When fall arrives, we know it's squash season. From sweet butternut to stringy spaghetti to nutty acorn, we're big fans of these oddly shaped gourds. And as far as we're concerned, it isn't fall until you've searched for fall foliage, lit a woodsy-scented candle, and roasted a squash. Don't let their tough exterior intimidate you: Once you roast them, you're rewarded with soft, sweet, and flavorful goodness that you can enjoy in a variety of ways. Below, we've compiled 19 of our favorite ways to enjoy these autumnal staples, spanning sweet-and-spicy stuffed acorn squash to butternut squash-topped pizza.
A perfectly ripe squash will feel heavier in your hands than its size, will look dull and matte (as opposed to shiny, meaning it may have been picked too early) and will feature a firm, dry stem.
Spaghetti Squash Pasta With Basil Pesto
The Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Pasta With Basil Pesto
The Standout Ingredient: The pesto. The hearty sauce is made with sun-dried tomatoes instead of Parmesan (vegans, rejoice). It perfectly complements the delicate flavor and texture of the spaghetti squash, too.
The Pro Tip: This protein-packed meal comes together in an hour. "This would make the perfect quick weeknight meal when you're craving something comforting but not too heavy," advises Dana of Minimalist Baker.
Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Brown Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash
The Standout Ingredient: The chipotle peppers, chili powder, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The combination of the sweet and spicy flavors is what makes this dish a crowd-pleaser.
The Pro Tip: Add this recipe to your meal prep agenda to make your life easier. "The squash takes a little time, but there is nothing hard about them, and they can be made ahead of time and just thrown in the oven before dinner to reheat them and melt the cheese," says Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest.
Roasted Acorn Squash Salad With Maple Tahini Dressing
The Standout Ingredient: The maple tahini dressing. It's nutty and sweet, merging two of fall's most quintessential flavors.
The Pro Tip: It's all about when you add the dressing. "Don't toss the tahini after you mix all the ingredients together or this salad will be goopy," warns Taylor of Food Faith Fitness. Instead she suggests tossing the spinach with the dressing by hand (so it's evenly distributed) before adding in the other ingredients and giving the whole thing a final toss.
Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Burrata Pizza
The Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Apple Burrata Pizza
The Standout Ingredient: The butternut squash. When paired with fall flavors and ingredients like apples, fig preserves, sage, and toasted pumpkin seeds, this gourd shines.
The Pro Tip: Spread the thinly sliced apples out over the pizza dough after spreading the fig preserves but before adding the other toppings to ensure it's easy to slice once it comes out of the oven. "It's the perfect fall pizza, and you should probably make it ASAP," says Gerard, of Half Baked Harvest.
Rajastani Butternut Squash Curry
The Recipe: Rajastani Butternut Squash Curry
The Standout Ingredient: Ghee (clarified butter) adds distinct nutty, earthy flavor to Feasting at Home's Indian-inspired squash and potato curry. You'll also need whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds (or dried fenugreek), plus chili powder, cumin, coriander, and turmeric.
The Pro Tip: "Always cut the potatoes smaller than the butternut squash, to help them cook at the same speed," advises Feasting at Home.
Roasted Spaghetti Squash With Eggplant Putanesca
The Standout Ingredient: Capers and olives cut through otherwise mild-tasting spaghetti squash and eggplant in Feasting at Home's vegan recipe, which makes an easy weeknight meal. You'll also need crushed tomatoes, red wine, Italian seasonings, red onion, red bell pepper, and fresh Italian parsley and grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, to serve.
The Pro Tip: "You can serve this right out of the spaghetti squash shell (making sure to season the squash, mixing with a fork before topping with the puttanesca)," Feasting at Home recommends.
Butternut Squash Casserole
The Recipe: Butternut Squash Casserole
The Standout Ingredient: Dried cranberries. "I sprinkle them on after the casserole bakes so they stay soft and red," writes recipe creator Jeanine Donofrio of Love & Lemons. They are sweet and tart, which contrasts nicely with this savory casserole. Fill your shopping cart with butternut squash, leeks, sourdough bread, a dry white wine, and ensure you have herbs like sage and rosemary handy for this recipe.
The Pro Tip: Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until sourdough cubes turn golden brown on top.
Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
The Recipe: Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
The Standout Ingredient: Coconut milk or cream makes Orchids + Sweet Tea's vegan soup recipe luscious, while herbs and spices like parsley and turmeric lend depth of flavor. Roast and then blend butternut squash, then simmer with stock, coconut milk and seasonings in a pot til it boils. Let simmer for a few minutes before serving.
The Pro Tip: Add red chili flakes for heat, and top with roasted chickpeas as an option. Store for up to three days in the fridge, or make a batch to freeze—it'll keep for up to six months.
Pinto Beans and Butternut Squash Soup
The Recipe: Pinto Beans and Butternut Squash Soup
The Standout Ingredient: Blended herbs including ginger, green onion, parsley, and cloves make this soup recipe from Afrovitality Eats more aromatic than they would minced or chopped. Blending the herbs "lets me use the whole herb especially the stalk which is unfortunately often thrown out," writes Elsie, of Afrovitality Eats. In addition to butternut squash and pinto beans, gather fire roasted tomatoes, onion, dried basil and thyme, paprika, and a bouillon cube.
