Butternut Squash and Beyond: 37 Cozy Winter Squash Recipes

By Megan Edwards,

Last Updated:

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!

Curried Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Stew in white bowls against a brown and blue tabletop

Curried Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Stew

The sweet flavor of butternut squash perfectly pairs with green bell pepper, carrot, and spinach in this hearty stew while riced cauliflower and coconut milk add heft and creaminess. Serve over basmati rice and garnish with lime wedges, jalapeño peppers, and/or cilantro.
delicata squash boats

Delicata Squash Boats with Cauliflower Bechamel

Sink your teeth into these delicious delicata squash boats that are full of good-for-you ingredients. White beans, bell pepper, shallot, and fresh herbs create a tasty Thanksgiving-style filling that’s made even more delectable with a creamy cauliflower bechamel sauce.
Spaghetti Squash Pho in two white bowls with chopsticks

Spaghetti Squash Pho

This fan-favorite winter squash recipe is un-pho-gettable! Tender strands of spaghetti squash stand in for noodles in this Vietnamese soup, which features a warmly spiced broth and lots of fresh vegetables. Tofu steaks are marinated in soy sauce and seared until crispy to add extra substance to the flavor-packed soup. Serve with lime wedges and a drizzle of sriracha sauce depending on your spice tolerance.
Butternut squash risotto in a pot with balsamic glaze in a cup to the side

Butternut Squash Risotto

Cozy up with this creamy bowl of butternut squash goodness. Shallots, sage, and balsamic vinegar add a delicious depth of flavor that warms you from the inside out. Short grain brown rice makes a healthful substitute for arborio rice and adds a nuttier, earthy flavor. Top it all with fresh herbs for the perfect winter recipe.
delicata squash tacos with avocado on a yellow surface

Delicata Squash Tacos

Turn up the heat with these smoky and savory squash tacos. Delicata squash has a thin skin that’s delicious when roasted, so there’s no need to peel it! Add hearty black beans, sweet corn, Southwest spices, and fresh avocado slices into the mix for a satisfying hand-held meal.
Pumpkin Red Lentil Dal

Pumpkin and Red Lentil Dal

Pumpkins aren’t only good for Halloween decorations: They’re delicious in hearty soups, too. This Indian-inspired dish is spiced with the delicious combination of mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, and turmeric for curry-like flavors. Red lentils add substance, while the sweet chunks of pumpkin melt in your mouth with every bite.
Five-Spice Kabocha Squash Bao Bun Filling on white and blue china plate next to an image of stuffed bao buns on a china plate

Five-Spice Kabocha Squash Bao Bun Filling

Adorable, bite-sized, and totally snack-worthy, these savory bao buns are stuffed with a delectable filling of spiced kabocha squash and onion. Chinese five-spice, cumin, and red pepper flakes bring subtle heat to the veggie stuffing while soy sauce adds a touch of saltiness. The whole wheat dough makes them extra healthy, so you can nosh on a whole plateful of these tasty buns with total peace of mind.
butternut broccoli vegan mac and cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, and this healthy version uses a creamy butternut squash sauce to satisfy all your cravings. Use any whole wheat pasta variety that you like, and then slather it with the cheesy sauce and toss with broccoli florets.
Garlic Squash Steaks with Herbed Pear-Potato Mash on turquoise plates with metal cutlery

Garlic Squash Steaks with Herbed Pear-Potato Mash

Could there be a more comforting dish than this? Tender butternut squash steaks are slathered in creamy sage-infused garlic and drizzled with a sweet balsamic glaze—perfection! Each plank is then placed upon a pillowy mound of herby mashed potatoes that get a kick of subtle sweetness from pear and parsnip. When you’re craving a cozy knife-and-fork meal, this is absolutely the go-to choice for satisfying a rumbling tummy.
Penne with Butternut Squash and Fresh Fennel in a gray bowl with wooden serving spoons

Penne with Butternut Squash and Fresh Fennel

One pot, five ingredients, and ready in just 20 minutes, this scrumptious pasta is the ultimate weeknight meal. Combining the complementary flavors of butternut squash, fennel, and walnuts with the earthy-tenderness of whole grain pasta, it’s a winner!
Delicata Stuffed Squash with Creole Quinoa Stuffing for wordpress

Delicata Squash with Creole Quinoa Stuffing

Spicy Creole seasoning adds a delicious kick to these pretty stuffed squashes. Licorice-like fennel and sweet bell pepper add complexity to the quinoa stuffing while white beans add a hearty texture. A homemade tomato sauce that oozes with savory goodness brings it all together.
Crispy Roasted Acorn Squash

Crispy Roasted Acorn Squash

Ideal for an appetizer or side dish, these crispy squash slices are rolled in a crunchy blend of bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, and Italian herbs. The sweet squash meat pairs perfectly with the savory coating and can be eaten alone or dipped into your favorite sauce.
Butternut Squash and Red Bean Stew in a white bowl on a wooden serving plate

