A whole roasted kabocha squash or Japanese pumpkin makes the perfect edible bowl for serving up your favourite fall or Thanksgiving dinners. Fill it with soups, stews, rice or stuffing. It’s simple to make and is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
The first time I tried these cute little pumpkins was after spotting them at a local market in Jamaica. I’ve never seen them here before so I immediately bought one to try and the seller gave me another for free.
Roasting them was the first thought that came to mind as it seemed fun to try making bowls out of them. It was easier than I thought and required less prep time.
What is kabocha squash?
Kabocha squash, referred to as Japanese pumpkin in North America, is a winter squash native to Japan. It has a sweet taste to it, with some describing it as a mixture of pumpkin and sweet potato.
Can you eat kabocha squash skin?
Yes, it’s perfectly fine to eat it. I find kabocha squash skin to be thinner and softer than other varieties of pumpkin I’ve tried.
Just make sure you wash it thoroughly before you cook it to remove any dirt or debris.
How do you clean a Japanese Pumpkin?
To clean the Japanese pumpkin before roasting whole, wash and dry properly. Next, cut the tops off at least 1-1/2 inches (4cm) below the stem.
Then it should be easy enough to push through the top with a spoon and scrape out the seeds inside. The kabocha squash seeds can be washed, patted dry and roasted too. They can also be composted.
How to roast a whole kabocha squash.
After washing and cleaning your squash, place it and the stem on a baking sheet. Season the inside with salt and pepper then place in a preheated oven at 400F/204C for an hour.
When done, the pumpkin flesh should be soft when pricked with a fork.
On a separate baking sheet, spread the seeds evenly and place in the oven during the last 20 minutes of roasting the pumpkin. Remove the pumpkin and seeds and allow them to cool.
Enjoy the seeds salted or unsalted as a snack and fill the roasted pumpkin bowl with soups, stews, your favourite stuffing or side dish.
I had some leftover rice and steamed callaloo (similar to spinach) which I combined and stuffed in the pumpkins.
What other ways can you use roasted pumpkin?
There are so many ways to use roasted kabocha squash or Japanese pumpkin. Some ideas include:
- Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
- Pumpkin Oatmeal
- Ravioli filled with pumpkin
- Pumpkin Gnocchi
- Pumpkin Rice
- Bean Burritos
Other recipes you might like:
Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash Bowl
- 1 kabocha squash
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F/204C. Wash and dry kabocha squash thoroughly then cut the top off at least 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) below the stem.
- Using a spoon, push through the top and scrape out the seeds.
- Place the pumpkin and the stem on a baking sheet. Season the inside with salt and pepper then place in the oven for about an hour. Test doneness with a fork. The flesh should be soft.
- Remove the roasted pumpkin bowl and allow it to cool.
- Use to serve your favourite soups, stews, stuffing or side dish.
- The pumpkin seeds can be washed, patted dry and roasted too. Spread them evenly on a second baking sheet and place in the oven during the last 20 mins of roasting the pumpkin.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.
- More vegan pumpkin recipes: Healthy Pumpkin Gnocchi Soup, Creamy Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal, Simple Vegan Pumpkin Pasta
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