The Pro Tip: Let sit for five minutes before serving.
Easy Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas
The Recipe: Easy Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas
The Standout Ingredient: Black beans help make a nutritious, satiating filling for Hola Jalapeño's enchilada recipe. Fill also with winter squash, garlic, cayenne powder, stuff into corn tortillas, and bake with red enchilada sauce and dinner is served in 20 minutes—though remember to add 20–30 minutes to roast squash beforehand.
The Pro Tip: To save on prep time, pick up a package of pre-peeled and cut squash.
Butternut Squash Quesadilla With Caramelized Onion
The Standout Ingredient: Caramelized onions bolster a flavor profile that's sweet and buttery. Butternut squash, black beans, and cheese add to the quesadilla filling in The Modern Proper's easy quesadilla recipe.
The Pro Tip: Go the extra mile and serve with tomatillo salsa and avocado slices.
Roasted Butternut Squash Pepita Pesto Dip
The Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Pepita Pesto Dip
The Standout Ingredient: Sage makes this dip recipe from Salt & Wind herby and undeniably fall-appropriate. Blend roasted butternut squash with broth and garlic, top with pepitas, and season with salt and pepper for an easy dip perfect for vegetables, root vegetable chips, and crackers.
The Pro Tip: "To be sure you don't end up with a watery, loose dip, start blending by using half the measured amount of broth. Then stop blending after a minute, check it out, and only add the rest if needed (you want the dip to resemble mashed potatoes in texture)," Salt & Wind recommends.
Spiced Delicata Squash Salad With Black Rice and Avocado
The Standout Ingredient: Fragrant smoked paprika and cinnamon warm up this salad recipe from Salt & Wind. Combine roasted delicata squash with greens, black rice, avocado, feta cheese for creamy tang, and pumpkin seeds for added crunch.
The Pro Tip: Dressing can be made up to four days ahead.
Spicy Kabocha Squash and Adzuki Bean Soup
The Recipe: Spicy Kabocha Squash and Adzuki Bean Soup
The Standout Ingredient: Adzuki beans (small, red beans typically used in Japanese and Chinese cooking) offer this Pickled Plum recipe a punch of plant-based protein. They're also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. To make this soup, you'll also need watercress, kabocha squash, pumpkin seeds, chili paste, fish sauce, and soy sauce.
The Pro Tip: As an option, have goji berries, and kombu (dried kelp) on hand as well.
Spaghetti Squash Croquettes With Lemon Sauce
The Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Croquettes With Lemon Sauce
The Standout Ingredient: We like that mushrooms make these vegetarian croquettes more substantial, but we're also fans of lemon. The lemon-based dipping sauce layers welcome tang to the sweet and salty croquettes.
The Pro Tip: Use a paper towel to remove excess moisture from spaghetti squash, and pan fry mushrooms separately to also relieve moisture. This ensures croquette shape will hold once you mold them.
Pan-Roasted Honeynut Squash With Creamy Garlicky Pasta
The Standout Ingredient: The calamarata pasta shape ("They're supposed to look like calamari rings," writes I Am a Food Blog) is ideal for the combination of squash and garlicky sauce to squeeze into, lending each bite a mouthful of flavor. Add leafy greens and grated parmesan to complete the dish, which takes 40 minutes to complete from prep to serve.
The Pro Tip: Butternut or kabocha squash can sub in for honeynut squash if it's difficult to find.
Acorn Squash Lasagna
The Recipe: Acorn Squash Lasagna
The Standout Ingredient: Acorn squash rounds out an otherwise meaty filling in I Am a Food Blog's simple lasagna recipe. Add lasagna noodles, your favorite meat sauce, and cheese to your ingredient list and you're ready to prep this comforting dish. Bake for 30–40 minutes at 350 F.
The Pro Tip: "I baked these in two small casserole dishes, but you can go ahead and bake the lasagna in a regular pan. Plan for needing more lasagna noodles as well as sauce," I Am a Food Blog recommends.
Loaded Butternut Squash Pot Pie
The Recipe: Loaded Butternut Squash Pot Pie
The Standout Ingredient: How Sweet Eats' puff pastry topping is flaky, and makes digging into this butternut squash, carrots, potatoes and Brussels sprouts pot pie a delicious study in complementary textures. Garlic, nutmeg, and sage make sure the pot pie isn't left unseasoned.
The Pro Tip: Let cool slightly before serving, How Sweet Eats recommends.
Creamy Squash Fettuccine With Caramelized Onion and Pancetta
The Standout Ingredient: Pancetta is the ideal, salty counterpart to a rich and creamy sauce in Pinch of Yum's fettuccine recipe. Make the butternut squash sauce with thyme, heavy cream, broth, garlic, olive oil, and salt to taste.
The Pro Tip: Opt to skip the cream for a lighter sauce.