Butternut squash, red onion and roast chestnuts with crispy sage


A perfect winter warmer with warming spices and a little chilli kick. Crispy sage takes it from simple to sophisticated and is very easy too!

Butternut squash, red onion and roast chestnuts with crispy sage

| Serves 4 - 6|


  • 1medium butternut squash
  • 3 medium red onions, peeled and halved
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground coriander 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • good ground of pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 180 45mins
  • 200 chestnuts
  • 30-40 mins till split
  • Bunch of sage 
  • 4 tbsp olive oil


  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  • Halve your squash and scoop out the seeds (you can keep these for later. See note.) Chop it into even sized chunks or strips. I like a combination of the two – a chunky strip.
  • Transfer your squash, halved onions to a baking tray and sprinkle over your mixed spice, ground coriander, salt, chilli flakes and pepper. Give it all a good drizzle of olive oil and massage everything together with your hands ensuring everything has a coating.
  • Cook for about 45 minutes until your squash has cooked and your onions have a slight char.
  • Give your chestnuts a slit with a sharp knife and place them on a dry baking tray in the same oven for just 30 minutes. You’ll want them to cool a little before hand so that you can peel them.
  • For the crispy sage separate the leaves from the stem (you can keep the stems for a stock or to blend into soups). Line a plate with kitchen towel.
  • Heat up your olive oil in a small saucepan and place on a medium for about 5 minutes until it is very hot. Drop one sage leaf in to test if it is ready. It should sizzle. After 10 seconds remove the leaf with a slotted spoon and transfer to the paper towel.
  • Keep testing till you feel the oil is hot enough. You don’t want it too hot as the sage will lose its colour so there is a bit of adjustment work involved.  You may want to flip your leaves half way through cooking too or use your spoon to ensure they are fully submerged in the oil. Continue to cook your sage leaves until they are all cooked. You may need to add more oil if is getting low.
  • When your vegetables and chestnuts are done remove the chestnuts and allow them to cool slightly before peeling off their skins. Transfer your squash and onions to a serving dish, and sprinkle over your chestnuts. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and dot over your crispy sage leaves. Eat right away.


To make the most of your squash seeds place them in a sieve and run them under water to remove most of the stringy flesh. Dry them with a dry cloth and place them on a parchment lined tray with some olive oil, salt and seasoning of your choice. I like a bit of cinnamon and chilli. Roast them in an oven set to 160 degrees for about 30-40 mins until dried out and crunchy. They are delicious sprinkled over salads or enjoyed as a tasty snack.

You can keep any extra sage leaves in a jam jar or air tight container and add to pastas, vegetable dishes and salads or even atop some buttery toast.