Comparing Winter Squash

Acorn Squash

  • Appearance: shaped like an acorn of course!
  • Available: All year
  • Size: 1-2 pounds
  • Nutrition:9 grams of fiber per cup, 25% DV of potassium
  • Ideal for: roasting with the skin on due to tough exterior

Buttercup Squash

  • Flavor: sweet pulp
  • Texture: firm and somewhat dry but rich, similar to a sweet potato
  • Ideal for: baking with the skin on, steamed, or pureed

Butternut Squash

  • Appearance: orange flesh
  • Available: All year
  • Flavor: mild & sweet
  • Nutrition: excellent source of vitamins C & A, > 6 grams of fiber per cup
  • Ideal for: roasting or tossed in stew or smoothies

Carnival Squash

  • Background: Hybrid of acorn & sweet dumpling squash
  • Flavor: sweet, buttery, and rich when roasted
  • Ideal for: roasting, can be used in any recipe as a substitute for acorn or butternut squash

Delicata Squash

  • Appearance: oblong with green stripes and yellow
  • Flavor: sweet
  • Texture: smooth and creamy
  • Ideal for: roasting or stuff with savory fillings such as whole grains
  • Pairs with: parmesan, nuts, and woody herbs like rosemary for a savory spin

Hubbard Squash

  • Appearance: dark green, orange, or pale blue rind
  • Flavor: sweet
  • Texture: grainy
  • Size: up to 20 pounds
  • Ideal for: mashing or pureeing into a sauce or filling for a pie

Kabocha Squash

  • Background: Kabo0cha is Japanese for “squash”
  • Appearance: smooth and yellow
  • Available: All year in green & red varieties
  • Flavor: sweet with notes of honey, becomes custardy when cooked
  • Nutrition: less fibrous than the others
  • Ideal for: soup when pureed or as pie filling with the skin on due to tough exterior

Red Kuri Squash

  • Background: Sometimes called the baby red hubbard, native to Japan
  • Flavor: chestnut-like
  • Texture: smooth & creamy yellow pulp
  • Ideal for: roasting in the skin and scooped out due to the hard rind

Spaghetti Squash

  • Appearance: pale yellow
  • Flavor: mild, slightly sweet
  • Texture: crunchy, stringy flesh resembling noodles
  • Nutrition: lower in vitamin A than the others
  • Ideal for: using in place of noodles when cooked, top with olive oil or tomato-based sauces

Sugar Pumpkin

  • Background: one of the most popular winter squashes, commonly canned and available at supermarkets
  • Appearance: squat
  • Available: All year
  • Flavor: sweet
  • Nutrition: < 50 calories per cup
  • Ideal for: roasting or pureeing into a soup, oatmeal, or pie filling and other desserts

Sweet Dumpling Squash

  • Appearance: most petite, weighing < 2 pounds
  • Flavor: sweet with a tender edible rind
  • Ideal for: cutting in half, stuffing, and roasting for a quick & colorful meal

 

 Reference: 

Moore, Marisa. “Winter Squash”. Food and Nutrition. November/December 2016. 30-31.

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One thought on “Comparing Winter Squash

  1. I love this post by Michelle Smith, RD. It is so comprehensive and clearly describes the differences in each of the many different kinds of squash. Thank you, Ms. Smith !!!

    Like

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