The best part of squash season is you can have a week of meals and never eat the same type.
Advertisement
assorted pumpkins and winter squash
Credit: StudioBarcelona via Getty Images

The farmers' markets and grocery stores are bursting with yellow, green and orange squash. If you garden, you may suddenly be overwhelmed with dozens of ripe squash fruits (yes, they're fruits!).

From squat little patty pans to deep green acorn, hourglass butternut to striped delicata, squash are as beautiful as they are diverse. And when it comes to taste, squash are rich, sweet and deeply flavorful.

You may not know what to do with all your squash, but luckily, this veggie-like fruit is versatile—if you've got a couple, you have enough for a week of vegetable-forward meals. When cooking, consider the squash not only in terms of adaptable textures (silky soups, toothsome roasts and crispy casseroles), but also in terms of shapes, since squash are excellent for stuffing and make for beautiful presentations.

And don't stop at soups, roasts and the oven. This autumnal fruit is perfect for the stovetop range, the Instant Pot, and even the microwave.

Spinach and Spaghetti Squash Quiche

spinach and spaghetti squash quiche miniature
Credit: Joey Joan

The quiche is always gone by the end of brunch for good reason—this reliable favorite makes for an excellent main. Eggs, spaghetti squash, cheese and spinach come together for an appetizing, easy bake, as well as tasty leftovers and lunches. Microwaving the squash minimizes cooking time and cuts to the chase of baking your quiche. Just nuke, shred, mix and bake, and you're on your way to dinner.

Easy Butternut Squash Ravioli

Easy Butternut Squash Ravioli
Credit: Chef John

Wonton wrappers are this recipe's shortcut, but butternut squash is its secret weapon. Just stuff your wonton wrappers with mascarpone, egg, spices and Parmesan, and you're ready to cook. Sauteeing the ravioli for a bit after boiling gives them that perfect pan finish.

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

If you've ever made stuffed peppers, stuffed squash aren't so different. Pattypan squash are small, flower-shaped squash that are easy to cook quickly and simple for stuffing. This recipe doesn't call for rice, but instead onion, bread crumbs, cheese and and bacon. But if you want to go veggie for this dish, just substitute tempeh crumbles or vegan meat like Beyond ground beef.

Get the Recipe: Stuffed Pattypan Squash

Pattypan Squash Pancakes

pattypan squash pancakes stacked up
Credit: whtip

Grate your little pattypan squash and mix up some Bisquick, eggs, onion, cheese and garlic for a quick, savory skillet pancake that's a real crowd-pleaser. You're getting your family to eat garden produce, and they're loving it. Score one for the cook.

Get the Recipe: Pattypan Squash Pancakes

Butternut Mascarpone Gnocchi

Butternut Squash and Mascarpone Gnocchi
Credit: Chef John

Gnocchi can be made many ways, and the Italian dish need not always contain potato. These gnocchi swap in light butternut squash for heavy potato, and add mascarpone to the mix. The result is a fluffy, cheesy dish that's easy to sauté.

Mexican Bean and Squash Soup

This one-pot soup is chock full of healthy ingredients, from the golden-orange butternut squash flesh to the celery, carrots and cannellini beans. You can substitute any bean and any squash in this flexible recipe too, so use everything but the kitchen sink. Lime and Chipotle peppers add zing, tortilla chips add crunch, and sour cream cools the tongue.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash with Chili

Instant Pot spaghetti squash with chili
Credit: bd.weld

It doesn't get simpler than this steamed Instant Pot spaghetti squash. Just steam, shred, and top with your favorite homemade or canned chili. Sprinkle some festive shredded cheese on top and you've hit all the right notes for a hot, easy autumnal meal.

Cheesy Acorn Squash

Cheesy Acorn Squash
Photo by mommyluvs2cook

Pop your acorn squash in the microwave for 20 minutes on high to speed up this oven-baked squash. The sweet, nutty taste of this squash is amplified by a mushroom sauté. Top with cheddar and put this back in the oven for the perfect cheesy topping.