Butternut Squash and Red Bean Stew

This might be your new favorite winter stew! Smoky and savory with just the right amount of heat, the subtle sweetness of butternut squash combines with hearty beans, fresh veggies, and a savory broth for a mouthwatering dish ideal for cold nights.
kabocha squash breakfast parfait

Millet and Kabocha Squash Breakfast Parfaits

Here’s an easy and tasty way to have your veggies for breakfast. Mild kabocha squash is brightened up with maple syrup, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice to create an irresistibly creamy pudding that’s layered between citrus-soaked millet. What better way to start your day than with a parfait?
Fall Fruit Trifle with Pumpkin Gingerbread and vanilla cream in a glass serving bowl

Fall Fruit Trifle with Pumpkin Gingerbread

When you want to pull out all the stops and create a jaw-dropping dessert, this layered beauty is bound to garner appreciative “oohs” and “aahs.” Cubes of moist pumpkin gingerbread are sandwiched between spice-infused roasted fruit and creamy vanilla yogurt to create an incredibly decadent after-dinner treat. Fresh pomegranate seeds add bursts of juicy goodness and a topping of pecans delivers a satisfying crunch to each serving of this show-stopping vegan squash recipe.
Kale Arrabbiata-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with a metal fork on a white marble counter

Kale Arrabbiata-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Roasted spaghetti squash makes for a great pasta alternative, especially when it’s dressed up with a spicy marinara sauce. Fresh kale and chewy chickpeas add delicious texture, while a hefty sprinkling of Italian seasonings transports you to the Mediterranean coast. Eat this meal directly out of the squash shell!
Pumpkin Alfredo Casserole Wordpress

Pumpkin Alfredo Casserole

Cauliflower and potatoes are the secret ingredients in this lusciously creamy pumpkin alfredo sauce. Asparagus and carrots add freshness to hearty whole wheat pasta, which one reader praised as “total comfort food.” Sprinkle with extra sage and nutritional yeast to fully highlight the delicate squash flavors.

Roasted Stuffed Winter Squash

This recipe requires minimal cleanup, because the squash shell acts as your bowl! Nutty wild rice soaks up a savory rosemary broth to create a creamy stuffing that’s packed with fresh veggies. Toasted pine nuts create the perfect crunchy topping for this dish, which is fit for a Thanksgiving feast.

Adzuki Beans with Kabocha Squash

Just five ingredients are needed to whip up this satisfying meal. Adzuki beans are soaked overnight with salty kombu kelp to create a delicious depth of flavor that’s further enhanced by soy sauce and fresh herbs. Chunks of kabocha squash melt in your mouth and add meatiness to this simple Asian-inspired dish.
Curried Acorn Squash Hummus with Crudités

Curried Acorn Squash Hummus with Crudités

Snack to your heart’s content with this incredible curried acorn squash hummus. The roasted squash is infused with Indian spices and then blended to creamy perfection. Break out your favorite veggies and crackers and serve the hummus in the hollowed-out squash shell to make it extra festive.
Pumpkin Tart with Oat Crust

Pumpkin Pie Tart with Oat Crust

Jazz up your standard pumpkin pie with this crave-worthy tart. Maple syrup and dates add natural sweetness to the pumpkin while a lightly salted almond butter and oat crust perfectly complements the creamy filling. Top with some Aquafaba Whipped Cream, and you’re good to go.

Sage Lentil Stew with Squash and Mushrooms

Nutrient-dense black lentils form the base of this savory stew that’s loaded with fresh mushrooms, tender squash, and aromatic sage. A splash of apple juice brightens the flavors and adds an autumnal touch to the dish. Serve with a big slice of your favorite whole wheat bread to soak up the broth!

One-Pot Squash and Brussels Sprouts Panzanella with Dried Cherries

This recipe has it all—succulent chunks of squash, tart dried cherries, crunchy walnuts, and hearty Brussels sprouts. While panzanella typically combines chunks of soaked bread with summer produce like tomatoes and cucumbers, this fall version is just as delightful and bursting with seasonal flavors.
Balsamic-Roasted Delicata Squash Salad on a white serving platter with wooden serving spoons

Balsamic-Roasted Delicata Squash Salad

Serve up this appetizing squash-filled side dish at your next dinner party to delight everyone around the table. Rings of melt-in-your-mouth delicata squash are tossed with chewy quinoa, juicy cherry tomatoes, and creamy cannellini beans, and drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette. Fresh basil adds enticing color and herbal freshness to each bite of this scrumptious salad.
Moroccan Stew

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew

A symphony of spices infuses this hearty stew with Moroccan flair. Earthy-sweet butternut squash is cooked to perfection alongside chewy chickpeas and fresh spinach. Serve over a bed of brown rice for a meal that will stick to your ribs on busy days.
Pumpkin Risotto Frittata

Pumpkin Risotto Frittata with Mushrooms

This creamy baked risotto combines the subtle sweetness of pumpkin with umami-rich mushrooms for an out-of-this-world experience. Short grain brown rice is stirred to perfection in a garlic- and leek-infused broth before getting crisp in the oven. Sprinkle with fresh herbs for the dinner of your dreams.
Winter Squash Soup with Pistachio Gremolata in a dark gray ceramic bowl

