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10 Squash Recipes That Will Make You Forget They’re Healthy

Types of squash are often interchangeable, such as the nearly identical yellow squash and zucchini. But your best bet is to keep it seasonal: spaghetti and acorn squash in winter/spring, zucchini in summer, and of course pumpkins and butternut squash in the fall.

These ten squash recipes all excel at showcasing the unique properties and flavor notes of each kind of squash.

For example, Alton Brown’s stuffed squash makes the most of the natural pattypan shape by scooping out the insides, roasting the squash, and filling it with corn, lima beans, pecans, and fresh thyme.


Overstuffed Pattypan Squash

The squash is stuffed with stuffing. Picture courtesy of Food Network

This summer squash is delicious when roasted, and because of its scallop shape, it can be used as a serving dish for other fresh ingredients.

It’s no surprise this recipe comes from Alton Brown, who knows the science behind making amazing foods taste even better. Find more of his creations in cookbook I’m Just Here for the Food, or catch up on cooking your way through Alton’s hit TV show with Good Eats (The Early Years / The Middle Years / The Later Years).


Serves 4


4 pattypan squash (about 6 oz. each)

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 large shallot, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (about one ear)

1/2 cup cooked lima beans

2 oz. toasted pecans, chopped

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 232

Protein: 6 grams

Carbs: 18 grams

Fat: 18 grams


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BBQ Pulled Spaghetti Squash Sandwiches

healthy-squash-recipe Picture courtesy of Kitchen Treaty

Meatless vegetarian BBQ – yes, it’s possible!

If you are having a bunch of people over and need to have a veggie-friendly alternative, this is the perfect dish. And even if you are a carnivore, you’ll love the twist on pulled pork, which replaces the shredded meat with spaghetti squash.

Serves 5


1 3-pound spaghetti squash, cooked

5 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted

2 tsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups ketchup

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (make sure it’s vegetarian – anchovy-free)

2 Tbsp. cider vinegar

Liberal pinch of red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 323

Protein: 7 grams

Carbs: 69 grams

Fat: 5 grams


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Butternut Squash Enchilada Casserole

squash-healthy-recipes Picture courtesy of Monica Swanson

When you think of squash, Mexican cuisine is probably not at the top of the list. But this enchilada casserole will make you rethink everything you know about the flavors of butternut squash.

It plays a smooth element against the spicy jalapeno. Plus it integrates black beans, fresh spinach, and chicken breast for lots of protein. This is one well-balanced casserole both in flavor and nutrition!

Serves 6


1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 yellow onion

1 poblano pepper, cored and sliced

1 jalapeno, cored and sliced

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1–2 tsp. cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup shredded chicken (or 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup corn (frozen or fresh)

1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

1 cup fresh kale or baby spinach, cut into small pieces

1–1 1/2 cups salsa

1 small can mild green enchilada sauce

2–4 whole-wheat tortillas (or corn tortilla for gluten-free)

1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 525

Protein: 32 grams

Carbs: 68 grams

Fat: 17 grams


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Kabocha Squash Quinoa Bake with Brussels Sprouts & Pancetta

squash-healthy-recipe Picture courtesy of Domesticate Me

This squash casserole is the furthest thing from the kind with canned soup and blah veggies. Instead it has salty pancetta, roasted Brussels sprouts, creamy Fontina cheese, and a big helping of quinoa for good measure.

It’s topped with crispy panko bread crumbs and Parmesan, so there’s something familiar about this casserole. Tip: a garnish of pomegranate seeds will send this dish over the top.

Serves 6


1 medium kabocha squash

1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and white pepper to taste

1 1/4 cups uncooked quinoa

2 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock, divided

3 cups Brussels sprouts (about 18), washed and quartered

1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

6 oz. pancetta, diced

1 large shallot, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 3/4 cups freshly grated Fontina cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided

3 Tbsp. whole wheat Panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

2 Brussels sprouts, shaved and quickly sautéed (optional garnish)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 584

Protein: 32 grams

Carbs: 49 grams

Fat: 30 grams


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Forbidden Rice with Acorn Squash & Pecans

healthy-recipes-squash Picture courtesy of A Spicy Perspective

This dish has autumn written all over it – from the bits of pecan and hint of orange zest to the sautéed shallots and roasted squash itself. And it’s also an easy side dish to put together.

With rice for starch and acorn squash for veggies, it’s plenty to serve alongside your favorite protein like glazed pork tenderloin or grilled chicken breast.

