Weird but true: nothing says fall like winter squash. So named because these hearty gourds keep during the colder months — and fun fact: actually become progressively more nutrient dense as they grow though the seasons — winter squash brightens up soup bowls and dessert plates alike this time of year. The Home Chef squad is turning orange already (hi beta carotene!), and we know we’re not the only ones with an unabashed soft spot for squash.
Universally packed with vitamins A, B6, C, and E, plus magnesium, potassium, and manganese, and mildly sweet in flavor with orange or yellow flesh; every squash varietal has a place in our gourd-loving hearts. Here’s the whole squash-y rundown:
Kabocha Squash: Short and green on the outside, bright reddish orange on the inside, this Japanese pumpkin has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
Try this dashi braised kabocha squash from Food52.
Butternut Squash: The most voluptuous of the squash squad, this tan, bell shaped beauty is a favorite for soups and pasta dishes.
Try it in our white bean and butternut squash stew next week — order today!
Carnival Squash: An adorable cross between the acorn squash and the sweet dumpling squash, this striped little guy is an excellent sub for acorn squash in recipes.
Pie Pumpkin: Let’s just be real, this babies are made for pie. Unlike their bigger, bumpier cousins (made for jack o’ lanterns, duh), these smaller, smoother gourds are as sweet inside as their name implies. You could opt for the canned stuff, but we recommend you try roasting a pie pumpkin at least once!
Sweet Dumpling Squash: One half of the aforementioned odd couple that made carnival squash, sweet dumpling squash is the perfect-sized bowl for an individual serving (Au naturale plating! Score!). Its innards taste a lot like sweet potato — and we’ve never met a sweet potato we didn’t love.
Spaghetti Squash:By scraping the flesh of a cooked spaghetti squash with a fork, you wind up with pasta-like strands. A warm alternative to spiralized zoodles, it’s fun to gussy this mild squash up with traditional pasta accoutrements… and it’s extra fun to twirl on your fork and dig in!
Try this spaghetti squash, kale, chickpea and hazelnut dish (a.k.a. “Oh My Gosh, Spaghetti Squash”) from My New Roots.
Delicata Squash: This little gourd looks a lot like its summer squash pals, but don’t be fooled: it tastes like an especially earthy sweet potato inside. Plus, it has little ridges that make for some beautiful plating.