Sesame Kabocha Squash with Tahini Sauce | @naturallyella

Every new year starts with a buzz of produce excitement. I spend the cool fall months with cozy recipes that help to settle into a long winter. The new year is all about lighter recipes packed with flavor. I love winter squash because it plays in both spaces well and is easy to store throughout the months. This sesame kabocha squash is my march to spring. One quick word about the squash: when roasted for long enough, the skin can stay but if you’re concerned or don’t believe me, peel it before roasting.

Sesame Kabocha Squash with Tahini Sauce | @naturallyella

Sesame Kabocha Squash with Tahini Sauce

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Category: Main Course


A hearty winter squash bowl featuring sesame kabocha squash, spinach, rice, and an easy tahini sauce. 


  • 1 pound kabocha squash
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Sesame seeds (for serving)
  • Red pepper flakes (for serving)

Tahini Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Heat oven to 400˚ F. Prep the squash by washing, drying, and cutting into ½” thick slices with the skin still on (or if you prefer, remove the skin). Toss the squash with the sesame oil and spread into a single layer on a sheet tray. Roast until the squash is tender and browning, 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. While the squash is roasting, combine the ingredients for the tahini sauce in a bowl and whisk until well combined. 
  3. Assemble the bowls with the rice, spinach, roasted squash, a drizzle of the tahini sauce, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. 


Tips & Tricks: Roast the kabocha squash until the skin on the squash is edible. If the squash is older or you’re not sure, cut the squash into wedges and remove the skin before roasting. 

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: Spinach, Tahini, Sesame Oil

Nutritional: See the information.


  • Calories: 470
  • Sugar: 5.5
  • Sodium: 207.2
  • Fat: 28.4
  • Carbohydrates: 50.9
  • Fiber: 8.4
  • Protein: 10.1

Sesame Kabocha Squash


Often stores will have different selections of winter squash. Look for kabocha squash at the farmers’ market or local co-op. Of course, if you can’t find the squash- don’t fret! There are some readily available alternatives:

Sweet Potatoes/Squash: Use sliced sweet potatoes or butternut squash in place of the kabocha.

Sauce: Don’t have tahini on hand? You could also do an almond or peanut sauce by using almond butter or peanut butter.

Greens: Raw or sautéed greens make a great addition to this bowl. Try kale sautéed with a bit of olive oil and garlic.

Sesame Kabocha Squash with Tahini Sauce and Brown Rice | @naturallyella