No one can seem to get enough of pumpkin once fall hits. Don’t even get us started on the hype around pumpkin spice. But consumers’ boisterous enthusiasm for this particular breed of squash overshadows the potential of its equally delicious (though admittedly less attractive) cousins. From kabocha to acorn, the gourd possibilities are endless.
Squashes are great for your health — they have fiber, complex carbohydrates, and nutrients your body needs to prepare for wintertime. The beta-carotene in orange varieties of squash helps preserve your eyesight. Magnesium, present in most types of squash, can keep you feeling energized and alert without becoming anxious or stressed during the holiday season.
These recipes are perfect for cooking healthy meals for a family, meal prepping for one, or just trying to keep your dinners on the healthier side. We have options that use the versatile vegetable for meals that take a little more time, but also for nights when you want dinner on the table in thirty minutes or less. No matter what the occasion, though, these healthy recipes will squash the competition.
When you’re thinking about what whole grain you want to cook for your family, barley probably isn’t the first to come to mind. But it’s great for you — and a great way to switch up your usual healthy dinner rotation. This grain salad mixes onion, squash, and seasonal spices with the grain for a satisfying meal you can pack for leftovers tomorrow.
Buttercup squash is butternut’s much cuter cousin — and it works just as well in soup as the original creamy squash base. Pair this soup with some crispy crostini or some pumpkin seeds to complete the meal. It’s dairy-free, vegan, and (thanks to luscious coconut milk) still satisfying.
A Thai-inspired alternative to your typical phở, this creamy soup base is everything we’re craving this fall season. Shrimp provides a low-calorie, protein-rich twist to this coconut milk-based broth — the result is bound to keep you nourished and warm all the way through Christmas.
Not quite ready to say goodbye to bright colors and summer fruit? We aren’t either. This grain bowl goes against the grain (sorry!) and incorporates blueberries to the squash mix. It serves as an appealing mediator between the warm flavors of winter and the tangy fruits of summer. Blueberries add a kick of antioxidants to the healthy carb-filled dish.
Mac and cheese just got a serious upgrade. This recipe is giving Chrissy Teigen’s famous mac a run for its money. The crumbly crust of this gooey, cheesy bake is made from toasty pecans and flavorful gingersnap cookies. It doesn’t get more seasonal than that — or more comforting.
You’d never guess it after getting a taste, but brown butter sauce is one of the simplest sauces to whip up at home. Simply sauté some butter in a pan with spices and you’re set — a simple process that lets the true star of the recipe, butternut squash, shine through every pillow-y pasta bite.
These tiny, stuffed pillows of pasta seem so complicated to make, but the recipe is actually so easy. Your guests will be endlessly impressed that you served tortellini that wasn’t store-bought, and even more impressed that you swapped the classic cheese for delightfully-seasoned squash. The texture perfectly complements pasta — and topped with a bit of parmesan, it’s delicious. Discover the flavor for yourself here.
These stuffed poultry slices won’t leave you overly stuffed. Chicken recipes offer lighter fare to offset rich, indulgent fall meals — but the prosciutto and apples still keep things flavorful and enticing. For more chicken recipes, click here. But if you think this flavor-rich meal will satisfy, here’s our simple recipe.
If you’re looking to make something nourishing, lamb is likely to satisfy. The warm flavors in this hearty stew make a comforting, home-cooked meal perfect for your cozy fall evenings. Apple cider lends some sweetness to a slow-cooked lamb, and butternut squash adds healthy, fiber-rich carbs to this hefty family meal. Make enough for a crowd with this recipe.
Here’s the secret to healthier mac and cheese: Don’t use as much cheese. But you don’t want a sad, bare pot of pasta. Instead of settling for less, this recipe adds so much more. Not only do you get a savory sauce that mimics the richness of cheese, but you also get some much-needed fiber to offset all that dairy. Make this healthier comfort classic at home here.
We bet you’ve never heard of the rare breed of squash used in this recipe. It’s called red kuri squash; it looks somewhat like a pumpkin, but less intimidatingly large. It’s a great source of vitamin A and C, as well as potassium and iron. It pairs elegantly with chanterelle mushrooms in this risotto recipe, making a nutritious and flavorful meal.
Okay, anything with crème fraîche is bound to taste incredible. It adds the creaminess you crave, while the pumpkin seeds add a nutritious crunch. Instead of using your typical butternut, this recipe adds a spin on squash soup by using kabocha, an underrated but equally nutritious squash variety.
Most Turkey Day stuffing recipes involve cranberries and parsley, and with good reason. The flavors mesh with warm broth to create a succulent, rich base for any turkey or other protein. They act similarly in this recipe for stuffed squash — so this recipe is a great way to get into the spirit a few weeks early.
Flatbread for one? Yes, please. The toppings on this crispy, doughy dinner creation are insanely creative, combining squash, potatoes, pears, and grapes for a sweet and savory pizza experience.
Acorn squash are perfectly sized for individual portions — slice them in half and you’ve got adorable, fall-themed bowls. This recipe packs five different types of vegetables in each portion; paired with brown rice, the result is a meatless meal that’s as filling as it is good for you.
Asian cuisine isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you think of fall foods, but kabocha squash makes a surprisingly welcome addition to this comforting bowl. Soup season is upon us, and with it comes the flu, stuffed noses, and sore throats — all of which could be mitigated with a big bowl of noodle soup.
Tarte flambé is essentially a fancy version of pizza — pair it with a nice Bordeaux, and your pizza nights just got way more cultured. This recipe has you make the dough yourself, but we’re confident that a pre-made bread dough would work just as well. The toppings are what really matter here — and they’re incredible.
If you’re looking for a rich, cheesy recipe without any actual cheese, this is your lucky day. Vegan, gluten-free, and enticingly creamy, your guests will devour the dish without a second glance.
Risotto is undoubtedly cozy, but sometimes it can be complicated to cook. If you’re not up for lighting up the stove, try one of these comfort classics that are so simple, you can make them from your dorm room.