Tasty fall squash recipes

Released: Monday, November 28, 2016

The fall is a great opportunity to take advantage of the flavorsome varieties of fall vegetables, including a plethora of different types of squash. They are packed with nutrients such as beta-carotene, which is beneficial to the skin. They also contain vitamin C which helps boost our immune system and which also act as an antioxidant to prevent or delay some types of cell damage.

Squash are also low in calories and fat, despite being filled with great flavors and opportunities to create delicious dishes for your fall table.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash has a bright yellow to dull yellow colored exterior. It gets its name from the texture of the flesh, which when cooked resembles spaghetti. Spaghetti squash is very mild in flavor and can be used as a pasta alternative. For all the recipes below, cut the squash down the center and place the squash face down on a baking pan and roast at 450 degrees for one hour.

Tasty Alternatives: Ideas to Use Spaghetti Squash as a Pasta Alternative

  • Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Marinara: After spaghetti squash is baked, brush it with a fork to loosen the squash and create a pasta-like texture for the base of your sauce. Simply sauté onions, bell pepper, and garlic and mix in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and beef or chicken stock, season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. For a lower sodium alternative, use salt free tomato products and low sodium stock. Find our savory spaghetti squash recipe here.
  • Herbed Spaghetti Squash: Cut the baked squash into chunks and season with Italian herbs to your taste (such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil and sage), and drizzle with olive oil. You can also add a dash of Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
  • Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs: Try making a lower fat meatball by using ground turkey or lean ground beef in your favorite meatball recipe and pair with baked spaghetti squash for a new twist.

Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash has a deep green colored exterior and a light orange flesh that is sweet and delicate. Acorn Squash actually looks like an oversized acorn; hence the name. Acorn Squash is easy to prepare and versatile; it can be served savory or sweet and the shape of its shell makes it a great item to stuff.  The exterior is edible, so there is no need to worry about peeling it, which can be very difficult considering its shape.

Tasty Ideas for Using Acorn Squash:

  • Roasted Acorn Squash: Cut the squash in half and season with cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of brown sugar, drizzle with olive oil, then bake in a 450 degree oven until tender.
  • Baked and Stuffed Acorn Squash: Stuff the squash with a wild rice, cranberry and pecan mixture to your taste, then bake until tender; serve as a side dish for Thanksgiving.

Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash has a pale orange exterior and bright orange flesh that is buttery, sweet, and slightly nutty. Butternut Squash is probably considered the most popular of the three and possibly more familiar amongst consumers. It is easy to prepare and can be prepared a variety of ways.

Tasty Ideas for Butternut Squash

  • Roasted Butternut Squash: Cut the squash into cubes, toss in olive oil and season with a dash of salt, pepper and herbs and roast in a 450 degree oven for roughly one hour or until tender.
  • Butternut Squash Chili: Make your favorite chili recipe, but exchange your usual meat for ground turkey and butternut squash. The squash will add a nice sweetness and a new twist to the traditional chili.
  • Butternut Squash Soup: This gives you the savory and warm feeling of comfort food with fewer calories than many fall soups. Try our delicious butternut squash soup recipe here.
  • Butternut Squash Fries: Just like sweet potato fries, slice the squash into wedges, toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then roast in a 350 degree oven until crispy.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili


  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper minced
  • 3-4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 butternut squash cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1, 15.5oz can black beans
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1, 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3-4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  1. In a large 3.5- or 4-Qt. stock or soup pot heat the olive oil
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper and jalapeño pepper and sauté in olive oil for 3 minutes; add garlic and sauté 1 minute.
  3. Add the meat and continue to cook with vegetables until meat is cooked and the onions are transparent.
  4. Add all seasonings, except salt and pepper.
  5. Add the squash, tomatoes, black beans and broth.
  6. Bring to a boil and let cook for about 5-8 mins, then turn on low and simmer about 20-30 minutes until squash is soft.
  7. Serve with toppings of choice. (plain nonfat Greek yogurt, reduced fat cheddar cheese, corn tortilla chips, cilantro, or sliced jalapeños)

Find more healthy and delicious recipes online at www.pbrc.edu/kitchen.

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