Kabocha Squash Pie

Kabocha squash pie is incredibly better than any other kind of pumpkin pie, because the kabocha pumpkin is naturally denser and sweeter than even a sugar pie pumpkin. And fortunately for everyone, kabocha squash (aka Japanese pumpkin) are getting to be pretty easy to find in these modern days.

They can look a little funky with a gray-green peel, occasionally spotted with an orange or yellowish patch (like a ripe watermelon) and sometimes even adorned with hard, lumpy warts (for lack of a better word). A bright orange varietal called a Red Kuri also turns up at markets sometimes and works just as well as a green kabocha.

I adapted my pie recipe from from this Hawaiian kabocha pie recipe, reducing the quantity and swapping a nut crust for the standard pie crust since it’s the dang ol’ holiday season after all and why the hell shouldn’t we eat nuts at every meal? (Allergies are one legit reason, and if that’s you, just par-bake two pans of this homemade pie crust recipe for 15 minutes before pouring in the pie filling. Bonus! You’ll get two pies instead of one that way.)

Oh! The other very good thing about kabocha squash is that it’s one of the few winter squashes with an edible peel. That’s right. It looks mean and mighty but once cooked, it’s soft and tender. I still peel most of it away for this dessert, but if you love fiber, you can blend it on up.

For another tasty kabocha recipe, try this warm, roasted kabocha pumpkin salad with cotija and avocado dressing. It would make a fantastic, unusual Thanksgiving side dish or vegetarian main dish.


Kabocha Pumpkin Pie

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Hilah
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x



1 medium kabocha squash (3 pounds)

1/23/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup half and half

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (1/4 teaspoon dried ground)

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

Nut crust:

2 cups shelled pecans and/or walnuts

4 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon AP flour

1 tablespoon flax meal


In your oven, arrange one rack on the lowest level and another on the middle.

Start the nut crust. Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until they begin to smell toasty. Finely chop with a knife or pulse a few times in a food processor. You want very small crumbs. Mix with remaining ingredients. Press into the bottom and 1/4-1/2 inch up the sides of a 9″ springform pan. CHILL for at least 30 minutes in the fridge, or up to 24 hours.

Meanwhile, set up a steamer basket in a large pot. Cut the kabocha into 2″ cubes. If it’s too hard, score the skin and pop in in the microwave for a minute to soften it.  Steam in the large pot for about 15 minutes or until very soft. Turn off heat and let cool.  

Set oven to 350ºF. Bake the nut crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven to cool. INCREASE oven heat to 425ºF

Once the squash can be handled, remove the skin. You can probably leave it on if you want, but this is supposed to be a dessert, so we don’t want too much healthy fiber 😉 Now puree the squash in a food processor or with a hand mixer. Taste it. Aren’t you amazed!? It’s so sweet!

Now add some sugar. I usually do 1/2 cup plus another tablespoon but if your squash is less sweet, you may want 3/4 cup. Use your judgement and your tastebuds. Then whip in the spices, half and half and the eggs. Pour the filling into the crust.

Place a deep pan with an inch of water on the lower rack of the oven. Bake the pie above it at 425ºF for 25 minutes. REDUCE oven temperature to 350ºF and bake another 30 minutes. It should puff a little in the center, still look very moist, but be firm when you gently shake the pan. Remove and let cool completely on the counter. Refrigerate until cold. Run a butter knife around the edges to loosen the crust and unmold from the springform. Can be made three days ahead of time and refrigerated until serving.

This would be delicious with whipped cream, but honestly needs nothing more than a cup of black coffee.  


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 260
  • Sugar: 16
  • Fat: 17
  • Carbohydrates: 23
  • Protein: 6

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Virtual Potluck!

I have joined up with a bunch of blogger friends for a Friendsgiving Virtual Potluck! Be sure to check the recipes below out for wonderful Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving recipe and craft ideas!

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  1. Dustin on October 27, 2020 at 8:36 am

    wow …it’s great to have a pumpkin combo cake that looks amazing and melts in the mouth

  2. Jackie on January 14, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    I made it as instructed except that I wanted to try it with granulated monkfruit sweetener (only used 1/4 cup because it’s too sweet). I’m not a Keto but I know lots of people who are, so it seemed like a good experiment. Oh and I used cream instead of half and half because that’s what I had LOL.
    IT’S GOOD! I will do this again many times!

    • Hilah on February 8, 2022 at 11:42 am

      Thank you Jackie! I love hearing about what substitutions work for people.

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