The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Every Type of Squash

From a summer barbecue to Christmas dinner, only one veggie is there through it all: squash. Presenting a cheat sheet to help you cook 15 different varieties to perfection.

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squash pecans
Recipe For Perfection

Acorn Squash

This winter squash has a thick green skin and a sweet, orange interior that’s best eaten with a fork. Cut it in half, top it with maple syrup, butter and pecans, and bake it in the oven.

squash curry
Café Johnsonia

Banana Squash

These big guys are hard to miss. Long and narrow, they can be up to two feet in length. Their rich flavor and soft texture make them a great choice for soups like coconut curry.

squash mac and cheese
A Season on the Mountain

Buttercup Squash

This common winter squash has dense flesh that’s tasty when roasted and then blended into a sauce. Add it to mac and cheese to give it a creamy kick.

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Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Butternut Squash

Roast this sweet, nutty winter squash, chop it and toss it into a fall pasta salad.

roasted squash pear vertical
A Spicy Perspective

Carnival Squash

This festive winter veggie is beautiful enough to display as a decorative dinner centerpiece—then slice and stuff it with pear and blue cheese.

squash tacos
Naturally Ella

Delicata Squash

It’s our favorite winter squash because you don’t even need to peel it. Just slice it, roast it and sub it for meat in tacos.

squash twist pasta
Simple Seasonal

Hubbard Squash

Inside the tough, lumpy skin is a sweet interior. Cut it into cubes, bake it in the oven and then combine it with pasta, pancetta and sage.

squash mashed
The Roasted Root

Kabocha Squash

If you’re a fan of pumpkin, you’ve gotta try its sweeter, creamier cousin. Roast it, then mash it with coconut milk, honey and nutmeg for an amazing seasonal side.

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell


Move beyond pie and add pumpkin puree to cream-cheese bread with a cinnamon streusel topping.

squash salad
A House in the Hills

Red Kuri Squash

Leave the skin on this bright orange beauty—it’s edible. Slice it, then roast it and toss it into a winter salad with kale and pomegranate seeds.

spaghetti squash
Peas and Crayons

Spaghetti Squash

Meet nature’s most edible bowl. After roasting, add toppings like spinach and mozzarella for a lower-carb (but just as tasty) alternative to pasta.

squash casserole dsc 1979
Add a Pinch

Straightneck Squash

This traditional yellow summer squash can get soggy when baked, so add cracker crumbs and cheddar cheese on top for an irresistible crunch.

squash whole stuffed
Family Fresh Cooking

Sweet Dumpling Squash

You can eat every inch of this fabulous winter gourd, so roast it and then stuff it with quinoa and veggies for a healthy, beautiful main dish.

squash grapefruit
Produce Made Simple

Turban Squash

Don’t be intimidated by its weird, lumpy exterior. This mild winter heirloom squash is great roasted and then tossed with grapefruit and pomegranate seeds.

zoodles squash zucchini
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell


Buy a spiralizer, stat. This common summer squash is crunchy, dense and best when twisted into zoodles.

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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.