Butternut squash is one popular ingredient; there are warming soups, curries, stews and lots of other delicious delights in the world that are cooked using the succulent flesh of the butternut squash.
The whole squash family hold a special place of its own among all the nutritious vegetables. It’s always safe to have some sort of squash in your vegetable basket, as they all are a quick source of energy, carbs and fibres. They have a sweet, nutty, starchy and earthy taste which slightly varies from squash to squash.
One fine evening right after I made up my mind to cook a warming bowl of butternut squash soup, I found not a single ounce of butternut squash at home. Fortunately, there was some buttercup squash available, and I used it as a substitute for butternut squash in soup. Since then, I have tried others squashes as well to substitute butternut squash in stews, casseroles, salads, pies and several other recipes. The results were consistently amazing.
Besides the squashes, there are some other vegetables as well that you can use to replace butternut squash in cooking; let’s find out how!
What to Know About Butternut Squash?
Butternut pumpkin or butternut squash is a species of winter squash that grows on a vine. It has a sweet, nutty flavour that is comparable to pumpkin. It has a tan-yellow peel with meaty orange pulp. When fully ripe, the fruit turns a deep orange colour and gets sweeter and richer in taste with age. It is high in fibres, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium, and it is also high in vitamin A.
Butternut squash is a vegetable that can be easily sautéed, roasted, toasted, puréed for soups like squash soup, or mashed for casseroles, bread, muffins, and pies. Ponca, Waltham, pumpkin, and calabaza are all squashes that belong to the same family. Because it is thin-skinned, has a small cavity with fewer seeds, and produces lesser waste than most other squashes, the butternut squash offers the best value for money among all the squashes.
Flavorsome Uses of Butternut Squash in Cooking
Butternut squash is a wonderful way to improve your general health by adding it to your diet. It is a flavorful ingredient that goes well with a variety of flavors, from sweet to spicy. Here are some creative ways to use butternut squash in sweet and savoury dishes:
- For a simple and excellent side dish, cut butternut squash into cubes and roast with olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
- When cooking homemade fries, replace potatoes with butternut squash.
- To add fibres to salads, top them with roasted butternut squash cubes.
- Butternut squash puree can be used in baked goods like bread and muffins.
- To produce a creamy, dairy-free soup, combine butternut squash puree and coconut milk.
- Butternut squash slices can be tossed into hearty soups.
- Combine beans, spices, tomato sauce, and butternut squash to make a vegetarian chilli.
- For a vegetarian meal, stuff roasted butternut squash halves with your favourite combination of grains, veggies, and cheese.
- Cooked butternut squash can be used in pasta recipes or pureed to make a pasta sauce.
- To make a creamy side dish, mash cooked butternut squash with salt, milk, and cinnamon.
- For a hearty breakfast, pair roasted butternut squash with eggs.
- When creating pies or tarts, use pureed butternut squash instead of pumpkin.
- Caramelized butternut squash is a delicious addition to quiches and frittatas.
- In curries, butternut squash can be used instead of potatoes.
- For a unique taste and texture, shave small slices of raw butternut squash onto salads.
- Try substituting butternut squash for other starchy veggies like potato, pumpkin, or sweet potato in your kitchen.
10 Great Substitutes for Butternut Squash
If you are still wondering which is the right substitute to replace butternut squash in a particular recipe, let us find that out together!
1. Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is a smaller cultivar of squash with orange-yellow flesh and thick, dark green and orange skin that weighs between 1-2 pounds. Choose acorn squash with a hard shell, no soft patches or blemishes, and with good weight compared to its size. They usually last fresh for at least a month if kept in a cool and dry area. The flavour of acorn squash is mild, sweet, and nutty. This skin can also be eaten. Acorn squash, like other winter squash types, is quite versatile. Baked, roasted, steamed, sautéed, or even microwaved; it can be prepared in a variety of ways.
2. Buttercup Squash
Squat and spherical in shape, buttercup squash has an inedible dark green rind with green-grey striations. The flesh is solid, dense, and bright orange. It looks similar to kabocha squash but has a circular ridge on the underside. Choose a squash that is large for its size and has a uniform colour. Squashes with blemishes, soft patches, or dull skin should be avoided.
Buttercup squash can be kept for up to three months in a cold, dry place. It has a sweet, creamy flavour and is considered sweeter than other varieties of winter squash. Because the flesh is dry, steaming and baking are the best ways to prepare this squash. And because of its hard texture, it is perfect for the curry.