Serves 8


1 1/2 cups black rice (wild or forbidden varieties)

2 Tbsp. butter (or oil)

2 shallots, peeled and diced

1 cup pecan pieces

Zest of 1 orange

2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 acorn squash, seeded and diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 349

Protein: 7 grams

Carbs: 35 grams

Fat: 23 grams


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Butternut Squash Protein Pancakes

healthy-recipe-squash Picture courtesy of Eating Bird Food

Squash contains a lot of vitamins and is low in fat, but this veggie doesn’t pack a ton of protein. There’s a quick way to fix that: add protein powder to the mix!

If you prefer, you can use pumpkin puree in your pancakes instead, but butternut squash lends a lighter, nuttier flavor. And instead of sugary maple syrup, this recipe includes a light and creamy peanut butter sauce.

Serves 1


1/4 cup egg whites

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/4 cup butternut squash, roasted and mashed into a puree (canned works too)

1 tsp. ground flax or chia seeds

1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Pinch of ground cinnamon

2 – 3 drops liquid stevia

1 Tbsp. PB2 (or peanut flour)

1 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla unsweetened almond milk

1 Tbsp. raisins (optional topping)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 294

Protein: 48 grams

Carbs: 20 grams

Fat: 3 grams


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Zucchini Blueberry Muffins

squash-recipes-healthy Picture courtesy of Ambitious Kitchen

It’s impossible not to think of fresh baked bread when there’s an abundance of zucchini growing in the garden.

Not only does it make one of the tastiest healthy muffins, but zucchini bread also freezes well if you have extra. This recipe includes blueberries, but you could toss in an equal amount of chopped walnuts or chocolate chips instead.

Serves 12


1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup shredded zucchini

1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 121

Protein: 3 grams

Carbs: 22 grams

Fat: 3 grams


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Roasted Butternut Squash & Ricotta Pie

squash-recipe-healthy Picture & recipe courtesy of Rodale’s Organic Life

This looks like a complex savory pie to put together, but there’s no reason to stress about the presentation here.

With premade phyllo pastry dough, it doesn’t take long to get the hang of rolling the ricotta and squash pie filling into coils. Tuck them into a cake tin, brush with butter, and bake until golden brown.

The end result is comfort food at its best, whether eaten alone or as an indulgent appetizer.

Serves 6


2 lb. butternut squash (about 4 cups), cut into 1/2 inch cubes

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

5 sprigs of thyme

1 cup ricotta cheese

3.5 oz. low-fat feta cheese, crumbled

1 tsp. chopped thyme

1 tsp. chopped parsley

1/2 tsp. chile pepper flakes (or more for a bit of heat)

8 sheets of phyllo pastry, thawed according to package directions

1/4 cup butter, melted

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 485

Protein: 17 grams

Carbs: 61 grams

Fat: 22 grams


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Summer Squash & Corn Chowder

recipes-healthy-squash Picture courtesy of Cooking Light

Who says you can’t have soup in warm weather?

This summer chowder is full of enough fresh produce to be healthy, but it also has smoked bacon and sharp cheddar cheese to keep carnivores at the table happy.

The only downside of this chowder is how quickly it disappears – so you may as well make a double batch to ensure there’s leftovers for lunch the next day.

Serves 4


2 slices applewood-smoked bacon

3/4 cup sliced green onions, divided

1/4 cup chopped celery

1 lb. yellow summer squash, chopped

1 lb. white and yellow baby corn kernels, divided (and thawed if frozen)

2 1/4 cups low-fat milk, divided

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 cup (1 oz.) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 285

Protein: 13 grams

Carbs: 38 grams

Fat: 9 grams


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Kobocha Squash Custard

recipe-healthy-squash Picture courtesy of Rachel Cooks Thai

This classic Thai dessert is so good that you won’t believe it’s also so simple.

Heat all the ingredients together, pour the custard in the hollowed out Japanese pumpkin, and steam to cook. Only six ingredients are required to make this dish, and aside from the kabocha squash itself, they’re all pantry staples you’ll likely have in your kitchen.

Traditionally palm sugar shavings would be used, but it’s ok to use granulated coconut sugar or raw sugar instead.

Serves 6


One small (14” circumference) kabocha squash

4 large eggs

3/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup palm sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 215

Protein: 6 grams

Carbs: 26 grams

Fat: 11 grams


Get the Recipe


What did you think of these healthy squash recipes? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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