Delicata squash is a deliciously creamy and delicate squash readily available in the winter season. It remains flavorful and incredibly amazing when consumed both raw or cooked. This winter squash finds a lot more culinary applications than one can imagine ever. However, is there any delicata squash substitute that works the same way in food dishes?
Well, replacing delicata squash in recipes isn’t challenging because there are a variety of alternatives available, offering a similar flavor and texture as winter squash.
For substituting your star ingredient, you must know its flavor profile, flesh texture, and appearance, which we’re going to tell you in a moment. So, let’s begin the journey of making your cooking experience great and inspiring.
Delicata Squash Substitute
Alternatives for delicata squash are great inspiration for making a recipe that calls for delicata when you didn’t have it on hand. There may be a couple of reasonable scenarios where you look for something else and similar to delicata squash.
First, this heavenly great recipe staple is just out of stock or maybe out of season when you want to try its recipes. Second, finding delicata squash in your neighboring area is a tricky task and you just want to get rid of this hassle.
If you find yourself in such a situation every now and then, look below to know the best delicata squash replacements. All the given candidates work great in different recipes and in their own way. Thereby, we’ll also reveal the ways of using these replacements in your food recipes.
Practically, acorn squash, carnival squash, butternut squash, buttercup squash, and kabocha squash are the closest delicata squash substitutions. Besides, there are also some uncommon substitutes including sweet potato, sugar pumpkin, and spaghetti squash.
1. Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is a quite distinct squash specie that lies far from the delicata squash in terms of appearance and outer skin. The reason why we added it to this compilation is its comparable culinary usage and flavor.
Its milder nutty flavor and sweet undernotes make acorn squash closest to delicata squash. The tender texture of its flesh becomes soft and buttery on roasting just like winter squash.
Thereby, subject it to roasting instead of delicata squash to get creamier and more caramelized flavor out of it.
2. Carnival Squash
The small, round, and colorful appearance of carnival squash make it an attractive and flavorful replacement for delicata squash. It offers a creamy, buttery, and mildly sweet flavor when roasted.
Additionally, carnival squash is easily available and a nutritious option for replacing delicata squash.
Carnival squash is best for your stuffed squash recipes where its colorful bright texture feels yummy and mouth-watering.
3. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is the best and closest delicata squash alternative that makes squash recipes more appealing and satisfying. It stimulates taste buds deliciously when roasted and stuffed in a variety of savory recipes.
Although it’s a great textural substitution for delicata squash, it is also common as a snacking ingredient. Its juicy flesh seems irresistible when consumed either raw, cooked, roasted, or stuffed.
4. Buttercup Squash
If you’re looking for a versatile substitute that works great in every squash recipe calling for delicata squash, put your hands on buttercup squash. Buttercup squash is a luscious side dish or a condiment when baked, mashed, or roasted.
Besides, it also blends nicely in slow cooking recipe dishes such as soups, stews, and casseroles. In terms of flavor and final mouthfeel, buttercup squash wins as a great substitute for winter squash.
5. Kabocha Squash
You will definitely notice an average-sized squash of deep green color on which bright strips are engraved roughly. It’s kabocha squash and maybe your next alternative.
In contrast to delicata squash, the outer skin of kabocha is much harder and difficult to remove and obviously not edible.
Moreover, it doesn’t pair well with cooking recipes such as soups, casseroles, and dips. This is because its flavor is sweeter and more distinct than delicata squash. So, the only way of enjoying this substitution is to eat it alone.
It is great for alone serving when baked, roasted, and fried.
Uncommon Delicata Squash Substitute
There are also alternative options available other than squash varieties, which resembles delicata squash either in nutrition or texture.
So, if you’re craving something different yet flavorful rather than usual routine, give a single try to sweet potato, sugar pumpkin, honeynut squash, or spaghetti squash.
Although all these substitutes are not from the squash family and cannot replace delicata in all recipes but can work great in selective dishes. So, let’s see where to use them.
1. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are best to replace winter squash when any squash variety isn’t on hand. They offer sweet, starchy, and earthy flavor with a tender, thick texture. Thereby, one needs to cook sweet potatoes to get the soft texture closer to delicata squash.
Cook sweet potatoes by either steaming, boiling, or roasting. They pair well in stuffed and mashed recipes. They are also great for serving alone as a side dish after mashing or blending.
2. Sugar Pumpkin
The lovely small, less stringy, sweeter, and softer sugar pumpkin belongs to winter squash family. In contrast to delicata, sugar pumpkin is more flavorful and fleshier.
Sugar pumpkin acts like a workhorse ingredient that goes really well when cooked, roasted, or pureed. It substitutes delicata squash in soups, stews, and various stuffed recipes. And it could be your best choice if looking for some healthy candidate instead of winter squash.
3. Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash ends with tender spaghetti strings that’s totally different from winter squash. However, despite of its texture, it’s overall a good substitution because of its comparable flavor and nutrition.
Spaghetti squash is readily available in the market so you can get your hands on it easily. It works well in casseroles, stews, and other condiments served with meat dishes.
4. Honeynut Squash
Go for honeynut squash if craving the similar delicata squash flavor and mouthfeel in your food dishes. Its texture doesn’t resemble winter squash but it’s the only flavor that makes it a worthy alternative.
Process it the same way as delicata and add to your squash dishes where its texture seems unnoticeable.
5. Hubbard Squash
Hubbard squash is another closer relative of winter squash having rich sweet flavor a bit similar to delicata. Its tender texture becomes softer and creamy after baking or roasting.
Use it in delicious purees, soups, and casseroles after processing hubbard squash. Like winter squash, it is rich in essential nutrients and multivitamins and overall, a healthy delicata squash substitute.
Here we tried to cover all the best and closer alternatives for winter squash that you can use in your recipes in accordance with recipe preferences. So, know your flavor requirements and pick up the relative substitution to make a delicious combination.