Every Kind of Autumn Squash and Exactly What You Can Make with It

Autumn, the season when the leaves begin to turn, warmer food is served at the table, and squash makes its annual appearance. Whether you are enjoying some pumpkin spice or simply adding some festive color to your centerpiece, squash has a way of entering the home. However, with so much focus on the good ol’ pumpkin, many of the other novel varieties of squash get overlooked. Sometimes it’s even the case that your centerpiece decorations taste as good as they look!

So to convince you to try some of the different varieties of squash available, here is a list of all the kinds of squash you can try and what you can do with them to enjoy their flavors at the height of their season.

Acorn Squash

Yummy Stuffed Squash (think burrito, but not). Wishing we still had some leftover for dinner this eve. Assorted acorn squash, from my CSA, roasted and filled with lentils, black beans, brown basmati and wild rice, red pepper, sautéed shallot and maitake, vegan chèvre style cheese, pumpkin seeds, guajillo adobo from @fronterafoods (totally worth checking out- really, really, good), lots of fresh cilantro and flaky sea salt and pepper. I topped them with a vegan chipotle aioli (leftover from some @bychloe take-out the day before?), avocado and micro greens. Most of these ingredients were leftovers or bits from the crisper I needed to use up. These were crazy delicious and nutritious and I'm definitely making them again! . High in protein and fiber, these (or some similar version) will go on repeat. When you have unused grains, beans, pulses , and other odds and ends, the sky is the limit- don't be scared to take some risks and combine ingredients and flavors you normally may not. If you like each component individually, there is a good chance they will be great combined. I had always planned to stuff the squash, but was originally thinking of doing a traditional thing with dried cherries and almonds. When I look at my available ingredients, I kept thinking Mexican and went with it. Taste as you go to adjust seasoning so you don't overdo it and HAVE FUN in the kitchen!? – – – #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #thisisfall #f52grams #thenewhealthy #cookcl #Foods4thought, #huffposttaste, #heresmyfood @food, #foodandwine, #onthetable, #foodstagram, #workshop, #BAreaders, #nytcooking, #tastingtable, #cookit, #seriouseats #foodphotography #foodgawker #eater #thekitchn #marthafood #beautifulcuisines #eattheworld #buzzfeast #vegan #burrito #rslove #gloobyfood #acornsquash

A photo posted by Jill Fergus (@feedtheswimmers) on

Shaped like its namesake, acorn squash is so much more flavorful than what comes off an oak tree. Its green -orange rind hides a fibrous flesh that is slightly sweet and perfect as a natural bowl for roasted fillings like apples, currants, chestnuts, or kale. Make sure that when you select an acorn squash, you look for a dull green rind. When these squashes turn orange, they become unpleasantly tough to eat.

Did you know that you can eat squash as a dessert? You’ll be hooked instantly. Try an apple acorn squash pie. Get the recipe here.

Butternut Squash

This classic, bell-shaped winter squash is a staple for a reason. Its unimpressive beige rind hides a sweet, nutty flesh loaded with vitamins A and C as well as tons of flavor. This is also an easy squash to peel and roast making it popular in all manner of recipes – especially those with wonderfully creative flavor combinations.

To really bring out the fall flavor of a butternut squash, try it as a soup with bacon. Get the recipe here.

Calabaza Squash

This squash has been popular in the Caribbean and Latin America for years. However, its delicious golden flesh is just beginning to make a splash here in the United States. If you want to try this dense, delicately favored squash, make sure you have a cleaver ready. To get through its rind is tough, but so worth it.

As a reward for your hard chopping work, try a calabaza squash in a traditional Puerto Rican Pigeon Pea and Calabaza Stew.

Delicata Squash

Definitely #fall, outside and inside, today. Delicata squash, such a seasonal treat. #thisisfall

A photo posted by Hetty McKinnon (@arthurstreetkitchen) on

This squash is most similar to its summer squash cousins. So if you’re already missing the warm weather, this soft and creamy squash will cheer you right up. Similar in taste to sweet potatoes, this squash has edible skin and a beautiful presentation.

