Over the past few months, I’ve been sharing off-the-cuff recipes on instagram (which I save in highlights). This has primarily been because at the heart of cooking, I don’t measure anything. Exact recipes aren’t my thing (which may come as a surprise, given I’ve run this site for 10+ years). While I’m more than happy to help people out with a solid recipe, my passion for cooking is rooted in using my knowledge and senses to make a delicious meal.
This also comes in handy when I’m trying to use up odds and ends of what I might have left. And so, I created a series on instagram stories where I cook through a recipe I’m making up on the spot. And after the fact, I’ll occasionally post the more successful ones on the site. That’s where this red kuri squash comes into view.
Red Kuri Squash, not your pumpkin
In the realm of winter squash, those that do not need peeled reign supreme in my kitchen. Delicata, acorn (in some instances), and red kuri squash are my go-to varieties. This thin-skinned variety looks similar to a pumpkin with it’s orange outer shell. However, it’s better than pumpkin (and yes, those are fightin’ words).
Red kuri squash has a slightly sweeter flavor that is often compared to chestnut. I find the flavor to be a bit more robust. This, paired with the thin skin, make it a great ‘star of the show’ squash.
Can’t find red kuri squash? Go for delicata or peeled butternut squash. This roasted squash would also be delicious with sweet potatoes (you don’t have to peel those either!)
The heat: Chipotle
You can pick up chipotles in adobo sauce in most aisles that house all the good Mexican ingredients. However, if you can’t find those, a sprinkle of chipotle powder will work. You will need to add a bit extra oil (about ½ tablespoon or so) to accommodate for the wetness of the canned peppers.
An unexpected bean
Most of the time with these flavors you’ll find pinto beans or a softer bean. I love this meal because the chickpeas add texture and soak up all the flavors. You could swap in white beans or pinto beans, but the texture won’t be quite the same.
Add some grains
If you’re looking to bulk up this dish a bit more, add 1 to 1 ½ cups cooked grains. I’d prefer to go with a grain that has texture. Spelt, einkorn, or sorghum would be up there as top choices. All of these grains would pair well with the sweet flavor of the red kuri. Of course, you could always go with quinoa for quick cooking.
Finally, I love leftovers of this red kuri in salads. Simply toss with your favorite greens and a bit of lemon vinaigrette for an easy next-day/transform leftovers dish.
A spicy, vegan red kuri dish that works well as a high-protein side or a perfect, grain-free lunch.
1/2 small red kuri squash, seeds removed and cut into 1/4” thick slices
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, with 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
Hefty pinch of salt
1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup loosely packed cilantro (can use stems too)
Zest from one lemon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons pepitas
1/4 cup crumbled feta (optional)
Juice from one lemon, for serving
- Preheat oven to 425˚F. Combine garlic with chipotle and adobo sauce in a small bowl. Use the back of a spoon to break apart the chipotle. Add in the olive oil and salt. Place the squash on a tray, toss with the chipotle mix, and roast for 25 minutes. After that time, add the chickpeas and cook for another 10 minutes or so.
- As the squash roasts, place the cilantro on a cutting board along with the lemon zest and salt. Chop until the cilantro is finely minced. Once the squash is done, toss with the cilantro mix, pepitas, feta, and lemon juice.
Can’t find chipotles in adobo? Use a pinch of chipotle powder and an extra bit of olive oil.
Keywords: red kuri squash, chipotle red kuri squash