Carnival squash is roasted, filled with a sweet "candy" mixture, drizzled with maple and roasted again to combine flavors. This paleo and vegan roasted squash recipe is perfect as a sweet side dish for the holidays!
2 small carnival squash
2 tbsp Melted coconut oil and sea salt for roasting
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
4-5 medjool dates pitted and chopped
2 Tbsp coconut oil melted
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cut both squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and strings with a spoon. Brush inside of squash with melted coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
Place the 4 squash halves face-down on a baking sheet, lined with aluminum foil if desired. Roast for 25 minutes, or until top is soft. Larger squash will require longer roasting times. Once done, remove from oven to fill, but keep the oven on for the second roasting.
While squash roasts, mix all filling ingredients together in a bowl, except only add 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup - leave the rest for drizzling
Turn over roasted squash and fill evenly with pecan mixture. Since it’s a rich filling, we’re not stuffing it to the brim - about 1/4 cup filling per squash half for small squash.
Once filled, carefully drizzle remaining maple syrup over the tops of the squash (concentrate on the squash, not filling, since it's already sweet)
Place baking sheet in the oven again and bake for another 10-15 minutes until toasty. Remove from oven and serve warm, as a sweet side dish or dessert. Cut into pieces for smaller servings if desired. Serves 6-8 as a side.