This roasted squash with chile and honey is served with sweet and spicy soy roasted tofu, sesame seeds, and scallions. An easy, healthy side or vegetarian main dish.
We’ve long been smitten with sweetly earthy roasted squash, but were ecstatic to discover that pairing roasted squash with chile and honey and roasted tofu takes it to another dimension entirely.–Angie Zoobkoff
Roasted Squash with Chile and Honey
- 1 pound extra-firm tofu
- 2 pounds acorn or butternut squash
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup soy sauce preferably low-sodium
- 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 3/4 inch piece ginger peeled and finely grated
- 8 tablespoons peanut oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 garlic cloves very thinly sliced
- 3 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- 2 scallions trimmed and sliced on the diagonal
- Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Drain the tofu and cut it into slices 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Place a double layer of paper towels on a chopping board, add the tofu, and then place another double layer of paper towels on top. Place another chopping board or a baking sheet on top and weight it. Let rest for 20 minutes to press out excess moisture.
- Halve and seed the squash and cut it into wedges 1/2 to 3/4 inch (12 to 18 mm) thick.
- In a small bowl, combine the honey, soy sauce, crushed red pepper, ginger, and 5 tablespoons of the oil.
- Divide the squash between the baking sheets, leaving room on one of them for the tofu, and spoon 2/3 of the soy sauce mixture over the sqush. Using your hands, turn the squash to fully coat them.
- Cut the tofu slices in half and place them in a single layer on the reserved space on the baking sheet. Spoon the rest of the soy-sauce mixture over this, turning the pieces in it.
- Season the squash and tofu with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Using a spatula or tongs, flip the squash and tofu. In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons oil with the garlic and spoon it over the squash. Continue to roast until the tofu is dark and the squash is burnished and completely tender, 10 to 25 minutes more. You may need to remove the tofu before the squash.
- Arrange the squash and tofu on a platter, scatter with the sesame seeds and scallions, and squeeze with the lime juice.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Although it doesn’t feel like fall yet where I am, this is a great dish to get a taste of the season and a particularly flavorful way to prepare winter squash. The marinade is the perfect umami balance of sweet, spice, and salty, and both the squash and tofu absorb it all very nicely. The squeeze of lime was a welcome pop of acid to finish off the dish and loved the toasted sesame seed garnish. My taster husband was very enthusiastic and there was a lot of lip smacking.
I would emphasize that you want 2 pounds of cut, peeled and seeded squash as the yield. To make sure you have enough, it seemed like buying a little over 3 pounds worked out perfectly.
This is a good side, but satisfying enough for an entrée. The garlic might have still been a little raw for my tastes, but I don’t generally eat pieces of garlic anyway.
I adore tofu but my husband is not quite the enthusiast. I am often on the hunt for a recipe that might change his mind. This recipe indeed did! It comes together quickly (even quicker if you don’t peel the squash; I did peel it).
The glaze really permeates the squash and tofu. We loved how crisp the garlic slices got, quickly dispelling any worry that 6 cloves of garlic would overpower the dish. This dish was equally good served hot on night one, picked at cold during the second day, and then reheated for another side serving. Will definitely make this again.
The flavor of this roasted squash with honey and chile was good and it was easy to make. I served it with brown rice and a green salad.
Hint: Double the sauce.
How lovely to have a tofu recipe that partners tofu with squash, something other than its usual (and oftentimes predictable) mates. This would make a perfect autumn lunch or light dinner and could be served with rice on the side, as suggested, especially a brown rice.
It could also work as a holiday side, especially for a meal where there are mixed carnivores and vegetarians/vegans, and a vegetarian protein is desired. At room temperature, this could also be served atop greens. As leftovers, it could be chopped up and stuffed into a burrito or reheated and scooped into tacos.
I used a squash called Carnival, which I found at my farmers’ market; it resembles an acorn squash with more colorful skin or a delicata with more hardy skin. I used regular soy sauce, and a very pungent garlic, also from my farmers market, as was the tofu.
I would look for a darker variety of honey, or perhaps mix honey and maple syrup to add some depth to the sweetness. The squeeze of lime finished the dish nicely. If serving fit or company, I’d place the limes in a bowl and let each person squeeze on the lime just before dining.
I eat a lot of tofu, am often asked how to prepare it, and look forward to sharing this tasty and not at all complicated to prepare dish, especially with farmers market aficionados, since so many of these tasty ingredients can be purchased from local vendors throughout the fall season.
I really loved the combination of flavors here! They all worked so well together.
I did make a couple of small changes, the first being to cut back on the amount of crushed red pepper as the amount called for is a little too spicy for me. If you love spicy food, don’t change it, but I found half was good for my spice tolerance. Also, I had to use lemon instead of lime because I completely forgot to pick up a lime at the store but I had lemons on hand so that was an easy substitution. Honestly, I think either would be delicious.
I would definitely make this again although I would make a couple of changes. The first being to add more ginger. That flavor didn’t come through as much as I would have liked. I would also cut back on the amount of oil as it seemed like there was more than needed. After making this, I also am wondering if this could work as a marinade or even work as a sauce. I think there is the potential there to take this idea and flavor combination in other new and interesting ways.
I am very glad I made this! I served this is a main dish with rice.
Originally published October 15, 2019