Roasted Kabocha Squash With Soy Sauce, Butter, and Shichimi Togarashi Recipe

Sweet and tender roasted squash seasoned with modern Japanese seasoning.

Roasted kabocha squash with soy sauce, butter, and shichimi togarashi on a white ceramic plate.

Serious Eats / Qi Ai

Why This Recipe Works

  • Leaving space between squash pieces ensures even roasting. 
  • The combination of butter, soy sauce, and shichimi togarashi gives the dish a rich, umami-inflected spice. 

Sweet and tender roasted kabocha squash seasoned with the modern Japanese combination of soy sauce and butter is delicious on its own, alongside a salad for a light lunch, or as a side dish for a heartier meal.

Soy sauce and butter is one of my favorite flavor combinations. It's all about balance: The two go hand in hand, with the richness of the butter mellowing the saltiness of the soy sauce and, conversely, the saltiness of the soy sauce cutting the richness of the butter.

The sauce is great with almost everything—pasta, fried rice, salmon, or beef; in Japan you'll even find it in flavoring packets served with your McDonald's french fries—but it's especially wonderful on vegetables. In the summer months, I like to drizzle it on grilled corn and sprinkle nori flakes and scallions on top. When the weather gets colder, I like to combine it with sweet and intense kabocha squash. Roasted, its flavors all intensify and the texture becomes creamy and satisfying.

Kabocha squash quartered, in slices and chunks on cutting board

Serious Eats / Shao Z.

This side dish is easy and quick to prepare, and looks great on the holiday table. A sprinkle of shichimi togarashi—a Japanese seven-spice blend made with chili, sesame, orange zest, and more—adds some heat to the mix, though a pinch of red pepper flakes will do the trick as well.

Preparing the Kabocha for Roasting

Scooping seeds and innards out of kabocha

Serious Eats / Shao Z.

Wash the squash (using a vegetable peeler to remove any unwashable spots of dirt), then split the kabocha in half and use a metal spoon to scrape out the seeds and pulp. You can roast the seeds or discard them.

Kabocha has thin, tender skin that can be eaten as is. All you have to do is dice the flesh into bite-sized chunks.

December 2013

Recipe Details

Roasted Kabocha Squash With Soy Sauce, Butter, and Shichimi Togarashi Recipe

Active 5 mins
Total 30 mins
Serves 4 servings

Sweet and tender roasted squash seasoned with modern Japanese seasoning.


  • 1 large skin-on kabocha squash, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 pounds)

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon shichimi togarashi (see notes)

  • Kosher salt


  1. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 400°F. In a small saucepan or microwaveable bowl, combine soy sauce and butter and heat until melted. Place squash in a large bowl and drizzle with soy sauce/butter mixture and togarashi.

    The chopped, uncooked kabocha squash in a metal bowl and tossed with the shichimi togarashi.

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

  2. Spread the squash in an even layer on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Make sure there is a bit of space between each piece so that they can brown and cook evenly from all sides.

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

    Transfer to oven and roast until tender and starting to brown gently, 20 to 25 minutes.

    Season to taste with salt (if necessary) and serve immediately.


Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese seven spice blend.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
99 Calories
6g Fat
11g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 371mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 11mg 54%
Calcium 38mg 3%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 544mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)