This roast squash with pistachios is a simple and elegant way to gussy up plain old roasted winter squash. Simply add feta, a sprinkling of pistachios, a drizzle of cumin oil, and voila, your side dish just became a star.
Don’t be surprised if this roast butternut squash with feta and pistachios steals everyone’s attention from everything else on the table. It’s hard not to be completely smitten with the sophisticated edge that a sprinkling of pistachios along with some baked feta and a drizzle of cumin oil lends these comfortingly familiar roast squash wedges.
Roast Squash with Pistachios
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/3 pounds butternut squash seeded and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) wedges or half moons (or substitute Hokkaido)
- One chunk feta
- Sea salt
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons shelled salted pistachios roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and cumin. Add the squash and toss to combine.
- Place the feta in the center of a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish. Arrange the squash on top of and around the cheese, drizzling the oil from the bowl over everything. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Roast until the butternut squash is golden brown and tender, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Sprinkle everything with the pistachios and serve warm or room temperature.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
What a terrific recipe! The combination of flavors is outstanding and the preparation is straightforward. As an added plus, the ingredients are readily available. The savory flavor of the baked feta creates a great balance to the sweetness of the squash, and the pistachios make for the perfect trifecta.
I used a butternut squash, but can see this working well with my new favorite delicata squash. My only suggestion for improvement is to cut back on the quantity of olive oil and roast it a bit longer to ensure a deep golden brown.
I baked it on a sheet pan, which allowed for plenty of space to spread out the squash slices. The recipe provided plenty for 3 of us as a side dish. The quantity of oil called for is excessive, and my recommendation is to cut back to 1/4 cup and eliminate the extra 2 Tablespoons drizzled on before baking.
This dish was the perfect accompaniment to our pork tenderloin main dish.
This is a very balanced, enjoyable side dish for winter. I used butternut squash as I could not find Hokkaido. Mixing the cumin into the oil evenly dispersed the flavor so that it permeated the squash well as it roasted. My husband and I both enjoyed the saltiness of the cheese and the crunchy earthiness of the pistachios alongside the sweetness of the squash. I felt like the amount of cheese was perfect in proportion to the amount of squash.
We served this with some maple and miso glazed salmon and it was perfect.
I used a 10-by-14-inch baking dish, which was fine—some of the squash touched the sides a little bit, but I was able to keep things in a single layer.
This roasted squash could easily be a stand-alone dish with the addition of a green veggie or salad! The hardest part of the entire preparation was peeling the butternut squash! I’m thinking using the already peeled and chopped butternut squash would work just as well for us lazy types. I couldn’t find the Hokkaido squash in my store, which would have been easier to just slice and proceed.
I loved the cumin oil with the squash as well as, the toasty-salty feta and the crunch of the pistachios. Great flavor combination!
I served this dish as a side to roasted pork tenderloin and steamed broccoli and couldn’t eat as much of the squash as I wanted to. I’ll definitely do this roasted squash again, but as the main dish!
This recipe solves not only “what to cook for dinner?” in under an hour, but also beautifully resolves my dilemma of feeling mocked by a cute red Kuri (Hokkaido) squash that was certain of my lack of imagination. This is simple to pull together while the oven heats and makes dinner for 2 to 4 (depending on if you have sides or an appetizer while the squash is cooking). You can even shell and chop the pistachios while it cooks.
We thought it was quite good, though personally I missed what I thought should be a bright note. With leftovers the next day gently reheated, I sprinkled pomegranate arils over and that gave it a bit of punch without additional salt and also made it even prettier. The cumin flavors were even more pronounced the second day, which was good, too. This is a definite holiday dish!
Obviously you could use balsamic or pomegranate molasses to add a little punch. The Hokkaido squash was beautifully cooked with skin on and delicious.
This is a good recipe for the holidays and can be made ahead to bring if you are the host (or a guest who wants to contribute a pretty and seasonal dish).
Originally published November 14, 2019
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Wow, is this ever a delicious result from such simple ingredients! This will absolutely be going on our Thanksgiving menu.
The aroma of the cumin oil, combined with the brininess of the feta, toasty nuts, and caramelized squash was such a wallop of flavor. I had to really restrain myself from polishing off the entire thing. Were I in a more judicious mood, I might have been able to get 6 side-dish servings, but as I was not, my friend and I were fighting each other for the last morsels in the pan.
Next time I make this, I will try drizzling a tablespoon or so of high-quality maple syrup or honey over the top for the last 15 minutes of roasting. But that might just be gilding the lily because it’s fantastic as written!
I used a butternut squash, but I am certain that Hokkaido, Acorn, or Delicata would also yield excellent results. I can also envision different iterations with pumpkin seeds or pecans, perhaps adding some smoked pimenton de la vera to the oil with cumin. Fun to ponder!
Hands-on time was 15 minutes, including cutting the squash. If you were inclined to use pre-cut squash, hands-on time would be 5 minutes.
I used a 14-inch cast-iron skillet and loved the caramelization it gave to the bottom of the squash.
I ended up roasting the squash for 45 minutes to get some nice, deep caramelization.
We devoured it hot, straight out of the pan, like two animals! Normal people might be inclined to serve it warm or at room temperature, and either way would be great. This is a can’t-miss recipe!