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The 7 Best Ways to Cook with Squash This Holiday Season

When it comes to the remarkably diverse Cucurbitaceae family, squash often takes a backseat to its flashier cousin. And while pumpkin indeed reigns supreme when it comes to everything from scented candles to coffee flavors this time of year,...

When it comes to the remarkably diverse Cucurbitaceae family, squash often takes a backseat to its flashier cousin. And while pumpkin indeed reigns supreme when it comes to everything from scented candles to coffee flavors this time of year, the truth is the squash has at least as much -- if not more -- to offer seasonally inspired chefs.

Wondering where to begin when it comes to cooking with squash this fall and winter? Read on for a roundup of seven recipes which give squash its delicious due.

Holiday season
So much squash, so little time.

 

1. Baked Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter

Want to let your squash shine? Just 10 minutes of prep time is all it takes to pull off this easy, earthy four-ingredient recipe from Paula Deen. Just slice, scoop, top with a mixture of brown sugar, butter, and maple syrup, and bake. In one hour's time, you'll have a (mostly) healthy side dish which looks as delicious as it tastes.

2. Sweet Kabocha Squash Ice Cream with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Just because the words "squash" and "ice cream" aren't usually found in the same sentence -- or even section of the cookbook -- doesn't mean they can't play nice. This inventive recipe from Chef Todd Gray of Washington, DC restaurant Equinox fuses everyone's favorite dessert with a seasonal pick. The result? A creative, creamy concoction sure to intrigue and please the palate.

Toasted pumpkin seeds spiced with a fragrant mix of cinnamon, sugar, ginger and nutmeg add a tasty twist.

3. Kale and Butternut Squash Stuffing

Who says stuffing can't be healthy? This recipe from Greatist is not only loaded with nutrition-packed ingredients like kale, leeks, and butternut squash, but also swaps out pork sausage for turkey and white bread for whole-wheat. The result? A guilt-free, delight-full dressing for your holiday table.

For a different take on the winning squash-kale combo, try Cooking Light's luscious Butternut-Kale Lasagna, featuring a heavenly gruyère-infused béchamel sauce.

4. Slow Cooker 5-Ingredient Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup

No list of seasonal squash recipes is complete without inclusion of this wholesome fall favorite. Thai red curry paste adds heat, while a refreshing coconut milk drizzle continues the ethnically-inspired theme.

The best part? This silky-smooth soup cooks in the crockpot -- a perfect solution when oven and stovetop space are tight.

5. "Build Me Up Butternut" cocktail

Perhaps the only combination less expected than squash and ice cream? Squash and alcohol. But that's exactly what this fun and fabulous cocktail pairs for a surprisingly decadent holiday-ready libation.

6. Delicata Squash Bake with Tahini Sauce

Because can you really go wrong with a recipe that hails itself as "tender, sweet, crunchy, fruity, citrusy, satisfying, autumnal, and simply delicious"? This Minimalist Baker recipe also includes other festive flavors, including hazelnut and pomegranate.

7. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

No one does simple yet scrumptious quite like Ina Garten. The perfect appetizer or light meal, this refreshing salad will please even the most carnivorous appetites.

Holiday season
Roasting is easy and delicious.

 

If you haven't yet embraced squash as part of your holiday cooking, what are you waiting for? For more great ideas on cooking with squash and other cooking videos aimed at making your life in the kitchen both easier and more delicious, check out Cilantro The Cook Shop's videos on everything from tea making to bagel slicing. And be sure to browse kitchenware, cookware, bakeware, ovenware, and much more for a comprehensive collection of kitchen equipment, tools and gadgets all aimed at helping you bring your culinary visions to life.