Bring flavor to the kitchen with this harissa roasted butternut squash with dates from Samantha Ferraro’s new cookbook The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen! This recipe is Whole30 compliant, packed with fiber, healthy fats, and jammed with warm flavors like harissa and cinnamon.

Roasted Squash on a wooden tray with blue linen napkin

One of the ways I’m trying to keep our dinners healthy is by working more with spices to liven up our dishes. This harissa roasted butternut squash with dates from Sam’s debut cookbook is definitely a keeper! Flipping through this, I was so excited to see the inventive and approachable way she crammed spices into every dish and still made it easy for everyday cooking. I couldn’t decide which of the recipes I would share on the blog and I made THREE recipes to try and decide! Between making them all, which were all impeccable, I landed on this squash recipe because I just love squash!

But let me tell you, her saffron and rose water creme brulee are divine. And the red lentil falafel is out of this world. There is a world of possibilities in this book and I hope that you will enjoy it just as much as I have! Come see more and learn about Sam here and on her blog The Little Ferraro Kitchen!

Squash in a blew bowl with spoons

I have known Samantha for a while now, and loved that our lives are hilariously similar in one particular regard. We are both bloggers, that’s a given, but our 6 degrees of separation took a funny turn when I realized that when we found out we were both “local” to the Seattle area, we found out that we had at one time both lived in the same community – just a few years apart! What a bummer our paths didn’t cross then!

My dad lived up near Bellingham while I was in high school, all the way through my college years. He sold the country community store that he owned and moved back to my hometown, but I always retained a soft spot for the little hamlet of Glen Haven. Well, when I met Sam, she said she lived in Bellingham. Oh, what a coincidence, I lived kinda close there – and then we narrowed it down… realizing that our paths traversed that sleepy little hamlet just years apart. It was so funny, especially when NO ONE else knows where the hell it is! I got such a giggle out of it.

And as luck would have it, we got to meet last fall, not long after Emmett was born!

Ingredients for Roasted Butternut Squash

  • Butternut Squash
  • Olive Oil
  • Harissa Sauce
  • Sumac Powder (optional)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Pitted Dates
  • Toasted Almonds, or Cashews
  • Tahini
  • Chopped Parsley, or Cilantro for garnish

Smitten Kitchen was in Seattle doing a book signing, so as she is Beka’s favorite blogger, I came along too. Sam was there and she was one of the first to meet Emmett. It was such a treat to talk about our books, meet in person and just HUG HER!

Her hard work shows in every recipe within this book and I am so pleased to have another local blogger making waves in the food scene. She’s really got a keen eye for flavor combinations and I know it will be a recipe I go back to again and again. Ben even said he loved it and thought it would be great with breakfast! The cinnamon is so warm and cozy, and mkaing this slightly sweet it would be  great with some toast and dare I say, eggs!

Think about that one as you are buying here book here! 

Roasted squash with a wooden tray and nuts on top

Congrats again Sam!

More Must Have Cookbooks

You can see more recipes from my fellow Page Street Authors in these delicious recipes!

Korean BBQ Burgers with Miso Candied Bacon from Lauren Grier of Grier Mountain

Get her book here :: Modern Comfort Cooking

Korean BBQ Burger with Miso Candied Bacon

Slow Cooker Chili Lime Chicken from Mary Younkin of Barefeet in the Kitchen

Get her book here :: Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook

Slow Cooker Chili Lime Chicken

Dukkah Roasted Veggie Pilaf from Lindsay Cotter of Cotter Crunch

Get her book :: Nourishing Superfood Bowls

Dukkah Roasted Veggie Pilaf Bowls - Nourishing Superfood Bowls - Paleo and Vegan options! All Gluten Free!

And don’t forget to snag a copy of my book baby – Cast Iron Gourmet with 77 recipes you can’t live without!!

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Squash in a blew bowl with spoons

Harissa Roasted Butternut Squash with Dates

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  • Author: Megan Keno
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan


This recipe is Whole30 compliant, packed with fiber, healthy fats, and jammed with warm flavors like harissa and cinnamon.


Units Scale
  • 23 pounds Butternut Squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 24 Tbsp Harissa Sauce, I used Mina Harissa
  • 1/2 tsp Sumac Powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 45 Pitted Dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Toasted Almonds, or Cashews
  • 1/4 cup Tahini
  • Chopped Parsley, or Cilantro for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil, or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Toss together the butternut squash, olive oil, harissa, sumac (if using), garlic powder, cinnamon, and salt. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  3. Roast the squash for 40-45 minutes, or until the squash is tender, and caramelized on the outside.
  4. Remove the squash from the oven and transfer to a serving dish. Top with chopped dates, nuts, and drizzle with tahini.
  5. Serve immediately, sprinkling the parsley or cilantro right before serving.