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This year for Thanksgiving, I stayed in Madison to avoid taking time off from work. I spent all morning cooking with my friend Matt at his apartment, and then went to Thanksgiving dinner at my friend Isaac’s house. Originally, I had planned to bring roasted cauliflower and butternut squash as a side dish for my contribution to the meal. While I was grabbing the butternut squash at the store, I saw chestnuts and I decided I’d add those to the dish. 

Ingredients Used

  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 2 medium cauliflower heads
  • ~20 chestnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Spices

Spices Used

  • Adobo seasoning
  • Lemon pepper
  • Paprika
  • Chile powder
  • Pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F
  2. Prepare spice mix. I used a decent amount of Adobo seasoning, slightly less lemon pepper, a small amount of paprika, a decent amount of chile powder, and a decent amount of pepper flakes that I made from lemon drop peppers that I grew in my garden this summer. Feel free to experiment with the spices that you use and their quantities. 
  3. Wash and chop up the cauliflower to roughly bite-sized pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl, and add olive oil and spices. I used enough olive oil to coat all of the cauliflower, and used half of the spice mix.  
  4. Peel butternut squash and chop into 1″ cube pieces. Place into a large mixing bowl, and add olive oil to coat all of the butternut squash and mix in the remaining spices. 
  5. Spread the vegetables onto baking pans and roast in the oven. See notes below for details. 
  6. While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the chestnuts. Cut an X into the side of every chestnut, then roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. 
  7. When the vegetables are done roasting, remove them from the oven and set aside. 
  8. When the chestnuts are done roasting, remove them from the oven and let them cool down. I live in Wisconsin, so I brought them outside and they cooled off in less than 5 minutes. Once cool, peel off the shells and skin and chop the chestnut into 4 pieces
  9. Mix the vegetables and chestnuts together and place in a serving pan. 

Notes and Tips

  • I roasted the cauliflower and butternut squash separately. I roasted the cauliflower while I chopped up the butternut squash. I didn’t set a timer, but I checked on the vegetables approximately an hour after putting them in and tasted for seasonings. The total cook time was around an hour and a half.
  • If you’re not sure how much seasoning to use, start small. Taste your food and keep adding more seasoning until it tastes good.
  • If you’re not sure how long to roast vegetables, go by how they look and taste, not by a timer. I started checking my vegetables after 45 minutes and then checked on them about every 10 minutes after that until I decided they were done.
  • I cut the chestnuts in half when I made this for Thanksgiving. I think that if they had been cut into quarters at the largest it would have improved the dish.