As we get into the colder months, it’s nice to have a lineup of healthy, soul-warming recipes that are not only simple, but are also crowd-pleasers. Come winter, one of my personal favorite foods to cook with is winter squash. I’m always searching for new, fun, and delicious ways to use them, so I thought I would share my current favorite healthy squash recipes with you so you could try them too!
I originally shared this round-up on September 19th, 2013. I have added to the collection with the latest winter squash recipes to share it with you again today.
A while ago I put together a great big round-up of healthy snacks, and it was a huge hit. So it got me thinking about what other types of foods I could feature. Winter squash was one of the first things that came to mind. I love winter squash because it is so versatile. Not only is it widely used in savory recipes, but it can also be used to make amazing desserts (take the fan favorite pumpkin pie, for example).
Winter Squash Varieties
Here is a list of some, but not all, winter squashes I love to cook with:
- Delicata squash
- Acorn squash
- Butternut squash
- Spaghetti squash
- Hubbard squash
Winter Squash vs Summer Squash
Now after reading that list, you might be wondering, what’s really the difference between a winter and summer squash? Well, a summer squash tends to be soft-skinned and its flesh is generally more tender and moist. It’s also harvested whie it is still tender –think zucchinis and yellow summer squash, for example.
On the other hand, winter squashes are usually harvested late summer. They are hard-shelled and have tougher rinds. Which, makes sense when you think about how much more difficult it is to cut up a butternut squash than a zucchini!
If you got excited and bought too much winter squash at the grocery store, don’t worry! It won’t go bad nearly as quickly as summer squash does. If it’s whole and unpeeled, you can store it in a cool, dry place such as a drawer or basket.
However, if you’ve already peeled and cut it into pieces, you’ll definitely want to store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. (If you’re not planning on cooking with it any time soon, you could always chop it up, flash-freeze the pieces individually, then add to an airtight container and freeze until ready to use.)
Winter Squash Recipe Ideas
With that being said, below you’ll find 17 healthy winter squash recipes. Some are my own and some are from some blogging friends. I hope you enjoy them. What is your favorite winter squash? Do you prefer sweet or savory squash recipes?
This lower-carb dinner has gotta happen in your kitchens my fine folks! It’s Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Sausage Ragu made with tons of veggies! It is ready in just 50 minutes and is gluten free.
This butternut squash mac and cheese is a healthy makeover of classic macaroni and cheese nommed-up with whole-grain pasta, gruyere cheese, rosemary, and loads and loads of butternut squash! I’m telling you, it’s the most perfect comfort food casserole ever!
You’re gonna love this vegan and paleo recipe for roasted butternut squash with smoked paprika and turmeric. Not only is it gluten-free, but only takes 10 minutes to get it in the oven.
Behold your future go-to recipe for guests: Butternut Squash Lasagna. Not only is it totally impressive, I’d even say a real show stopper, but it can be made a day or two ahead and then just popped in the oven before your guests arrive. How easy is that!
This Easy Cheesy Stove-Top Butternut Squash is a delicious stovetop recipe that comes together in just 40 minutes, making it a perfect Thanksgiving or Holiday side dish, as well as being awesome for a regular weeknight dinner the whole family will love! It is Best-of material, for sure!
There’s nothing more gradifying than being able to say you made something entirely from scratch. So next time you’re planning on making a pumpkin pie, ditch the canned stuff and make your own pumpkin puree! Trust me, it couldn’t be easier.
This beauty of a salad is made with roasted butternut squash and onions tossed with bulgur, parsley and tahini dressing.
Fast family-friendly weeknight meals like this simple One Pan Roasted Squash, Apple and Sausage Dinner are so helpful to have on hand! It’s packed with flavor from various spices, Dijon, maple syrup, and sherry vinegar.
If you’re looking for a healthy dinner that comes together in almost no time, you’ve come to the right place. This Cheesy Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe only takes 30 minutes to make. Each serving has 19 grams of protein, making them a great vegetarian main course!
These individual vegetarian shepherd’s pies with butternut squash topping are a delicious fall-veggie-packed comfort food meal. A savory sauté of lentils, mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes is spooned into individual ramekins and topped with golden pureed butternut squash and melted Gruyere cheese.
This butternut squash soup is so flavorful and creamy, you’d never guess it’s completely vegan. Not only that, but it’s also paleo, whole 30 compliant, AND naturally gluten-free. Honest, clean, nourishing food without any lack in flavor.
This roasted delicata squash salad with warm pickled onion dressing is a superfood bonanza! It’s filled with healthy vegetables, nuts for protein and topped with a delicious dressing. AND it’s a wilt-free, no-lettuce salad that makes a healthy and delicious lunch and dinner. You can’t go wrong!
It takes just a single sheet pan and 15 minutes of active time to make this One Pan Chicken with Squash and Mushrooms. It’s a great recipe for busy weeknight dinners!
This Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with chicken sausage, ricotta and marinara sauce is cheesy and total comfort food. With only 30 minutes of hands on time and 45 minutes total time, it has be added to your weeknight dinner menu!
This spaghetti squash salad with chevre, almonds and lemon thyme dressing scores a perfect ten in my books. I cannot tell you how many moons I have gone over for this recipe! It is perfection.
Here is a creamy and savory Pumpkin Risotto recipe made with pumpkin puree, brown rice, sage and pumpkin pie spices. It is savory, a little sweet and so comforting and cozy for a meatless main course.
This recipe is made with spaghetti squash and topped with savory mushroom sauce with caramelized onion, roasted garlic and rosemary. It may be low carb but it is full of flavor!
More Recipe Round Ups
Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter for healthy recipes delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make these recipes, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie