Is it a Thanksgiving side dish? Is it dessert? All I know is that sesame + squash is an under-appreciated flavor combination that will totally surprise you.

Sesame squash brulee: A totally different squash recipe, with a sweet, crunchy topping which can be made using a broiler.

In case you haven’t heard, squash and sesame seeds are a match made in culinary heaven.

The smooth, slightly sweet taste of squash combines beautifully with nutty sesame seeds. I like this flavor combination so well, that I made another recipe similar to this: Sesame-glazed acorn squash.

In this recipe, the squash mixture isn’t overly sweet, but this is on purpose.

It makes the sugar crust all the more delicious!

The Sesame-Sugar Crust Will Wow Your Guests

Besides being DELICIOUS, the sesame-sugar crust is fun for your guests to eat. Once the sugar caramelizes, it forms a hard, sweet crust – a la creme brûlée – that’s fun to break through with a spoon.

Don’t be intimidated by the caramelization process: You can do this easily under a broiler (see notes, below).

My only tip is to keep watching it. It can go from toasted to burnt in a matter of seconds.

Sesame squash brulee: A totally new take on squash. Click through for recipe!

Recipe Notes

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you dive in:

  • Squash type: You can use acorn squash, butternut squash or a mixture of both. I even added a bit of leftover canned pumpkin to the mix.
  • Caramelizing the sugar:  You don’t need a culinary torch to caramelize the sugar – although you certainly can use one. Rather, just place the ovenproof dishes under the broiler. It took about 45 seconds for the sugar to caramelize in my oven – it make take you more or less time. Just be sure to keep an eye on the dishes to make sure the sugar doesn’t burn. Remember: Your broiler may heat unevenly so you may need to rotate or move the dishes to ensure even heating.

More Thanksgiving Recipes

Try This Similar Recipe: Sesame-Glazed Acorn Squash

Sesame-glazed acorn squash: A crunchy, caramelized glaze makes this extra delicious! Click through for recipe.

Sesame squash brulee: A totally different squash recipe, with a sweet, crunchy topping which can be made using a broiler.

Sesame Squash Brulee

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes

This recipe can be made in a casserole dish or in individual ramekins, as pictured.


  • 2 15-ounce cans cooked squash (or 3 cups prepared and pureed squash)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2  tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds


  1. Mix pureed squash, butter, maple syrup, and sesame oil (optional) in a mixing bowl. Heat until warm, either on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  2. Spoon squash mixture into ovenproof baking dishes; Either one larger casserole dish or individual ramekins, as pictured.
  3. Sprinkle sesame seeds evenly over the top of squash, then do the same thing with the sugar.
  4. Turn on broiler to high. Place baking dishes on a cookie sheet. Place the cookie sheet under the broiler and heat until the sugar melts and caramelizes. This took about 45 seconds in my oven - but watch yours closely to make sure it doesn't burn. Serve hot.

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