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September 2023

Winter Squash 101: Your Guide to Three Tasty Varieties

Learn how to put this versatile,  nutrient-rich veggie on your fall table
September 2023

Don’t let the name fool you. Winter squash, including the always-popular spaghetti, acorn, and butternut varieties, is a group of hearty vegetables harvested in September and October. Check out our quick  guide to the differences between these gorgeous gourds, complete with recipes to savor all season long. 

Spaghetti Squash

No spiralizer required for this special squash.  Inside the bright yellow gourd is a stringy, noodle-like texture that looks a lot like strands of spaghetti. With a mild, neutral flavor, this vegetable is a great low-carb alternative to traditional pasta. To prepare the squash, slice it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. It can be baked or roasted in the oven or, for a speedier version, cooked in the microwave in five-minute increments. Try it with your favorite marinara or paired with meat, like short ribs, for  a low-carb  Italian-inspired meal.

Spaghetti Squash Halves Stuffed with Spinach, Rice, and Cheese

Tex-Mex flavors turn up the heat on this vegetarian main. Stuffed with rice, pinto beans, cheddar cheese, and chili powder, spaghetti squash takes the place of bell pepper in this seasonal twist on a family-favorite. Serve inside the squash shell for a fun presentation and top with guacamole, green onions, jalapenos, sour cream or any other taco toppings.  

Instant Pot® Spaghetti Squash with Bacon and Spinach

One more reason to love the Instant Pot®: it can cook a whole spaghetti squash in one-third the time of roasting it in the oven. Smoky bacon and nutrient-rich spinach cook in the same pot for this satisfying, gluten-free meal, making both prep and cleanup a breeze on busy weeknights.  


Pretty and petite, acorn squash is more than a gorgeous gourd to display on your table. With a mild, buttery flavor and dense texture, this squash works well in sweet and savory dishes. To prepare, wash the skin, slice it in half, and remove any seeds with a spoon or melon scooper. Leave  the thin skin on, it’s edible or use a vegetable peeler to remove it. Try stuffing it whole for a showstopping side or a vegetarian main. Mildly sweet acorn squash works well roasted and pureed in both sweet and savory recipes like pies, muffins, soups, and stews. Each squash is two servings, which makes shopping a breeze.

Balsamic-Roasted Acorn Squash

Five ingredients and a few baking sheets are all you need for this tangy-sweet side. Honey, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil add a caramel-like glaze to roasted squash sliced into half-moons  that looks as good as it tastes.

Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Take fall flavor south of the border with this one-of-a-kind take on enchiladas. Tender roasted acorn squash stands in for tortillas in this complete meal served in an edible vessel with time-saving pre-cooked chicken, canned enchilada sauce, and black beans. 

Butternut Squash

An autumn favorite, butternut squash has a sweet and nutty flavor that becomes more pronounced when cooked. Similar in flavor and texture to pumpkin, try this versatile veggie in sweet and savory recipes like soups, stews, curries, muffins, cakes, and pies. Butternut squash is delicious boiled, steamed, and even microwaved. To coax out the most sweetness, oven roasting is the best method. No need to peel; simply scoop out the flesh which pulls away easily from the skin after its roasted.

Spicy Butternut Squash and Kale Stew with Peanuts

Turn up the heat with this spicy, African-inspired vegan stew. Shortcuts like butternut squash chunks, vegetable broth, and canned coconut milk help bring this meal together in under thirty minutes.  

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Cheesy Bread Crumbs

Bump up the creaminess and nutrition of everyone’s favorite, good ol’ mac and cheese, with an unexpected addition: butternut squash.  Pureed with cottage cheese, mustard and hot sauce, the squash adds a luscious texture to the winter comfort dish. Cheddar, American and Parmesan cheese bake up with pasta for a craveable weeknight meal.  

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