Roasted delicata squash with bacon and pesto is incredibly flavorful! But made even better with a poached egg on top. Perfect as a side dish for breakfast, brunch, or any occasion!
Delicata squash roasted with bacon, and tossed in parsley pesto for breakfast.
Delicata squash features very regularly in our meal plans every autumn. Usually, we just make roasted delicata squash in advance and store extra in the fridge. Then heat it up in the morning an eat with eggs. Super simple.
But this breakfast recipe for delicata squash is a touch more fancy. And versatile. More on that later.
First, the sliced delicata squash is roasted with bacon and onion. Then I toss it with a delicious walnut parsley pesto and serve it with poached eggs. It’s fancy enough for weekend or special occasion brunches, but easy enough for regular breakfasts too.
You can learn more about choosing delicata squash that is perfectly ripe and sweet by reading this post.
This is a very easy recipe. I’m also including substitutions and ways to adapt the recipe to your needs.
How to make Bacon Roasted Delicata Squash
You can make full delicata squash rings, or half rings (semicircles) as described in this post. I made half rings in these photos.
Trim the stem end and cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise. Slice 3/4 – 1 inch thick slices and place them in a bowl. Slice the onions to 1/2 inch slices, and cut some bacon into 1/2 inch pieces as well, and set them aside.
Add salt, black pepper, and garlic powder, and the smallest amount of olive oil to the delicata squash (remember we are adding bacon too).
Toss to coat, and lay them all out on a parchment paper lined baking tray or baking sheet. If you like, you can add a head of garlic to the tray too, so that you can use the roasted garlic in the pesto OR spread it on toast.
Bake for about 15 minutes to give the squash a head start with the cooking process.
Add the bacon and onions and bake for a further 5 – 10 minutes. I like to bake them until the delicata squash slices start to caramelize and turn golden brown on the bottom.
Then flip the slices over and bake for a further 15 – 20 minutes until the delicata squash is roasted and the bacon is starting to become crisp at the edges. The onions and the garlic cloves should be soft too.
Making the walnut parsley pesto
This pesto only takes a few minutes. It’s simple and oh so good! Not just in this dish, but with any recipe that calls for pesto. The pesto brings a lovely salty, herby brightness to this roasted delicata squash and bacon dish.
While the delicata squash is roasting, you can place the walnuts on a smaller baking tray and toast for a few minutes. Sometimes I toast the walnuts on a dry skillet too.
Then place all the ingredients (except for the olive oil) in a small food processor, and process until everything is finely chopped / minced.
Scrape it all out into a bowl, and mix in enough olive oil to get the consistency you desire. Taste and season. Because of the parmesan cheese, it should already have some seasoning, so make sure to taste before you add more salt.
The walnut parsley pesto is now ready to be mixed with the bacon roasted delicata squash.
Just add as much pesto as you like to the bacon roasted delicata squash and gently toss to combine. I also like to add more freshly ground black pepper before eating.
Make ahead tips for roasted delicata squash with bacon
You can roast the delicata squash up to 3 days ahead, and keep it in an air-tight container in the fridge (longer in the freezer).
When you’re ready to eat it for breakfast, simply reheat the bacon roasted delicata squash in the oven. It should only take about 10 – 15 minutes in a 350 F oven.
In the skillet, you’d need to reheat it over medium heat, until heated through. This might take 10 – 15 minutes, and you will need to move it around frequently to prevent it from burning at the bottom.
You can also make the pesto up to 5 days ahead of time. Then store it in an air-tight jar, in the fridge.
More recipe tips and ingredient substitutions
Keep the delicata squash slices a little on the thick side. This keeps the slices nice and “meaty”, and they hold their shape even after being roasted.
Do not add olive oil when you’re processing the rest of the ingredients for the pesto. The heat generated from the food processor will make the olive oil taste bitter. This is why I add it at the end.
