Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Chipotle Butter

Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Chipotle Butter ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Chipotle Butter is a healthy fall side dish ~ and my whole roasting method is the best way to cook winter squash. This easy recipe will wow everybody!

Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Chipotle Butter ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

A whole roasted kabocha squash is a thing of beauty

There’s something epic about roasting a whole squash and then slicing giant wedges out of it with a carving knife. After an hour in the oven it slices like buttah, and a gorgeous plume of steam bursts forth as the wedges fall away. A few passes with a spoon to remove the seeds, a swipe of freshly made spicy chipotle butter, and you’ve got a unique and healthy side dish. The combination of spicy chipotle chili and creamy sweet squash really appeals to me (I’ve used it before in my Baked Pumpkin Chipotle Fries) and I think you’re going to love it.

TIP:  If you’re not into spicy, think about pairing this squash with my Maple Cream, a spread made by simply whipping maple syrup into a creamy ‘butter’. 

Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Chipotle Butter is an unforgettable side dish! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

The easiest, healthiest, way to cook winter squash will surprise you

Winter squash, especially the more exotic varieties, have always intimidated me. They can be IMPOSSIBLE to cut — I’ve had to resort to using a hammer to help me pound my knife though those thick rinds in the past., and I’ve actually broken good knives that way.

This whole-roasting technique is the best solution to all that, and a lot of fun, too. A standard 2-3 pound squash takes only an hour in a 4ooF oven.

I put it on a baking sheet and roast until a sharp paring knife pierces the skin easily. If you’ve avoided exotic winter squash in the past because of that impenetrable outer armor, this is your answer.

For details on cooking all KINDS of winter squash, see my How to Cook Any Type of Winter Squash.

TIP: The rind of the kabocha will soften as the squash cooks, and is completely edible. The seeds are wonderful roasted, too, just like pumpkin seeds, so don’t toss them!

Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Chipotle Butter is a dramatic and delicious fall side dish! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

This winter branch out from butternut and acorn and try a new variety of winter squash

There are so many extraordinary squashes in the stores and farmers markets right now, don’t get stuck buying the same familiar faces  — go rogue and try something new. Kabocha is a Japanese winter squash, and you might have had it as part of a tempura mix in a Japanese restaurant. The flesh is super creamy and sweet, not watery like some varieties. In fact is has a slightly fluffy texture that can be compared to roasted chestnuts. Kabocha is hands down my new favorite winter squash.

TIP: Choose squash that feels heavy for its size, and store kabocha in a cool dry place for up to a month.

Spicy Chiptole Butter for Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Chipotle butter is a spicy compound butter (a butter that’s been mixed with other flavoring ingredients)

And it goes with so many things. Once you taste it you’re going to want to put it on your cornbread, your baked potato, your steak…and you’ll dream about melting it all over next year’s corn on the cob. Did I say cornbread? You NEED this on your cornbread, folks. Like most everything here at tvfgi, it’s simple to do, just mash a stick of butter with a tablespoon of chipotle chili powder, that’s the spicy one. The flavor and color of your butter will deepen with time as the chipotle chili powder ‘blooms’.

TIP:  Plain chili powder is a spice blend, much like curry powder; it’s a mix of chili, salt, and other spices. Chipotle powder, on the other hand, contains only ground chipotle peppers, and is much smokier and spicier. Look for it in the spice aisle in larger grocery stores.

Making spicy chipotle butter for Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

TIP: Whether you mix your spicy butter by hand or in the food processor, make sure the butter is at room temperature to begin with, or it will be difficult to get everything smoothly combined. Once combined you can spoon it into a little jar, or roll it into a log with plastic wrap and return to the refrigerator to firm up.

Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Homemade Chipotle Butter ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

I was able to reheat the fat wedges of squash in the microwave for several nights, so even if you’re only cooking for one or two, definitely try this.

Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Chipotle Butter is a fabulous fall side dish! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

I’m telling you…whole roasted kabocha squash with chipotle butter…it’s out of this world.


  • If your squash is larger or smaller, adjust the cooking time accordingly. Check with the tip of a sharp knife to see if the flesh is tender.

squash seed roasting

Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Chipotle Butter ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com
3.5 from 50 votes

Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Chipotle Butter

Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Chipotle Butter is a healthy fall side dish ~ my whole roasting method is the best way to cook winter squash.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Cook Time 1 hour
Yield 6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 kabocha squash (approximately 3-4 pounds)

chipotle butter

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle powder
  • pinch salt (omit if you used salted butter)


  • Set oven to 400F
  • Set squash on a baking sheet and use a small sharp knife to pierce the top a few times.
  • Bake for an hour, or until a sharp knife pierces the flesh easily.
  • Slice wedges out of the squash and remove the seeds and fibers with a spoon. Serve hot with Chipotle Butter.
  • To make the chipotle butter, mix the butter with the chili powder and blend until everything is completed mixed. If you used unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to taste. Put the butter in a small jar and refrigerate until needed.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2020 at 9:30 am

    5 stars
    Genius, Sue! Never occurred to me to roast them whole?

    • Reply
      November 22, 2020 at 9:36 am

      It’s such fun, and you can do it with any squash Janelle.

  • Reply
    November 12, 2019 at 5:30 am

    5 stars
    I’ve used this recipe a couple times over the years and it’s always incredible. I don’t even make the chipotle butter (but one day…) and the kabocha itself is so flavorful/sweet ugh its great. Making it again today 🙂

    • Reply
      November 12, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      Thanks so much Kelly 🙂

  • Reply
    Chris Malcom
    November 20, 2018 at 11:27 am

    5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe. Is there no need to puncture before baking at all?

    Thank you


    • Reply
      November 20, 2018 at 11:34 am

      Hi Chris ~ in the recipe I do mention to pierce it with the point of a sharp knife a few times.

      • Reply
        November 4, 2020 at 2:37 pm

        You state nowhere in the description to pierce it with a knife before putting it in the oven. You do state it once in the instructions. I missed it also.

        • Reply
          November 4, 2020 at 3:26 pm

          Yes, it’s in step 2 of the instructions.

  • Reply
    Kim Quinn
    October 23, 2017 at 7:10 am

    5 stars
    As I type this message, I have 3 sugar pumpkins and a buttercup squash rinsed and whole in my oven. This is THE way to deal with them. Butternut skin slips off so easily and I have recently discovered that acorn, buttercup and most winter squash skins are edible! What a joy! Loved this article. This is my first buttercup experience ever. Received one in my csa share box. I have no Chipotle but into my butter will go fresh garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, and a little bit of chili powder. So very happy!

    • Reply
      October 23, 2017 at 8:59 am

      I bet your kitchen smells amazing right now Kim!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    October 6, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    5 stars
    I love the presentation of the whole squash and that chipotle butter is an absolute must make!

    • Reply
      November 4, 2020 at 5:48 pm

      It really is dramatic!

  • Reply
    October 6, 2016 at 8:20 am

    i love rpasted winter squash with Acorn and Butternut being my favorites but I’ve never tried Kobocha. I think I really need to soon judging from your description! I think I’m missing out 🙂

  • Reply
    jacquee | i sugar coat it!
    October 6, 2016 at 3:14 am

    I guess I won’t be cutting my next squash in half before I bake it!! This looks and sounds absolutely delightful!

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