Roasted Delicata Squash Couscous

5 from 2 votes

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Side dish or vegetarian main, this roasted delicata squash couscous is an herby combination of parsley pesto, pomegranate seeds and walnuts.

Roasted Delicata Squash Couscous

The beautiful selections of squash are in a full on competition for attention during the fall and winter months when they are in season. Of course, some manage to hog more of the spotlight than others.

There are so many things to do with butternut squash that it is no surprise it’s the star, but I’m here to campaign for the others. Don’t forget about acorn squash and delicata squash to name just two.

These more irregular shaped squash shouldn’t be intimidating because you don’t have to peel them. The thin skin softens as it roasts along with the flesh. That actually saves you a step!

What is Delicata Squash?

With creamy yellow skin and streaks of green, delicata squash stands out because of its oblong shape. Part of the winter squash family, I find this shape easier to cut than rounder varieties like red kuri squash because it is more stable on a cutting board.

Also known as sweet potato squash, when you roast delicata, the flesh gets tender to the point of being silk and creamy. It has a lightly nutty flavor that goes really well with fresh herbs, especially the parsley pesto in this recipe.

The roasted squash, pesto, walnuts and pomegranate seeds in this pearl couscous are a lovely combination of savory and herby with tart accents.

How To Cut Delicata Squash

  1. Slice the ends off the squash.
  2. Cut it in half lengthwise.
  3. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  4. Place the squash halves cut-side down and slice crosswise into half rings.

The Ingredients

Ingredients including delicata squash, couscous, pomegranate seeds, parsley and walnuts,

This is what you need for the recipe:

  • Delicata squash: Look for a squash that feels heavy for its size. The skin should be smooth and have no soft spots.
  • Couscous: Known as pearl or Israeli couscous, the plump grains soak up the parsley pesto, and they hold their shape with the roasted squash. If you can find it, try using whole wheat couscous.
  • Pomegranate seeds: I love pomegranate seeds for their sweet-tart bites throughout the couscous.
  • Parsley: Instead of basil like traditional pesto, parsley leaves are the base of the pesto in this recipe.
  • Walnuts: In addition to the pesto, I also stir chopped walnuts into the couscous with the pomegranate seeds and squash.
  • Parmesan: The pesto has grated Parmesan.
  • Lemon juice: With parsley and roasted squash, I can’t resist adding a citrus hit with a little lemon juice.
  • Garlic: No matter the herbs, would pesto even count if it didn’t have at least a garlic clove?
  • Maple syrup: Wanting to give the squash just a hint of fall sweetness (but very subtle), I whisk a couple teaspoons of maple syrup with the olive oil, salt and pepper to marinate the squash.
  • Chives: To give the couscous something oniony, I stir in plenty of minced chives.
  • Salt & pepper: I season both the squash and pesto with salt and pepper.

How To Make Roasted Delicata Squash Couscous

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Add the squash and toss it around in the olive oil-maple syrup mixture.
  4. Arrange the squash on a sheet pan.  Roast until golden brown at the edges, flipping halfway through roasting.
  5. Make the couscous. Heat the olive oil in the pan. Toast the couscous. Then add the water and bring to a bowl. Reduce the heat, and simmer until the couscous is cooked.
  6. Make the pesto. Puree the garlic, parsley, walnuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pour in the olive oil and process until fully combined.
  7. Stir pesto into the couscous.
  8. Fold the roasted squash, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and chives into the couscous.

How To Serve Squash Couscous

Between the roasted squash and pesto, this makes a very complete and filling side dish. This is to the point that I definitely think it would be appropriate as a vegetarian main dish.

If you do want to serve it as a main, you can serve it with vegetable side dishes such as roasted green beans with almond breadcrumbs and feta, crispy roasted brussels sprouts or sautéed broccolini.

For a salad to go with it, I like this autumn chopped salad or this apple cabbage salad.

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Roasted Delicata Squash Couscous

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Side dish or vegetarian main, this roasted delicata squash couscous is an herby combination of parsley pesto, pomegranate seeds and walnuts.


  • For squash
  • 1 delicata squash halved lengthwise, deseeded, and sliced crosswise 1/4-inch-thick
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • For couscous
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup pearl Israeli couscous
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • For pesto
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 1 cup parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • For serving
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the 1 tablespoon olive oil, maple syrup, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
  • Add the squash to the bowl and toss in the mixture.
  • Arrange the squash on the sheet pan. Roast for 30 minutes until golden brown at the edges and tender, flipping halfway through roasting.
  • While the squash is roasting, make the couscous. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Toast the couscous until it is golden, about 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 10 minutes.
  • For the pesto, puree the garlic, parsley, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a food processor.  Puree the mixture and while the motor is running, pour 1/3 cup olive oil through the feeder tube until the pesto is fully combined.
  • In a large bowl, stir the pesto into the couscous. Fold in the roasted squash, pomegranate seeds, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and chives.


Calories: 584kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 858mg | Potassium: 715mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2903IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 145mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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