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6 Types of Hard-Shell Squash and the Best Ways to Use Them

Hard-shell squash is a great fall and winter vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. Squash comes in many shapes, but the most popular types are Acorn, Spaghetti, Butternut, Delicata, Hubbard, and Pumpkin. These squashes have different flavors and textures which all lend themselves to unique dishes. In this article, we will discuss six hard-shell squash varieties as well as how to cook them up for your next meal!

Pumpkin, Acorn, Butternut, and Hubbard squash can be baked or pureed, used in pies or soups, or glazed with honey or maple syrup.


Pumpkin: From the large round cheese pumpkin to the small white or orange Jack Be Littles, there are plenty of varieties of the famous pumpkin. They all have a sweet flavor.

acorn squash

Acorn: Acorn squashes are dark green and shaped like an acorn with a pointed end. Their deep orange flesh is sweet which makes them great for baking. They are also best when roasted whole, which helps to soften their hard outer shell!

butternut squash

Butternut: Butternut squash is a type of winter squash that is cream-colored and sweet with a nutty taste. Butternut squash can be roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper then used to top salads or eaten as a side dish. You can also use it in soups or puree it when cooking.

hubbard squash

Hubbard: Hubbards are large and bumpy. They can be green to bright orange or a dusty blue. The flesh is yellow-orange and grainy. Hubbards tend to be slightly sweet.

Spaghetti and Delicata squash are best steamed or roasted.

spaghetti squash

Spaghetti: Spaghetti squash is a bright yellow variety of hard-shell squash with flesh that looks like actual spaghetti noodles. This type of squash is perfect for making dishes like spaghetti and lasagna because they can be cooked in place of pasta noodles! Spaghetti squashes also have many seeds in them, which can be roasted for a healthy snack.


Delicata: Also called “sweet potato squash” because of their extremely sweet flavor, these yellow squash are oblong with green stripes and bright yellow flesh. This type of squash can be eaten raw, roasted, whipped into soups, or pureed into spreads.

These are only a few of the many varieties of hard-shell squash. As you can see, the squash family is a diverse group of vegetables. Use these 6 types in creative ways at your Thanksgiving meal this year!

What’s your favorite hard-shell squash and how do you like to prepare it?

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