Winter Squash Recipes
Impressive on the table. Sweet and rich on the palate. Behold the squash. Then cook it.
It's true that the winter squash has a sort of Quasimodo quality: often knobby, misshapen, mottled, and leather-skinned. Its charm is the beauty of dignified, old-looking things. Nor does the flesh inside seem too promising in its raw state. But therein lies the miracle of cooking: As it roasts, the meat of the squash caramelizes beautifully around the edges and turns buttery and sweet in the center, while holding its gorgeous autumn hue. It's delicious served chunky, sprinkled with coarse salt, or whipped with a touch of butter or cream for a rich, smooth side. Dessert, even, can be helped by squash: The flesh, pureed, adds natural sweetness to baked goods like our cinnamon rolls. And know that these dependable vegetables deliver a good dose of potassium, beta-carotene, and other phytonutrients and antioxidants—the stuff healthy cells dream of.
The skin of the sweet dumpling squash is edible when cooked, so you don't have to peel these gems: Simply chop, roast, puree, and proceed with the recipe. If you can't find it, substitute peeled butternut. If you prefer, serve this soufflé as a side to accompany roast chicken, pork, or beef. Simply serve eight smaller portions.
Delicata squash is a great choice for dessert recipes. It is characterized by yellow flesh that tastes similar to sweet potatoes. Roasting it in this recipe intensifies the sweet flavor. If you can't find delicata, substitute butternut.
Brown sugar ups the autumnal flavor in this dish. Brightly colored roasted butternut squash stand out against the risotto like a sinfully delicious invitation to enjoy. Just a bit of slightly salty pancetta lends just the note to finish off the flavor medley.
Jonagold apples bring some tartness to the lightly sweet squash-based filling. You can also use other good baking apples like Honeycrisp or Rome. Serve as a side dish or appetizer.
A crunchy browned cheese topping conceals a hearty, sweet squash-and-onion combination here. Serving individual gratins in single-serving ramekins makes for a more impressive presentation than one large casserole, and the individual servings cook faster as well.
Parents may need to help out a bit by cutting the hard squash in half, but kids can have fun scraping up strands of spaghetti-like pulp. You can serve this as a side dish, or add sausage or ground beef to the sauce to turn it into an entrée.
Nutty whole grains make a perfect bed for a bowl of saucy winter veggies. If you have trouble finding kabocha squash, an acorn or butternut variety is an easy, just-as-delicious substitute.