6 Common Types of Squash and How to Cook Them

With so many varieties of winter squash available in many different sizes and colors, it can be confusing to decide which one to cook. Whether you decide to roast, puree or fry your squashes, each variety can be turned into a delicious meal or side dish. We’ve put together a list of common squashes along with a few recipes for you to try these winter vegetables.

Acorn Squash

acorn squash

Photo: Janey Henning

As its name suggests, this squash is shaped like an acorn. This squash is primarily a dark blackish-green hue with splashes of orange and yellow and an orange flesh on the inside. It is great for roasting or baking. Try cutting the squash in half and filling it for a fun and festive presentation that is completely edible!

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squashes

Photo: The Bitten Word

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squashes – The Bitten Word
Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash – le fork
Chipotle Acorn Squash Soup – PDX Foodlove
Maple Butter Roasted Acorn Squash – fifteen spatulas
Streusel Acorn Squash Muffins –  Pretty Plain Janes

Butternut Squash

Butternut coupée en deux

Photo: vialbost

Well known for its sweet, creamy and slightly nutty flesh, the butternut squash is one of the most common winter squashes and a crowd favorite.  It is easy to use and is very versatile. You can find it stuffed into pastas, turned into soups or simply enjoy it roasted.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon

Photo: Greg & Stacie Humpherys

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage – A Food Centric Life
Butternut Squash and Mushroom Enchiladas  – Pinch of Yum
Creamy Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Pasta – Fabtastic Eats
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup – p.s. heart
Butternut Squash Kale Tart – passports & pancakes

Delicata Squash

Home Kitchen Garden Delicata

Photo: Dyogi

This squash is light yellow in color, with green stripes down its sides. The squash has a thin and edible skin meaning no peeling is necessary. The thin skin means the delicata squash are a quick cooking squash, and are typically prepared by baking, frying, or roasting. It tastes similar to corn and sweet potatoes.

roasted delicata squash with kale

Photo: Stacy Spensley

Roasted Delicata Squash with Kale – Center Stage Wellness
Roasted Squash Blossom – My Man’s Belly
Chipotle Black Bean Stuffed Delicata Squash – a couple cooks
Baked Delicata Squash Latkes – 3 pastries a day
Delicata Squash Chickpea Hummus – Homemade Levity

Kabocha Squash

Winter Squash: Green Kabocha

Photo: Suzies Farm

This squash is a Japanese variety and is becoming well known for its honey-like sweetness and smooth texture. It can have either a green or orange outer skin with an intensely deep orange flesh inside. Whether in a soup, croquette or roasted, if you haven’t tried this variety yet, do it soon. It might become your favorite squash (it is here!).

Spicy Kabocha Squash Soup

Photo: Isabelle Boucher / Crumb

Spicy Kabocha Squash Soup – Crumb
Kabocha Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Kale & Pomegranate – Arielle Likes to Cook
Breakfast Farro with Kabocha and Coconut Milk – Fake Food Free
Kabocha Croquette – My Kitchen Snippets
Kabocha Squash Cake – Joylicious



Photo: John Haro

Pumpkins are a fall standby with its association to Halloween and Thanksgiving, but they can be enjoyed beyond these holidays as well. Purchase smaller ones for eating as they tend to be sweeter and more flavorful than the larger variety used for carving. Put pumpkin into your soups, pastas, pancakes and risottos, among other things.

pumpkin bread

Photo: Camilla Salem

Pumpkin Spiced Salmon – Eating Bird Food
Baked Pumpkin and Tofu with Kale – Oh, Ladycakes
Pumpkin Pasta with Spiced Pecans and Pecorino – Healthy Recipe Ecstasy
Pumpkin Spiced Cake – Food Fanatic
Lighter Pumpkin Cheesecake – Texan Erin

Spaghetti Squash

Winter Squash: Spaghetti

Photo: Suzies Farm

Named for its similarity to spaghetti, when cooked the flesh of the spaghetti squash can easily be separated into strands that resemble spaghetti. The squash has a pale golden interior with a subtle squash flavor which makes it easy to pair with more robust flavors. This squash is best enjoyed when baked or roasted and turned into “noodles” for a gluten free and paleo friendly meal.

Spaghetti Squash Marinara

Photo: Thriving Vegetarian

Spaghetti Squash Marinara – Thriving Vegetarian
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai – Shared Appetite
Sundried Tomato Spaghetti Squash Cups – The Emerging Foodie
Spaghetti Squash Fried Rice – Family Fresh Cooking
Spaghetti Squash Tacos – Marin Mama Cooks

What is your favorite kind of winter squash? How do you like to prepare it?

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