Get the Recipe: Cheesy Acorn Squash

Butternut Squash Pizzas with Rosemary

Butternut Squash Pizzas with Rosemary
Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

This is a hearty meal that's easy to make. Thinly slicing butternut squash means your cooking time is shortened, and your pizzas will be out of the oven in no time. Add squash to pre-made pizza crusts and sprinkle Asiago or Parmesan on top.

Squash and Apple Bake

This is an hour-long bake, but the reward is sweet. This recipe contains only seven ingredients: butternut squash, apples, brown sugar, butter, flour, salt and ground mace (substitute nutmeg or even cinnamon if you don't have it). When apples are softened by the touch of butter and brown sugar, with butternut squash slices as the base, the result is a home run.

Get the Recipe: Squash and Apple Bake

Merritt's Butternut Squash Gratin

butternut squash gratin with rosemary garnish
Credit: Godivagirl

A gratin is a thing of beauty—golden-brown, with just the right amount of crispness. To make a gratin, you just need a browned crust—it doesn't matter if it's from breadcrumbs, butter, cheese or egg. But pairing breadcrumbs, cheese and butter with butternut squash is a recipe for a hit dinner dish. If you buy cheese pre-grated and pre-dice the squash, dinner prep won't be so hard.

Winter Squash Rolls

winter squash rolls
Credit: R. Martin

What's not to love about this flexible rolls recipe that allows you to use whatever winter squash you have on hand? Cube up some squash and get ready to make the hit of Thanksgiving dinner. The squash lends a moistness and complex flavor to usually-dull dinner rolls, and they're great for mini sandwiches too. These fluffy rolls benefit from two risings—so set aside the time to make them, and all your guests will be thrilled.

Get the Recipe: Winter Squash Rolls

Baked Delicata Squash with Lime Butter

Delicata squash, nicknamed the "sweet potato squash" for their brown sugar-like flavor, are the workhorse of the winter squash world. Small enough to roast quickly, with skin thin enough to eat, this is an excellent all-purpose squash. Just slice these slender cylinders up, season and bake. This recipe calls for fresh lime juice, chili powder and butter as a topping after roasting—a winning combination that gives a slightly piquant flavor to this.

Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Risotto
Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

So many people are under the impression that they'll never produce a perfect risotto, that they never even bother trying. The real trick is to turn on a TV show and just keep stirring. This risotto benefits from mashed butternut squash, which devotes its moisture to cooking the rice. Keep your wooden spoon moving as you cook this risotto, and you'll end up with a rich, moist fall treat.

Get the Recipe: Butternut Squash Risotto

Butternut Squash Casserole

Butternut Squash Casserole
Credit: meloney13

This casserole recipe distills the casserole down to a simple formula: Nuke the squash, mix with sugar, milk, flour and eggs, and bake until set. The crushed vanilla wafers on top are just the icing on the cake, so to speak. You can substitute butter for margarine in both the casserole and the topping if you're not worried about calories. The end product is a custard-like souffle with the richness of sweet potatoes.

Asian Kabocha Soup

asian kabocha soup
Credit: sidra1446

Kabocha squash, which resemble big fat speckled green pumpkins, are sweet and lend themselves very well to Thai flavors. Look for them at farmers markets and gourmet grocery stores. The thick, dense, sweet winter squash produces a golden-orange flesh that pairs perfectly with coconut milk and curry. This soup is finished perfectly with fresh chopped cilantro and lime.

Get the Recipe: Asian Kabocha Soup

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Credit: SunnyDaysNora

This colorful, appetizing recipe is fall in a dish. Though you'll have to roll up your sleeves a little bit, if you're looking for a shortcut, don't be afraid to nuke or boil the squash to the appropriate level of tenderness. The sauce is where it's at: Don't forget chili, garlic, peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, ginger, sesame oil and black pepper, but you can skip the fish sauce if you'd like. And to make it veggie, feel free to substitute veggie broth for chicken broth, and tofu or vegan meat for chicken. Sauté it all up, and you've got a low-carb version of pad thai that still packs a flavor punch.