Demand for kabocha squash recipes just keeps going up and up! The popular winter squash enjoyed throughout Japan is becoming a well-loved and widely available option on a global stage.
You’ll be the talk of your next family gathering when you wow everyone with an exotic dish using ingredients from exciting and foreign countries.
If you’re wondering “what can I make with kabocha squash?”, have no fear! The best kabocha recipes are, for the most part, delightfully simple to prepare and make!
Are you ready to meet your new favorite squash? Let’s jump right into the good stuff and have some fun cooking!
1. Roasted Kabocha Squash
One of the simplest ways to enjoy kabocha squash is to roast it with light seasonings! By keeping everything else simple, the flavor and texture of the kabocha squash get a chance to shine.
If you somehow find yourself getting bored of the kabocha squash’s flavor profile, this recipe’s sesame ginger dressing is your best friend!
The distinctive taste of the sesame as well as the zesty ginger spice is a great way to change up the bites of this simple dish without going crazy with complementary foods.
2. Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
The deep orange color of this creamy soup is a sight for sour eyes when you’re feeling run down or sick.
It is a hearty and comforting dish with enough flavor and nutrition to support your exhausted body – that’s why I like to freeze some portions whenever I make it for those rainy days!
Did you know that coriander and cilantro come from the same plant but have different flavors?
Having both in this dish makes each scoop pop with freshness and a bit of complexity for a mature palate while still being fun for the kids to eat.
3. Kabocha Pie
Similar to a pumpkin or sweet potato pie, this kabocha squash pie is perfect for serving during the holidays. Make it an experiment to see who in your family can taste the difference between all three!
It seems impossible to find a holiday pie that doesn’t include any pumpkin pie spice these days but thankfully there is a secret ingredient that makes this recipe stand out.
One tablespoon of rum may not seem like much, especially when the alcohol will mostly be cooked off as the pie bakes, but the sugarcane flavor that it adds is surprisingly robust.
4. Vegan Stuffed Kabocha Squash
I’ve never thought about stuffed kabocha squash recipes before because it seemed like the squash would be too large to do something like that, and I was right!
This behemoth of a dish sits almost entirely inside a single kabocha squash, filled to the brim with plenty of vegan goodies.
Fresh sage leaves are sauteed with the rice mixture which gives it a heavenly aroma before the peppery, minty taste is suffused in the dish.
Sage is the perfect seasoning for this dish because the kabocha’s flavor is bold enough to temper everything the sage has to offer.
5. Vegan Thai Kabocha Squash Curry
No one ever said that making curry was easy! That’s why people love to use premade jars and seasoning packets to make their dishes, but this kabocha squash recipe is different!
The long list of ingredients for this recipe may be intimidating for many people and it certainly is dizzying trying to remember each part but it is well worth the effort.
I love the heat of the Thai bird’s eye chilli pepper, especially when the coconut milk mellows out the worst of the spice.
6. Soy-Braised Kabocha Squash
Flavorful grilled kabocha squash recipes are relatively few and far between because the kabocha either burn without cooking or becomes so soft you can’t skewer it as you might want.
Thankfully, other recipes like this braised kabocha squash are there to fill in the gaps!
A single tablespoon of granulated sugar is the key ingredient in this dish for me.
The sugar accentuates the natural sweetness of the kabocha squash and helps mask the excruciating experience of eating raw or undercooked garlic if you mess up like I did one time.
7. Kabocha Squash Mash
If you’re ever at a loss about what to do with kabocha squash, a simple mash is a way to go.
The process is so simple there really is no excuse for letting a kabocha squash go to waste ever again.
There are only four ingredients to this recipe if you include salt and pepper to your tastes.
The only thing the kabocha needs to shine in this squash mash is a bit of heavy cream to help the puree achieve its proper consistency.
8. Kabocha Squash Fritters
These bite-sized fritters are dangerously good, you’ll be risking your mouth’s integrity every time you pop a fresh one from the fryer in there!
Just because they are fried doesn’t mean these little balls of goodness don’t have some complexity to them though!
If you couldn’t already guess, I’ll tell you what the secret ingredient is – the parmesan cheese!
The sharp cheese taste gives the recipe a unique sweet and savory play that most other combinations simply can’t achieve because of the starting ingredients.
9. Chicken and Rice with Kabocha Squash
Chicken and rice is a simple dish enjoyed the world over that can be made by even the least skilled home cook with good instruction.
Add in some kabocha squash and what do you get? An even heartier and flavorful dish!
Not everyone can stomach the idea of dark meat but if you are willing to try it, the chicken thighs are the best part of this dish.
The included fat in chicken thighs adds so much flavor you can’t get no matter how much broth or any other ingredient you use.
10. Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry
You could probably have a different curry for every day of the week and still never get tired of it, just like how I never get tired of serving this dish to my family!
There are similarities to the other curry we looked at earlier but there are still significant differences to make it feel unique every time.
The Greek yoghurt in this dish adds some of the vital tangs that prevent the dish from just being aromatic spices and heat.
It’s also just a great low-fat vegetarian option to have as well!
11. Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with Feta
Kabocha squash is so versatile that it takes roasted kabocha squash recipes to a whole other level from other recipes that revolve around a single ingredient.
This salad is a great example of how kabocha squash does exactly that, how many other warm squashes could you see melding well with your cold salad?
The dressing of the salad, particularly the sumac, provides a lot of flavor for those who can’t appreciate the peppery bitterness of the arugula.
The bright, acidic flavor of the sumac in conjunction with the lemon juice gives the whole salad a new lease on life.
12. Kabocha Squash Stir-Fry
Stir-fry is my go-to method of cooking because of how many different cultures use it and the myriad flavors that can be made.
This particular stir-fry is just for a topping that I would add on top of a small bed of rice or noodles like lo mein.
I’d never heard of golden mountain sauce before I found this recipe but once I got my hands on it, it became a fast favorite of mine.
It is similar to soy sauce but sweeter and somehow a bit saltier despite having mostly the same ingredients.
13. Spiced Kabocha Squash and Chickpea Stew
One-pot meals save a lot of the dish cleaning hassle that inevitably happens whenever you make your own food, which is great for keeping your utensils in good shape and saving you time that you can spend with your family.
Not only that, but this stew doesn’t need constant attention for a whole day to be perfect – just 30 minutes before it’s ready to serve!
Raisins don’t sound like they belong in a stew but they certainly do in this case!
The extra sweetness in the occasional bite means you can experience the other flavors of the dish more easily.
14. Slow Cooker Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew
This is a classic stew recipe that makes use of the kabocha squash’s starchy nature to thicken the whole mixture over four to eight hours depending on your heat settings. Luckily for us, we don’t have to attend to the stew that whole time!
The umami of the tomatoes shines through this dish and is only possible when you use sun-dried tomatoes.
Be careful that you don’t add too much of the oil the sun-dried tomatoes are often stored in, it’ll make the stew into a diluted oily mess no one wants to eat!
15. Sweet & Spicy Roast Kabocha Squash
Strictly savory kabocha squash recipes can be kind of boring, don’t you think? That’s why I love this recipe that gives you a bit of sweet heat! If you roast it just right, the skin becomes light and crispy and the flesh of the squash absorbs all that beautiful flavor for a fun alternative to a basket of steak fries.
Cinnamon is the bridge between the sweet and spicy elements of this dish and will fill your whole house with its fragrance once you get to roasting these wedges in the oven.
16. How To Make Instant Pot Kabocha Squash
Nothing could be easier than simply placing an entire kabocha squash into your Instant Pot and letting the pressure cooker do all the work! This recipe is great for freezing a kabocha squash well before you need to use it in another recipe.
There really isn’t much going on in this recipe except just kabocha and water.
Any enhancements can be done when the squash is turned into a mash or just before a thawed container of the mash is used in a different recipe.
17. Kabocha, Olive Oil & Bittersweet Chocolate Cake
When you find a recipe that you just can’t wait to share, it can be difficult to make enough servings for everyone to try the dish.
This cake doesn’t have this problem because you can make thin and small slices for everyone to decide how they feel about this unusual confectionary!
Bittersweet baking chocolate is the key to making this dish correctly, any other kind of chocolate and you might accidentally mess up the recipe because of the huge variety in milk and fat contents!
18. Korean Braised Kabocha Squash
The concentrated sauce that is made when braising something is the perfect complement to the kabocha squash in this recipe.
You’re well on your way to a different kind of rainbow plate when you’ve got your dark brown sauce, orange kabocha squash, green scallions, and a sprinkle of white sesame seeds.
What makes this dish distinctly Korean over any other East Asian cuisine is the use of gochugaru, a powdered form of Korean chilis made without the seeds.
A Korean dish without gochugaru would be remiss of the iconic and delicious spice.
18 Best Kabocha Squash Recipes
- 1 kabocha squash, cut into wedges and seeded
- sea salt to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil, or as needed
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.
- Cut the kabocha squash into thick wedges and remove any seeds (like how you would with a pumpkin).
- Place the kabocha squash wedges skin-side down on a baking tray as you cut.
- Lightly brush olive oil over each wedge and sprinkle with your choice of salt.
- Bake until wedges are fork-tender, approximately 35-40 minutes.