Winter squash season has arrived and with so much sweet, rich, bright, and nutrient-packed squash, we want you to embrace the diverse variety of these thick-skinned and hearty fruits. They are our favourite for flavour and colour to brighten up a dark winter day. They are also super immune-boosters, full of vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, and fiber.

No matter the variety, when you’re shopping for winter squash, go for those that feel heavy for their size, have no bruising or soft spots, and an intact stem. The stem should be brown and dry, to ensure that the squash was properly ripened and cured. When cured well, winter squash will keep throughout the winter months, which is how it gets its name! No need for a refrigerator, just store it in a cool, dry place.

Most winter squash are difficult to peel, because of either their shape or thick skin. Because of this, most are almost always cooked with their skin on. You can cook them whole, halved, sliced into wedges, or cubed. If you’re cooking a whole squash, pierce the skin so steam can escape. After cooking, the skin softens and becomes edible.


This deeply ribbed squash gets its name for its resemblance to an acorn. It has a hard rind which holds it shape when cooked, making it a great choice for stuffing and baking. With mild flavour, it is versatile for sweet and savoury dishes.


Their flesh is flavourful and tastes like sweet potatoes. With thin and edible skin, so it cooks quickly, but doesn’t keep as long as it’s other winter squash counterparts. You can slice into quarter inch rings, remove seeds, and sauté, bake, or even broil, in butter or oil, until caramelized. It’s also great in a salad or stir fry.


“Kabocha” is the Japanese word for squash! This variety is sweet, nutty, and earthy in flavour. They come in both orange and green varieties. It has a light, dry texture making it a great candidate for roasting, steaming, and frying as it maintains it shape well. Use kabocha in curries, soups, stir-fry, and salad.


When baked, the flesh of this squash can be scraped to create spaghetti-like strands! Kids love helping turn this squash into noodles. Bake, shred, and toss it with your favourite tomato sauce, pesto, or butter and cheese.


The best pumpkins for cooking are very different from the field pumpkins, used for carving jack-o’-lanterns. Best to keep field pumpkins out of your kitchen as they are watery, stringy , and not recommended for eating. Sugar pumpkins are smaller, with sweet, dense flesh perfect for all your baking, from pies to muffins to pancakes to bread.


Hubbards are a huge, heirloom squash, with a grey shell, green rind, and bright orange flesh. They aren’t too sweet and have a buttery, nutty flavour. Their texture is similar to a baked potato and they are best baked or mashed. This guy will feed a crowd.


This squash is similiar to the Hubbard, but with a beautiful red skin and more manageable in size. “Kuri” is the Japanese word for chestnut. Its flavour and texture pairs well with creamy ingredients and it’s great in baked goods like pies and muffins, or savoury soups and casseroles.


Definitely the most common and versatile of all winter squashes, Butternut is easy to peel, holds it shape well for salads and is creamy when blended for soups. Our favorite unique use of butternut is for pizza toppings! Try roasting, pureeing, and dolloping it on pizza with ricotta and dried cranberries, and then invite us over for dinner please.


If you’re still a little intimidated by the more hefty winter squashes, you could start with this smaller alternative. Sweet Dumplings are good for stuffing with meats, grains, cheese, or vegetables for a hearty main or a sweet side dish.