Adding squash to your stews, soups, pastas, salads and snacks is an idea that never falls flat. Fall squash is full of brilliant color and texture that hints at all the beneficial nutrients packed inside. Can’t tell the difference between an acorn and a delicata? Not sure how to make spaghetti squash do that stringy thing? Here’s a quick little squash cheat sheet for you. Go ahead. Make some bold choices this season.
Acorn Mild, sweet and a little nutty, it’s great stuffed, roasted with maple syrup, or pureed into soup.
Butternut This rich sweet, super versatile fall squash plays well with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Or it can go savory with thyme, sage and oregano.
Kabocha With lush, velvety texture and earthy, sweet flavor, this cute little Japanese pumpkin is a classic in veggie tempura.
Spaghetti Here’s a fun squash. Cook it and it transforms into healthy spaghetti-like strands you can top with your favorite pasta sauce.
Buttercup The sweetest winter squash of all, creamy Buttercup turns a curry into something special.
Blue Kuri This super-sweet little thing is rich and hearty, and has a looong shelf life. In fact, the longer you keep it (even a few months!) the moister it becomes.
Carnival A speckled hybrid between acorn and sweet dumpling has a mellow, almost maple syrup flavor you’ll love, roasted, steamed or pureéd.
Gold Acorn Sweet and nutty with a high water content, this mild squash is a great background for any flavor combination you create.
Red Kuri Full-flavored and sweet, red kuri is as yummy in soups, stews, stir fries and casseroles as it is in baked goods, jams and pies.
Stripettie It looks like a watermelon, but cooks up like spaghetti squash, in pasta-like strands that complement your favorite sauce.
Sweet Dumpling This compact squash tastes like a sweet potato and comes sized for an individual serving. Cook it up and fill it like a little bowl.
Sweet Mama This dark-yellow fleshed member of the kabocha family is sweet and nutty, stores well and bakes up firm and tender.
Turban This dramatic-looking heirloom squash makes a big impression even before you cook it. Baked or steamed, you’ll taste notes of hazelnut.
Squash prep tips:
Hard shell squash can be really hard to cut through when raw, so poke about 10 holes in it and roast it on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes. When it’s cool enough to handle, you can cut it in half, remove the seeds and rind, and cube the squash so it’s recipe-ready.
If you have extra squash, cube it, blanch it in boiling water for 2-3 minutes to preserve the flavor and nutrients, plunk it into an ice bath, drain the moisture away, and freeze it for later.
Roasting brings out a squash’s sweeter flavors, and adding healthy fats to the squash helps amplify the flavors and bring them all the way through your palate.