Maple Roasted Butternut Squash + Kale Rice Bowl


Although we are nearing the holidays and I’d normally be dreaming up all kinds of chocolatey desserts, I have decided to take control of my sugar cravings and nip them in the butt before Christmas rolls in and the indulgences would start.  It really is unbelievable how little time it takes to kick the sugar habit, usually within 2-3 days I no longer crave it.  On this day though, I was trying to stick to my goal, but I wanted a little something sweet.  I decided rather than caving, I’d smother some squash in maple syrup and not beat myself up over it!  My husband said it was the best way he’s ever had butternut squash. I’d love to know what you think!

This meal went over well with my preschooler.  I’m always trying to sneak kale into his meals, and if you’re curious, I find the easiest most enjoyable way is to add it into soups.  That’s another blog post, though.  Back to the rice bowl.

The only pain in the butt about preparing this meal is peeling the squash.  I find the quickest way to do it is by cutting off the stem and bottom of squash, slicing the squash in half then placing it so a flat end is on the cutting board.  Then, using a vegetable peeler, peel in a downward motion.  Perhaps a tutorial would be helpful!  The rest of the process is very simple and fairly quick.

I also want to remind you all that there are five days left to enter my holiday giveaway.  Here is the link if you haven’t checked it out yet.  If you want your Vegan Bible, then I encourage you to enter!


Maple Roasted Butternut Squash + Kale Rice Bowl

Serves 4-6


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1/4 cup cashews, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup brown rice (I used a mix of brown/wild rice)



  • Boil rice according to packaging directions.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Place the cubed squash in a large bowl.  Add maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and cayenne.  Using your hands or a silicone spatula, mix all the ingredients making sure the squash is well covered in the maple syrup and seasoning.
  • Spread out the cubes on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.  Turn on the broiler and place baking sheet under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to really caramelize the squash.  Careful not to burn them!  Lower the heat back to 425°F and toast your cashews for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Steam your kale and top with onion flakes.
  • To assemble, scoop rice into bowl, top with kale, squash and toasted cashews.
  • Enjoy!


17 thoughts on “Maple Roasted Butternut Squash + Kale Rice Bowl

  1. Sounds fantastic, you are right removing the peel from squash is a pain in the butt. It’s so hard, I usually cut in half and bake until it softens a bit. Must try the maple syrup on the squash.

  2. I’ve been trying to balance the goodies with the treats this year while eating all of the perishable food in my house so nothing goes to waste while I’m gone for the holidays! This recipe does that by taking care of some of the squash and looks delicious!

  3. I think it takes me more than 2 or 3 days to kick the sugar habit. That’s been my greatest plant-based struggle! I do balance my sugar indulgences with lots of kale bowls. I’ve never made one with butternut squash and maple syrup, but this looks fantastic! It’s wonderful that your kiddo liked it too. 🙂

    • Hey Celeste! I always think I’ll have a harder time with it, but once I’m in the mindset, I don’t crave it after a couple of days. Thank goodness! 🙂
      It’s so difficult this time of year, everyone always gives me chocolates and treats in my stocking, etc. Maybe I should ask for kale chips instead. Hehe 🙂
      This is a very tasty meal, I’m sure you’d love it!

  4. Gorgeous dish Sophia! I love your photos too. That soft light is so pretty.
    Sounds like you have a similar method to me for cutting/peeling butternut, though when it’s on its flat end I just use a chef’s knife to peel it.

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