32 Squash Recipes for Summer, Fall, and Beyond
From pumpkins to zucchini, there's a whole world of squash out there, and this roundup celebrates some of our favorite squash recipes. Butternut squash makes a hearty soup that's perfect for fall and made all the more irresistible with the addition of bacon and crème fraîche, while summer squash carpaccio is a great light lunch for warmer weather. With more than 30 recipes to choose from, you'll find something to try for every season.
Roasted Kabocha with Maple Syrup and Ginger
Cookbook author Melissa Clark likes giving slices of roasted winter squash a little wake-up, so she roasts them with maple syrup, olive oil, fresh ginger and thyme. It's a simple idea, but the combination of flavors highlights the squash in the best possible way. Another bonus: The recipe can easily be made ahead and served at room temperature. If you have a silicone baking mat, use it here to make cleanup a cinch.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage
A simple and healthy snack, these roasted cubes of squash require minimal preparation.
Squash and Black-Eyed Pea Coconut Curry
In this recipe from cookbook author Meera Sodha, garam masala–roasted acorn squash joins a very lightly simmered coconut curry with fresh tomatoes and black-eyed peas.
Baked Kabocha Falafel with Almond-Milk Yogurt
Chef José Catrimán uses flavorful kabocha squash from the garden to make these bright-orange, sesame-crusted falafel, which are baked instead of fried.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Curry Leaves
"A sprinkling of marash chile flakes and curry leaves with coconut oil add a bit of heat and an intoxicating fragrance, while the black mustard seeds add a hint of nuttiness," cookboook author Nik Sharma writes of this recipe.
Acorn Squash Saltimbocca
"I've given [acorn squash] the saltimbocca treatment here, lining wedges of the squash with fresh sage leaves, wrapping them in prosciutto, and roasting to crisp up the pork and caramelize the edges of the squash," F&W Cooks contributor Ann Taylor Pittman writes. "You end up with a gorgeous autumnal palette—deep orange flesh, hunter green skin, and soft green sage—and flavors that play off each other beautifully."
Grilled Summer Squash Casserole
Traditionally called malaiwala, "the one with cream," this casserole from chef Cheetie Kumar marries Punjabi flavors with a ratatouille-style summer side. Make this a main dish by adding cubed paneer..
Roasted Chicken and Acorn Squash with Sumac Brown Butter
Pre-salting the chicken makes for savory flavor throughout and helps crisp up the skin. Browning the butter adds nutty depth to the sauce; a flourish of sumac and Aleppo pepper—though not fresh ingredients—adds a fresh, bright flavor to the finished dish.
Herbed Summer Squash with Goat Cheese Cream
Both crunchy raw squash and tender grilled squash feature in this summer salad. With plenty of fresh herbs, tangy goat cheese melted into rich heavy cream, and nutty toasted seeds to balance the bright lemon juice on the squash, it's a complex-tasting but easy-to-prepare dish.
Delicata Squash and Sausage Crostata with Ricotta and Honey
In their book Wine Food, sommelier Dana Frank and recipe developer Andrea Slonecker pair funky, bright wines with flavorful, vegetable-forward dishes. They compare crostatas and galettes to pizza, making them the perfect weeknight dinner. This version layers fennel-spiced sausage, chile, delicata squash, and honey for a dinner that pairs well with a northern Italian Dolcetto.
Slow-Cooker Spaghetti Squash
Of all the ways to cook spaghetti squash, the slow cooker is easily the most hands-off method. Instead of halving the squash, you just prick them all over. Once the squash are cooked, carefully drain them in a colander set in the sink. The liquid inside them will be hot. Serve the squash as is, with plenty of butter, salt, and freshly ground pepper, or use in your favorite recipe.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Baked Zucchini with Balsamic Drizzle
Wrapped in salty prosciutto and roasted until tender, this quick-and-easy zucchini recipe makes a light summer main course. You can choose your own adventure when it comes to this dish: prepare it in the oven, or fire up your grill for an extra layer of charred, smoky flavor. Don't forget to drizzle with balsamic glaze for a lightly sweet finish.
Roasted Winter Squash with Vanilla Butter
Fragrant vanilla-bean butter does double duty here, flavoring the squash and softening the skin during roasting. The greater the variety of winter squash you use, the more interesting the dish will be.
Summer Squash Gratin
Laura Rege puts abundant summer squash and zucchini to good use in this beautiful and very simple gratin, which gets fantastic flavor from white wine, leeks, and Gruyère cheese.
Parmesan-Panko-Crusted Baked Zucchini
With plenty of cheesy, crispy flavor, this quick-cooking zucchini dish comes together in less than 30 minutes. Mild and tender zucchini are richly flavored with breadcrumbs and cheese for a dish worthy of a party—or just a one-pan weeknight dinner. Enjoy these crispy rounds as a side dish, or pair with your favorite dipping sauce for a crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Pecan-Pumpkin Cream Pie
This pie slices beautifully to reveal not one but two fillings: both pumpkin custard and gooey, syrupy pecan. Chef Joanne Chang's technique ensures the bottom of the pie shell is perfectly cooked and avoids sogginess. Cooling the blind-baked pie shell with weights keeps it hotter and flatter for longer.
In the fall, when squash and pumpkins are in their prime, make this pumpkin butter your go-to add-in. This silky preserve toes the line between sweet and savory. Try it on toast with cream cheese, in whipped cream, or melted into a mixture of sage and brown butter for an autumnal pasta sauce.
