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Winter Squash

Winter Squash

Produce Spotlight on Winter Squash

Winter Squash are members of the Cucurbit family, and grow on a vine.  They come in a variety of shapes and colors that keep for several months after harvest. With yellow-orange flesh, they are an excellent source of Vitamin A and good source of Vitamin C, fiber, and many minerals.


Shopping for Winter Squash

Choose firm, well-shaped squash with hard outer shells. They should be heavy for their size. Avoid squash with cuts, punctures, sunken or moldy spots on the rind. Massachusetts-grown winter squash are harvested from September to November and are available through April. Canned squash and frozen squash are available year-round.


Common Types

­Acorn – small acorn-shaped with dull, dark green ribbed skin and orange-yellow flesh. Best baked.

­­Butternut – peanut-like shape with smooth beige skin and orange flesh; sweet nutty flavor.

­­Calabaza (West Indian Pumpkin) – deep orange flesh. Often used in Latino recipes. ­­

Pumpkin – bright orange ribbed skin and orange flesh. ­­

Hubbard – blue-gray bumpy shell with bright orange flesh; sweet nutty flavor.

­­Delicata – oblong yellow squash with green and white stripes.


Storage and Preparation

  • Store unwashed winter squash in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 3 months. Wash under cool running water and scrub with a clean brush before preparing. Peel skin before cutting squash into cubes.  
  • Store cut winter squash wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
  • Store cooked winter squash in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze cooked sliced or mashed winter squash in labeled freezer bags or containers up to 1 year.


Serving Ideas ­

  • Most varieties can be interchanged in recipes except Spaghetti Squash. ­
  • Bake, roast, sauté, steam or microwave.  Squash is done when it is easily pierced by a fork. ­
  • Puree as a base for thick soup or use in baked breads and pies. ­
  • Cut squash in half, remove seeds, and stuff with ingredients like rice, corn, beans. ­
  • Roast the seeds for a healthy snack. ­
  • Use spaghetti squash as replacement for pasta. Top cooked strands with sauce or pesto. 


Winter Squash Math

1 pound of winter squash =

2 cups cooked, cubed =

1 cup cooked, mashed

15 oz. can =

1¾ cups


Using Locally Grown Produce

For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website To locate places to buy local produce, visit


Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 cup; Calories: 40; Carbohydrates: 10 g; Fiber: 1.7 g; Fat: 0.1 g; Saturated fat: 0 g; Sodium: 5 mg