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13 Oct

Spiced Pork and Butternut Squash with Sage

Spiced Pork and Butternut Squash with Sage is the perfect meal for a chilly day, not only because it’s hearty and comforting but also because the blend of autumnal spices warms the belly.

Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and ginger aren’t just for pumpkin pie. This blend of spices also makes a delicious spice rub for pork. Pumpkin (or squash) doesn’t have to be left out entirely. In this recipe, butternut squash is roasted to crispy perfection and served alongside the braised pork with a garnish of brown butter and sage.

You can mix the spices together yourself, or to save time just use Pumpkin Pie spice blend from the store. Once seasoned, the pork simmers in broth for a half hour or so until tender. That same broth is mixed with coconut milk and quickly reduced into a savory sauce.

The squash is roasted separately so the edges become crisp and caramelized, a texture that’s a nice contrast to the tender meat. The final step – browning butter with minced sage – should not be skipped. You’ll be amazed by how the rich, nutty flavor of this simple garnish takes the dish to a whole new level.


  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (2.5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (1.25 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (1.25 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (1.25 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (2.5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (1.25 ml)
  • 2-3 pounds of boneless country style pork ribs or pork shoulder cut into 1-inch chunks (900-1350 g)
  • 1 butternut squash or pumpkin, weighing about 3 pounds (1350 g)
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil (90 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (5 ml)
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth (250 ml)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk, or more to taste (60 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (30 g)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage (15 ml)


Preheat the oven to 375 °F (190 °C).

In a small bowl mix together the allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the meat then rub it in. Set the meat aside.

Peel the squash or pumpkin.

To peel and cut a butternut squash or pumpkin: Cut the top stem off. Cut a little bit off the bottom too, so it sits flat on a cutting board. Using a sturdy vegetable peeler, peel off the skin. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds/stringy parts with a spoon. Cut the halves into slices then into chunks of the same size, about 1-inch square.

Spread the cut pieces out in a large rimmed baking pan and coat with half of the coconut oil/olive oil and sprinkle with the cumin and a little bit of salt.

Roast for at least 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the pieces are lightly browned and soft. Depending on the size of the pieces and how soft and browned you want them to be, you might keep them in the oven for an hour or slightly more. Put the cooked squash in a large serving dish.

While the squash/pumpkin is roasting, heat a pot over medium-high on the stove then add the remaining oil. Let the oil heat for a minute then add the pork.

Cook for 5 minutes without turning the pork pieces so they brown, then stir the pieces and cook 3 minutes more.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. There should be just enough liquid to cover the meat, if not, add a little water. Turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The meat should be tender when it’s done.

Remove the lid and add the coconut milk. Raise the heat to high so the liquid boils and reduces a bit. After 5 minutes, turn the heat off and pour the pork and sauce over the roasted squash.

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the sage. Fry the sage for 3-4 minutes, until it’s slightly crisp and the butter is browned.

Drizzle over the pork and squash.


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  1. WOW! Our new favorite. I admit that we are not huge fans of butternut squash, and cutting it all up is work. Instead of Butternut squash I used delacata. Cut in half long way, brush with melted butter, sprinkle the cumin and salt on them (and some cayenne) and roast for 1 hour at 400 degrees.
    The cool thing is these act like serving ‘boats’ for the pork! serve pork in the squash boats, and pour sage butter over them. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

    Tracy Hall wrote on November 2nd, 2012
  2. That was incredible! A hit amongst the entire family, yum!

    Kellie wrote on November 8th, 2012
  3. Made this dish last night and loved it. It looked as good as the photos and tasted amazingly good. Definitely a dish for company, and my 7 year old grandniece asked me to email the link to her mother, so kids will love it too.

    Linda wrote on November 11th, 2012
  4. Made this, ate it the last few nights, and it was a great success! I will certainly make it again, can’t wait (drooling).

    Julie wrote on November 13th, 2012
  5. You need to have a way to make your recipes printer friendly. It would take 7 pages to print this recipe. Not going to happen!

    Sharon wrote on November 14th, 2012
  6. This was awesome!! Had it last night and can’t wait to have leftovers tonight :)

    Corinne wrote on November 20th, 2012
  7. I made this recipe last night with grass-fed top round steak cubed into one inch pieces. The flavor was fantastic. It was a satisfying change of pace. Great recipe!

    Robert Broussard wrote on November 20th, 2012
  8. This was fabulous! Easy to make, prepped the pork the day before and let it season in spices in the fridge. It was a tossup which we liked more, the pork or the squash. Will make it many times more and the squash for other dishes. Thanks! Loved it!!!

    Jon in Maine wrote on January 7th, 2013
  9. This recipe was easy and delicious! I added grape tomatoes to the pork after putting in the coconut milk. They sauteed up really nice and added a tangy flare to this tasty dish!

    Zoe wrote on January 22nd, 2013
  10. I made this recipe tonight and it was so yummy! Really hit the spot on this snowy day. My son and husband loved it!

    Julia wrote on February 4th, 2013
  11. how do you do the beef of chicken broth

    Lucas wrote on February 8th, 2013
  12. Made this last week and my kids loved it! I was so surprised! I substituted multi-coloured mini potatoes for the squash because that’s what I had on hand. Also used cloves instead of allspice and dried sage instead of fresh. Trying it again tonight with all the proper ingredients. So yummy!!

    Sarah wrote on February 16th, 2013
  13. Made this night absolutely yummy no left overs kids devoured it(mind they are adults) I added two teaspoons of turmeric. Did the whole lot in the slow cooker which I can fry on stove top and then set on slow cook

    Janette wrote on March 9th, 2013
  14. I made this dish tonight and it was wonderful! I pretty much followed the instructions as written, though my squash was probably on the small side. My pork roast was 2-1/2 pounds and I had to add water to cover it at the beginning. After it started cooking and the meat shrunk I probably had too much liquid, so next time I’m not going to add the water to cover and will watch to see if the liquid increases after a little cooking. I used sage from my potted plant – it always makes me feel good when I can use something that I’ve grown. It was easy but took a little while, but very worth it. I especially liked making sure each bite had both squash and pork – SO yummy!

    Donna wrote on September 24th, 2013
  15. I made this tonight and it was amazing!! My kitchen smells so good right now.

    Amanda wrote on February 9th, 2014

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