Photo by Kim Steinhilber
We have to admit the title above isslightlymisleading. This article’s real title should be “55 Fall Cucurbita Recipes,” but that terminology just didn’t have the same ring to it. After extensive scientific research (and plenty of 9th grade-style diagrams), we learned that pumpkins, gourds,andsquash are all members of the . That’s fancy Latin-talk for “gourd.” The category encompasses the fleshy, large fruits with hard skins displayed in the supermarket produce section during the . From pumpkins to butternut squash, these healthy, fruits are as versatile as they are hardy (they on the counter for weeks and in the fridge for months). Get your chef’s knife and seed-scooping hands ready for these gourd-featuring dishes.
Small, round, and shaped like — wait for it — an acorn, the squash is easily found in supermarkets. These little guys have sweet, slightly fibrous flesh and hard, blackish-green outer skins.
1.Photo: Erica /
Don’t throw out the seeds! Clean the seeds before roasting to crunchy deliciousness by tossing them into a big bowl of warm water. Use your hands to them around until the pulp separates to the bottom of the bowl and the clean seeds rise to the top. Season seeds with warm , paprika, , and a pinch of salt before popping them onto a baking sheet and into the oven.
Making cookies is the perfect fall indoor activity, so we had to include these fiber-filled, whole-wheat squash cookies. Peanut butter and balance out the combo of , nutmeg, and clove. There’s a hefty amount of brown sugar in the recipe, but feel free to cut it down by half.
For comfort food with an equally comforting nutrition profile, this risotto covers all the bases. , chicken broth, thyme, Parmesan cheese, and yellow onion give the rice and acorn squash some flavor. You can sub in brown rice, but parboil it first to achieve a softer, creamier consistency.
This resourceful salad uses both the seeds and the flesh from an acorn squash. The base of the bowl is , an ancient strain of wheat, which has than brown rice or quinoa. Jazz up the grain with cubed acorn squash, toasted seeds, and seeds.
The herby sauce — made with cilantro, parsley, , jalapenos, lime, and honey — will make a convert of all squash haters. Coat squash in yogurt and spices before placing the whole meal in the oven to seal in the flavor. To up the heat in the chimichurri, leave some seeds in the jalapeno before tossing ingredients in the food processor or blender.
Though fall months may conjure cravings for , stews, and , this salad is a perfect seasonal lunch option. It features roasted squash, roasted rutabaga, carrot, hazelnuts, and raisins. The creamy homemade dressing helps sneak in some protein with and . For easy lunches all week long, roast the squash and rutabaga on the weekend.
This sneaky appetizerlookslike an onion ring, but it’s exponentially healthier. Instead of onions, they’re made of acorn squash pieces coated in shredded coconut. Rather than frying, these rings are baked in the oven with a touch of olive oil. We love the idea of dipping ‘em in a mix of BBQ sauce and .
This one’s for all the brave fall grillers out there. Don your warmest scarf and fingerless gloves for this simple rendition of roasted squash (or use a Panini press… we won’t tell anyone). Coat slices of acorn squash with melted butter and toss them on a heated grill. Drizzle the slices with a homemade sauce made of maple syrup, cranberries, and ginger, then garnish with toasted walnuts.
Golden colored and shaped like a vase, squash tastes similar to a sweet potato. The flesh is creamy, slightly nutty, and a little more watery than other gourd varieties.
9.Photo: Amy /
This filling yet healthy soup incorporates shredded chicken, cubed butternut squash, and nutty . Diced tomatoes and kalamata olives add sweetness and tang.
You’ll only need three main ingredients for this recipe: butternut squash, radicchio, and onion. The simple combo has the perfect balance of sweetness from the caramelized onions and slight bitterness from the radicchio. To turn this side dish into a main meal, try adding a protein like roasted chicken or lentils and serve over rice.
These are certainly not your average quesadillas, but since they still feature and a tortilla, they technically pass the test. The new-fangled ‘dillas include cubed butternut, , onion, mozzarella, and an easy homemade honey and lime yogurt sauce.
