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Winter squashYou probably have winter squash on your mantel, and plan to use them in your Thanksgiving centerpiece, but do you have a clue what to do with them afterward? Squash is a delicious, nutritious and wildly flexible vegetable. Cooking these vegetables (or fruit, but we'll save that argument for another day) is simple with endless possibilities. Once you know how to identify the squash varieties you can choose your favorite recipe and enjoy.

Know your squash varieties
If you're like me, choosing a squash for your centerpiece has more to do with the color scheme and size you need than it does with the cooking possibilities. Know what to look for when you're shopping for squash and you'll find some beautifully decorative varieties that also make great dishes. These are some common varieties that you'll find at the local market.
  1. Banana Squash
  2. Butternut Squash
  3. Delicata Squash
  4. Hubbard Squash
  5. Pumpkins
  6. Spaghetti Squash
  7. Acorn Squash

Winter squash varieties(click thumbnails to view gallery)

Banana squashButternut squashDelicataHubbard squash



Now that you've chosen a squash, it's time to cook it. Winter squash can be baked, steamed or simmered. Winter squash is tougher than summer squash and cooks differently. Here are some great recipes to get you started. Share some of your favorites in the comments and we can all learn some new ways to eat winter squash.

  1. Banana Squash
    Citrus glazed banana squash is foolproof to make and even the kids will be asking for a second helping.

  2. Butternut Squash
    This butternut squash soup can be made two days before you need it, so it's a great way to take down some holiday stress.

  3. Delicata Squash
    Dandelion salad with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and roasted delicata squash is sure to impress even your pickiest guests.

  4. Hubbard Squash
    Take squash to a new level with these Hubbard squash squares in cream.

  5. Pumpkins
    Leave the canned pumpkin for off-season baking. Nothing finishes off a holiday meal better than Heather's pumpkin pie.

  6. Spaghetti Squash
    Baked spaghetti squash is a traditional favorite. Season it with dill and chili butter for an added kick.

  7. Acorn Squash
    Roasted acorn squash with an onion sauce is just the Thanksgiving side dish you've been looking for.


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