One of the most popular ingredients for cooking is butternut squash.
It can be used in many ways for your meal and make your dish far more unique than it would be without.
Butternut squash has a particularly sweet flavor; however, there are times when you may find yourself needing to substitute this ingredient because of either its cost or availability.
When considering substitutes for butternut squash, it is important to consider what meal you are preparing.
For example, if you are making soup, it would be best to choose another squash that remains firm when cooked to mimic the texture of butternut.
However, if you are baking a dish, you can pick potatoes or carrots because they have a similar flavor.
The following is how these ingredients will substitute for butternut squash in your meal.
What is Butternut Squash?
First of all, let’s figure out what butternut squash is.
Butternut squash is a sweet and buttery vegetable from the pumpkin family.
It has a long and slightly curved neck with deep ridges.
The exterior of Butternut Squash varies in color – it can be white, yellow, orange, or even green.
The outside of the butternut squash is covered in rough and hard skin, containing many seeds.
But these seeds can be taken out and dried and eaten as well.
The inside of butternut squash is filled with stringy fibers that are edible – they taste similar to pumpkin pie filling.
When cooking Butternut Squash, many people struggle to cut it.
If the squash is bought whole, you will need a sharp knife to be careful.
Many people choose to buy pre-cut butternut squash instead – this saves time and effort.
You can eat Butternut Squash in different ways – as a side dish, as the main meal, or even as a dessert.
You can eat butternut squash hot or cold, and it tastes great both ways.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try to make sweet potato fries with butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes – it’s delicious.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Butternut Squash
There’s no need to buy pre-cut butternut squash. There are many other foods that you can use in place of it.
Here’s a detailed comparison of the 5 best substitutes for butternut squash, along with their key characteristics and proper ratios:
|Spaghetti squash has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a stringy, noodle-like texture when cooked.
|Use an equal amount of cooked spaghetti squash as you would with butternut squash.
|Acorn squash has a slightly nutty flavor and a tender, creamy flesh. It can be roasted, baked, or steamed.
|Use an equal amount of cooked acorn squash as you would with butternut squash.
|Hubbard squash has a sweet, nutty flavor and a dense, vibrant orange flesh. It can be roasted, mashed, or used in soups and stews.
|Use an equal amount of cooked hubbard squash as you would with butternut squash.
|Buttercup squash has a sweet and creamy flesh with a rich flavor. It can be roasted, baked, or pureed for various recipes.
|Use an equal amount of cooked buttercup squash as you would with butternut squash.
|Delicata squash has a sweet and slightly nutty flavor with a tender skin that can be eaten. It is versatile and can be roasted or stuffed.
|Use an equal amount of cooked delicata squash as you would with butternut squash.
Now, let’s discuss each substitute in more detail:
1 – Spaghetti Squash
Not only does spaghetti squash taste great, but it can be eaten as a much healthier substitute for pasta.
This vegetable is bright yellow and has a stringy texture.
This is because it has been cut lengthwise and removed the seeds.
Once you place spaghetti squash in the oven, the flesh separates from its shell – this is where it gets its name from.
In addition to being substituted for pasta, spaghetti squash can be used as a rice substitute.
The taste will vary slightly, however.
It will likely taste slightly more like a potato than rice.
You can also roast spaghetti squash and eat it with butter and salt.
If you don’t want to use butter, add a bit of olive oil instead.
2 – Acorn Squash
Acorn squash may be hard to cut, but it tastes great once you do.
This is a winter squash that can be eaten raw or cooked.
Acorn squash has a mild and sweet taste.
It also makes for a fantastic side dish during the holidays.
You can even roast acorn squash with salt, pepper, sugar, and other spices.
This squash has a dark green and orange exterior with deep ridges and lines.
It is slightly smaller than butternut squash, and the shape is different too.
There is also more orange color in acorn squash than butternut squash.
The seeds of acorn squash are edible as well.
You can eat acorn squash in soups, stews, and purees.
In addition, it can be used as a replacement for a pumpkin.
3 – Hubbard Squash
Hubbard squash is a variety of winter squash that is very versatile.
It can be used in soups, stews, and casseroles.
You can also roast it and eat it with butter and spices like you would with acorn or butternut squash.
In addition to replacing other winter squashes, Hubbard Squash makes a great replacement for butternut squash in savory dishes.
If you are using it in a soup recipe, you can even puree it with the rest of the soup.
Hubbard squash usually has an exterior with alternating green and orange stripes.
Its shape is similar to acorn squashes, but its ridges are much shorter.
Hubbard squash also usually has a lighter orange inside than butternut squash does.
4 – Buttercup Squash
Many people wonder how to make a recipe lower in fat.
Buttercup squash is a great replacement for butternut squash if you need a substitute that will help reduce the number of calories and saturated fats you’re ingesting.
In addition, this winter squash has a sweet flavor similar to butternut squash.
You can cook buttercup squash just like you would butternut squash.
You can use it as a side dish, in soups and stews, and even as a main course.
Buttercup Squash has an exterior with dark green strips on it.
The shape is similar to that of the Hubbard Squash, but the ridges are much shorter, and there is more orange inside.
5 – Delicata Squash
Delicata Squash is another winter squash that can be cooked and used to replace butternut squash.
This type of squash has a different shape than the others – it looks like an acorn squash cut in half lengthwise.
If you’ve never tried delicata, now is the time to give it a try.
Cook it, scoop out the inside and eat it with butter, salt, and other spices.
Delicata Squash has an exterior with green stripes on it.
It also has a vibrant yellow color inside that makes for a great palette cleanser between bites of meat or vegetables.
You can use delicata squash as a side dish, just like butternut squash.
You can also cook meat in casseroles, soups, and stews.
Butternut squash is a winter squash that has many health benefits.
The five substitutes listed above can be replaceable if you don’t have any butternut squash available.
Depending on what you are cooking, some substitutes may taste better than others.
The best way to find out which squash you like is to try them all and see what works for your taste buds.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Butternut Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
- Acorn Squash
- Hubbard Squash
- Buttercup Squash
- Delicata Squash
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Andrew Gray is a seasoned food writer and blogger with a wealth of experience in the restaurant and catering industries. With a passion for all things delicious, Andrew has honed his culinary expertise through his work as a personal chef and caterer.
His love for food led him to venture into food writing, where he has contributed to various online publications, sharing his knowledge and insights on the culinary world. As the proud owner of AmericasRestaurant.com, Andrew covers a wide range of topics, including recipes, restaurant reviews, product recommendations, and culinary tips.
Through his website, he aims to inspire and educate fellow food enthusiasts, offering a comprehensive resource for all things food-related.