The Fuss-Free Squash: Delicata Squash

Ingredient Spotlight

Love butternut squash but hate all the work it takes to peel, chop, and roast them? It's time to try delicata. These striped, mild-flavored squashes are far easier to slice, and get this: you don't even have to peel them. Is that a collective sigh of relief I hear? I think that delicata squash is at its best when roasted. Slice it into rings or bite-sized pieces, toss with olive oil and salt, and roast on a baking sheet at around 400°F until they start to brown on the edges. This brings out their delicate sweetness and gives the squash a creamy texture.

Beyond straight-up roasting, you can also stuff the squash halves before roasting with a combination of anything from quinoa to sautéed greens. Try layering slices with cheese, cream, and herbs to make a quick gratin side dish, or mash the cooked slices with other winter vegetables.

When buying delicata squashes, pick squashes with smooth unblemished skin that feel firm, especially near the stem ends. Since delicata squash are thinner-skinned than other winter squashes, they don't keep quite long. Even so, they will keep for several weeks if kept somewhere cool and dark. To prepare, slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds, then proceed with the recipe. The peel is edible, so you can feel free to leave it on.

Delicata Squash Recipes to Try:

Fettuccine with Balsamic Delicata Squash and Bitter Greens
Delicata Squash Stuffed with Mushrooms, Farro, Pecans, and Dried Cranberries
Warm Farro Salad with Delicata Squash, Persimmons, and Pecans
Delicata Squash and Gruyere Dip
Delicata Squash Stuffed with Apple Cornbread Dressing

Do you have a favorite way of preparing delicata squash?

Related: 20 Ways to Eat Fall Vegetables for Dinner

(Image: Mark Herreid/Shutterstock)

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