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
3.47 from 49 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!

  • Reply
    October 6, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Oh my, such an interesting recipe. I’ve never cooked whole squash. Gorgeous pictures as well. I ate it with my eyes. Pinned and Yummed the recipe.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2016 at 1:03 am

    What a lovely way to cook and serve kabocha and love the look of that butter!

    • Reply
      October 7, 2016 at 7:34 am

      Thanks Kavey, hope you try it!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Kabocha squash is so delish – I love that you can eat the skin…anything to save me from peeling. Ha! And the chipotle butter sounds divine.

    • Reply
      October 7, 2016 at 7:35 am

      Thanks Bri, and I agree, peeling sucks 😉

  • Reply
    Igor @ Cooking The Globe
    October 5, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Wow, so easy and so good! Love the idea of chipotle butter. I’ve never tried it before but can already imagine how awesome it is. So happy that the pumpkin season is already here!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Oh, this looks so beautiful, and I am drooling. What a novel idea and a great presentation. I bet that is fantastic with the chipotle butter.

  • Reply
    Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners
    October 5, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Oh man, Sue, you are my food hero! I love all the new ideas you come up with. You need to have your own cooking show – people would be glued to the screen with your fearless kitchen adventures.
    I have also broken knives on these impossible veggies and it never occurred to me to toss the whole darn thing in! Once I thought of roasting it over a fire my neighbour had going in his yard, lol. Love this!!

    • Reply
      October 5, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Thanks for the sweet words, and you know, I bet it would be unbelievable roasted over an open fire, I’m going to need to try that.

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    October 5, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I really really really like this idea Sue. Thanks for sharing. Pinned.

    • Reply
      October 5, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks Lea Ann, I think it will be a useful concept for people like me who love squash and want to eat more of it without all the hassle.

  • Reply
    Gerlinde @Sunnycovechef
    October 5, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Roasting a whole squash, what a great idea. I am going to make this as soon as get home. Chipotle flavored butter sounds fantastic.

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    I really like this idea, including the chipotle butter. It seems to me that serving the squash would be messy, since removing the seeds and fibers is always messy. It is definitely a simple way to prepare squash.

    • Reply
      October 5, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      You could definitely do that part in the kitchen, of course. When squash is baked like this the ‘innards’ seem to separate easier than when it’s raw, though.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    October 5, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    You never cease to amaze me with your gorgeous photos and completely brilliant recipes! I cannot wait to try this – thank you so much! Have you ever tried a maple butter? I am drooling already.

    • Reply
      October 5, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      blushing here 😉

      • Reply
        October 5, 2016 at 5:10 pm

        And I haven’t tried a maple compound butter, but you just reminded me that my whipped maple syrup ‘butter’ would be fabulous on this, I’m going to update, thanks Tricia!

  • Reply
    Linda | Your Daily Food Choices
    October 5, 2016 at 11:11 am

    What an informative post! Not sure I’ve even seen a kabocha squash but will look for it the next time we are at Sprouts. I agree that chipotle butter would be good on just about anything.

    • Reply
      October 5, 2016 at 11:35 am

      You’ll love kabocha, Linda, the texture is velvety and the flavor is sweet!

  • Reply
    Annemarie @ justalittlebitofbacon
    October 5, 2016 at 10:19 am

    I don’t fear winter squashes, but cutting them can be a challenge! Roasting them whole would be both impressive and great way to side-step that issue. And the chipotle butter – yum! I love some spice with sweet squashes.

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Champagne Tastes
    October 5, 2016 at 10:15 am

    OMG Sue! I was literally just hammering away at a whole kabocha squash– I had to have the husband cut it– and had sworn them off forever!! Seriously. Like.. Three days ago. This is wonderful!!!! I’m going to try this with other winter squash too.. they’re such beasts to cut!

    • Reply
      October 5, 2016 at 11:36 am

      I hear ya! I’ve come close to losing fingers!

  • Reply
    Tina Dawson | Love is in my Tummy
    October 5, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Wow! It really is a great idea to carve at the table! Makes for quite a show!

  • Reply
    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    October 5, 2016 at 10:04 am

    That chipotle butter looks great and could be used with so many different dishes!

    • Reply
      October 5, 2016 at 11:37 am

      <3 cornbread <3

  • Reply
    Lisa @garlicandzest.com
    October 5, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I love the chipotle butter – what a great twist for the squash!

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    October 5, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Compound butters are so good, aren’t they? Have never thought to make one using chipotle. But you know I will! I’ve also never roasted an entire squash to serve at table. LOVE this idea — how much fun. And such drama when you cut into it. 🙂 Really fun post — thanks.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    October 5, 2016 at 5:49 am

    What a GREAT idea. I love kabocha squash and will definitely be eating more of them with this technique! Love the chipotle flavored butter, what a fun twist!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    October 5, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Nice! Such a beautiful squash and loving the chipotle butter 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    October 5, 2016 at 5:03 am

    That chipotle flavoured butter sounds really great, Sue. I make roasted pumpkins all the time, but have never tried to roast it whole…interesting and fun!

    • Reply
      October 5, 2016 at 7:21 am

      I’m completely hooked on this idea, Angie!

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