No ingredient marks the changing of the seasons quite like winter squash. As the days grow darker and weather gets colder, these hearty veggies are ideal for roasting, baking, and puréeing into fall-inspired recipes. Each type of squash has a different flavor profile and texture, which means it’s important to know your gourds before hitting the grocery store. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most common types of winter squash you’ll find:
- Butternut squash: Earthy and mildly sweet, this orange-hued squash has a dense texture that’s great to use as a hearty meat replacement and is also delicious when puréed into soup. Learn more about butternut squash, including tips for selection and storage, in our handy guide.
- Delicata squash: Enjoy the brown-sugar flavor and edible skin of these oblong squash that are perfect for roasting as a side dish, rolling in a crunchy coating, or chopping up for a hearty salad.
- Spaghetti squash: The thin tendrils that mimic spaghetti pasta make this squash ideal for reinventing your favorite noodle dishes. Best when oven-roasted or cooked in the microwave.
- Acorn squash: Similar to butternut squash but even milder, the buttery flesh of acorn squash is tasty when roasted, grilled, or used as a creamy element in a dessert.
- Pumpkin: The smooth, buttery texture and sweet potato–like flavor of pumpkin makes it ideal for incorporating into baked goods and creamy soups. You can also use the seeds (pepitas) as a crunchy garnish! To learn which types of pumpkin to use for what, check out our handy pumpkin guide. And see our full roundup of pumpkin recipes here.
- Kabocha squash: This sweet Japanese squash has a fluffy texture that’s perfect for cutting into cubes and using in salads, stews, and casserole dishes for added autumnal flare.
Now that you’ve brushed up on your squash smarts, it’s time to get cooking!
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