Our Very Best Winter Squash Recipes, Featuring Acorn, Butternut, Delicata, and More

Photo: Bryan Gardner

Whether you love acorn or kabocha, butternut or delicata, we can all agree that winter squash are so delicious. To help you enjoy them more often, we've gathered our best winter squash recipes right here. The stellar selection includes soups, salads, sides, stuffings, casseroles, pies, and more.

01 of 16
winter squash assortment on slate surface
Jonathan Lovekin

Winter squash has long been a staple on the Thanksgiving table: Everything from first-course soups, mashes and other sides, and even pies are made with different forms of winter squash. But with such a wide variety of types—acorn, butternut, calabaza, delicata, Hokkaido, honeynut, hubbard, and kabocha, among many others—there's no reason not to keep winter squash on the regular dinner rotation. And they're not just great for dinner: Because of their versatility, you'll also find recipes featuring different types of winter squash that are great for breakfast and dinner.

The first winter squash arrive in farmers' markets in fall and they stay in steady supply throughout the winter months. We love winter squash for its great taste as well as the range of shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and sizes. As you look through this collection of winter squash recipes, you'll see that winter squashes pair well with sweeteners (especially pure maple syrup), tart citrus zest and juice, and all kinds of herbs and spices (ginger, nutmeg, cumin, coriander, and more). Winter squash is also tasty with bacon, sausage, and other types of pork, chicken, and mild fish like cod. Because squash is high in fiber, it's more filling than other vegetables, and it can be used to bulk up stews, grain- and greens-based salads, quesadillas, pizzas, baked pastas, casseroles, and gratins. Many squash varieties can be swapped out easily for another.

When shopping, choose winter squash that feels heavy for its size, with no soft spots. As long as it's stored in a cool, dry spot, it should keep for two to four months.

02 of 16

Roasted Sausages with Cabbage and Squash

sausages cabbage vegetables on baking sheet
Justin Walker

You've probably heard of bangers and mash, but have you tried bangers and squash? Simply arrange quick cooking sausages with kabocha squash and cabbage on a sheet pan, then roast and toss with a quick vinaigrette.

03 of 16

Roasted Squash and Parsnip Soup

roasted squash and parsnip soup
Mikkel Vang

Honeynut is a relatively recent cultivar in the winter squash family, bred precisely for its concentration of flavor. It looks like a diminutive butternut, and that larger squash will work well as a substitute you can't find honeynut for this soup, which has complex flavor and crisp, crunchy garnishes at the finish.

04 of 16

Brown-Sugar Butternut-Squash Pie

Will Anderson

Roasted squash takes the place of the usual pumpkin in this seasonal custard pie, and a fishtail-braided crust lines the gorgeous outer edge. The cutouts on top are baked separately and scattered across the pie after baking. It takes a bit more time to put together, but it's sure to be the most stunning—and memorable—dessert on any autumn table.

05 of 16

Kabocha-Cauliflower Mash

kabocha-cauliflower mash atop toile pattern tablecloth
Yuki Sugiura

One of squash's best attributes is its creaminess once it's cooked. Here, it's paired with cauliflower in a flavorful, non-dairy mash that's perfect alongside any main course on the holiday table, or combined with a plateful of other sides to make a satisfying meal.

06 of 16

Caribbean Fish and Pumpkin Stew

Caribbean Fish-and-Pumpkin Stew recipe
Lennart Weibull

Calabaza squash is such a staple of Caribbean cooking that it's also known as West Indian pumpkin. We love how it lends deeply rich, creamy character to this warming, nicely spiced fish stew.

07 of 16

Simple Roasted Spaghetti Squash


Spaghetti squash is a culinary chameleon. Though it looks a lot like other squash when it's raw, it takes on a new character once cooked. Roasted whole and then split down the middle, the flesh is easily shredded into long strands. Seasoned with little more than salt, pepper, and either butter or oil, it makes a tasty side, but what really makes this a vegetable worth getting to know is its versatility. Try it in any number of other dishes.

08 of 16

Sourdough Stuffing with Apples, Acorn Squash, and Hazelnuts

sourdough dressing with apples acorn squash and hazelnuts
Paola + Murray

In this mash-up (pun intended) of beloved Thanksgiving sides, we combined the best of turkey dressing/stuffings (namely, toasted cubes of crusty bread) with a few other favorite Turkey Day ingredients, including acorn squash, apples, celery, and roasted nuts.

09 of 16

Chopped Winter Salad

chopped winter salad with mushrooms and pomegranate
Kate Mathis

Make the most of an abundance of autumn produce with a beautifully composed chopped salad. This one features roasted squash and mushrooms atop a bed of wintry bitter greens. It serves eight as a side dish or four for dinner. Leave off the feta to make it vegan-friendly.

10 of 16

Honeynut Squash, Leek, and Brie Gratin

squash gratin
Johnny Fogg

Sliced winter squash, leeks, broken lasagna noodles, chopped brie, and a touch of cream add up to a rich, creamy, over-the-top comfort food casserole. Add a green salad, and dinner is done.

11 of 16

Kabocha Squash Soup

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
Martyna Szczesna

Because winter squash famously takes well to flavor of all kinds, you can prepare it with seasonings that are as sweet and mild or hot and spicy as you like. Here, kabocha gets a nice kick from toasted dried chiles and ground spices (cinnamon and cumin). A sour cream garnish helps balance some of the heat; add just a drizzle or a few big dollops, depending on your preference.

12 of 16

Roasted Squash with Cherry Tomatoes and Eggs

Bryan Gardner

To make this playful twist on hearty breakfast hash, split winter squashes (acorn or butternut) right down the middle and scoop out the seeds to make edible "bowls" for tomatoes and eggs.

13 of 16

Roasted Kabocha Squash with Tahini and Herb Salad

roasted kabocha with tahini and herb salad

It doesn't take much to serve a sensationally flavorful lunch when featuring winter squash. This salad keeps things super simple, with roasted wedges of squash arranged over a bed of yogurt-tahini dressing and then scattered with fresh tender herbs.

14 of 16

Squash Lasagna with Spinach

David Prince

With a rich béchamel sauce, roasted squash wedges, and three types of cheese (ricotta, Parmesan, and Gruyère), this would make a showstopper of a main course at a meatless Thanksgiving feast.

15 of 16

Heirloom-Squash and Pumpkin Pie


You can prepare this pie with an all pumpkin or all squash filling, but for the best depth of flavor, we suggest using a combination of the two. And don't skimp on the whipped cream on top.

16 of 16

Squash and Rajas Tostadas

David Prince

Rajas means "strips" in Spanish; here, it refers to sliced poblano chiles that are cut into thin strips and cooked with thinly sliced onion and cubed winter squash into a fantastic topping for tostadas. Quick pickled radishes bring all the flavors together beautifully.

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