Roasted acorn squash on white bean mash

Roasted acorn squash on white bean mash

roasted acorn squash white bean mash

And just like that, it’s November people! What? How? And since that means that Thanksgiving and Christmas are nearing dangerously close for comfort, I’ve decided to switch gears and get into the festive cooking already! Expect a lot of pumpkins, nuts and chocolate from me this year.

First up a beautiful savoury side dish that will not be out of place on your either Thanksgiving or Christmas table. It’s beautifully caramelised acorn squash on a bed of creamy white bean mash, topped with crispy sage leaves and maple pecans. It’s easy to make, delicious and looks the part too so I hope you’ll consider making it this year.


ACORN SQUASH: I used an acorn squash as I love the visual contrast between its orange flesh and dark green skin, which does not require peeling, but any firm fleshed eating pumpkin or squash will work just as well.

GARLIC: I used an entire head of roasted garlic cloves to flavour the mash. Even though it may seem like a lot of garlic, it really is not – roasting the garlic mellows it out and transforms its flavour. I recommend roasting more than one head of garlic at the same time and using the rest for other dishes.

BALSAMIC VINEGAR: if you can, it’s worth investing in a good quality balsamic that’s quite thick and syrupy and way more flavoursome. But if that’s not possible, don’t worry, the cheap stuff will work well enough too.

MAPLE SYRUP: I used a touch of maple syrup to contrast the acidity of balsamic in the glaze and a bit more to caramelise pecans. You could also use light muscovado if you prefer.

CANNELLINI: cannellini beans – also known as white kidney bean – make a beautifully creamy mash. I like to cook my own (you will need about 1¼ cup dry beans) but canned work just as well here. You will need two 400 g / 14 oz cans for this recipe.

SAGE: sage is a classic friend of pumpkin. I used some to flavour the mash and fried some leaves for the topping. You could use thyme or rosemary for the former and skip the later if need be.

PECANS: pecans caramelised in leftover sage oil, maple syrup and a touch of balsamic add a lovely sweet crunch to this dish. You could sub them with walnuts (or hazelnuts) if you wish or pumpkin seeds if you are cooking for someone with a nut allergy.

roasted acorn squash prep

Core and cut your acorn squash into thick slices. The good news is that there is no need to peel it as after half an hour in a hot oven the skin will be nice and tender enough to eat.

roasted acorn squash garlic squash prep

Prepare a head (or two, I like to roast some extra whenever my oven is on) garlic ready for roasting – we will use its sweet and gooey goodness to flavour the mash later. Brush the squash with olive oil all over and season before roasting.

roasted acorn squash mash

Place all the mash ingredients in a food processor or a powder blender and blend until smooth. You could use bean cooking (or canning) water to blend the mash smooth or extra virgin olive oil for extra indulgence – or a mixture of the two.

roasted acorn squash fried sage pecans

Finally, time for the garnish – fresh sage leaves fried in olive oil until crispy and pecans caramelised in maple syrup and balsamic, both delicious and easy and quick to make – in a single frying pan.

roasted acorn squash close up

Once all the components are ready, pile the mash on a platter – use the back of a spoon to shape it nicely. Top the mash with caramelised acorn squash, leftover balsamic, crunchy pecans and crushed up sage leaves.

roasted acorn squash plate

roasted acorn squash side

8 as starter
20 min
30 min
8 as starter
20 min
30 min
  • approx. 1kg / 35 oz (1 large) acorn squash*
  • 20 ml / 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 head of garlic
  • salt and pepper


  • 500 g / 3 cups (2 cans) cooked cannellini beans
  • 4 large sage leaves or 1 scant teaspoon dried
  • zest of 1 lemon + 30 ml / 2 tbsp juice
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste* (optional)
  • ¾ tsp salt, adjust to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 30-45 ml / 2-3 tbsp bean cooking water or olive oil


  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8-10 sage leaves
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 40 g / 1/3 cup pecans (or walnuts)
  1. Heat up the oven to 220° C / 425° F and grab two large baking trays.
  2. Wash acorn squash, cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and slice into 1.25 cm / 0.5 ” slices.
  3. Brush the slices with 1 tbsp of olive oil all over, season with salt and pepper and spread on two baking trays, leaving plenty of room around each piece.
  4. Cut the top of the garlic head (I like to roast a few at once) off to explose the cloves, drizzle with 1 tsp of olive oil, compeletely wrap the garlic in a piece of baking paper and then foil and put on the tray next to the pumpkin.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes, then mix balsamic and maple syrup in a small bowl and brush it onto the squash on both sides (keep leftovers for drizzling at the end). Carry on baking for another 5-10 minutes, until soft and caramelised.
  6. Check on the garlic, if the cloves are soft and semi-translucent, carefully remove it from the oven. If not, carry on roasting it for 5-10 more minutes.


