How to Prepare 3 Types of Winter Squash as a Delicious Side

Cook squash to take full advantage of this delicious vegetable, and don't forget to save the seeds for roasting.

orange melon
Red Kuri Squash.

The red-orange skin of this squash houses a finely textured flesh reminiscent of sweet potatoes. Red Kuri is delicious baked or steamed; its flesh is also a great candidate for puréeing into a soup. Just scrape the cooked flesh into a blender, and add seasonings and a liquid such as chicken broth, water, or cream. Hit the button marked "blend."

Acorn squash

orange acorn
Acorn squash.

Acorn squash shows up in gold, green, and white. This wide-ribbed varietal has a tender, fine-textured flesh with a nutty, peppery taste. Serve this small, versatile squash quartered and baked, mashed, or puréed. Or, create an edible bowl by halving it crosswise and baking, then filling it with cooked rice or stuffing.

Green buttercup squash

green melon
Green buttercup squash.

Green buttercup squash is a good squash for stress relief: a knife should be lightly pounded into its thick skin to aid slicing. The rewards for this effort are great, though. Its deep-yellow flesh eats like a sweet potato and holds up well through long cooking, so consider it for braising, roasting, and stewing.

Turban squash

Turban squash.

Turban squash has color variations from bright orange to green or white. Its oversized cap can be sliced off, hollowed, and used for serving soup. The seed cavity is small, which leaves room for plenty of sweet, hazelnut-flavored flesh to bake into tarts, pies, and breads

To cook winter squash, follow these guidelines:

  • Always scrape out the seed cavity before cooking.
  • Pierce the skin with a knife.
  • Whenever possible, cook squash, quartered or halved, in its skin. This makes it easier to peel or scrape the flesh out of the shell.
  • Steaming, baking, or braising are the most effective ways to get the biggest flavor out of squash; avoid boiling.
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