The Fuss-Free Squash: Delicata Squash

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

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.

Do you have a favorite way of preparing delicata squash?

(Image: Mark Herreid/Shutterstock)