  1. Place drained cannellini beans, roughly chopped up sage leaves, lemon zest and juice, miso, salt, pepper and cooking / canning bean water (or good olive oil for a more luxurious texture) in a food processor (or power blender).
  2. Once roasted garlic is cool enough to touch, squeeze all of the cloves into the food processor.
  3. Process the beans until creamy and smooth, adding more cooking liquid (or olive oil) and salt if needed.


  1. Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan on low heat.
  2. Add sage leaves and fry for a couple of minutes until crispy, then lift them out of the oil with a fork and place on a piece of paper towel to drain. Sprinkle with a little salt.
  3. Add maple syrup, balsamic and pecans to the sage oil left in the pan. Stir well to coat, allow to simmer for 2 minutes or so until the sugar gets all bubbly, then remove from the pan and sprinkle with salt. Once cool chop up roughly.


  1. Transfer the mash to a large platter, flatten it into a swirly mound using the back of a spoon.
  2. Place roasted pumpkin pieces on top, sprinkle with chopped pecans and fried sage leaves (crushed in your hands).
  3. Drizzle leftover balsamic & maple on top.

*ACORN SQUASH: you could use a different eating pumpkin/squash with firm flesh instead, but the roasting time may vary a little and you may want to peel it (if using, for example, butternut squash).

*MISO PASTE: make sure to look for gluten-free miso paste (based on chickpeas, brown rice etc.) if cooking for someone with gluten-intolerance.

4 g
8 g
1 g
4 g
23 g
*per 1 out of 8 servings
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2 reviews, 12 comments
Hi Anya!
Made this last night with a Butternut squash. Loved it! Another great receipe from your collection.
The white bean mash, or dare I even say houmous, goes fantastically well.
Your acorn squash looks prettier but overall we really enjoyed it.
My timing was a bit off and I had to remelt the balsamic and maple syrup sauce which had set hard!
    Thanks Fergus, I am so pleased that you enjoyed this combo and thanks for letting me know. x Ania
I made this as a main course and served it with crusty bread and it was delicious!! It was a hit with my vegetarian and carnivorous relatives too! I tweaked it a little though - I added about a third of a vegetable stock pot to the bean mash and it really brought the flavours together. I'll definitely be making this again!
    Thanks Sarah, I am really happy that it went down so well with all your relatives, regardless of their diet - that's always great to hear. And thanks for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Dreaming about all the lovely things I could cook this weekend I came across this recipe. THIS will be it! The dish looks absolutely delicious and it looks like it was meant to be because there's squash on my shopping list already and earlier this evening I noticed I still have a can of those beans :-) Thank you, Ania, and knowing your cuisine a bit by now, I'll be back to rave about how savory this dish was ;-)
    Thank you, Els! I am delighted that you are planning on making this dish and I really hope you'll enjoy it! x Ania
This looks amazing! Having friends over for dinner next saturday and thinking of making this. Do you have any suggestions on what to serve it with? :-)
    Hi Juna,
    That's great to hear that you are thinking of making this for your friends. I intended it as a part of a Thanksgiving spread so there is a lot of options. How about this salad, this side, this centerpiece and some pecan pie or apple pie. You could also just serve it with some slices of sourdough, olives, and another dip or two. Hope this helps! Ania
This looks delicious Ania. I never knew acorn squash skin was edible! Thanks for educating me. 😊
    Thanks Sue! My pleasure and yes, it can certainly be eaten once it's been properly roasted. x Ania
Hi love your recipes - I'd like to share on Facebook as I want to encourage people to ry delicious vegan food - can you add a Facebook share button?
    Hi Belinda,
    Thank you, I am so happy to hear that you enjoy my recipes. There is a Facebook share button at the bottom of the recipe method. I am also on Facebook (as @lazycatkitchen) and I share every new recipe on there. Thank you for wanting to share, I really appreciate it. x Ania
This looks perfect! I want to include more creamy textures this year and this looks like it will do the trick! Also, thank you for the pumpkin seed recommendation, since this chef is allergic to nuts. As far as make ahead tricks, so vital for the holidays, I’m thinking I can make the bean part and the pumpkin seeds ahead of time, prepare the squash ahead and pop in the oven when I’m ready. What about the sage leaves? Can that be done a bit earlier or is that best last minute?
    Hi Annie,
    You are very welcome and I hope this dish will go down well with you and your guests. You can make all of it ahead pretty much and store in separate containers. The nuts might lose a little bit of crunch as maple syrup (like sugar) is hydrophilic and I've never stored fried sage leaves so I am not sure what they would be like - perhaps, if that's an option, I would make those two elements just before serving, especially that they only need one small pan and 5 minutes in it. Hope this helps. Ania
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