3. Banana Squash
This enormous, elongated squash can reach a length of two to three feet and weigh up to 40 pounds. It features a firm, vivid orange flesh with smooth orange, pink, or blue skin. Banana squash is either whole or pre-cut with the seeds removed. Banana squash has a deep, sweet, earthy flavour when cooked. Banana squash can be substituted for butternut or kabocha squash. It tastes fantastic when roasted or when cooked in soups and stews.
4. Delicata Squash
This little cylindrical squash, sometimes called sweet potato squash, has thin cream-to-yellow skin with green stripes and orange-yellow flesh. Delicata squash is smaller than most winter squash, making them simple to prepare and cook. Squash that is good in size and free of blemishes is the best. Delicata has creamy flesh with a subtle sweet potato flavour.
Don’t worry about chopping off the skin of this little squash; it’s delicious. After cutting the squash in half and scooping out the seeds, you can bake it whole or chop it into slices to roast, sauté, or steam. Squash delicata is also great for stuffing.
5. Hubbard Squash
Hubbard squash is a popular winter squash cultivar. It has a hard, rigid exterior that can be deep green, grey, or blue in hue. Squash that is hard and firm, weighty for its size, and clear of soft patches are ideal. Hubbard squash is available at farmers’ markets, but it is usually sold pre-cut and seeded in grocery stores due to its size.
The flavour of Hubbard squash is rich and sweet, like pumpkin. While the tough exterior is usually discarded, the sweet orange flesh can be used in place of any other winter squash species. It is fantastic for cooking and baking, and it is especially good for pies.
6. Pie pumpkin
The pie pumpkin, commonly known as a sugar pumpkin, is another item on the list. It is sweeter than butternut squash in flavor, it is smaller in size, and it has fewer fibres. It also belongs to the winter squash family. It is high in vitamins and hence a good addition to your diet. The pumpkin is really sweet, so if you are creating a pie, this is the preferable choice.
7. Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is a nutrient-dense food that is high in vitamins and minerals. This ingredient is a great butternut squash substitute, and it’s even better in terms of carbs, calories, and sugar. When sweet potatoes are cooked, they become mushy and scratchy, with a sweet flavour.
They must be cooked first before baking, and the flesh will become softer and stringier as a result. Another cooking method for sweet potatoes is to fry or bake them on high heat until they are caramelized and crispy.
Despite the fact that carrots are not squash, they can be substituted for butternut squash in recipes that call for it. Carrots are a common element in pies and cakes. They are really nutritious and healthy; therefore, they go well with any of your diets. You can use carrots in shredded form or in diced form to replace butternut squash. Add them to curries, soups and stews as well.
9. Kabocha Squash
Kabocha squash is squat and spherical in shape, with a base that sticks out and is comparable in size and form to buttercup squash. It has a dull finish and vivid yellow-orange flesh with dark green skin that occasionally have tiny bumps. Look for a squash that has a firm texture with no mushy patches. It can be kept for up to a month in a cool, dry place.
Kabocha squash has a sweet, nutty flavour and a texture that is similar to a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin. Kabocha squash is a versatile winter squash that can be used in place of any other winter squash. It tastes delicious when roasted or steamed, in soup, or as a pie filling.
10. Sweet Dumpling Squash
The cutest of all the squashes is this little yellow squash with orange to dark green striations. Look for squash that has a deep colour and a smooth rind with no soft patches, blemishes, or cracks. This squash can be stored for up to three months if kept cool and dry and out of direct sunlight. The flesh is starchy and sweet, with a taste that is similar to corn. This squash’s compact, single-serving size makes it great for stuffing and roasting.
|Types Of Squash||Weight/Piece||Color||Taste|
|Butternut squash||2-3 lbs.||Yellow||Sweet and nutty|
|Buttercup squash||4-7lbs.||Dark green||Earthy|
|Acorn squash||1-3 lbs.||Green||Sweet and nutty|
|Banana squash||40 lbs.||Faded yellow and creamy||Earthy sweet|
|Sweet dumpling squash||7 ounces||Yellow with green strips||Starchy and sweet|
|Kabocha squash||2-3 lbs.||Dark green||Sweet and nutty|
|Delicata squash||1-2 lbs.||Yellow with green strips||sugary|
|Hubbard squash||5-15 lbs.||Dark orange||rich and sweet|
|Pie pumpkin||3-4 lbs.||Vivid orange||rich and sweet|
|Sweet potato||4 ounces||Orange-brown||Sweet|
|Carrot||1-3 ounces||Orange||Mildly sweet|