4 Easy Kabocha Recipes

First things first: What's a kabocha squash and how do I turn it into a puree?


The kabocha is a Japanese squash that tastes very similar to pumpkin and is also incredibly similar in texture. It's better than a pumpkin though because it's flavor is mildly sweet. It almost has a mild chestnut flavor to it. Kabochas come in all sorts of sizes and are sometimes all orange or sometimes all dark green or sometimes green and orange. Kabocha squash is super affordable and packed with vitamins. These four recipes I've created all include a kabocha puree. I've turned kabochas into purees too many times to count, with & without a food processor, and after so many band aids & burned kabochas I can promise you this is the easiest and safest way to turn that squash into a puree.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. Place the whole squash on a cookie sheet and place in the oven

  3. Let bake for 20-30 minutes - the squash should slightly darken in color and the skin should look a little puffy

  4. Remove and let cool till it’s easy to handle - about 15 minutes

  5. Cut squash in half and deseed

  6. Try to start separating the skin from the kabocha meat - I used a paring knife. If you’re having difficulty cutting the skin away, place the kabocha halves back onto the cookie sheet and continue to bake at 350 degrees for another 10-15 minutes or until you see the skin separate from the kabocha meat in the oven.

  7. Cut the kabocha into smaller pieces and place in the food processor with the blade attachment*

  8. Process kabocha meat into a smooth puree

  9. Congrats! You now have kabocha puree to use for the next five recipes!

*If you do not have a food processor or blender cook the kabocha for an additional 15-30 minutes after you have halved it. Eventually the squash will become soft enough that you can mash it with a fork or your hands. Just keep baking it till it becomes soft enough. Cut off any burned sections.


Vegan & Gluten-Free Kabocha Crackers

Yield: enough for 2-4 people

Total Time: less than 90 minutes


Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • ¼ cup warm water

  • ½ cup kabocha puree

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 2 tsp cornstarch

  • ½ tsp nutmeg

  • 1 ¼ cups brown rice flour

  • 4 cloves crushed garlic

  • sea salt/salt flakes for tops

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. Mix together the oil, water, puree, and crushed garlic

  3. Mix together salt, baking powder, cornstarch, nutmeg, and flour

  4. Combine bowls and mix/knead well

  5. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and dump dough onto the cookie sheet

  6. Using your hands, flatten the dough to be as thin as possible

  7. Sprinkle with sea salt/salt flakes

  8. Using a pizza cutter, gently cut the flattened dough into a grid

  9. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate tray, bake for additional 20-25 minutes

  10. Let cool completely and enjoy!


Vegan Kabocha Pancakes

Yield: serves 2-3 people

Total Time: less than 45 minutes


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • ½ tsp ginger

  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

  • 2 tbl brown sugar

  • ½ cup kabocha puree

  • ¾ cup vegan milk - I used coconut

  • 2 tbl oil

  • Vegan butter for frying pan

Instructions:

  1. Mix together all ingredients and whisk well. Let sit for 5 minutes.

  2. Heat a large frying pan and melt 1 tablespoon vegan butter

  3. Scoop batter onto pan and let pancakes cook for 3-4 minutes, flip, and let cook for 3-4 minutes more. I made mini pancakes and measured out 2 tablespoons per pancake.

  4. Serve with vegan butter, maple syrup, and enjoy!


Vegan & Gluten-Free Kabocha Soup

Yield: serves 1-2 people

Total Time: less than 45 minutes


Ingredients:

  • ½ cup kabocha puree

  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • small bunch of baby broccoli

  • 1 ½ cups veggie broth

  • ¼ tsp turmeric

  • ½ tsp onion powder

  • ¼ tsp chili powder

  • ¼ tsp salt - add more as needed

  • 1 tbl olive oil

  • pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Dice the pepper, crush the garlic, and chop the broccoli

  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan

  3. Add the pepper, garlic, and broccoli to the saucepan and saute for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave undisturbed for minutes at a time to char the broccoli and peppers.

  4. Add the broth, kabocha puree, and seasonings to the saucepan. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

  5. Transfer soup to a food processor or blender and puree all ingredients. Feel free to skip this step if you don’t have this equipment or if you like a chunky soup.

  6. Transfer back to the saucepan and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Add more broth if you want a thinner consistency.

  7. Top with parsley, cilantro, more spices, sriracha, ect..

  8. Enjoy!


Vegan Kabocha Muffins

Yield - 12 muffins

Time - 1 ½ hours


Ingredients:

  • about 1 cup kabocha puree

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water (this is your egg replacer)

  • 1 ½ cups sugar

  • ½ cup apple sauce

  • 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon cloves

Steps:

  1. Mix squash puree, applesauce, sugar, and cornstarch mix together in a bowl

  2. In a separate bowl, mix all your remaining ingredients

  3. Combine bowls and mix thoroughly

  4. Grease your muffin pan or line it with cups and pour in your batter - be sure to leave enough space for the muffins to rise, I suggest filling them halfway since these muffins don’t really rise into a dome shape

  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes

  6. Let cool, drizzle frosting on top (if you want), enjoy!

Easy Frosting Recipe:

  1. Combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 1-2 tablespoons water

  2. Mix and continue to very slowly add water until desired consistency is reached

  3. Drizzle it on!



Can't wait to hear which recipes ya'll decide to give a try! I'll be making another post soon that features the kabocha squash in slices or cubes instead of the puree form. There's just so much you can do with this squash! I get my kabochas from the farm I work for but you can find them at most Asian grocery markets in the produce sections. Since this squash is so similar to a pumpkin you can swap any recipe that contains pumpkin with a kabocha squash instead. One of the best things about the kabocha squash is that it can last on your counter for MONTHS. Seriously. I left one on my counter for 7 months once. So just go buy one already and then think about what you want to do with it.

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