Can a sauce transform your life? This one may: It’s loaded with , but no one will be able to tell. It’s cheesy, velvety, and sinful — but a whole lot healthier than the traditional version. The pureed squash adds a rich texture that lets you cut down on cream, cheese, and butter (but not flavor).
The perfect quick but sophisticated appetizer for any party, this bruschetta ditches tomatoes and basil for seasonal ingredients including butternut squash, dried cranberries, apple cider, goat cheese, and crunchy chopped bacon. To make the bruschetta a little healthier, choose a whole-wheat baguette instead of white bread.
This lasagna is no dainty dish. It’s full of ground meat, mushrooms, spinach, and skim ricotta and Gorgonzola cheeses. Lighten up the filling by using extra lean ground turkey meat. compliments the Gorgonzola and squash, while , the secret ingredient, adds a touch of nuttiness.
Talk about . While regular macaroni and cheese recipes depend on heaps of cheese, many sticks of butter, and gallons of cream (slightly exaggerating here), this version relies on pureed butternut squash. The cheese sauce is still creamy and thick, but it’s significantly healthier.
Squash is the star in this meat-free sandwich. Homemade mayo and balsamic-glazed caramelized onions compliment the veggies perfectly. Rather than stacking your squash on a big ole bun, try whole-wheat bread or even a wrap for less messy eating.
Also called a peanut squash or a bohemian squash, this creamy squash has a thin, edible skin.
17.Photo: Sonja and Alex /
Since the skin of the delicata squash is , it’s super quick to prepare (and eat every last bit of). This Mexican-flavored dish is filled with brown rice, salsa, black beans, corn, chipotle chilis, shredded cheese, and hot sauce.
and sausage go together like … an excellent flavor combination. Onion and celery add to the dynamic duo to make an almost stew-like filling. The dish is finished off with an unexpected ingredient — a sprinkling of shredded coconut.
This salad is as pretty as it is healthy with colorful delicata squash rings and ruby-red pomegranate seeds. But beyond all that frilly aesthetic stuff, this salad’s got a lot going on in the taste department — goat cheese, slivered almonds, and a spicy apple cider dressing.
We’re going sweet and salty with this easy baked squash. Coat squash slices in olive oil and go to town seasoning ‘em with cinnamon, ginger, and a touch of granulated sugar.
This salad is elegant yet simple and big on flavor yet low on guilt. Top a bed of arugula and romaine with chunks, orange segments, grilled onions, and squash slices. To finish it off, drizzle the homemade herby vinaigrette on top.
is French for “pot on the fire,” and it’s definitely a good way to warm up from the inside out. The main star of this dish is , but , multicolored carrots, onions, sweet potato, and delicata squash are also important ingredients. One of the main elements of the Pot-Au-Feu is a solid piece of crusty bread to soak up any remaining stew — it’s the perfect way to put that stale whole-wheat loaf to use.
The green striped delicata is sweet and creamy, which makes it excellent for baking. While muffins are generally not the healthiest breakfast or snack choice, this version uses protein-packed flour plus whole-wheat pastry flour as the base. Maple syrup and chunks are perfect add-ons for this squash-based treat that’s healthy enough to eat first thing in the morning.
This appetizer requires hardly any prep time. Once you’ve washed the squash and scooped out the seeds, split it into wedges and toss them on an oven-safe baking sheet. Season the fries with fresh lime juice and chili powder. The — made with homemade mayonnaise and fresh — sounds fancy, but all you need is a food processor and a steady hand for pouring the oil.
Even though it’s a specific variety (that’s also known as the Japanese pumpkin), is the generic word for squash in Japanese. Kabocha is sweet and flavorful, but can be slightly dry and flaky when cooked.Photo: Shira /
Excellent news: Hummus doesn’t have to be made ofjustchickpeas. To change things up, this homemade dip uses two whole cups of roasted kabocha squash and only one can of chickpeas. It’s extra silky-smooth and much prettier than typical hummus. Use as a dip for crackers or veggies, or even as a spread.
