Elevate your Thanksgiving sides with a delectable and stunning dish – Roasted Butternut with Toasted Pine Nuts, Walnuts, and Dried Cherries. This recipe not only combines all the autumn flavors of the season but also adds a burst of color and texture to your festive table.
I made this recipe many years ago and over the years have recreated variations of this and have never been disappointed. Read on to learn all the reasons I love this recipe and I think you will too......
Roasted Butternut Squash & Perfect Harmony of Flavors
Roasted butternut is the hearty and comforting base for this dish, offering a natural sweetness and a velvety texture that offers all the fall feels. Toasted pine nuts and walnuts bring a delightful crrrrrunch, creating a lots of different textures in one bite. The dried cherries add a touch of sweetness and a burst of tanginess, balancing out the recipe perfectly.
Beyond its delicious taste, this roasted squash dish is a nutritional powerhouse. Squash is rich in vitamins A and C, providing a boost to the immune system during the colder months. Nuts, particularly walnuts, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, contributing to heart health. Combining these ingredients results in a delicious and nutrient-dense side dish.
Simple Preparation, Stunning Presentation
One of the charms of this recipe is its simplicity. With just a few steps, you can create a dish that looks as impressive as it tastes. Begin by roasting the squash until it's tender and caramelized, enhancing its natural sweetness. Toast the pine nuts and walnuts to intensify their flavors, and then toss them with the dried cherries for a burst of color.
Versatility for Every Taste
This recipe is also highly adaptable, making it suitable for a variety of dietary preferences.
Serve as a plant-based main meal - lentils and nuts already have plenty - or add a boost of even more protein - toss in cubes of marinated tofu, sautéed tempeh, or mix in some cooked quinoa to increase the protein content and make the dish more substantial.
For softer texture, you can quickly steam the kale.
If you're catering to nut allergies, you can choose alternative toppings like pepitas or sunflower seeds. The versatility of this dish ensures that everyone at your table can enjoy its flavors and textures.
Roasted Butternut with Toasted Pine Nuts, Walnuts and Dried Cherries
About 8 Cups
1 butternut or calabaza squash, about 3 lbs, seeded, peeled and chopped (sub frozen chopped butternut as a time saver)
1 onion, sliced
1 head garlic, top cut off and wrapped in foil
1 bunch kale, destemmed and chopped (for softer texture, kale can be quickly steamed)
1 cup cooked barley or farro (or sub any leftover, pre-cooked grain - try quinoa for gluten free)
1 cup cooked lentils (canned works great, or sub any pre-cooked beans or canned beans on hand)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
2 Tbsp each pine nuts and walnuts, toasted
2 Tbsp dried cherries, chopped (or sub any dried fruit here)
Olive oil spray
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp each dried thyme, ground mustard, sea salt and celery seed
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 Tbsp olive oil (omit for oil-free)
1/2 Tbsp agave
1 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare 2 pans with parchment paper or avocado oil spray. Add squash and leaves from one sprig rosemary to one tray and onion and wrapped garlic to another. Roast 15 minutes, turn and roast an additional 10 - 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and the kale, barley and lentils into an oval casserole dish. Pour dressing over and toss to coat. Place in oven during the last 7 minutes of squash roasting after the squash is flipped. (This will wilt the kale a bit to make room for the squash, onion and garlic.)
3. Remove trays and casserole dish from oven and let garlic cool enough to handle. Squeeze into small bowl the dressing was in previously; chop onion and add to bowl with roasted garlic; mix well. Spoon roasted squash and garlic/onion mixture into casserole dish with kale and toss to mix. Place back in oven to blend flavors an additional 5 minutes.
4. Remove from oven, top with dried cherries, toasted walnuts and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and mix to combine ingredients.
Estimated Nutrition Facts
About 8 Cups
Amount Per Cup
Fat 4.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 134.8 mg
Potassium 261.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.9 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Sugars 2.8 g
Protein 5.9 g
Vitamin A 178.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 9.2 %
Vitamin C 47.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 4.1 %
Calcium 6.1 %
Copper 10.9 %
Folate 8.1 %
Iron 7.9 %
Magnesium 7.4 %
Manganese 33.7 %
Niacin 4.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.6 %
Phosphorus 7.1 %
Riboflavin 4.5 %
Selenium 4.3 %
Thiamin 6.0 %
Zinc 4.5 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.