Winter squash is the Jennifer Lawrence of produce: It’s a beloved by all. It’s also packed with nutrients, like vitamin C and beta-carotene, making it totally worthy of a spot on your plate.
But here’s the thing: Like J-Law, you don’t want to typecast winter squash. Delegating it to the role of “roasted side dish with olive oil” all winter long will undoubtedly lead to boredom—or worse, disdain. So, to avoid any winter squash weariness, make sure to mix it up. Below, 10 inventive ways to use winter squash this season, from spiralizing butternut for a lower-carb lo mein to trading your acai bowls for acorn bowls. Enjoy!
There’s a time and place for ordering lo mein from the greasy spot on your corner (see: any evening after too many happy hour margaritas), and then there are nights when a healthier version is in order. For those times, spiralized butternut squash serves as perfectly sweet noodles alongside a slew of veggies steeped in a sauce with soy, ginger, turmeric and more.
I’m just going to say it: The person who came up with this dish is the Steve Jobs of recipes. I mean, what an invention! Acorn squash—which naturally has a hole in the center, after the seeds are scooped out—holds in the egg as it bakes, making for brilliant breadless version of the classic breakfast.
Canned pumpkin is good for more than just pie. Case in point: It’s the star of this warming curry recipe that will no doubt become a winter staple in your kitchen. This recipe can easily be made vegetarian or vegan and you can sub in whatever veggies and protein you have to bulk it up.
Let’s face it: Most faux-cheese creations just taste like the C+ version of actual cheese. But this dairy-free take on fondue, made with goodies like pureed butternut, coconut milk, nutmeg and more, doesn’t really even try to taste like cheese—and that’s exactly what makes it a winner.
Your Taco Tuesdays just got a tiny bit sweeter. Delicata is an easy squash to roast for meal prep (you don’t have to peel it, which cuts down the grunt work), and it can easily be incorporated into everything from grain bowls to tacos, like these.
Okay, okay, fine: This is really just roasted butternut squash that you eat with your hands, paired with a great dipping sauce. But I promise you, vegetables are magically more enticing when you call them fries.
If the candy-like sweetness of cooked squash is a turn-off for you (I hear you), I’ve found that working it into hummus is a great way to mellow that dessert-like flavor. As a bonus, this bad boy works in miso for some tang and good-for-your-gut probiotics.
Instead of just using ricotta to separate layers in this baked pasta dish, a butternut squash and ricotta combo is employed for a slightly sweet and savory take on the classic. Yes, please!
Move over acai bowls, there’s a new breakfast bowl in town: the acorn squash bowl. Simply cut an an acorn squash in half, roast it and fill with yogurt and your choice of toppings, like granola, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, or whatever else floats your boat.
Consider this a busy-week rescue meal: It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and is super easy to throw together once you’ve got the butternut squash puree made.
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