Roasted Acorn Squash with Crispy Chickpeas is the perfect (and super easy!) fall side dish!
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Recently, my husband and I were having a discussion about how my cooking has changed since we got married. I think he was surprised to hear that it had changed, at all. But think about it… would he really know?
So how did it change? There are some minor changes, but also a few big ones. One big one is that my husband really does not like bone-in chicken. He’ll eat it, but when he does, he definitely prefers white meat. Which is super weird to me because bone-in chicken thighs are my favorite type of chicken. Ever. My compromise? I make a whole but up chicken – he eats the white, I eat the dark. I guess it means we are a good pair, huh?
The other big change is that my husband enjoys desserts, for sure, but he likes a clear distinction between dessert (sweet) and real food (savory). He isn’t a fan of sweet mains, things like that.Now the truth is that I too, did not grow up with the typical ashkenazi Jewish fare of very sweet meat and chicken dishes, sweet salad dressings, etc. But I always appreciate a well balanced combo of sweet and savory flavors. So you can imagine how surprised I was when my husband wasn’t a fan of things like sweet potato, butternut squash, etc. Not because I added too much sweetness, but because they are inherently sweet for his taste.
Well, when I made these BBQ Shoestring Sweet Potato Fries (which he loved!), I learned that he *does* like some of these veggies more than I realized, but I need to savory them up, if you know what I mean! I learned that adding spices and herbs to things like sweet potato and squash made it more enjoyable for him. And so that’s where the inspo for this dish came from. Sure, it starts with acorn squash, which is often made in a sweeter preparation but then I add things like chickpeas, garlic and herbs, and the result is a really well balanced dish that’s definitely not too sweet, and super delicious!
If you’re a texture fiend when it comes to food, like I am, you’re going to absolutely love the contrast between the softer squash and the crispy chickpeas! And that punchy fresh herb drizzle on the top is really the icing on the proverbial cake that takes this whole dish to the next level!
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FAQ About Roasted Acorn Squash with Crispy Chickpeas
(scroll past the FAQ to get to the recipe)
How can I make this recipe into a salad?
This recipe lends itself so well to a salad! Simply serve the roasted acorn squash and crispy chickpeas over a bed of salad greens – you can choose your favorite. I would probably choose spring mix. The herb drizzle works well as a dressing, but you can make it into a more substantial dressing by adding mayonnaise to the herb drizzle to make it creamy.
If you like a little sweet mixed into your salad, I would suggest adding some sliced apple or pear to the salad – which will add a nice crunch in addition to the sweetness.
You can also make this into more of a meal by adding grilled chicken to the salad!
Can I skip the herb drizzle in this recipe?
You definitely can! While the herb drizzle is really the icing on the cake that is this fabulous side dish, it’s delicious without the drizzle as well. Feel free to sprinkle some fresh parsley over the dish in place of the herb drizzle, or skip it completely.
Can I use any other kind of squash to make this recipe?
Absolutely! Butternut squash would work really well in place of the acorn squash in this recipe. Unlike acorn squash, which doesn’t need to be peeled, butternut squash should be peeled prior to roasting.
Do I need to peel the acorn squash?
No you don’t! The peel of the acorn squash is totally edible, so go ahead and leave that peel on when roasting – make sure to wash the acorn squash well since it won’t be peeled.
You can eat the peel, or eat around it if you prefer!
Can I make the roasted squash without the chickpeas?
Absolutely! If you prefer a more basic roasted squash dish, try this roasted acorn squash recipe without the chickpeas. However, I do love the textural contrast of the softer squash and the crispy chickpeas.
I don’t have fresh parsley. Can I use frozen cubes instead? What about dried parsley?
While nothing compares to fresh parsley, frozen cubes of parsley (available in the freezer section of most kosher grocery stores) will work as a substitute. Dried parsley won’t give you the same level of freshness and taste as fresh (or even frozen), but if that’s all you have, you can use it. Make sure to use plenty of it so the flavor comes through.
Can I prepare this dish ahead of time?
While best fresh, this dish can be prepared a day or two ahead of time and served at room temperature. Add the herb drizzle just before serving, for best results. Do not freeze this dish.
Can I use the herb drizzle for anything else?
Absolutely! The herb drizzle is perfect for use to punch of the flavor of all kinds of dishes. Drizzle it over chicken, fish, meat, roasted veggies, potatoes, etc. You can also add some mayonnaise (as mentioned above) to make a delicious dip/salad dressing.
How can I make this recipe for Passover?
The only change you would need to make for passover is to ommit the chickpeas, if you are of ashkenazic descent and don’t use legumes (kitniyos) on pesach. The rest of the recipe can be made as is!
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Tools Needed for this Recipe:
- 1 acorn squash, washed well and cut into chunks
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine squash, chickpeas, oil, salt, garlic and chili powder on tray. Mix until combined and everything is evenly coated.
- Spred in a single layer on baking pan and roast for about 60 minutes, stirring every 20, until the chickpeas are crispy and the squash is starting to brown.
- Meanwhile, prepare the herb drizzle: combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix to comboine.
- Just before serving, drizzle the herb mixture over the veggies.
Plan ahead: This dish is best fresh, but it can be prepared a day or two ahead of time and enjoyed at room temperature. Add herb drizzle just before serving for best results.
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Thanks for visiting, and enjoy this delicious side dish! Come back soon for a great fall cookie recipe! -Miriam
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