Chipotle-Glazed Delicata Squash

chipotle glazed squash with cilantro lime rice & refried black beans

Welcome to the first recipe for The Food Matters Project! Sarah and I have worked hard to make this project happen and I’m so glad we’ve finally begun. Sarah picked a gorgeous recipe to start us off—it’s vibrant, vegetarian, and strikes just the right balance between spicy and sweet—all of my favorite recipe elements in one.

delicata squash

By the way, The Food Matters philosophy is all about eating more plants and fewer animal products and processed foods—and the positive impact this has on our health and the environment. The project is fueled by food bloggers but everyone is welcome to cook through Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook along with us!

chipotle glaze and delicata squash

Back to the recipe: I hope you’ll give this one a try. Slow roasted delicata squash, basted in an addictive chipotle and honey sauce, is delightful on its own but turns into a healthy, complete meal when served on a bed of “refried” black beans and cilantro lime rice. I improvised the black bean recipe, and the rice was inspired by aptly-named Chipotle Mexican Grill, the sustainable burrito chain we all know and love.

chipotle glazed delicata squash

I raced against the setting sun to photograph this recipe late Saturday afternoon. Feeling rushed, I took several shortcuts, fortunately without undesirable consequences. I used organic canned beans instead of home-cooked beans, skipped the wooden skewers for the squash, and cooked the rice in my hand-me-down rice cooker. I hardly measured ingredients and tossed saucy spoons all over my messy kitchen counters, but the end result was a smashing success.

cilantro lime rice recipe

This recipe deconstructs well. Spiced rice and beans always make a great pair, on their own or served as sides for quesadillas, enchiladas or a baked sweet potato. Dress up rice and beans with diced avocado or a few spoonfuls of salsa for an easy meal of leftovers. To my surprise, apple slaw makes a nice relish for beans and rice as well. I’m eager to roast sweet potatoes in the chipotle and honey glaze; sweet and flavorful vegetables seem to be the best base for this sauce.

chipotle glazed delicata squash recipe

Chipotle-Glazed Delicata Squash with Cilantro-Lime Rice and Black Beans
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 to 4
A spicy and sweet chipotle and honey sauce lends delicious Mexican flavor to delicata squash. Serve with healthy refried black beans and cilantro lime rice.
Chipotle-Glazed Squash
  • 3 delicata squash, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out, then sliced into ½ inch arcs
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus some greasing for the pan
  • 1 or 2 canned chipotle chiles, chopped, with 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pressed or minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Sea salt and black pepper
Cilantro-Lime Rice:
  • 1½ cups brown basmati rice, rinsed in a fine mesh strainer
  • 1 small lime, zest removed and juiced
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • loose ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional but highly recommended)
  • salt, to taste
Refried Black Beans
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cans cooked black beans, drained
  • ⅓ cup roasted red pepper, chopped (I used jarred)
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Lime wedges
  1. Prep work: Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit for the squash. Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove for the rice.
  2. Cook the squash: Grease a large rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Whisk together the olive oil, 1 chipotle chile, adobo sauce, garlic, honey, and some salt and pepper in a small bowl (a mortar and pestle is ideal, so you can really mash together the ingredients). Taste and add another chile if you like.
  3. Brush the glaze evenly over the squash skewers and roast for 45 to 60 minutes, turning once or twice and basting with any pan juices. When the squash is tender and deeply colored, remove the skewers from the oven and set aside.
  4. To cook the rice: Once your pot of water is boiling, pour in the rice and give it a stir. Boil the rice for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat and drain the rice. Return the rice to the pot and cover the pot. Let the rice steam for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, then mix in the lime zest and juice, lemon juice, cilantro, butter and salt to taste.
  5. Cook the beans: In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add the cumin and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Pour in the beans and ½ cup water. Stir, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and use the back of a fork to mash up about ½ of the beans. Add the roasted red peppers, stir, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover until you're ready to serve.
  7. Serve the beans on a bed of cilantro lime rice. Top with chipotle-glazed squash. Garnish with a couple of lime wedges.
Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman's The Food Matters Cookbook.
Make it vegan: Use agave nectar instead of the honey.


