Butternut Squash Halves with Hazelnut & Pepita Dukka

Dukka is an Egyptian spice blend made with a mixture of spices, nuts, and seeds. Here, it’s used as a tasty topper for roasted squash.
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butternut squash halves with hazelnut and pepita dukka

Recipe by Janet Taylor McCracken

Start to Finish: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Servings: 8


  • 1 large butternut squash (3 lb.), halved lengthwise and seeded

  • Olive oil, for brushing

  • 1 cup hazelnuts or almonds, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 cup pepitas

  • 3 tbsp. sesame seeds

  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp. dried mint

  • Flaky sea salt

  • 4 tbsp. butter

  • 1/4 cup honey


1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Brush the squash with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place, cut-side down, on a baking sheet lined with foil. Roast until the squash is tender when pierced with a small knife, 50 minutes to 1 hour. 

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the nuts over medium heat, stirring often, until toasted, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; let cool. In the same skillet, cook the pepitas and sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring often, until the pepitas begin to pop and the sesame seeds are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add to the bowl; let cool. Add the coriander and cumin seeds to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool. In a mortar and pestle, coarsely crush the seeds. (Or place them in a resealable plastic freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin or a heavy skillet.) Add the spices and mint to the bowl. Season the dukka with sea salt and pepper. 

3. In the same large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until it stops foaming and turns golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the honey. Stir in the dukka. 

4. Transfer the squash to a platter and cut into 2-inch pieces. Top with the dukka.