Roasted Kabocha Squash Tots



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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…

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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

4.23 from 9 votes

Roasted Kabocha Squash

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.
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

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: roasted kabocha squash
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating


  1. These look simple and very tasty! I love when squash gets all baked and slightly crispy.

    Hope you are healing up quickly!

  2. oh, these sound tasty. especially on a cold winter night. i don’t think i’ve ever tried kabocha squash.

  3. YUM!!! This is such a great idea! I’ve only had kabocha squash once but I remember liking it! I hope your leg is feeling better!!

  4. I LOVE kabocha squash! It’s been all over Minnesota this fall, too. My other favorite squash: buttercup. It’s really similar to kabocha… creamy, sweet and delicious.

    Healthy vibes your way! Hope your knee is better soon!

  5. Kabocha is my absolute favorite too. It makes a great soup–just peel and cut up one squash. Sauté one chopped onion in a little butter and/or olive oil until soft. Add squash plus 4-6 cups broth (turkey, chicken or veg). Bring to a boil and simmer until squash is very soft. Mash it up a little then add salt to taste. Puree with an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender, very carefully) until smooth and beautifully orange. Season with a little white pepper. Yum. Also, if you’ve never tried delicata squash I recommend it, roasted in semi-circles or sticks (“fries”). The skin is edible and beautifully striped green and yellow.

  6. Well, I’ve been following your blog for some time now and had a moment today that totally made me think of husband didn’t get it. I was roasting some veggies and forgot about them – result? They burnt to a crisp…now I get how easy it is to let them “roast” too long! They were way beyond help, not even crushed red pepper flakes could help this batch of veggies, haha!

  7. I keep hearing about kabocha squash but have yet to try it! I think I will have to try this recipe though!

  8. I hope your knee gets better soon!

    I really like kabocha squash but my favorite is delicata. I love to roast all squash with coconut oil and onions are really tasty with coconut oil as well.

  9. SOOOoooo glad I stumbled upon your site…. it’s rare I ever find a local blog when searching for recipes.

    This sounds amazing… I’ll have to run by Ellwood after the gym tonight. I Love the NoBull Burger!! I moved here from CVILLE where they’re made and thought I’d have to drive an hour to have one again. Grateful there are store’s in the area that support locally grown and produced goods!

    Sorry to hear about your injury!!

  10. Heck yes! A mix btwn sweet potato and pumpkin? It’d be my favorite too. Once I finish off my acorn squash that will be next on my list! I swear I saw them at TFM as well. I remember because I was confused with the kabocha and whether it was related to kombucha. Clearly I’ve never had it before and I swear winter makes my mind fuzzy

  11. 5 stars
    Yum! We use kabocha squash in the restaurant almost every day – great addition to curries! Served up like this it’s just amazing! Great snack to have on stand by – so incredibly addictive!

  12. A cross between a sweet potato and a pumpkin?!? Sign me up!!! Hope everything with your MRI goes well!

  13. 5 stars
    This is the first time I’ve tried cooking this type of squash and it worked out beautifully! Thanks for the cooking tips. 🙂

  14. Wanted to thank you for your wonderful kabocha-tot recipe! 🙂 My Dad LOVES squash and this was the first time either of us had had kabocha. I mixed it with olive oil with a dash of sesame oil (all I had) and sprinkled with sea salt. Roasted per your instructions and we both loved it! I only made half the squash and he asked me how soon I would be making the other half. Thank you so much for a wonderful new way to make squash Brittany!

    1. Aww. Thank you so much for such a sweet comment. I’m so glad you and your dad enjoyed the recipe. I actually made kabocha tots for dinner last night. 🙂

  15. Your recipe for Kabocha Squash sounds great. I’m heating up the oven and looking forward to trying this squash for the first time.

  16. Hi, this is the first time I have tried the recipe. Mine came out really dry. I used two T coconut oil and cooked for only 25 minutes. Do you think I could have gotten a bad squash? It was pretty big! Thanks!

  17. Just found this squash (in northern NH). Absolutely the best! I love dry squash. This one has amazing flavor ( my favorite previously was blue hubbard)…even just steamed with butter and s&p. The label said it came out of Mexico,but that is not necesarily where it originated from. Bet I can cut it in half, seed it, turn it cut side up, seed it, add brown sugar and butter, bake it….and it would be absolutley amazing

  18. I ended up with one of these squashes and I’ve had no idea what to do with it. Your post not only gave me an idea but got me excited to try it. Sold. I already know this will be delish. Mmmm ketchup

  19. Finally found one of these at my local grocery store. The cashier didnt’ know what it was and had no price code for it. He had to ask someone in produce to check and they did and came back to us and said it was a “buttercup” squash. I guess the store doesn’t know what it is either! Oh well, looking forward to roasting it up tomorrow for dinner!

  20. Backyard Food Solutions just picked these up at the Plant City Farmer’s Market last week. I brought one home to try as I’ve never had before. I do love roasted veggies so I’m looking forward to sampling! I’ve used coconut milk, but haven’t tried the oil yet. Definitely will put on my shopping list. I also saw a risotto recipe using this squash! Going to wash and put in the oven now!

  21. 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.

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

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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