5 Ways to Cook with Squash or Pumpkin this Fall

squash and pumpkin for fall

Fall is finally here and with it comes hearty dishes made with ingredients like squash, apples and sweet potatoes. As the temperature drops, our biological response is to crave comfort foods and drinks. So here’s a list of six decadent fall dishes that use squash or pumpkin.

Butternut Squash Fritters

Butternut Squash Fritters

Break out your cheese grater or food processor and make these crispy Butternut Squash Fritters from Damn Delicious. They’re a great side dish or appetizer for a fall-inspired meal. The batter can be made ahead and then fried to order. Add other grated fall vegetables like potatoes, parsnips or beets for a multicolored fritter. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt seasoned with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Creamy Soup Served in an Acorn Squash

creamy soup in acorn squash

How meta is this recipe: Creamy Soup Served in an Acorn Squash bowl from The Minimalist Baker. This vegan and gluten-free soup is a blend of sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash and vegetable broth. The result is a vitamin-packed soup that requires minimal cooking and prep. Most of the heavy lifting involves dicing the vegetables and roasting them in the oven for an hour. The remaining prep is straightforward and the final product is a creamy, filling comfort soup. Serve in acorn squash bowls and garnish with toasted croutons or sauteed kale for a Pinterest-worthy dish.

Butternut Squash Risotto

butternut squash risotto

Fall is the best time to perfect your risotto game. This northern Italian rice dish is the epitome of fall cooking—it’s savory and goes well with squash. Take, for example, this step-by-step Butternut Squash Risotto recipe from The Pioneer Woman, which makes an enormous amount of risotto—plenty to last the entire work week. Risotto preparation is about patience and persistence. It consists of stirring the broth into the rice and waiting for it to absorb before adding more broth—great for a rainy night in.

If you’re looking for a dish to pair this risotto with, look no further than fANNEtastic Food’s Sage Pecan Crusted Tilapia. Pecans are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and complement the Tilapia for an easy-to-make weeknight dinner option.

Spaghetti Squash with Red or White Sauce

spaghetti squash

Looking to lower your carbohydrate intake? Look no further than the spaghetti squash, which is a perfect substitute for pasta in most recipes. You’ll be amazed at how this squash from The Kitchn easily transforms into strands of “pasta” using only the oven. Once cooked, the most difficult decision you’ll have to make is what type of sauce to serve the squash with—red or white? Here are two options to get you started: arrabbiata sauce and bacon cream sauce.

Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars

pumpkin pie bars

We all love fall flavors, and pumpkin-flavored treats top the list year after year. Most treats, like pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin muffins, only imitate “pumpkin spice” flavor. But for real pumpkin flavor, try this Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bar recipe from Joy the Baker that uses real pumpkin purée and freshly ground spices. These fall-inspired bars have three layers consisting of an oatmeal crust, pumpkin spice purée and a shortbread streusel. The bars are baked until the filling is set and then topped with pecan halves.

It’s finally sweater weather, so if you need more hearty recipes, try making one of the five pumpkin side dishes at your next holiday party or a savory apple recipe.

Photos: vm2002 / Shutterstock Inc., Damn Delicious, Minimalist Baker, The Pioneer Woman, The Spruce, Joy the Baker.