Are you familiar with delicata squash? Also called sweet dumpling squash, this winter squash, which is cousin to butternut squash, has a sweet, velvety flesh that tastes amazing when roasted and caramelised in the oven. In this recipe, delicata squash is roasted with cumin seeds and and served with a tangy apple cider vinaigrette, and topped with crunchy almonds, parsley for a pop of color and freshness, and crumbled feta (optional, but delicious!). It makes a terrific side dish, or a light lunch for for two.
Sweet dumpling squash — a farmers market gem
If you’ve never tried sweet dumpling squash before, get ready to fall in love! Although, I haven’t seen this winter squash all that often here in Hamburg, if you have the chance to pick it up at your weekly farmers market definitely do so! I was lucky enough to have it arrive in my farmers box delivery which from time to time has gems like this. Of the winter squashes, it is definitely my favourite. The name “sweet dumpling squash” describes it beautifully. It has a sweet flesh, which is enhanced by roasting it and thanks to its small size and edible skin it’s easy to work with.
Substitutes for delicata squash “sweet dumpling”
The best substitute for delicata squash is butternut squash. Butternut squash has a sweetness that resembles delicata squash. Otherwise, try acorn squash (Eichelkürbis) or Hokkaido pumpkin (red kuri squash). Sweet potatoes also would be worth a try!
Looking for other roasted pumpkin / winter squash recipes?
Try one of these favourites:
- Moroccan Chickpea Stew with Lentils and Pumpkin
- Oven Roasted Hokkaido Pumpkin with Chili, Almonds and Feta
- Ginger-Chili Oven Roasted Pumpkin and Bulgur Salad
- Autumn Pasta Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
- Roasted Hokkaido Pumpkin with Feta – The Perfect Fall Side Dish
Roasted Delicata Squash (Sweet Dumpling)
For the squash:
- 1 kg delicata "sweet dumpling" squash, 3-4 small squash, 800g-1kg (alternatively try butternut squash or Hokkaido)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (whole)
- coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 35 g raw almonds, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped (1/3 cup)
- Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, to garnish
- 50 g feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
For the dressing:
- 1 medium/large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or honey)
- 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (unfiltered)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C (200°C fan-assisted) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the squash in halve lengthwise and scrape out seeds, then slice it into 2cm half-moons (leaving the skin on, as it’s edible). Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle over the cumin seeds. Using your hands, toss until evenly coated. Spread out in an even layer, careful not to over crowd. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to the preheated oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, until golden and tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the dressing ingredients (shallot, mustard, maple syrup, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper) until combined.
Once the squash is done, gently transfer it to a serving platter, then spoon the dressing over top.
Scatter with the almonds, parsley and feta (if using) and serve immediately. Note: the feta can also be served on the side as an optional topping.
- If using butternut squash for this recipe, I recommend peeling it. Although the squash’s skin is thin and edible, it is rather tough. The skin can be easily removed with a regular veggie peeler. Otherwise, if using acorn or Hokkaido squash, the peel can be left on.
For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist on Spotify.
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