Butternut Squash and Kale Skillet Fry with Maple Chili Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)

Hiya everybody! I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving! We ate and ate and ate and ate and, well, you get the idea. I think I was hurting for days afterward so it was time for some restorative winter food dinners. This recipe is an absolute favorite of mine so full of delicious, healthy goodies and super easy to boot!

I’ve been on a real cool weather foods bender these days. Living in a climate that doesn’t really have any kind of winter, I relish in the cool nights of the desert and love making some hearty, warming foods. I’m a huge soup person but my husband, not so much. Though soups and stews are the ultimate warming comforts foods in my life, I try to make some other non-soup dishes that celebrate the cooler season and are pretty healthy. This recipe fits the bill. It’s simple and doesn’t make a lot of dishes. One quick tip: Don’t skip making the maple chili pepitas (pumpkin seeds)! They are AWESOME and transformative in the dish (and also as I shovel them in my mouth by the fistful!). The flavor of the pepitas once they’re in the mix is slightly subtle but turns a simple skillet fry into a culinary masterpiece. Oh, and it’s stupid easy, did I mention that? Yep, stupid easy.

This pretty little number may make an appearance at our Christmas (or maybe hanukkah) table. Definitely an easy, healthy, impressive holiday dish!

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  • 1 cup raw unsalted pepitas/pumpkin seeds (if you can only find roasted cut roasting time down to 5 minutes)
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or more depending on your taste)


  • 1 small butternut squash, cubed (you can also use kabocha squash, equally delicious!)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 large bunch lacinato (dinosaur) kale, stemmed and torn into bites
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees with oven rack in the middle. Toss together pepitas, maple syrup, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, several cranks of ground sea salt and chili powder until evenly coated. Spread evenly on parchment lined baking dish and roast for 10 minutes or so until fragrant. Remove from oven and cool completely before breaking them up.

~ In a very large skillet (or divided among two skillets if need be), combine squash, 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil, a few cranks of salt, shallots, garlic and rosemary. Cover and steam over high heat until the squash is softened and water evaporates, about 10 minutes.

~ Uncover skillet and cook stirring frequently until squash browns nicely, about 7-10 more minutes. Add kale and cook a few minutes longer until wilted.

~ Plate and top generously with pepitas.


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