Roasted Butternut Squash with Pomegranate and Pistachios is an easy and unexpected holiday side dish. Goat cheese adds tang to this 5 ingredient, 1 pan dish!
*note: this recipe was originally published in 2016. I’ve updated the photos and some of the text, but don’t let the time stamp below confuse you! It is NOT 2016, and I no longer have a newborn. OK, on to the post!*
Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the best time of the year, and it’s almost here! In the past few years, I think that Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. We usually spend the day at my aunt and uncle’s house, either in Maine or in Boston, where we eat the most delicious meal of the year. I mean, you don’t even know how well they cook. They literally stuff the turkey WITH BACON (and other things…but mostly bacon). Plus, there’s the stuffing (amazing), sweet potatoes with orange and pineapple (A-MAZ-ING, my favorite holiday dish ever), pilaf (we’re Armenian, so this is how we roll), and lots and lots of other awesome things. Just when you thought, “Okay, Diana’s family sounds pretty great,” it gets better: last year, they made the ENTIRE meal gluten-free so that my sister with celiac disease could eat whatever she wanted. Literally, everything. Stuffing. Turkey. Casseroles. Pie. You wouldn’t have even known if you didn’t know (you know?). If inclusion for those with dietary restrictions isn’t the message of Thanksgiving, then I don’t know what is.
So here we are in 2016. My favorite holiday is in two days…and I have a three week old baby! What does that mean? A few things:
- I am really tired.
- I am really hungry, all the time–the joy of nursing.
- I am a bit paranoid about germs (I am a pediatrician, after all). So, my daughter and I will be spending the day at home 🙁 Don’t worry, though, my husband is bringing me a delicious doggy bag.
I’m so tired, in fact, that I forgot to post a great Thanksgiving recipe for butternut squash that I’ve been holding on to for months. MONTHS. Funnily enough, it’s the perfect last-minute Thanksgiving recipe for those that still aren’t sure what to bring to their Thanksgiving dinner, so it’s not quite too late for me to post it.
This marks what I think will be the end of my squash-kick, because I have finally run out of squash recipes…I think. This squash recipe is special, as it does double-duty as one of the easiest recipes, ever. With only five ingredients, and its bold and bright colors and flavors, it’s basically all you can ask for in a delicious side dish. I don’t remember how I decided to combine squash with pomegranate and pistachios, but I’m sure glad I did. The flavors and textures work so well together, with goat cheese adding some much needed creaminess and tang. I couldn’t even believe how easy it was to make.
I have a few big hacks that made this recipe even easier. Peeled butternut squash cuts down on the really annoying task of peeling squash. Huge time saver. I also bought the pomegranate seeds in a cup, eliminating the annoying and messy step of removing them yourself. Buy already shelled pistachios, as well. At this point, the recipe practically assembles itself!
One big question I always have on holidays is whether I will need to use the oven, which is a precious commodity. Yes, this recipe uses the oven. However, you could roast the squash in the morning, and then set it aside in the fridge to cool during the day. If you take it out about 1 hour before you plan to serve the meal, and allow it to come to room temperature before adding the other ingredients, I think it would still taste great.
Healthy. Tangy. Fancy. Easy. Holiday-worthy. Perfect for procrastinators. Comment below if you try this dish!
Roasted Butternut Squash with Pomegranate and Pistachios
- 1.5-2 medium-sized butternut squashes, peeled and seeded, and cut into large bite-sized pieces
- About 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt to taste
- 1/2-1 cup shelled pistachios
- Seeds of one pomegranate, white pith and skins discarded (about 1 cup)
- 5-6 oz goat cheese crumbled
Heat the oven to 375 F.
Spread the butternut squash evenly over two cookie sheets. Drizzle half of the olive oil over each sheet, sprinkle with salt (about 1/2 tsp per sheet), and toss well to combine
Bake for about 20-30 minutes, until just cooked through but not mushy. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool to just above room temperature.
Using a spatula, put the squash into a large serving dish.
Add 1/2-1 cup of pistachios (to your preference). Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over the top. Toss gently to combine.
Top with crumbled goat cheese. Add additional salt, to taste.
Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.