Chili-Roasted Acorn Squash and Seeds
- Prep Time 0:10
- Cook Time 0:30
- Estimated Cost $3
- 51 Comments
As a child, one of my favorite parts of Halloween was roasting the seeds from my family’s jack-o’lantern (go figure—I was way less excited about dressing up and collecting candy from strangers). I would push up my sleeves and reach into the cavernous pumpkin with my little hands and then pull out fistfuls of the pumpkin’s “brains.” I’d rinse them under a strainer, spread them out on a cookie sheet and bake them until they became brown and crispy. I’d sprinkle them lightly with salt and eat them warm, right out off the pan.
These days, I rarely cook whole pumpkins, but I’ve found that the seeds in most winter squash can be prepared similarly. In fact, I tend to prefer smaller, more delicate squash like acorn squash for seed consumption, since the seeds’ shells are smaller, thinner and, in my opinion, quite edible themselves.
As for the actual squash here, this is a very simple preparation of a naturally delicious winter vegetable. Serve it warm with roasted meats (it doubles as a starch and a vegetable) or cold in a green salad with lots of olive oil.
- 1 medium acorn squash $1.50
- 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Pantry
- 3 tsp, divided Ancho chili powder, plus more to taste $1.50 for 1 oz.
- salt and pepper Pantry
Recipe Serves 2
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the squash in half, lengthwise.
- Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and any stringy flesh attached to them. Place seeds in a strainer and run cool water over them, using your fingers to move them around and remove the excess flesh.
- Wrap the rinsed seeds in a clean dishtowel and press to remove liquid.
- Spread seeds out on one of the prepared baking sheets, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and 1 tsp chili powder. Set aside.
- Use a sharp knife to slice the squash halves into (approximately) 1 1/2" wedges, using the natural ridges in the rind for guidance.
- Arrange slices on the second baking sheet.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the wedges, concentrating on the flesh, then sprinkle liberally with the remaining chili powder, salt and pepper.
- Place both baking sheets in the oven.
- After about five minutes, you'll hear the seeds begin to pop loudly (like popping corn). After 8-10 minutes, the seeds should be nice and brown.
- Remove from the oven and add more salt, pepper and/or chili powder if desired.
- Let cool and then immediately eat, or store in an airtight container for up to a week.
- Let the squash cook for a total of 30 minutes, until soft in texture and golden brown.
- Serve immediately or chill and serve cold.