Miso Glazed Delicata Squash
If you haven’t tried delicata squash, this recipe is for you! This roasted delicata squash goes to the next level with a miso glaze finish, resulting in a sweet, salty and crispy treat. Eat it on its own or add it to salads or soups for a complete vegan dinner!
What is Delicata Squash?
Delicata squash is a winter squash. It’s pale yellow in color, with signature green stripes and is often smaller than other squash varieties. As its name suggests, delicata squash has a delicate rind, enabling it to be cooked and consumed without having to be peeled. So, if you typically steer clear of squash because of the awkward prep work, then delicata squash is a game changer!
When cooked, delicate squash takes on a rich, creamy consistency. Its natural flavoring is slightly sweet – a cross between “fresh corn and pumpkin pie.” (*) When shopping for delicata squash, look for the pale-yellow skin. As delicata squash ripens, it will develop a deeper, orangish hue. (*)
How to Make Miso-Glazed Delicata Squash
I’m pretty mush miso-glazing everything in sight these days. Everything from miso-glazed mushrooms, to miso-glazed tofu to this miso-glazed delicate squash. If you’re new to miso, you’re in for a treat. This vegan darling offers up so much in the way of flavor. It’s sweet, tangy and salty all at the same time. I use it to give my Veggie-Loaded Vegan Pho broth depth of flavor and it goes a long way giving vegan cheeses that tang that traditional cheese offers up. If that piques your interest and you want to learn more about miso, I go into greater depth in my Easy Vegan Miso Soup recipe.
A Miso Recommendation
When I was researching this recipe, I came across a few references to South River Miso, so I decided to look into it. As it turns out, this is a U.S. miso company based in Massachusetts that has been making organic miso for over three decades. Their story is interesting and the miso is amazing. They do ship direct, so if you’re into miso (as I am) – I recommend checking them out. I used the Sweet White Miso when I made this dish (although, I included Yellow Miso in the recipe because it also makes for a good dish and is easy to find).
And Back to that Miso Glaze
The miso glaze recipe I use is a modification from the New York Times recipe for miso-glazed fish. Unlike the recipe, I’m not marinating my squash in the miso glaze, so I opted to make it a bit thicker. I did this by skipping the sake, which isn’t an ingredient I regularly have on hand anyway. It worked out fine. I also swapped out the refined sugar in the recipe for maple syrup in a one-to-one ratio. To avoid having any lumps in my miso glaze, I combined all of the ingredients in my mini food processor (a very handy kitchen tool, I might add) and pulsed it until all the ingredients were combined in a thick sauce.
How to Prepare Delicata Squash
To prep the delicata squash for this dish, I started by washing my squash really well. You need to do this since you’ll be eating the skin. I also did a little research on winter squash and learned that non-organic versions are often grown using pesticides. Given that you’re eating the skin of this particular winter squash, it just makes sense to buy organic.
After washing my delicate squash, I trimmed the ends of the squash, giving myself a flat surface to use when slicing the squash in half lengthwise. From there, I scooped out the seeds. You can, if you’d like, keep the seeds and roast them. They’re also an edible treat!
I opted to slice the squash halves into narrow (about 1/4” pieces). The smaller pieces make for a faster roasting time and nice, bite-sized pieces in my miso ramen. Like many vegetables, squash contains quite a bit of water. To promote a crispy, roasted finish, I take one extra step to draw the water out of the squash – salt it first. To do this, lay the squash out on a layer of paper towels and lightly salt it with 1 tsp of table salt. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes (you’ll be amazed by how wet the paper towels become in this amount of time). Then, pat the squash dry with additional paper towels.
Because the sugars in my miso glaze will burn before the squash is done roasting, I pre-roasted my squash pieces at 425 degrees, seasoned with a little bit of a neutral oil (I chose grapeseed) and salt and pepper. Roasting time was about 15 minutes, flipping the squash halfway through. You do want to keep an eye on the squash for the last 15 minutes. It will develop a nice golden crust – that’s when it’s ready for the glaze.
Once the squash was a nice gold brown, I removed the squash from the oven and tossed it in my miso glaze. I then returned it to my baking sheet and put it under the broiler for about 2-4 minutes or until the sugars in the miso glaze had caramelized, giving the squash the perfect sweet and salty crust.
A Note On Broiling
Making everything with a miso glaze these days has taught me a few things… like don’t broil with parchment paper. No, I didn’t set my kitchen on fire – I kept the paper far enough away from the broiler to avoid catastrophic consequences. But, it’s generally not a safe practice.
