10 Fall Squash Recipes You Haven’t Tried Yet (We Promise)

By Tamara Palmer
September 22, 2021
Kabocha empanadas
Photo Credit: Snixy Kitchen

Pumpkin tends to get all the love in the fall, but the truth is, there are a lot of great autumnal squashes, with a wide variety of textures, flavors, and benefits. While each has their own nutrition profiles, they’re all a great way to add fiber, vitamins, and minerals into your life. Here, we focus on dishes that feature a few types of squash that are widely available in the fall season, specifically butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and kabocha squash recipes.

1. Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein

Spaghetti squash chow mein

Photo Credit: Little Bits of Real Food

A low-calorie superstar — and staple of diets designed for GI issues — spaghetti squash doesn’t have to be cooked up like Italian spaghetti with marinara. Try this fun squash, which shreds into “noodles” once baked, in a vegan and paleo play on the classic Northern Chinese dish. This version calls for fresh shredded veggies and coconut amino acids instead of sodium-rich soy sauce.

2. Kabocha Squash Empanadas

Kabocha empanadas

Photo Credit: Snixy Kitchen

Kabocha is a lower-carb option than butternut squash that’s almost as sweet and comes packed with fiber, iron, beta-carotene and vitamins C and A. If you haven’t made kabocha squash recipes before, don’t worry: they’re just as easy to prepare as any other squash. (And they’re extremely tasty). These gluten-free, baked empanadas have a lush filling of roasted kabocha, gruyère, and thyme.

3. Butternut Squash Pie

Butternut squash pie

Photo Credit: MaplePoints

It’s natural to have cravings for a sugar-packed pumpkin pie at this time of year, but if you prefer to avoid sugar as much as possible, this naturally sweet butternut squash pie made with oat milk hits those same textural touchstones (and tastes delicious).

4. Spaghetti Squash Tater Tots

Spaghetti squash tater tots

Photo Credit: Kirbie’s Cravings

We don’t usually think of cooked spaghetti squash as any kind of finger food (for, um, obvious reasons), but it turns out that you can combine it with panko flakes, parmesan, and an egg to create miraculous, potato-free, vitamin-packed tater tots.

5. Instant Pot Butternut Squash Bharta

Butternut squash bharta

Photo Credit: Cooking With Manali

Having a couple of side dishes that are both vegan and gluten-free in your arsenal is always a good idea, even if those aren’t specific boundaries in your diet. This bharta (mash) is flavored with Indian spices, fresh ginger, and garlic and uses butternut squash instead of more typical ingredients like potato or eggplant and can be made ahead in your Instant Pot.

6. Cinnamon Maple Roasted Kabocha Squash

Cinnamon roasted kabocha squash

Photo Credit: Eating Bird Food

Treat kabocha like the fruit it actually is (yup, all squash are actually fruit!) by simply mixing up a little cinnamon-maple dip and throwing it in the oven to eat with yogurt or as part of salads, sides, or dessert. Kabocha squash recipes can be beyond simple — like this one; in which the prep time is just five minutes. While it’s a great snack on its own, this healthy roasted squash is also a great addition to salads and grain bowls.

7. Spaghetti Squash Breadsticks

Spaghetti squash breadsticks

Photo Credit: Kirbie’s Cravings

Another way to eat spaghetti squash with your hands: transform it into cheesy breadsticks, but hold the bread. An egg and some almond flour holds it all together.

8. Breakfast Spaghetti Squash

Breakfast spaghetti squash

Photo Credit: Salu Salo Recipes

Bacon, eggs, and cheese make spaghetti squash wake up early, for once. You can also easily swap the toppings for plant-based alternatives (veggie sausage and nutritional yeast would be great here) and preserve the vibe.

9. Taco Stuffed Roasted Kabocha

Taco stuffed kabocha

Photo Credit: Only Gluten-Free Recipes

Kabocha squash is perfect to use as its own serving vessel. For a vegetarian version of this healthy variation on a taco bowl, swap the beef for a plant-based alternative, like ground walnut meat.

10. Roasted Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

Turkey squash soup

Photo Credit: Foodiecrush

Give classic turkey chili a flavor (and nutrition) boost with roasted butternut squash, creamy white beans, and fried sage. Butternut squash adds fiber, potassium, and magnesium, half of your daily vitamin C, and over 450% of your daily vitamin A into the pot. You can also use vegetable broth and omit the turkey to make this vegetarian.

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