Kabocha Chestnut Pomegranate Recipe: Encapsulating Autumn

The scent of Pumpkin Baked-Goods is swirling in the air again! These charming creations make me jealous because…

Tweet me to add yours!

… I don’t bake. I’ve concluded that baking freaks me out because:

  • I don’t like to measure.
  • I need to taste along the way.
  • I don’t like the unpredictability.
  • It requires more equipment than I want.
  • I can’t tell when things are done. (What does a clean toothpick actually look like?)

So here’s my contribution to the pumpkin fun in lieu of my baking ineptness.

Kabocha Chestnut Pom

I had a mad craving for some roasted Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin) with savory miso paste. Simplest dinner for one.

I prefer Kabocha over the American variety because the skin is thin and edible. After roasting in the oven, the skin becomes deliciously smoky and nutty so I always choose small, tender ones before the skin toughens.

At the market, I was distracted by juicy, ruby pomegranates and was reminded of a warm salad Chef Anthony made at a dinner party so I gave it a whirl.

The tart pops of the pomegranate seeds added an element of surprise in contrast to the sweet, starchy chestnut. The addition of cinnamon to the Kabocha created a familiar sense of comfort, alongside its blistered skin that triggered memories of a warm fireplace.

The ultimate Autumn side dish.


  • 1 small Kabocha
  • seeds of 1 pomegranate
  • 2 cups chestnuts, shelled
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • olive oil, s&p
  • butter


Preheat oven to 400°F

Wash the Kabocha well and carefully split into quarters. Scoop out the seeds and pulp. Rub the quarters, including the skin, with olive oil and s&p.

Place on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until a knife pierces through easily. When cool enough to handle, cut into 1 inch cubes.

Sauté the onion in some butter until caramelized.

Add the chestnuts and heat through, followed by the Kabocha, honey, stock, and spices. Toss gently and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Taste and season.

Remove from the heat, add the green onions and one more pat of butter.

Top with pomegranate seeds and serve warm.

Creates 6 side-servings.

  1. October 20, 2009 by Amy Blogs Chow

    I love them all. Excellent compilation of pumpkin dishes! Your photos take my breath away.

  2. October 20, 2009 by Elizabeth

    MMM, that does sound inviting. I loooove chestnuts. I’d never had them until about 5 years ago when I was at Granville island market. That guy that roasts them outside in the little cart on stones, they’re so good! I love em now.
    Thanks for the link back too, that’s awesome. No need to be afraid of baking! You do have to taste though, what’s so scary about that? :)

  3. October 20, 2009 by Deseree

    This sounds interesting. I love the idea of the pomegranate seeds.
    Baking has always been a little bit of a challenge for me too, for the same reason: I hate measuring. But since I started blogging, I started measuring more and also decided to give baking a shot. Once you figure out ratios it isn’t too bad, and most of the time the results are totally worth it. Although there was that one day I threw out 3 cakes. Lets just forget about that one. ;-)
    Thanks for including my recipe for Pumpkin Cake with Amaretto frosting!

  4. October 20, 2009 by Beth

    Haha. A clean toothpick looks like a toothpick!

  5. October 20, 2009 by eliza

    hi Mel, thanks for visiting my blog! i hope you’ll change your mind soon about baking especially since you’re adding me to your feed :D

  6. October 20, 2009 by Mel (admin)

    haha like NO crumbs? or little crumbs ok? moist ok? How would I know when it’s too dry? *duh*

  7. October 20, 2009 by Stephen

    anything with chestnuts and winter squash makes me smile.

  8. October 20, 2009 by Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite

    A GREAT combination of flavours for the autumn!!

  9. October 20, 2009 by Divina

    That looks great. Love the title too. Very autumn.

  10. October 20, 2009 by Sean

    Great take on a fall inspired fall dish! It’s visually stunning (as always) and the flavors seem to match up well.

    I actually like baking. The unpredictability – success or impending failure – is exciting. You can taste along the way as long as it doesn’t have yeast in it also! Totally with you on the measuring though. Just more dishes to wash up after.

  11. October 20, 2009 by Chou

    I’m a baker, but I’m totally converted. Wow. Yum.

  12. October 20, 2009 by FRESH LOCAL AND BEST

    Indeed, this is the quintessential autumn recipe! I love kabocha, it’s such a dense and flavorful squash!

  13. October 21, 2009 by Miriam/The winter guest

    Wow, I love the combination of flavors! I bought two pomegranates yesterday and I have chestnuts too (I always have loads of them as long as the season lasts). I wonder if any other squash type would do…

  14. October 21, 2009 by Miriam/The winter guest

    Wow, I love the combination of flavors! I bought two pomegranates yesterday and I have chestnuts too (I always have loads of them as long as the season lasts). I wonder if any other squash type would do…
    BTW I love your blog!

  15. October 21, 2009 by Jessica

    Very unique dish, I love all of the autumn colors it has. I know how you feel about baking, it can be time consuming with making sure everything is the correct measurements. Once you get the hang of it, baking can be fun and it’s fun watching people’s reactions when they eat them :)

  16. October 21, 2009 by alwayswinner786

    A great combination of taste and flavor. I love Kabocha and you share a delicious fast to cook recipe. Thumbs up!

  17. October 21, 2009 by Parker Lim


    Thanks for your comment on our blog, ChopChopChew. I work/post on the blog with Marshall.

    I live with Marshall in NYC because I study there but I am a Vancouverite myself that is actually living in Italy right now (well, for another month). Similar to you, I had to make my way to Europe for a while. I hope you enjoy your vacation and, if you stop by Florence (where I’m living, let me know because I have a number of great eats to point you toward.

    Take care,

    PS My favourite dessert spot in our city is Sweet Revenge. Although, if you love food, you must have already been there.

  18. October 21, 2009 by Alta

    Oh wow, how creative. This sounds good. I just had kobacha for the first time a few weeks ago – wow, what a creamy, delicious squash! This is on the menu, for sure.

  19. October 21, 2009 by Anthony Nicalo

    Looks delicious. Email me. I’ve got some places for you to check out in Europe. Then let’s cook together when you get back.

  20. October 22, 2009 by Tangled Noodle

    I STILL haven’t tried Kabocha! This looks and sounds delicious. 8-)

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