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Fresh Right Now: Delicata Squash

If you love winter squash but find yourself in a butternut rut, branch out and try delicata. It's less assertively sweet than butternut, which makes it more versatile. And while butternut isn't the easiest veg to prep—peeling and chopping the bigger ones require heavy-duty blades and Popeye's forearm—delicata skin is so thin and tender you can leave it on and eat it: It adds subtle snap to the buttery flesh.

ROASTED DELICATA WITH CRANBERRIES AND PUMPKINSEEDS Hands-on: 10 min. Total: 45 min. This impressive yet simple side dish is great for company. And remember: You can eat the skin. Recipe by Ann Taylor Pittman (Find this recipe on

Roasted Delicata with Cranberries and Pumpkinseeds | Delicata lives up to its name: It's a subtle squash that works well with bold, bright flavors like cranberry.

2 (12-ounce) delicata squashes 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided Cooking spray 4 thyme sprigs 3 tablespoons dried sweetened cranberries 2 teaspoons butter 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons pumpkinseed kernels, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Cut each squash in half lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds and membranes. Brush flesh with 2 teaspoons oil; sprinkle evenly with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place squash halves, cut sides down, in a 13 × 9--inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Turn over (cut sides up); place 1 thyme sprig in each. Bake an additional 17 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

3. Preheat broiler to high.

4. Broil squash 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

5. Place cranberries in a small bowl; cover with water. Microwave at HIGH 45 seconds; drain.

6. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons oil and lemon juice. Drizzle the butter mixture over squash. Divide cranberries and pumpkinseeds among squash halves.

SERVES 4 (serving size: 1 squash half) CALORIES 160; FAT 8.6g (sat 1.9g, mono 4.1g, poly 2.2g); PROTEIN 3.3g; CARB 19.4g; FIBER 2.3g; CHOL 5.1mg; IRON 1.1mg; SODIUM 257mg; CALC 44mg