Why was I using parchment paper in the first place? Well, because the sugars in the miso glaze will caramelize nicely on the delicata squash as it’s cooking, but when they’re in direct contact with the pan they will burn making clean up difficult. I mean, once you’re eating the miso-glazed delicata squash, you’ll hardly notice the clean up but I thought fair-warning was appropriate.
Silicon baking sheets, which I since replaced my parchment paper with aren’t good under the broiler either. They’re generally recommend only up to 450 degrees and broilers can heat up to 550. And, while a broiler pan is nice, who doesn’t hate keeping that clunky thing around? The best option? Good, solid aluminum baking sheets. I took my cue from Epicurious and ordered Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Baking Sheets. They’re sturdier than most other baking sheets, which enables them to avoid warping and the aluminum material helps to conduct heat evenly.
Enjoying Your Miso Glazed Delicata Squash
There’s really no wrong way to enjoy miso glazed delicata squash. I like to just snack on it. Eh, sometimes to the point where I eat it all and have none left for my dish. It’s a great addition to a winter salad or as a side for a vegan holiday dinner. My favorite way to eat it though is in my Miso Ramen Noodles Bowls with Miso-Glazed Delicata Squash. I’m telling you – this might be my most favorite vegan dish ever!
What’s in My Kitchen to Make This Vegan Recipe Easier?
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Want to know what tools and resources I keep on hand to make my vegan cooking even easier? Here’s a short list of what helped me create this blog post and recipe. For the complete list, visit my Shop where you can find the kitchen gadgets I like as well as a list of books that I recommend.
There are a few tools in my kitchen that get used all the time and this mini 4-cup food processor is one of them. It’s perfect for sauces that don’t require me to bring out the big guns. Clean up is easy and it doesn’t take up much space.
Down a broiler pan? These aluminum baking sheets come highly recommended by the cooks who know best – Epicurious, Cooks Illustrated and Food & Wine. I bought mine because I needed a good, sturdy baking sheet to use under the broiler. One that wouldn’t warp – and this one lives up to the task.
Aluminum is a good conductor of heat, so these baking sheets cook evenly. They’re also light in color, so they discourage over-browning.
No, that’s not the brand. It’s just the idea! But,I own this set of Global™ knives and They’re some of my most prized possessions in the kitchen. This set is universally well-rated for the at-home chef and will get you a good, solid set of knives without totally breaking the bank.
Miso Glazed Delicata Squash
If you haven’t tried delicata squash, this recipe is for you! This roasted delicata squash goes to the next level with a miso glaze finish, resulting in a sweet, salty and crispy treat. Eat it on its own, or add it to salads or soups for a complete vegan dinner!
- 2-4 delicata squash washed, deseeded and sliced (see blog post for visual instructions)
- 1 tsp table salt
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 4 tbsp yellow miso paste For miso paste recommendations, check out my recipe notes.
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp sesame oil
Thoroughly wash the delicata squash. Trim each of the ends of squash to create a flat surface.
Stand the squash on one end and carefully slice the squash in half lengthwise.
Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds from the squash (you can roast these later if you’d like).
Slice each half of the squash into 1/4” pieces. Lay the pieces out on a paper towel and lightly salt them with 1 tsp of table salt. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.
While the squash rests, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Pat the squash dry and then lay out on baking sheets.
Roast the squash for 15 minutes, then flip. Roast for an additional 10-15 minutes. The squash should have a golden crust when done.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the miso glaze by combining the mirin, yellow miso paste, maple syrup and sesame oil in your food processor.
When the squash is done roasting, gently toss it in the miso glaze on the baking sheet. *See recipe notes.
Turn the broiler on and place the squash under the broiler. Allow the miso glaze to caramelize (about 2-4 minutes). It will form a golden crust on the squash.
- If you haven’t checked out my blog post, I do make a recommendation for baking sheets that hold up well under the broiler. I recommend: Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baking Sheets. They’re sturdy to avoid warping and the aluminum transfers heat well.
- This recipe calls for yellow miso paste, which is typically very easy to find in the grocery store. The brand I often use is Cold Mountain Miso. If you decide that you are into miso (as I am!), you might want to check out South River Miso. I’ve used their Sweet White Miso for this recipe and it’s excellent! They also offer hard to find varieties like Brown Rice Miso and Chickpea Miso.
About Herbivore’s Kitchen
Herbivore’s Kitchen is a blog run by me, a plant-based home chef and aspiring food photographer. I switched my and my family’s diet to a plant-based diet after learning about the health benefits of going vegan. Making this change has prompted a variety of food and holistic-lifestyle related questions that I explore through this blog. I talk about how to pick and prepare the most nutritious foods, to how to reduce waste at home, to how to live a more sustainable lifestyle while on the road.