7 Winter Squash Recipes to Attempt (Plus, Easy methods to Inform If a Squash Is Ripe)

“Winter squash” is a little bit of a misnomer. In reality, these veggies actually come into season on the finish of summer time and early fall. Because the temps begin to drop, I discover myself on the lookout for methods to make use of the entire lovely squash piling up at grocery shops, markets, and farm stands. Fortunate for all of us too, their buttery flavors are the proper addition to soups, salads, and pastas, and so they even arise because the hero in lots of the meatless main dishes I’ll be consuming all all through the season.

Maybe you’re already acquainted with a number of of the veggies that fall into this household. Butternut and spaghetti squash have turn out to be fan favorites lately, however I’d additionally suggest making an attempt your hand at a recipe that features delicata or purple kuri squash this fall. Hold scrolling for recommendations on the right way to establish the seven hottest sorts of winter squash plus some must-try recipes under.

photography by Kristen Kilpatrick

I hit up Whole Foods and was amazed at the endless varieties of squash and pumpkins they had available. Honestly, you need a guide in order to navigate all of the options, and we’re here to help!

To tell if a squash is ripe, you’ll need to check out the exterior. The skin should be a matte color (if it’s glossy, it’s not ripe yet), and should have a hard exterior.

I picked up kabocha squash, delicata squash, a sugar pumpkin, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and red kuri squash. I couldn’t help but resist grabbing some mini gourds and pumpkins too! These are mainly used for decoration, but can be found in some recipes.

Look how cute these mini white pumpkins are! So many DIY ideas come to mind for how to use these this fall.

So many shapes, sizes, and colors! Here’s how to identify the seven most popular winter squash:

  • Kabocha — squat, green squash with faint white lines running up and down the surface
  • Delicata — yellow cylindrical squash with green and orange stripes along the ridges
  • Sugar Pumpkin — small, almost perfectly spherical pumpkin in bright orange
  • Acorn — dark green squash with thick ridges all the way around
  • Butternut — bell-shaped squash with a light peachy yellow exterior
  • Spaghetti — round cylindrical squash with a bright yellow exterior
  • Red Kuri — warm orange squash with a lopsided shape

Try picking up a squash you haven’t tried next time you’re at the grocery store. For me, the hardest part of trying new foods is finding ways to incorporate them into recipes. Below I’ve listed out seven delicious recipes using each variety of winter squash.

Try these seven recipes to satisfy your winter squash cravings all season long.

Kabocha Squash, Fennel, & Ginger Soup With Spicy Coconut Cream, from Dolly & Oatmeal

Why We Love It: This soup is so creamy and comforting, it may come as a shock that it’s not only vegan, but gluten-free as well. It’s best paired with an afternoon spent puttering around the house in your softest pair of slippers plus a favorite fall sweater. Kabocha squash shines through with the addition of a few aromatic alliums (leeks and garlic) plus a crucial garnish of coconut cream. Cue all the cozy vibes.

Hero Ingredient: I officially want all of my soups to be topped with a spicy coconut cream. An eighth of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper packs just the right amount of heat.

Get the recipe here.

Delicata Squash, Pomegranate, & Goat Cheese Kale Salad, from Fox & Briar

Why We Love It: I really like a salad that doubles as a stunning centerpiece on any fall desk. Colourful and filled with all of the elements of my perfect fall dinner (kale, farro, goat cheese, and candy delicata squash), that is the salad I’ve been dreaming of consuming since summer time.

Hero Ingredient: Pomegranate seeds are the juicy and jewel-like magic ingredient that takes this dish from a easy (however scrumptious) salad to actually droolworthy.

Get the recipe here.

Sugar Pumpkin & Fried Sage Flatbread, from Foodie Crush

Why We Love It: This flatbread is bound to be probably the most scrumptious slice of elevated pizza you’ll ever take pleasure in. Right here’s the factor although: it’s deceptively simple to make. For those who go for pre-made flatbread (which, in a pinch, is completely justified), all that’s left to do is roast your sugar pumpkin and prime your base with the remaining components. The recipe recommends serving it alongside a cup or bowl of soul-warming tomato soup. Don’t thoughts if I do.

Hero Ingredient: Fried sage by itself is nothing in need of revelatory. Paired with pumpkin, aged cheese, and a chipotle glaze? Thoughts-blowing.

Get the recipe here.

Spaghetti Squash Pasta With Basil Pesto, from Minimalist Baker

Why We Love It: Spaghetti squash has stolen many hearts because it’s confirmed itself to be a near-perfect substitute for pasta. Whereas it maintains a barely candy chunk of its personal, spaghetti squash’s gentle, virtually impartial taste makes it a really perfect pairing with the garlicky, heavy-on-the-basil pesto.

Hero Ingredient: As a vegan stand-in for the standard parmesan within the pesto, dietary yeast supplies not solely a distinctly tacky taste, however a richness that actually can’t be matched. 

Get the recipe here.

Quinoa Salad Stuffed Acorn Squash, from Love & Lemons

Why We Love It: There’s actually not a extra excellent vessel for an herby, barely fruity quinoa salad than roasted acorn squash. For those who’re on the lookout for recipes so as to add to your Thanksgiving arsenal that’s heavy on taste and lightweight in your abdomen (as a result of all of us want extra room for pie), think about this a quick-to-prep answer.

Hero Ingredient: Dijon mustard within the dressing offers a pointy and tangy pungency plus a bit little bit of spice to this dynamic dish.

Get the recipe here.

Butternut Squash & Brie Soup With Crispy Pancetta, from Half Baked Harvest

Why We Love It: There’s actually no higher strategy to have a good time soup season than with a recipe that brings collectively the alliterative pairing of butternut squash and brie. It’s often a number of weeks into October that I begin wanting all of the hearty and warming flavors of late fall and winter, and this soup gives spoonful after spoonful of every part I crave.

Hero Ingredient: Crispy, salty pancetta. Creamy, buttery brie. Nutty and candy butternut squash. I’m not even going to attempt to title a winner—it’s positively a three-way tie.

Get the recipe here.

Roasted Crimson Kuri Squash With Cannellini Bean Spinach Salad, from Naturally Ella

Why We Love It: It’s actually no secret that we’re huge followers right here of scrumptious and satisfying salad-stuffed winter veggies. In truth too, I couldn’t title a extra excellent presentation for this contemporary and flavorful bean salad than roasted purple kuri squash. New to this petite, pumpkin-like veggie? Know this: Zero peeling is required.

Hero Ingredient: The edible plate of purple kuri squash is an ideal strategy to work some surprising selection into your squash rotation. You received’t remorse getting a bit adventurous. 

Get the recipe here.

We may need a guide to all of the different types of pumpkins too! These gray beauties are Jarrahdale pumpkins. I love their muted color palette.

Happy fall cooking!

This post was originally published on October 26, 2017, and has since been updated.

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