Coconut Chickpeas with Winter Squash
Starchy, slightly sweet plantains are a natural addition to winter squash. Here, chef JJ Johnson simmers both, along with canned chickpeas, in coconut milk that's steeped with aromatics. The result is creamy, fragrant, and so comforting.
Acorn Squash with Coconut Custard
Every year at Thanksgiving, Top Chef winner Kristen Kish's mother would serve roasted acorn squash. When Kish took over cooking the holiday meal, she enhanced the classic side with a rich coconut custard that offsets the earthy sweetness of the dish. The custard will set as it cools and slices beautifully at room temperature.
Summer Squash Carpaccio
"When summer squash is freshly picked, all it needs is a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and maybe a hit of lemon juice," chef Marcela Valladolid writes. "Here, I've taken it to next-level magic by adding sweet dates, fresh mint, and toasted pepitas spiced with Tajín seasoning to the thinly sliced summer squash. For a gathering with friends in the garden or a light lunch, this has become a favorite of mine."
Parsley Egg Noodles with Squash-and-Tomato Sugo
Resting this enriched pasta dough for a full two hours is essential to the final texture. Too short of a rest results in puffy, thick noodles, while a well-rested dough rolls into thin, tender pasta. The noodles are paired with a simple sugo composed of just five ingredients: butternut squash, crushed tomatoes, a small yellow onion, kosher salt, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Lamb and Butternut Squash Tagine with Apricots
The natural juices from the lamb and onion create steam that bastes the meat as it cooks over a low flame. The gentle heat ensures that the environment inside the tagine remains moist and does not dry out or burn. Savory lamb, salty olives, and ras el hanout spice are balanced by sweet butternut squash, apricots, and a touch of honey.
Roasted Squash Salad with Sumac and Italian Dressing
Petals of red onion, nutty acorn squash, and pickled pepperoncini tossed in a creamy Italian dressing make a hearty but not heavy side. Inspired by chef Scott Tacinelli's crispy sweet potatoes at Don Angie in New York, Food & Wine's Kelsey Youngman adds sumac to the dressing, giving it an herbal, lemony kick.
Roasted Squash Wedges with Collard-Peanut Pesto
Blanching and shocking the collards preserves their vibrant color in the pesto and removes the greens' slight bitter edge. Use best-quality peanuts; their toasty, nutty flavor is the foundation of the creamy pesto.
Summer Squash with Poblano, Queso Fresco, and Epazote
Epazote is a leafy herb with a pungent, bright flavor, with notes of citrus, mint, and oregano. It lends a savory depth to the summer squash, and pairs particularly well with dairy. Leaving the queso fresco in larger chunks allows it to soften slightly, but not completely melt into the dish.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Chorizo-Spiced Kale
With its earthy sweetness and dense texture, butternut squash makes a hearty vegetable steak. At Chaval in Portland, chef Damian Sansonetti highlights its complexity with his chorizo spice mix. He blooms the blend of cumin, pimentón, and coriander in oil to release their aroma, which provides a smoky foundation for this shoulder-season dish.
Turkey and Butternut Squash Lasagna with Crispy Sage
Each layer of this next-level lasagna leans on Thanksgiving leftovers in a smart way to bring big flavor to the table. Leftover sautéed mushrooms jazz up the creamy béchamel, while mashed butternut squash provides a smooth contrast to the hearty turkey filling flavored with leftover gravy and Parmesan, and pan-fried sage leaves add an elegant twist. "I love Thanksgiving leftovers, so I still want my leftovers dishes to embody those Thanksgiving flavors," says chef Sara Grueneberg, who shared this recipe. "I call for roasted butternut squash, but if you make a great roasted sweet potato dish for the big event, those leftovers would be perfect in this lasagna."
Whole Baked Pumpkin Soup
Baking pumpkins whole traps steam inside the vegetable, resulting in a lush, velvety pumpkin puree, and making the skins easy to remove. A simple reduction of dry white wine mingles with butter to balance the sweetness of the pumpkin. The recipe was one prepared by Copenhagen chef Christian Puglisi at a week-long culinary retreat at Rocca delle Tre Contrade in Sicily.
Spicy Sausage Pasta with Tomatoes and Squash
Added just minutes before serving, thinly sliced squash melts into the pasta without losing its shape and texture. Use a mandoline to achieve wafer-thin slices. For the sausage, feel free to use either merguez or spicy Italian. Either way, you'll end up with a great meal.
Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Crème Fraîche
Roasting the butternut squash with honey and a touch of salt intensifies the natural sweetness of the squash and caramelizes the honey. Take time browning the onions; cooking them low and slow deepens the foundational flavor of this hearty soup.
Brown Sugar–Glazed Salmon with Buttery Roasted Squash
Chef Erick Williams recommends thick cuts of salmon for this recipe because they cook quickly while remaining juicy and tender and are well balanced by the sweet, gingery glaze. If delicata or acorn squash aren't available, substitute six cups of peeled and diced butternut squash.
Squash Casserole with Potato-Chip Crust
"A few years back when my husband called his 90-something-year-old mother to get the recipe for this holiday favorite, she laughed and said no one ever had bothered to write it down," Food & Wine's Kat Kinsman writes. "'You just make it!' she told him, but did eventually walk him through the method. The exact makeup of this Eastern Carolina dish varies from family to family, but in the Wagner kitchen, gooey cheese and a crisp potato chip topping is key, and if you're worried that you're cooking down the vegetables too much—you're not. Gloriously caramelized mush is the goal and when done just right, this casserole can be filed under 'looks like hell, tastes like heaven.'"