The frittata, the perfect vehicle for into any meal, gets a fall twist with this recipe. Beyond just the kabocha squash, sage, nutmeg, and bacon warm up this easy breakfast for the colder months. Freeze slices for .
This salad includes tons of flavors that work together — sweetness from the pumpkin and , nuttiness from the quinoa, a bite from the mustard, balsamic, and , and tartness from the seeds. The pretty and colorful salad would make a perfect side for a holiday party.
, another cold month staple, jazz up this light and fluffy couscous. And here’s some good news for all the eaters out there — you can now buy cous cous made from brown rice (rather than the semolina flour used to make the traditional stuff). This simple dish also includes cubed kabocha, onion, and for some crunch.
This simple squash dish focuses on a few key flavors — curry powder, brown sugar, grated parm, and sage. The recipe explains how to fry , but we imagine it would be just as good fresh. Drizzle each slice of kabocha with to help the seasoning stay put.
This salad has all the essentials for a perfectly autumnal meal. Top a bed of with roasted slices of kabocha squash, pear slices, pistachios, and feta cheese (goat cheese goes well too). Simple, right? The vinaigrette is a little more involved, but we swear, are worth it.
Trade in the processed vanilla and chocolate pudding cups (we hear likes those) for a homemade rendition. The main ingredients in this unconventional pudding are squash and almond milk. Maple syrup is used as a sweetener while — a thickener made from — keeps the pudding from turning into soup. Once you’ve cooked the squash, this pudding is a cinch to make.
There are quite a few ingredients in this recipe, but fear not! There are plenty of ways to simplify it. The main components of this side dish are pretty basic, but the basil oil and multiple seasonings turn this recipe into a full on culinary masterpiece. If you’d like to tone down the work, just combine the roasted kabocha, cherry , feta, and roasted red onions with a drizzle of and some salt and pepper.
This squash is bright yellow inside and out. When cooked, the flesh of the squash separates into strands that resemble its namesake.
33.Photo: Andrea /
While basil is the usual base for pesto, this recipe features parsley and . And instead of pine nuts, the sauce uses . To add a little crunch to the final product, top the squash pasta with crushed walnuts and shaved Parmesan.
Get inspired by classic with this hearty veggie-based bowl. Combine cubed cucumbers, chopped red onion, chopped green pepper, Kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, and feta with cooked spaghetti squash. To dress the Greek salad mixture, whip up a quick dressing made with lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and an ample amount of olive oil.
— an herby Italian condiment usually made of , lemon, and parsley — is an easy (and healthy) way to season spaghetti squash. This gremolata also features fresh, diced tomatoes for a pop of color.
This combines shredded chicken, two varieties of onion, chili powder, cumin, garlic, and shredded cheese. and low fat sour cream add a touch of creaminess to the casserole.
While spaghetti squash is usually served like… wait for it…spaghetti, this recipe switches things up and stuffs the squash between tortillas. This appetizer or lunch also includes black , feta, cucumber, and red onion. Garnish with the super-simple sauce (it’s literally just yogurt, lime juice, salt, and pepper).
If you’ve never heard of before, it may just blow your mind. The cream substitute is made from raw cashews that are soaked overnight, drained, and then blended with water to form a smooth paste. To flavor the cream for this sauce, add lemon juice, grated Parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and of course, salt and pepper. Stir together sauce, spaghetti squash, and fresh basil for a surprisingly light, comforting meal.
Sub in versatile spaghetti squash to lighten up a typically heavy winter favorite: . Using spaghetti squash instead of lasagna noodles doesn’texactlytaste or feel the same, but it adds an extra serving of veggies. The key to assembling a lasagna-like casserole is to remove as much moisture from the spaghetti squash as possible. After cooking and cooling, squeeze out any extra liquid with cheesecloth and a sieve.