To immediately make a squash dish more decorative, slice this squash width-wise to create scalloped circles that you can then sauce and serve to highlight its natural beauty.

To really highlight the shape of this squash try Roasted Squash with Lemon-Tahini Sauce.

Hubbard Squash

Hubbard squashes are the largest of the varieties of winter squash. Weighing up to 20 pounds these squashes range in color from orange to a greyish blue. However, don’t let their size fool you, underneath their hard exterior lies a soft, yellow flesh that is both savory and sweet. The high sugar content of these squashes makes them ideal for pureeing and mashing as a filling.

Don’t worry, if you don’t think you can eat 20 pounds of squash, you will find that most supermarkets sell Hubbard squash pre-sliced in manageable portions.

Try a Hubbard squash as a clafouti – a French filled of “pancake”. You might find that they quickly become an autumn brunch staple in your household. Get the recipe here.

Kabocha Squash

The squat, jade green kabocha – the Japanese word for squash – is a fairly new, but popular addition to the U.S. market. With its two-toned green exterior and its pale orange inside, it is as beautiful an addition to any meal as it is tasty. It’s nutty, earthy flavor has just a touch of sweetness that makes it perfect for pairing with nuts, dark greens, or sugar-based dishes. 

For a fun introduction to this squash, try kabocha as a natural soup bowl. Get the recipe here.

Pumpkin

Ah yes, the plain pumpkin that we know and love. Their mellow, dense, and deep orange flesh is a familiar taste in all manner of autumn dishes. Use them in breads, pair them with cinnamon, or even stuff them in pasta. No matter how you choose to cook a pumpkin, it is sure to be delicious.

Because you’re sure to have tried it all with the #pumpkinspice craze, here is a recipe that uses pumpkin just a little differently.

Spaghetti Squash

Twice-baked goat cheese and alfredo spaghetti squash. Recipe is #ontheblog!! ???

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Scrape a fork on the inside of a roasted spaghetti squash and you’ll understand where this variety got its name. A godsend to health enthusiasts and gluten-free eaters alike, this mild, stringy squash is an ideal alternative to using noodles. Simply swirl the strands in a traditional tomato sauce or dress them with butter and herbs. Either way, you will have a simply and satisfying dish that is as healthy as it is tasty.

If you want to get extra fancy, try twice-baked goat cheese spaghetti squash. Get the recipe here.

Carnival Squash

What happens when you cross and acorn squash and a sweet dumpling squash? You get a carnival squash! With an exterior that is reminiscent of both its parents, its flesh is a mellow, flavorful combination of the two. This squash is best used as a substitute in any recipe calling for acorn or butternut squash.

Or you can enjoy it for its own merit and stuff it with kale, cranberries, and pomegranate for a delicious fall feast. Get the recipe here.

Sweet Dumpling Squash

If you’re tired of using traditional pumpkins or sweet potatoes in your fall dishes, try substituting in a sweet dumpling squash instead. With a beautifully orange and yellow mottled exterior, this squash is very similar in flavor to a sweet potato. Plus, its compact size makes it perfect for using as an aesthetically appealing bowl for individual servings of traditional fall fare.

Try eating one of these edible bowls stuffed with cheese, nuts, and kale. You may not be able to eat just one! Get the recipe here.

 Buttercup Squash

Similar in appearance to a kabocha squash with its pale green stripes on a dark green exterior, its scent of a sliced buttercup squash when sliced give it away as something completely different. A freshly cut buttercup squash will smell clean, fresh, and faintly like a cucumber. However, when you cook its orange flesh, it transforms into a dry, mildly-flavored accompaniment to many dishes.

Or you can transform this lovely squash into even lovelier dessert bars. Get the recipe here.

Read More: What Are the Differences Between Pumpkins, Gourds, and Squash?