Here is a poem. I call it, An Ode to Moroccan Spice Roasted Butternut Squash:
This is delicious.
I may not be the best poet, but this squash is um, delicious. In fact, it’s just as delicious as that poem is terrible (which is saying a lot!). I’d like to go on the record and blame my lack of poetic-ness with the fact that I am in shock and awe at the deliciousness of this squash. If you have come here looking for a Thanksgiving side dish that will wow your guests (and is super easy), look no further. (And if you’ve come here looking for good poetry, you are decidedly in the wrong place).
Moroccan spices pair perfectly with earthy and sweet butternut squash, and when roasted to perfection, the crispy caramelized exterior and fluffy soft interior creates such an awesome texture and depth of flavor that you will think you have died and gone to butternut squash heaven.
And because I had already peeled and diced the squash a few days ago, this was a super quick and easy thing to make! I just mixed the oil and spices right in the container and shook it around. Fewer dishes this way, too :-)
I have to say: the star of this show is really the Moroccan spice mixture. It’s warming, spicy, and aromatic. It’s so good that, after making this, I immediately mixed a larger batch of it to use with other dishes (yogurt-marinated chicken is the first thing that came to mind… yum!!!). Have you ever had anything with Moroccan spices? Think of a cross between Indian and Jamaican jerk seasonings. This blend is called Ras el Hanout– think of it as the Moroccan equivalent of garam masala.
The recipe card at the bottom of this post gives the amount of this seasoning for only this squash. To make a larger batch of Ras el Hanout, mix together:
- 2 teaspoons each of cumin, coriander, and ground ginger (4)
- 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (2)
- 1/2 teaspoon each of allspice, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper (1)
The numbers on the end represent the ratio- 4:2:1, for each row of ingredients. If you make a larger batch, use about 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture to make this squash.
Confession. Besides the fact that it makes for a good blog post and excellent recipe, here’s the real reason why I made this squash. Zach and I are leaving for Texas tomorrow for Thanksgiving (that’s where his family lives) and I had a fridge full of cut up butternut squash I had to use up. There isn’t a lot I dislike more than wasting food, so I had to act quickly. I made this roasted squash and snacked on it for a little, but the main purpose of my roasting it was to make soup to freeze for when we get back. Holy moly. It’s delicious! Just saute an onion in butter, add the roasted squash and some chicken or vegetable broth, and mash with a potato masher.
And now, I shall leave you with another poem:
This is the end of the post,
I hope you enjoy this the most!
Weekend Prep: Peel, seed, and dice the butternut squash ahead of time and mix the spice mixture together. When you are ready to cook, just add olive oil to the container in which you stored the squash, add the spices, shake, and you are ready to roast!
Moroccan Spice Roasted Butternut Squash
- Parchment Paper
- Whisk together all spices in a small bowl.
- Place the squash on the baking sheet and drizzle with the oil (3 tablespoons) and add the spice mixture. Toss together until evenly coated.
- Spread squash out evenly on the baking sheet, making sure the pieces don't touch as much as possible (otherwise they will steam, and won't roast evenly nor brown on the sides)
- Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until browned, tossing once halfway through.