Roasted Kabocha Squash Tots


Easy roasted kabocha squash made with just a little oil and salt. The best part? The skin gets nice and soft so no peeling is required! They’re a simple and quick side that you can pair with just about any main dish.

My favorite way to cook kabocha squash, and any other vegetable for that matter, is to roast it. You can cut kabocha into slices but I thought it would be fun to do chunks and eat them dipped in ketchup like tater tots. It was a fabulous idea…

A serving dish full of roasted Kabocha tots. A few forks lay at the top of the frame.

What is Kabocha Squash?

Kabocha squash (pronouced kuh·bow·chuh) is often called a Japanese Pumpkin. It’s the sweetest winter squash variety that I’ve found, even sweeter than my other favorite, butternut squash. The texture is smooth and creamy but hearty enough to roast – basically a cross between a sweet potato and a pumpkin.

It’s packed with fiber, beta-carotene, iron, vitamin C and B vitamins and has fewer calories and carbs than butternut squash. The best part is that the skin is completely edible so you don’t have to peel it before roasting. Of course, you really don’t have to peel butternut squash either but the skin of butternut is definitely a tougher than that of kabocha squash.

A whole kabocha squash on a marble countertop.

The only issue is that kabocha squash is a little hard for me to find here in Richmond. For the past few years I couldn’t find it anywhere except our local Asian food markets. Lucky for me they are quite abundant this year – I’ve seen them at our local farmers market and I got this one at Ellwood Thompson’s.

A Kabocha squash cut in half with the seeds removed and in a bowl.

Here’s What You Need

  • kabocha squash – look for a medium sized squash that is darker grey-green with yellow patches. The brighter the green the less ripe it is!
  • olive oil – to coat the kabocha squash for roasting.
  • sea salt – to season the squash.

How to Make Kabocha Squash Tots

With minimal ingredients, these tots are super easy to make!

Preheat Oven – Start by preheating your over to 400ºF. Was the outside of the squash with warm water to remove any dirt or residue.

Prep Squash – Next, cut the squash in half and scoop out all of the seeds. You can peel the outer skin but you don’t have to! Cut the squash into 1-inch chunks. Toss the squash with oil and sea salt on a baking sheet.

Bake – Spread the squash pieces out and put into the oven. Roast the squash for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and toss. Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until fork-tender with a few brown spots.

You don't have to peel the outer skin of Kabocha squash if you don't want to! It softens when cooked and is super delicious!
An overhead photo of a serving dish full of Kabocha tots. A spoon rests inside the dish with the tots.

How to Serve

Serve these little tots with your favorite veggie burger for the perfect meal. Check out these curried pumpkin black bean burgers or these black bean burgers if you need some inspiration. I had mine with a locally made NoBull burger, which btw, was delicious! I’m glad I had those on hand as they were super easy for Isaac, my personal chef as of late, to whip up. 😉

How to Store Leftovers

These are definitely best eaten fresh, but if you have any leftovers you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, I recommend spreading them on a baking sheet and putting them in the oven at 350ºF for about 5-10 minutes to crisp them up again. If you’re in a hurry, you can use the microwave, but they’ll lose their crispiness.

More Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Kabocha Squash

4 from 9 votes
Easy roasted kabocha squash made with just a little oil and salt. The best part? The skin gets nice and soft so no peeling is required! They’re super tasty dipped in ketchup.
Freshly roasted Kabocha squash chunks on a sheet pan.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 medium kabocha squash
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Wash the outside of the squash with warm water.
  • Cut the squash in half and scoop out all the seeds. You can peel the outer skin of the squash, but you definitely don't need to. It softens right up when cooked and it's delicious.
  • Cut the squash into 1-inch chunks.
  • Toss the squash with oil, sprinkle with sea salt and spread on a baking sheet.
  • Roast the squash for 15 minutes, remove from oven to toss, then roast for another 10-15 minutes, or until tender with a few brown spots. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce. We love dipping these in ketchup.


Serving: 1/4 recipe Calories: 152kcal Carbohydrates: 30g Protein: 5g Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Sodium: 596mg Potassium: 1410mg Fiber: 7g Sugar: 13g
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: roasted kabocha squash


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Recipe Rating

    1. Peggy
      October 31, 2015 AT 10:29 am

      GREAT. So little oil is needed:) I made dip with ketchup and a little chili sauce WOW . Really tasted like sweet potatoes tots . HEALTHY TOO

    2. Peggy
      February 11, 2015 AT 9:13 pm

      I am not a vegan, I love all the bad stuff I give this a 10. I used ketchup and chili sauce easy and everyone will love it. not just the health conscious group.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 11, 2015 AT 9:57 pm

        Hooray! So glad you liked the roasted kabocha, Peggy. 🙂

    3. Shelly Y.
      January 18, 2015 AT 9:19 am

      I live in northern Virginia and it is hard to find. Just love, love this squash. Thanks for the tip on the skin is good it eat. I have always cut it off! I am glad I found your site, now bookmarked!

    4. Alexandra Maul – Made to GlowAlexandra
      October 5, 2014 AT 3:10 pm

      These are awesome! It was my first time trying kabocha and I love it this way! Thanks so much 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 7, 2014 AT 7:59 am

        Oh yay! I’m so happy that you enjoyed it. Kabocha is so delicious!!

    5. Linda
      February 22, 2014 AT 9:45 am

      4 stars
      Thanks for posting this. I tried it last night and threw in fennel seeds for a little extra flavor. It paired well with kale salad and salmon.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 22, 2014 AT 4:17 pm

        So glad you liked the tots Linda! Thanks for coming back to comment and let me know. 🙂

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.


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