Well, this might help.

Winter Squash Chart

After returning home from Phoenix to 79 degrees in Denver, I figured the fall weather would continue until Manservant arrived. Alas, that was not to be. Yesterday started warm and then the snow started coming. So weird, but we did need moisture badly. It got down to 19 degrees last night and today we have about 4″ of snow on the ground. The dogs are happy and I must admit I was ready for some more seasonal temps also. Yes, we did have the greatest fall ever and it is supposed to be 60 tomorrow, so I’m not complaining.

At this point I really haven’t even wrapped my head around Thanksgiving. I’ve been by myself so long, it sometimes seems like it’s always going to be that way. We do have one invitation for the day, but I’m still not sure what Manservant wants to do. We’ve barely spoken. I’m not sure who he will be when he returns home. I’ll just have to let you know.

Roasted Squash with Toasted Quinoa, Dates and Sage

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Roasted Squash with Toasted Quinoa, Dates and Sage

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Roasted Squash with Toasted Quinoa, Dates and Sage

Roasted Squash with Toasted Quinoa, Dates and Sage

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 Minutes
  • Total Time: 90 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven/Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This roasted squash may be made with your choice of squash. Blended with toasted quinoa, dates and sage, this side dish or main course is perfect for any occasion.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 2-3 lb pumpkin (I used Red Kuri)
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 2 c quinoa
  • 3 c water or broth
  • 2 c pitted and julienned medjool dates
  • 1/4 c small, torn sage leaves
  • Olive oil for drizzling over squash
  • 12 T balsamic vinegar or maple vinegar
  • 1/3 c green pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 c pomegranate arils

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375. Cut your pumpkin or squash into pieces roughly 3″ square and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the pumpkin for 1 hour or until soft. Once the pieces are cool, you may choose to peel off the skin. I did not, because red kuri’s skin is not tough. Place pumpkin in bowl.

In a dry skillet over medium heat, add the quinoa. Toast for 5-10 minutes or until it smells toasty. Add 3 c water or broth and 1 T kosher salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer the quinoa for 25 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside, covered for a few minutes.

Once the quinoa has cooled, add it to the bowl with the pumpkin or squash, along with the dates and sage and 1/4 c olive oil. Toss gently to combine and season heartily with salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle with pomegranate arils and pumpkin seeds before serving. I like this served warm or at room temperature.


Notes

Adapted from Tyler Florence

Keywords: roasted squash, roasted squash recipe, recipe for roasted squash

Need a few more sides for your Thanksgiving posse?

Pumpkin Chipotle Soup 

Pumpkin Chipotle Soup

Truffled Scalloped Potatoes

  Truffle Scalloped Potatoes

 Fresh Cranberry and Apple Salad

Fresh Cranberry and Apple Salad

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  • Anna and Liz Recipes
    November 22, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    THe colors in this dish are vibrant! We love all the ingredients in this recipe especially the roasted pumpkin. Thanks for sharing Abbe. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    November 21, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    I could eat the whole bowl myself! What a delicious combination of flavors, Abbe!

  • Cheri Savory Spoon
    November 21, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Hi Abbe, love all the flavor going on in this dish, all my favorites. Lucky you for the snow, I would love it to be cool enough to even put on a sweater. Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful and your husband is home soon and in one piece.

  • Chris Scheuer
    November 20, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    This is beautiful, and I'm certain, also delicious. I love all the ingredients!

  • mimi rippee
    November 19, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I'm not terribly fond of quinoa, but this is one gorgeous salad. Great photos Abbe!

  • La Table De Nana
    November 19, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    The minute I saw this on IG I thought what a great dish for TG

  • Liz Berg
    November 19, 2016 at 9:53 am

    I adore quinoa, but have never thought of toasting it! Love that idea!!! And this would be a dish that I would savor—and no one else in the family would give it a second look. Well, maybe Nick—I think he has my palate! What a gorgeous dish!!!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    November 19, 2016 at 2:08 am

    Toasting quinoa is a fantastic idea. It's good stuff, but it really needs some help, doesn't it? This looks totally tasty. 🙂 Thanks!

  • Tricia Buice
    November 19, 2016 at 1:43 am

    I love the colors of this dish Abbe – and I've always wanted to try toasting quinoa too. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe – but I don't think it will make to our table on Thanksgiving. My family is stuck on the old favorites. No deviation! Have a lovely Thanksgiving and I hope your husband is home soon. Nice about the snow 🙂 I miss that about Denver.

  • Angie Schneider
    November 18, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    So colourful and packed full of flavour, Abbe, and it would make a great filling for the pumpkin too.

  • Gerlinde de Broekert
    November 18, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    I have to go to a huge party the day after Thanksgiving and this looks like the perfect dish to bring. Thanks!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 18, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      Thanks you Gerlinde! I really loved it!

  • Sippity Sup
    November 18, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Start wrap pin' cuz T-Gives is next week and this dish would make a great side dish for a modern holiday celebration. GREG

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      November 18, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      My man! You are so right!Have a good one!