Instead of dirtying up extra dishes, this meal’s bowl is totally edible (although we recommend tossing the squash’s rind unless you have seriously strong teeth). Roast a spaghetti squash and then pile black corn relish and a three-ingredient avocado cream sauce on top.
This Asian-inspired meal blends sesame oil, soy sauce, and honey for a sweet and savory sauce. Sesame seeds add a little crunch, while and make the dish even healthier.
Surprisingly enough, the big orange pumpkins we carve and display on the front step are not so tasty. For cooking, grab a small , which features non-stringy flesh and a sweet flavor.
42.Photo: Katie /
We’ve before, but never like this. This sweet snack is like a bunch of mini bites of pumpkin pie (does it getanybetter?). It’s as easy as pie: Just drizzle the chickpeas with oil and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice, then go to town with the .
These 10-minute parfaits taste indulgent, but they’re hardly sinful. First, sweeten pureed pumpkin with agave nectar and add , nutmeg, and . Then comes the fun part. Layer the pumpkin mixture with Greek yogurt and granola. That’s it!
Pumpkin is usually used in sweet recipes, but it works just as well in savory dishes. Serve brown lentils, diced onion, chopped button mushrooms, lots of , plus pumpkin in taco shells for a vegetarian fall-themed dinner.
Gnocchi, best known as s, are usually made from just potatoes, flour, eggs, and salt. This healthier version has more staying power thanks to from whole-wheat flour and pureed pumpkin. Eat the gnocchi with a light coating of olive oil and Parmesan, or serve in a soup or stew.
This gluten-free, grain-free, , and egg-free dessert is hardly free of flavor. Ripe plantains, , and pumpkin allow the bars to stay moist and chewy without any flour.
This savory pastry looks as good as it tastes. The dough is made from a medley of flours — all-purpose, whole wheat, buckwheat, and almond. For the filling, top seasoned with thinly sliced roasted almonds and grated Parmesan, then layer with sliced pumpkin (that’s the good-looking part).
Perfect to curl up with on the couch (just don’t spill!), this chili is comfort food at its best with warm spices, hearty and beans, and sweet, filling pumpkin.
Take pumpkin out of the pie pan with these dessert bars. These healthy, delicious treats start with a raw, crust made from walnuts, dried apricots, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The filling ditches cream in favor of dates, coconut oil, and of course, pureed pumpkin.
Quick breads are great because, obviously, they’re speedy. This corn bread gets a healthy makeover with pumpkin puree and whole-wheat flour. The squares would make a perfect side for the pumpkin turkey chili above.
There are dozens (if not hundreds) of gourds out there in every shape, size, and color imaginable. While the following varieties aren’t as popular as the gourds we outlined above, we couldn’t leave them in the dust.
51.Photo: Marla /
For another take on stuffed squash, this gluten-free recipe uses the lesser-known dumpling squash. The colorful main meal incorporates quinoa, red onion, zucchini, bell pepper, bacon, and cheese.
Forget the . This culinary is the go-to come Turkey Day. The dish requires a whole lot of time and effort (well, maybe less than a turducken), but it’s worth it. A veggieducken is two sweet potatoes inside leeks inside a banana squash with stuffing between each layer.
We’ve used in before, so why not tryothergourds? This fall drink uses hubbard squash, banana, dates, almond milk, and pumpkin pie spice to make breakfast (or snack time) really feel like .
Sugar pie pumpkins also make a great savory ingredient. For a gourd double whammy, stuff a carnival squash with pumpkin, bacon, and mixed veggie fried rice. For perfect consistency, it’s best to use fully cooled rice, which will prevent the dreaded rice blob (and choose for a healthier alternative).
Roasted squash easily turns into a velvety, creamy soup base without much work. This slurp-worthy dish turns up the heat with curry powder, ginger, and cumin. Don’t forget the unexpected ingredient, , to sweeten up the soup.
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