How to Use All That Winter Squash

Ten ways to use all that winter squash

I planted a lot of squash this year, both summer and winter. The summer squash produced pretty well and after we enjoyed quite a bit of it fresh, I froze a lot more for winter stir-fries and other dishes. 

But I ended up with not a single winter squash from my garden. 

We bought a few pumpkins at a reduced price on November first, and I'm hoping to find some butternuts at the farmers market this weekend. I hope you had better results than I did. I'm hoping next year will be better.

Winter squash is so named because these vegetables will keep through the winter when stored properly. While summer squash are usually eaten when immature, winter squashes are harvested and eaten when the seeds have matured and the rind is hard.

Winter varieties are usually sweeter, firmer and denser than summer squashes. The most common are pumpkins, butternut and acorn squashes, but there are many others to be found at farmers markets or to grow in your own garden.

Low in both fat and calories, winter squash is a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates. They also contain A, B and C vitamins, potassium, manganese, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, copper, tryptophan, iron and beta-carotene. As a general rule, the darker the squash's skin is, the more beta-carotene the squash contains.

If your squash plants did better this year than mine did, you might have a bumper crop of squashes to store and eat. I asked some of my blogging friends their favorite ways to prepare winter squash; here are their recipes. 

I had no idea that folks put squash in so many different dishes. As far as I knew, squash should be roasted and then smothered with butter and brown sugar. I'm looking forward to expanding my tastes. 

Photos are used with permission.

Photo used with permission by Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

If you want to see what a bumper crop of butternut squash looks like, check out the photos in Jes' post on curing and storing butternet squash. It boggles my mind, but I'd love to have so many.


Butternut squash recipe entree main dish, photo used with permission from The Speckled Goat.

Ally at The Speckled Goat makes butternut squash lasagna. She often makes two or four of these at a time and freezes them for future meals; her post gives freezing directions too.


squash-salad-sensible-gardening.jpg; photo used with permission by Sensible Gardening and Living.

Lynne at Sensible Gardening and Living says she and her husband eat a lot of butternut squash. They make a butternut squash salad with arugula, cherries and walnuts topped with Parmesan and a delicious-sounding dressing.


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk; photo used with permission from The Rising Spoon.

At least I'd heard of butternut squash soup before. Elaina from The Rising Spoon makes hers with coconut milk, and suggests different seasonings to change up the taste.


Acorn squash

Bonnie Plants' website says that acorn squash shouldn't be cured, and that it stores the shortest length of time of any winter squash, just four weeks or so. They should be stored at temperatures less than 55°F. 

Freezing seems to be the best way to preserve acorn squash, and you'll find my directions for that right here: freezing acorn squash - plus how to save the seeds to plant next year.


Acorn Squash and Wild Rice Casserole via homework; Photo used with permission from Home Work.

Another casserole, this one with acorn squash and wild rice from Carolyn at Home Work. Casseroles are such an easy way to make dinner, and by varying the ingredients these two are so different from each other.


Orange Pecan Acorn Squash Recipe; photo used with permission from The Gingered Whisk

The ingredients in this orange, pecan, acorn squash dish from Jenni at The Gingered Whisk sound like dessert. It has to be good!


Pumpkin bread

My favorite way to use pumpkins is in pumpkin bread. My mom's recipe for pumpkin bread is world-famous - you'll find out why in this post.


pumpkin-pie-recipe; photo used with permission from The Farmer's Lamp

Amber at The Farmer's Lamp also shares her tips for preserving pumpkin in a variety of ways, including dehydrating, canning and freezing.


Pile of pumpkins

This is how I preserve pumpkins most often (unless you count making pumpkin bread as a form of preserving). In November I can usually find pumpkins on sale quite cheap, and I turn them all into pumpkin puree - and the seeds turn into chicken feed.


You'll find more ideas for preserving vegetables, fruits and more here.

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A roundup of ideas and recipes for winter squash.

You might also enjoy:
10 Ways to Enjoy Summer Squash

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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Unknown said...

Thank you so much for mentioning our pumpkin bar recipe! SO yummy!! I hope you do try them!

Kathi said...

Thank you, Lisa!

Elaina Newton said...

Thanks so much for including my soup in your round-up! The mac & cheese and lasagna look so yummy! :)

Kathi said...

You're welcome, Elaina.

Unknown said...

Thanks Kathi for including our Squash salad. We love squash and will be trying out some of these other ideas!

Kathi said...

You're welcome, Lynne. Your salad looks delicious.

JES said...

What a wonderful round-up! Thank you for including our Storing/Curing Butternut Squash post :) I have pinned this one!

Kathi said...

Thank you for pinning the post, Jes!

Kathryn @ Farming My Backyard said...

Very cool, I was just thinking of what to do with the squash from the CSA.

Kathi said...

I hope you found a couple of things to try, Kathryn.

Stone Cottage Adventures said...

We love winter squash, what a great round up! Thank you for sharing this post at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

Kathi said...

Thank you, Marci!

Swathi said...

Delicious dishes, I will give it try thanks for sharing with Hearth and sou blog hop.

Kathi said...

Thank you, Swathi. I hope you find one (or more) that you love!

SkipTheBag said...

Yum these all look delicious! Sadly we didn't plant any winter squash this year. Thanks for sharing on the Waste Less Wednesday Hop!

Kathi said...

I'm sorry you are squash-less this year - have you looked at the farmers market? Thank you for visiting.

Jennifer @SimplePureWhole Wellness said...

I love all types of winter squash! Thank you for sharing so many great ideas to enjoy them.

Kathi said...

You're welcome, Jennifer. I hope you found something new to try.

Jennifer said...

I will have to pick up some winter squash to try some of these recipes! Ours didn't do well this year either.

Kathi said...

Let us know which one you like best, Jennifer!

Rachael/Milk Glass Home said...

Thanks so much for sharing! Our delicata patch went wild this year...I think we got about 30 squash from 6 plants. I'm tempted to convert my entire garden to winter squash plants next year because I loved watching them totally take over and vine around! That probably isn't a good plan, but it sounds fun. We've been roasting them so far and sneaking them into lots of stuff, but I want to try a lasagna or the wild rice recipe from your post. Thanks for sharing!

Kathi said...

That does sound like fun, Rachael! Maybe not practical, but definitely fun.