What is this strange green and yellow gourd and what the heck are you supposed to do with it?? Well my friend, this is called a delicata squash and you are supposed to cook it and be amazed at just how delicious a strange looking squash can be!
These winter squashes started showing up in our CSA boxes about 5 years ago and we weren’t quite sure what to do with them. In fact, we put the first few out as Thanksgiving decorations.
We had some friends over and one of our friends convinced us to give it a try. She suggested that we BBQ it then add butter and brown sugar. You guys…it was AmAzInG!! So delicious! But…sugar
So of course, we had to experiment to come up with a clean eating version of this delicious vegetable!
What Is A Delicata Squash?
A delicata squash is a long, yellow squash with green stripes. It looks like a decoration and is often found among the pumpkins and other squashes.
The skin is delicate enough that it can be eaten after being cooked. This is great because squashes are notoriously difficult to peel! They have an orange flesh and are said to taste similar to a sweet potato, though I call that a stretch.
Delicata squashes have a delicate flavor and can pick up flavors when cooked with other foods. They can be sauted, roasted, pureed or cooked on the BBQ!
How To Cut Delicata Squash
If you have carved Halloween pumpkins, you already know just how difficult cutting through the skin can be. Squash is no different. However, delicata squash has a thinner skin that is still difficult to cut through but much easier than other squashes.
It is easiest if I show you how to do it, rather than have you reading the directions and trying to figure it out! So watch the video below to see how it is done. If you prefer, scroll past the video to read the steps instead.
- Your squash will have two ends. Find the end with the stem and cut it off. The stem will be too thick to cut through
- You will be cutting the squash lengthwise. Start with your knife in the middle of the squash and push down to cut that part of the squash in half.
- Remove your knife and turn the squash around. Put the knife back into the middle of the squash and press down to cut the remaining part of the squash in half.
- Your entire squash should now be cut into 2 pieces.
- Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. You can make squash seeds the same way you make pumkin seeds if desired. Or throw them away.
- The squash is now ready to be cooked!
How To Cook Delicata Squash
The best part about delicata squash is how easy it is to cook! We have 2 favorite ways of cooking it, though the options really are endless. When we have a lot of squash, I will cut them in to thin (really get them as thin as possible) slices and saute them on the stove with olive oil and salt.
Then serve it as a side dish or over pasta or chicken. Slicing them thin will make them tender and delicious!
In addition to the above, we have 2 go-to ways of cooking delicata squash:
On The BBQ
If you have been reading our blog, you already know how much our family loves to BBQ. It is our Sunday night routine! Rain, shine or snow, my husband is outside at the grill.
These squashes are perfect for the grill because you can leave them on the grill while you cook everything else.
To BBQ the squash, start by cutting it in half lengthwise (see the video above):
- Heat the grill to Medium
- Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil
- Place the squash cut side down on the grill and cook for about 20 minutes. Tip: Place the squash along the edge of the grill for indirect heat. If you put it over the flame, it will burn
- Carefully flip the squash and add 1/4 Tablespoon of butter and about 1/2 Tablespoon Honey, into the cavity of the squash
- Cook for an additonal 10 minutes or until the squash is tender
- Remove from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve!
In the Oven
This is probably the easiest way to make squash! Put it in the oven while you cook any other dishes. You could aslo roast carrots or other vegetables at the same time!
- Preheat the oven to 425°
- Slice the squash into 1/4 inch slices
- Spread the slices on a lined cookie sheet
- Drizzle with olive oil
- Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper
- Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes
- Flip the pieces and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the squash is tender
- Remove from the oven. Serve and enjoy!
Is Delicata Squash Healthy?
This delicious squash is packed with vitamins and minerals! It also tends to be cheap when it is in season, so it is a healthy and affordable option! Get it when you see it because once it is out of season, there is no finding it anywhere.
The nutrients include:
Why You Need To TRy DElicata Squash
First off, it’s delicious, affordable and nutritious! You can make it in under an hour and it makes an impressive side dish! Add some other roasted vegetables for color and serve it up at Thanksgiving or any other occasion!
Prepare it a few different ways and find your favorite! Then let me know what you think!