There are several beautiful varieties of winter squash, but don’t let the name fool you. “Winter” squash is available year-round and is a seriously versatile vegetable. Squash provides a hefty dose of cancer-fighting beta-carotene as well as potassium, fiber and vitamin C. It’s also low in calories. A 1-cup serving of butternut squash has just 63 calories. This week, I’ll give you 12 ways to enjoy this “every season” vegetable. Check out the handout below for the top 5 plus a bonus!
- Maple roasted butternut squash- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Peel and cube one butternut squash. Toss the squash in 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, ½ tsp. chili powder and 1 tsp. minced ginger. Place squash in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Apple sausage stuffed acorn squash- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the ends of 3 acorn squash, then cut in half and remove seeds. Brush olive oil on the top and inside of the squash, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes until squash is tender. While squash bakes, cook 1 lb. ground turkey sausage and drain fat. Add 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped celery stalks, and 2 diced apples. Add ½ tsp. sage, 1 cup bread crumbs, and ¾ cup Parmesan cheese. Once squash is cooked, add a few spoonfuls of apple mixture and bake another 15-20 minutes.
- Curried squash soup: Sautee ½ onion in 1 Tbsp. corn oil. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and 6 cups peeled & chopped butternut squash, 1 ½ Tbsp. curry powder, ¼ tsp. cinnamon and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add 1 (14 oz) can light coconut milk and 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, 2 Tbsp. maple syrup and 1 tsp. chili garlic paste. Simmer for 15 minutes then place the mixture in a blender and puree until creamy. Serve with chopped cilantro.
- Delicata squash with butter and sage over pasta. Place 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter in a pan and melt over medium heat. Add 14 sage leaves and fry until crispy, 10–15 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer sage to paper towels to drain. Pour most of the remaining brown butter in a bowl, but save 2 Tbsp. butter to cook ½ cup coarse breadcrumbs and 4 sage leaves. Cook until crispy, then move to a plate. Add 2 delicata squash that have been halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise into ¼” thick half-moons. Cook squash in butter for 5 minutes and add ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper and ¾ cup of water. Cover squash and cook for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and let the water evaporate. While squash cooks, boil 12 oz. linguini or other thick noodles. Once noodles are done, combine with cooked squash and additional sage and serve with shredded Parmesan cheese.
- Spaghetti squash with feta and olives. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and bake for 30 minutes, cut sides down. While squash is cooking, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil and saute 1 chopped onion with 2 cloves minced garlic for 3 minutes. Add 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes. Once squash is done, use a spoon to scoop out the squash. Combine with cooked tomatoes, 3 Tbsp. chopped kalamata olives and ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles.
- Butter roasted acorn squash. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 4 acorn squash in half. Whisk together 4 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. brown sugar. Brush squash haves with half of the butter mixture and bake on a parchment paper-lined pan for 30 minutes. Flip squash and brush with remaining butter mixture and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until soft. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Roasted butternut squash soup. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Take 1 butternut squash and cut in half vertically and remove the seeds. Rub the inside of the squash with 1 tsp. olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes face down. Cool for 10 minutes then scoop out the squash and set aside. While the squash cooks, cook ½ cup chopped shallots and 4 cloves minced garlic in 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large soup pot. Place the squash, shallots, and garlic in a food processor with 1 tsp. maple syrup and 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg. Puree until smooth, then return mixture to the soup pot with 4 cups chicken broth. Simmer for 10 minutes and serve.
- Grilled acorn squash with rosemary. Marinate 2 lbs. thinly sliced acorn squash in 1 Tbsp. olive oil, ¼ cup white wine vinegar, 2 tsp. dried rosemary, 4 cloves minced garlic, ½ tsp. salt. Remove squash from marinade (save marinade) and grill squash over medium heat for 10 minutes on each side. Baste squash while it cooks with reserved marinade.
- Spaghetti squash with Parmesan cheese. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place 1 spaghetti squash in a baking dish and prick with a sharp fork all over. Bake for 1 hour or until softened. Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Scrape the flesh in strings with a fork into a bowl. Toss with ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Acorn squash with chili lime dressing. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds out. Cut squash into ¾” wedges. Coat squash with ½ tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. salt, and 6 Tbsp. olive oil. Roast for 25 to 35 minutes. While squash roasts, whisk together 1 clove minced garlic, 1 ½ Tbsp. lime juice, 1-2 tsp. fresh hot chili pepper and 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro. Transfer roasted squash to a serving bowl and drizzle with lime dressing.
- Roasted delicata squash with turmeric. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice 2 delicata squash in half lengthwise, then cut in half circles and place in a large bowl. Whisk 1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil, ¾ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. ground turmeric, ½ tsp. garlic powder, and freshly ground pepper together, then drizzle over delicata squash. Spread squash out on a parchment-covered baking sheet and bake for 10 to 14 minutes per side.
- Roasted butternut squash with pecan topping. Preheat your oven to 425. Slice butternut squash lengthwise and remove seeds Combine 1 Tbsp. olive oil, ½ Tbsp. sage, ½ tsp. cinnamon and ¼ tsp. nutmeg in a small bowl. Brush the squash with the mixture, then roast the squash (cut side up) for 40 minutes or until soft. Remove from pan and cut into 4 wedges. In a small saucepan, boil 1/2 Tbsp. sage, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, 2 Tbsp. maple syrup, 1 ½ Tbsp. molasses, 1 Tbsp. and apple cider vinegar. Mix in 1/3 cup chopped pecans and spoon mixture over squash wedges.
By Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD
Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian and owner of Sound Bites Nutrition in Cincinnati. She shares her clinical, culinary, and community nutrition knowledge through cooking demos, teaching, and freelance writing. Lisa is a regular contributor to Food and Health Communications and Today’s Dietitian and is the author of the Healing Gout Cookbook, Complete Thyroid Cookbook, and Heart Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. Her line of food pun merchandise, Lettuce beet hunger, supports those suffering food insecurity in Cincinnati. For more information, visit her website: https://soundbitesnutrition.com/