  1. Mary says

    I love this idea. The squash would make the meal so hearty and delicious. I’ve got some squash in the fridge calling my name right now…

  2. says

    I’ve been meaning to try delicata squash forever and guess who has had an open can of chipotle chiles in adobo for what seems like forever in her fridge? Perfect!

  3. says

    I really like how you just sliced the delicata squash- it looks delicious over the rice and beans. It’s dried chili pepper week at la Domestique, and I’m loving the smokey, spicy flavors here.

  4. says

    Yum! I love the use of delicata squash (yay for not having to peel!) Congrats on the first post and I think this project is going to be great. I can’t wait to keep cooking along!

    • says

      Honestly, I picked delicata squash because you don’t have to peel it! I’m lazy. The skin is so thin that once it’s cooked, you hardly notice it’s there! I love the green stripes on it, too.

  5. says

    Delicata squash is one of my absolute favorite winter vegetables. I don’t usually glaze it, but I love the taste of chipotle – sounds like this will be making an appearance at my dining table very soon. Separately, I love that you’re doing this project. What an awesome concept and cause!

  6. says

    Bah I’m still waiting for my copy to come in the mail! But this squash looks boooomb! So stoked to get cooking with everyone. Also, I can’t even make rice without a rice cooker so you probably shouldn’t feel bad about that shortcut.

  7. says

    Stunning photos as always :-) I love the idea of the Food Matters project – I think it’s so important in this day and age that we think about what we are putting in our mouths, how it’s prepared and where it comes from.

  8. says

    I love love love the Food Matters Project! The whole idea behind Food Matters is so near and dear to my heart, and I love this first recipe. Just beautiful!

  9. says

    cilantro, lime, rice, squash. perfect. so fun to see everyone’s rendition, glad to see you used delicata… cheers to a great project launch, kate!

  10. says

    I cannot wait to try this; like tomorrow for lunch! Delicata squash is one of my favorite foods, but I never get too creative with it (being that it’s fabulous all by itself). Still, I love the sound of chipotle honey glaze. And with beans! Oh, I’m totally down!

  11. says

    I hadn’t heard of delicata squash before and assumed it wasn’t grown in my region, but a visit to a local farmstand showed me otherwise! I bought two of the beautiful looking things and will be making this tonight!

  12. says

    What an amazing, well-rounded meal! I made this recipe tonight and it was perfect for me and my husband– plus lunches tomorrow. I think the delicatas should probably cook a little longer or at a higher temp. because the skin was still at little crunchy on mine. Not a problem, though– the flavors were amazing together. Thanks in particular for the rice recipe. He and I are admittedly addicted to Chipotle’s Burrito Bowls, and this was perfect. I skipped the lemon since my lime was so juicy but it tasted just like Chipotle’s rice! For anyone thinking about making this recipe– DO IT!

    • says

      Glad you liked the recipes, Ruthie! I’m surprised that the delicatas still had some crunch to them—maybe they had thicker skin or a wider diameter than mine? I don’t know!

  13. Katie says

    I’ve been wanting to try this for a while, and finally had some time to make it tonight–it’s deliciouuus! Chipotle and delicata squash is such a brilliant combination. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. says

    I am loving all your recipes lately, this one was so delicious. The next day stuffing all the leftovers in a tortilla made an awesome burrito! I shared this recipe in my latest meal plan on my blog, thank you!

    • says

      Thanks for letting me know, Emily! I’m delighted to hear that you’ve been enjoying my recipes. I’ll have to bake up some more chipotle-glazed veggies for burritos, that is such a great idea!

  15. Jessica says

    Maybe it’s just my browser, but it seems like the link to the squash recipe is broken? No matter what I try (even just googling different variations), I can’t find it. Anyone else have that problem?

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