Katie's Healthy Bites: Discover Delicata Squash

120488415

120488415

Delicata Squash

Photo by: Mark Herreid

Mark Herreid

As the days get shorter and the weather cooler, I begin to crave the comfort of cooking with hearty vegetables. Butternut squash and pumpkin get all the love, but I prefer creamy, lesser-known delicata squash. Learn why you should add this low-maintenance squash to your veggie rotation.

Delicata Squash Through The Decades

Originally introduced in 1894, this heirloom squash has become increasingly popular because of its creamy, corn- and sweet potato- like taste. Also known as the Bohemian or potato squash, delicata was popular in the culinary world throughout the 1920s.  Now, thanks to farmers' markets, it's becoming more common again.

Buying and Storing Squash

Delicata squash is characterized by its green-speckled, pale yellow skin. This squash can range in size from 5-9 inches in length and about 1-3 inches in width.  (The small size makes for quick cooking!)  Choose a squash with a hard, deep-colored rind. After purchasing, beware that the squash will keep well at room temperature for only 4 to 6 weeks due to the thin skin.  Delicata squash can be baked or steamed like any other winter squash. A bonus: the edible skin that is barely detectable when cooked.

Delicious Duos

Delicata squash pairs well with bold herbs and spices, like sage, thyme, rosemary, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg. Similarly to other winter squash, delicata squash is a wonderful source of vitamin A , vitamin C and potassium.

Try this super simple recipe and share your favorite delicate squash recipes with us!

Herb-Roasted Delicata Squash
Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients:
  • 2 delicata squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.  Remove ends from squash then cut in half longways. Scoop out the seeds (save them) and slice the squash into 1/2- inch slices (like moons).

Combine squash, herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and toss to combine.  Place the mixture on a baking dish in a single layer.  Roast for 15 minutes, flip the squash and roast for another 10-15 minutes or until tender.  Serve.

70 calories, 1.3 g protein, 9 g carb, 3.5 g fat, .5 g sat fat, 0 mg chol, 66 mg sodium, 1.4 g fiber

Roasting The Seeds

Don't forget the tasty seeds!  Clean off the seeds, then place them in a zip lock bag with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, salt and pepper.  Roast them on a sheet pan (while your squash is cooking).  Give them a stir every 10 minutes to prevent burning.  They should be ready in about 15-20 minutes!

TELL US: Have you tried delicata squash?

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. See Katie's full bio »

Keep Reading

Next Up

Katie's Healthy Bites: Discovering Star Anise

Spices are an important factor in healthy cooking, since they have the power to add abundant flavor without adding calories. Widen your spice-cabinet horizons this week with the unique flavor of star anise. This spice's shape emulates a star with 5-10 pointed tips radiating from a central seed pod. Rust colored with a tough texture, star anise comes from an aromatic evergreen tree. It can be purchase whole or ground and its licorice-like taste, is similar to but more pungent than its anise cousin.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Discovering Achiote

Commonly used in Latin American, Indian and Spanish cuisines, achiote is a seed harvested from the annoto shrub. Earthy, sweet and peppery, this spice not only adds flavor but a deep, reddish color to foods.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Discover Chinese 5-Spice Powder

Spices are an excellent way to add flavor to any dish without adding unnecessary calories. Chinese five-spice powder is not typically used in American cooking, but if you've never tasted this flavorful spice mix, it's time to give this favorite in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines a try! Learn what's in the spice blend, and three delicious ways to use it.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Lesser-Known Winter Squash Varieties

Try out some different winter squash varieties this season for something different every day of the week.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Salt Varieties

Salt doesn’t need to be an enemy. When you cook at home, a dash from your own shaker can really boost a dish, and if you’re mindful, you don’t have to go entirely without. Learn more about sea salt, kosher salt, iodized salt and regular table salt.