Sweet dumpling squash is proof that good things come in small packages. Here's how to choose, prep, and cook this diminutive but delicious winter squash.

Sweet Dumpling Squash
Sweet Dumpling Squash | Photo via Bigstock

Meet Sweet Dumpling Squash

When you need a smaller alternative to a big winter squash, sweet dumpling squash is the answer. About the size of an extra large apple, this single-serving squash usually weighs under one pound apiece and is shaped like a miniature pumpkin due to the scalloped lobes that form the rind. The skin is often white with mottled yellow, orange, and/or green markings. Inside, the flesh is smooth, tender, and sweet, with a bright orange color. Like all winter squash, it's a great source of vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, and fiber.

Choosing Sweet Dumpling Squash

Choose a squash that is heavy for its size and has a firm rind. Uncut squash can be kept for several months stored in a cool, dry place.

Sweet Dumpling Squash
Sweet dumpling squash is perfect for individual servings. | Photo by Meredith

Preparing Sweet Dumpling Squash

This squash can be hard to peel because of its lobed shape, but luckily the skin is thin and edible, much like delicata squash. It is most often roasted or baked with the skin on, whether it's cooked whole or split in half. If you're cooking a whole squash, be sure to pierce the rind in several places with a fork or small knife to release the steam as it cooks. If you're baking halved pieces, remove the seeds. You can cook it with the hollow side up or down, depending on your recipe.

Cooking Sweet Dumpling Squash

Sweet dumpling squash meat cooks up lighter and dryer than most winter squash, and has a sweet, mild flavor which pairs well with nuts, cheese, and dried fruits. Their shape makes these squash great for stuffing the halves with ground meats or grains, cheese, or other vegetables for an eye-catching side dish or meal. For an even more festive presentation, cut around the stem of the squash, remove the top, and scoop out the seeds. Stuff it with your favorite meat or grain mixture, and bake until the filling is cooked and the squash is tender.

Try These Recipes

You can easily use sweet dumpling squash in any recipe calling for acorn squash.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Stuffed Acorn Squash | Photo by hungryallweighs

Substitute sweet dumpling squash in this recipe for Stuffed Acorn Squash. You can make this simple stuffing even heartier by tossing in some leftover cooked chicken or turkey with the stuffing mix.

Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash
Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash | Photo by linda2d

Apple-Stuffed Acorn Squash made with sweet dumpling squash would make a stunning side dish or vegetarian main dish.

Roasted Acorn Squash Salad
Roasted Acorn Squash Salad | Photo by Kevin J. Flynn

We don't often think of squash going along with a green salad. However, in Roasted Acorn Squash Salad this is the perfect opportunity where sweet dumpling squash can take center stage on top of crisp arugula and a drizzle of spiced vinaigrette.

Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash
Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash | Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

If you want to keep it simple, but still pack a bunch of flavor, try using sweet dumpling squash in this recipe for Parmesan Roasted Acorn Squash. Butter, cheese, and fresh thyme highlight the sweetness of the squash in this easy roasted side dish.

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