Winter Squash Soup with Pistachio Gremolata

This vegan winter squash recipe will easily earn its place in your regular recipe rotation thanks to the winning combo of licorice-scented fennel, creamy butternut squash, and hearty whole wheat pasta. The soup features a savory broth infused with Italian herbs and spicy red pepper flakes. Cannellini beans add extra heft, and a garnish of lemony pistachios brings a pop of brightness to the rich, slurpable flavors.
Miso-Glazed Squash with Spinach

Miso-Glazed Butternut Squash with Spinach

The tangy, salty flavor of miso perfectly complements the earthy sweetness of tender butternut squash. This simple recipe is great as a side dish and can be modified into a larger meal by serving it over a bed of grains or whole wheat pasta.
Butternut Squash Soup

Autumn Butternut Squash Soup

Your standard squash soup gets an upgrade in this recipe by using cauliflower florets to create texture and caraway seeds to add a subtle anise flavor. The silky smooth bisque comes together in just 35 minutes, making it perfect for hectic nights. One reader raves: “Fabulous! Simple, great flavor. One of my go-to winter recipes.”

Almond-Oat Cookie Bars with Pumpkin Frosting

These pretty little treats are almost too gorgeous to eat (but not quite!). Spiced cookie bars are topped with a luscious pumpkin purée frosting and a sprinkle of dried cranberries and pecans. Make this easy yet impressive dessert for a holiday party or simply to snack on throughout a busy week.
Roasted Red Pepper and Pumpkin Soup with Chickpeas in blue ceramic bowls with a metal soup spoon

Roasted Red Pepper and Squash Soup with Chickpeas

“This recipe is deceptively packed with flavor!” writes one satisfied reader. And it’s true: We love this simple soup because it’s incredibly easy to make, without skimping on scrumptiousness. Cubes of earthy pumpkin join forces with sweet bell pepper and chewy chickpeas to create a hearty base, while nutty tahini and zesty lemon liven up the simple broth. Serve with whole wheat pita wedges to soak up the extra soup so you don’t waste a drop!
Quinoa Millet w Kale and Butternut Squash

Quinoa with Kale and Roasted Butternut Squash

This quick and flavorful recipe packs tons of good-for-you ingredients into one bowl. Chewy whole grains, tender squash, sweet raisins, and nutrient-rich kale are simply seasoned with lemon juice and garlic. Make this dish when it’s time to clear out all the random ingredients in your pantry.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Dig into this delectable dessert that features a creamy pumpkin custard, sweet golden raisins, warming spices, and a delicate vegan vanilla bean whipped cream to top it all off. The best part? Only one bowl gets dirty when you make this scrumptious bread pudding!
Butternut Squash Steak Supper in a white bowl against a white marble background

Butternut Squash Steak Supper

Fire up the grill and dust off your finest dishes to serve up this steakhouse-worthy meal. Tender planks of butternut squash are seared to char-marked perfection and laid on a bed of chewy kasha, savory sautéed veggies, and peppery radishes. A homemade chimichurri sauce ties everything together, uniting the earthy flavors with a burst of zesty herbal goodness that will leave you savoring every single bite.
Delicata Squash and Roasted Cabbage Stew in a white bowl

Delicata Squash and Roasted Cabbage Stew

Delicata squash can easily be overlooked in the supermarket, but this gorgeous gourd is capturing the hearts (and taste buds) of plant-based eaters across the country. Here, the mildly sweet yellow flesh becomes deliciously soft after simmering with green cabbage, sweet onion, coarse-grain mustard, and apple cider vinegar to create a German-inspired soup. Homemade pumpernickel croutons and toasted caraway seeds add delightful crunch to each steaming serving.
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding

Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding

Forget pumpkin spice lattes: It’s time to try pumpkin spice pudding! Chia seeds soak up a pumpkin purée scented with cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg for a deliciously creamy pudding. Enjoy it for breakfast or dessert when the leaves start to turn.
Roasted Garlic, Delicata Squash, and Farro Stew in light gray bowls on a wooden tabletop

Roasted Garlic, Delicata Squash, and Farro Stew

When squash season rolls around, this recipe should be at the top of your “must try” list. Butternut squash and delicata squash are both featured in this hearty stew which gets a powerful flavor infusion from a whole head of roasted garlic. Butter beans, farro, and parsnips add extra substance, while a handful of fresh herbs release their tasty aromas into the savory broth. A panko-and-pine-nut topping adds a delicate crunch to each serving and ensures every bite is packed full of contrasting textures and flavors.

This article was originally published on Nov. 11, 2021, and has been updated. 

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About the Author

Headshot of Megan Edwards

About the Author

Megan Edwards

Megan Edwards is a staff writer and content producer for Forks Over Knives. She is also a certified RYT-500 yoga teacher who is passionate about cultivating holistic wellness through plant-based eating, mindful movement, and meditation. With a background in journalism and marketing, she supports both the online presence and quarterly print magazine for Forks Over Knives.
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