Use good quality parmesan cheese if you can. Not the cellulose mixed parmesan cheese in the pasta aisle in most grocery stores. You can get parmesan cheese blocks when they are on sale, and store in the freezer. You can also get pre-shredded parmesan cheese from your cheese counter at your local store.
If you can’t find delicata squash, you can use butternut squash. You may need to cut it into smaller pieces and also peel it before use, as the peel is not edible like with delicata squash. But roasted butternut squash is still very delicious.
You can use thick bacon as well. Add it right at the start of the roasting process so that they have extra time to crisp slightly. If you prefer crispy bacon with your delicata squash, then you can add regular bacon at the start as well, so they cook for longer and become more crisp.
You can also add smoked bacon ends for extra smoky flavor.
On occasion I have cooked the bacon separately, but I do prefer cooking the bacon along with the delicata squash.
Don’t eat bacon? No problem. You can use turkey bacon, chicken bacon, or beef bacon instead.
How to serve delicata squash with bacon
Roasted delicata squash with bacon and pesto not only looks bright and colorful, but it also tastes fan-freaking-tastic! The bacon fat flavors the roasted delicata squash, giving it a fabulous umami flavor.
- Serve it as a side dish for roasts, or any meal for that matter. It works well as a thanksgiving side dish too.
- Toss it in with salads.
- Enjoy it for breakfast or brunch as a roasted delicata squash hash, with an egg on top.
Since this is an easy dish to make ahead, it’s perfect for weekday breakfasts, or weekend brunches as well. It’s a great addition to your Christmas spread too.
This sweet, creamy, roasted delicata squash, with bacon and salty herby pesto is the ultimate combination of flavors. You absolutely NEED to add this to your collection of breakfast recipes with delicata squash! 🙂
Bacon roasted delicata squash with walnut parsley pesto
Bacon roasted delicata squash
- 2 delicata squash cut lengthwise, and into ¾ inch slices
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper more if you prefer spicy
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 – 3 tsp olive oil or butter or any cooking oil you prefer
- 9 – 12 regular slices of bacon cut into ½ inch pieces (see recipe notes)
- 1 medium onion sliced into ½ inch slices
- 1 head of garlic optional
Walnut parsley pesto
- A large bunch of flat leaf parsley stems trimmed a little
- ½ cup packed basil leaves
- 75 g walnuts ¾ cup – 1 cup
- 42 g parmesan about ½ cup, grated
- 3 cloves garlic
Roasted delicata squash with bacon
- Preheat oven to 400°F / 205°C. Line a half sheet baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place the sliced delicata squash in a large bowl (see recipe notes on cutting / slicing the delicata squash). Add the salt, pepper, garlic, and oil, and toss to coat evenly.
- Place the slices on the baking tray, in one layer. Place the garlic head (if using) on the tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Pull the tray out of the oven and sprinkle the bacon and onions on top. Bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Again, pull the tray out of the oven, and flip the delicata squash slices over. Bake for a further 15 – 20 minutes until the delicata squash pieces caramelize and the bacon edges crisp.
- Remove the tray from the oven, and let it cool down slightly.
- Remove the garlic head, and add the pesto over the roasted delicata squash. Add as much as you prefer (I use about ½ the amount made). Toss to combine.
- Serve as is, as a side dish.
- For breakfast, you can serve this with an egg on top, and with crusty bread slices and the roasted garlic head spread on top.
Walnut parsley pesto
- Place the walnuts on a non-stick pan and heat over medium heat until the walnuts are starting to toast.
- Remove from the heat and set aside the nuts.
- Add all pesto ingredients (except olive oil) into a small food processor, and process until finely minced.
- Scrape everything into a bowl and stir in as much olive oil as you like to form a paste. Taste and season with salt if needed. The pesto is now ready to be used.
Tips & Tricks
Note on baconIf you’re using bacon that has no fat, then increase the amount of oil. I like to use butter for extra flavor. Change the amount of bacon depending on how many people you’re serving.
2 – 3 servings = 9 slices of bacon
4 servings = 9 – 12 slices of bacon