Roasted Kabocha Squash with Panela Glaze

Yields: 4 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 30 Mins

This is my third (and last?)   “the pumpkin series” recipe. This time we are going to prepare a delicious side dish using a Kabocha squash. Since it was the first time I was using this type of squash, I wanted to keep things  simple, in order to appreciate the product itself to the max. Therefore, I went for a recipe in which we roast the kabocha in the oven using my favorite spices. This way of cooking Kabocha squash makes a delicious yet easy to make a gluten free alternative for Thanksgiving or a quick vegetarian lunch in a weekday.

The kabocha squash in my Kitchen

A Kabocha is a type of winter squash, a Japanese variety of the species Cucurbita maxima. However, legend says is originally from the Americas and it was taken by Portuguese explorers to Asia.  The Japanese pumpkin has a sweet and creamy pulp and a strong orange color, due to the high content of beta-carotene it holds. The Kabocha has a similar taste to sweet potato, but with the nutritional properties that only kabochas can offer. The peel has a dark green, matte color and can be consumed without any worry, since it is a source of fiber, iron and vitamin C. It is also a good source of Zinc.  When choosing Japanese pumpkins, go for those that appear heavy for their size bearing in mind that the lighter the skin, the sweeter the pulp.

Now the big question is …


Kabocha squash is best suited for cooked applications such as roasting, steaming, sautéing, baking, frying, and braising. It holds is shape well when cooked, therefore, it can be used in cubes in stews, soups, curries or in tempura. It will keep 1-3 months when stored in a cool and dry place. In Japanese cuisine served simmered in seasoned broth are called Nimono. There are many variations of Nimono based on different combination of soy sauce, sugar, Sake or Mirin. It provides vegetables sweet and salty flavors.


Vibrant inside of the kabocha squash

In this recipe, we are going to roast it in the oven using a homemade panela syrup to create a golden-brown color and rich aroma. If you have followed the pumpkin series in my blog, at this point, we are already experts on how to do the pumpkin/squash prep, and if in doubt, you may check the notes in the butternut squash and apple chicken curry recipe.

Papelón , panela o piloncillo is unrefined whole cane sugar . It generally has  a dark brown color with a smoky, caramelly and earthy sweet flavour.

The panela syrup is infused with thyme combined with spices that I love: ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Thanksgiving tip: You may use maple syrup  instead of making your own sugarcane syrup, and use the same spices as I did in my recipe.


The panela syrup and spices

Roasting in the oven takes only a few minutes, I happened to have an olive oil spray infused with hot chilis, which gave to the sweet kabocha a nice kick.

Kabocha edges ready to roast in the oven

The end result is a golden, tender, spicy, healthy and overall yummy roasted kabocha wedges made in no-time and little effort. For garnishing, I used roasted pumpkin seeds, spring of thyme. I topped it up with black salt for visual contrast and enhance the flavours.  What a treat!


Roasted Kabocha Squash with Sugar Cane Glaze


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0/8 Ingredients
Adjust Servings


0/5 Instructions
    Syrup making
  • In a small saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring by moving the pan in small circles until the papelon is dissolved. Set the heat to medium and cook the syrup slowly, without stirring, until golden caramel.
  • Remove the pan with the caramel syrup the from fire and add the spices in. Let it rest until room temperature.
  • Kabocha Roasting
  • Spray or cover your baking tray with some vegetal oil , set te kabocha wedges on top leaving some space in between them. Cover with the home made syrup. Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves on top of the squash pieces.
  • Bake at 180 ºC (350 ºF) for 15 mins approximately or until golden brown.
  • Serve and season with (black carbon) salt and pepper and enjoy it!


If you cannot find papelon in your local market, you may use brown sugarcane or dark caster sugar from beets as substitutes.


  1. Como siempre, me encanta y me sorprenden tus recetas. Sencillas y elegantes … y lo más importante: divinas!

    1. Gracias Violeta por tu lindo y estimula te comentario. Seguiremos haciendo lo mejor posible para que nos sigas visitando y consigas Ricas recetas para ti y tu familia

  2. Me encata la calabaza pero la preparo siempre de la misma manera, pero últimamente he aprendido nuevas formas de prepararla se ve deliciosa azada

  3. What an amazing idea to cook the squash. Thank you for the recipe 💗💗💗👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 we will do it

  4. Que delicia esta receta! Es perfecta para Thanksgiving, a nosotros nos gusta mucho la calabaza, justo acabo de comprar una en el supermercado, así que me diste una idea para prepararla, gracias!

    1. Me contenta mucho haber podido ayudarte en la elaboración de tu cena de thanksgiving , con esta receta te ahorrarás tiempo y trabajo y la familia encantada 🙌😊

  5. What a delicious treat Tati! I’ll try it next weekend for my lot! (🤫, also anything with cinnamon would have that heavenly taste of the season). Absolutely 🧡 it.

  6. Me ha encantado como has preparado esta calabaza glaseada con panela, tiene todas las especias que me encantan y seguro que comerla es disfrutar de ella.

    1. Pumpkins/squashed are magical ingredients and you are going to love Kabocha squash this way

  7. One of my favorite recipes in fall, roasted kabocha squash with panela glaze, I find it so delicious homemade practical and easy that at home they love it

  8. Le tiene que ir muy bien el papelón a la calabaza! Y así al horno debe quedar mundial. La voy a probar!

  9. I love this recipe 💗💗 we will do it today for meal. Thank you. Im making your recipes this Days and are delicious and easy. Thank you 👏🏻👏🏻

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