Dan Kluger's Roasted Butternut Squash with Spicy Onions

November 14, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

Though this recipe will thrill on the Thanksgiving table—right next to all the beige sides that we can’t part with, but wouldn’t mind de-beiging just a little—remember it in the dull moments of winter. Though all the ingredients pull their weight, the most crucial perker-upper is the spicy onions, which are just sliced red onions, quickly sauteed and then doused in lime juice and zest, honey, and red chile flakes. As they cool and lightly pickle, they turn a glowing ombré purple. You should make a triple batch of these every time, so that you can put them on every sandwich, salad, or bowl of rice that needs a jump. Adapted slightly from Bon Appétit (February 2014).

Genius Recipes

Serves: 8
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 20 min


Spicy Onions

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Roasted Butternut Squash with Spicy Onions

  • 1 cup hazelnuts, preferably blanched
  • 4 pounds butternut squash (about 2 medium), peeled, seeded, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram (oregano is a good substitute)
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
In This Recipe


Spicy Onions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, stirring often, until lightly charred and softened but not falling apart, 5 to 7 minutes, seasoning lightly with salt. Add the red pepper flakes and toss to combine. Remove the pan from heat and mix in the lime juice and honey. Let cool, then mix in the lime zest. Taste and adjust seasonings. Spicy onions can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill, then bring up to room temperature to serve.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Spicy Onions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Toast the hazelnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Crack one open to make sure it's golden and toasted through. (If your hazelnuts are not blanched and still have their skins, cool them wrapped in a clean kitchen towel, then rub off whatever skins will come off easily.) Let cool, then coarsely chop.
  2. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Toss the squash and 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Divide between 2 rimmed baking sheets (don't wash the bowl). Roast, undisturbed, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Return the squash to the bowl, then add hazelnuts, parsley, mint, marjoram, and spicy onions, and toss to combine.
  4. Transfer the herby squash salad to a large serving platter, crumble goat cheese over, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  5. Make ahead notes: Squash can be roasted up to 3 days ahead and stored airtight in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature before serving). Goat cheese can be crumbled ahead at any point, and chilled airtight. Hazelnuts can be toasted preferably no more than a day ahead and stored airtight at room temperature. Herbs can be chopped earlier the same day they're served, then covered with a damp paper towel and chilled. Toss together and plate not long before serving.

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Reviews (13) Questions (0)

13 Reviews

Marcus January 12, 2019
Really great, has become a standard in our family. Thanks
Paula January 4, 2019
This salad is so amazing that I do not want to share the recipe. I want to be the one who serves this dish to family and friends. I made it yesterday for family (minus the hazelnuts); everyone loved it! The colour, the brightness, the textures, the freshness, the taste... This is a signature recipe! <3
jennygcooks December 26, 2018
Made this last month and it was amazing! I am totally keeping this recipe.
Kim November 25, 2018
Easy to make and the spicy onions are an excellent accompaniment and took this salad up a notch. I am not a fan of hazelnuts yet I went back for seconds.
Clarissa November 23, 2018
Just made this and brought it to our family's Thanksgiving dinner. It was a hit! Kristen was right, what an explosion of flavor! I subbed in toasted pine nuts and it worked well with everything else.
Amy C. November 23, 2018
Fabulous recipe. Served it over a bed a fresh spinach to make it into a salad for thanksgiving and everyone loved it!!
Erin A. November 22, 2018
Added this to our thanksgiving menu this year - so easy and so amazing! It will be in the rotation from now on, thank you!
bottomupfood November 21, 2018
I would have loved to try this recipe but it was too hard to get a good view of what the final product looked like. The video was lovely but did not help me accomplish my goals.
adeline T. January 1, 2019
huh?<br />
littlelemon November 17, 2018
Thoughts on making this with almonds instead of hazelnuts?
Paula January 3, 2019
That's my plan for tomorrow's dinner...<br />
Mary L. November 15, 2018
https://www.doctoroz.com/episode/pioneer-woman-makes-comfort-food-your-cravings?video_id=4575430753001<br /><br />Pioneer Woman's tip for prepping butternut squash is to microwave for 3-4 minutes prior to peeling.
Kristen M. November 15, 2018
Thanks, Mary! Excited to try that next time I'm wrestling a squash.