Squash is such a perfectly autumnal vegetable, signaling the end of harvest season for much of the country, not to mention its historical value as a nutrient-dense food. According to the American Library of Congress:
“Squashes are one of the oldest known crops–10,000 years by some estimates of sites in Mexico. Since squashes are gourds, they most likely served as containers or utensils because of their hard shells. The seeds and flesh later became an important part of the pre-Columbian Indian diet in both South and North America.”
Let’s face it; for those of us who have cooked squash in dinners long past, the tried-and-true method of peeling, cubing, boiling and mashing with gobs of butter, salt and pepper is a bit overdone. I’m still a fan of the “adult baby food” that a well-mashed squash with lots of fat and seasoning becomes, but there comes a time to level up one’s cooking skills and branch out into different methods of preparation of this ubiquitous fall vegetable.
To that end, I’ve amassed a collection of some of the more spectacular-looking squash recipes that could grace your Thanksgiving table this year, regardless if you’re cooking for a (small) crowd, or just family.
Spice Roasted Butternut Squash with Cider Vinaigrette: This incredible-looking side dish from the recipe powerhouse Good Housekeeping deserves more than being relegated to an afterthought at your table; give this a try and let me know how delicious is truly is (I may beat you to it!)
Cinnamon Pecan Roasted Butternut Squash: this stunning recipe comes from a great food blog, Damn Delicious, and looks good enough to eat right from the screen.
Butternut Squash, Leek and Goat Cheese Galette: this outstanding freeform, rustic savoury tart at website From A Chef’s Kitchen looks a LOT more complicated than it actually is, which means more Brownie Points for you as the host or hostess (which of course translates to getting others to do the dishes while you sit back with a glass of wine and a Cheshire-cat grin…or is that just me?)
Winter Squash and Spinach Lasagna: another winner from the Good Housekeeping website, show the vegetarians that grace your table with their presence some love too, by serving this delicious-looking lasagna alongside your other meat dishes; they’ll never miss the turkey.
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup: one of my top five favourite soups, this recipe from Gimme Some Oven is made in a jiffy by using an Instant Pot, without missing out on any of the delicious flavour traditionally curated from long, slow cooking on the stovetop.
Hasselback Butternut Squash with Browned Butter: this striking recipe from the Woman’s Day website is both easily portioned and scalable for as many guests you’re expecting, though I’d make extra for the guaranteed second helpings.
Old Time Squash Casserole: this recipe from Noshing with the Nolands‘ food blog may bring back memories of your childhood, as this is a simple yet comforting, cheesy, creamy casserole that goes well as a side dish to any meal and can use many different types of squash.
I hope one of these delicious squash recipes on my shortlist will make its way to your Thanksgiving table, or any other holiday dinner table for that matter (I personally vote for St. Squiggin’s Day). Level up those squash skills; your tummy and your guests will thank you!