From Soup to Stir-Fry: 6 Healthy Uses for In-Season Squash — Fall Fest

Make the most of in-season squash with these six healthy recipes for soup, stir fry, lasagna and more.
By: Emily Lee
FNK_SQUASH_AND_SPINACH_LASAGNA_H_.jpg

FNK_SQUASH_AND_SPINACH_LASAGNA_H_.jpg

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Cooking with squash is easy, and it adds a certain richness to comforting fall meals. Most importantly, it's an excellent way to boost the vitamins and fiber in your diet, especially as we enter that time of year when tempting baked goods are ever-present at school or the workplace.

Sure, squashes' gnarled stems and rough skins can come across as a bit intimidating. But the effort spent peeling, de-seeding and cooking these hearty vegetables comes with a major payoff — for your taste buds and your health. Here are a few simple recipes to add to your weekly lineup, featuring common fall squashes like acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash and more. From soup to stir-fry, there's nothing these versatile veggies can't do.

Squash and Spinach Lasagna (pictured at top)

Who says lasagna needs meat? Here, fresh butternut squash lends a nice richness and meaty texture for fewer calories than a traditional beef lasagna, and part-skim mozzarella gives you that gooey cheese goodness. Toss in some fresh baby spinach for added vitamins and minerals.

When cooked on high heat, the flesh of spaghetti squash separates into strands, so it can be served like pasta. When you zap it in the microwave, it cooks in under 20 minutes. Toss the pastalike strands with an Indian-inspired sauce for an easy weeknight side.

ReeDrummond_ButternutSquashandKaleStirFry_H

ReeDrummond_ButternutSquashandKaleStirFry_H

Chef Name: Ree Drummond Full Recipe Name: Butternut Squash and Kale Stir Fry Talent Recipe: Ree Drummond’s Butternut Squash and Kale Stir Fry, as seen on The Pioneer Woman FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, Back to School/Sandwich Central/Dinner and a Movie/Sides Show Name: The Pioneer Woman Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Tender cubes of chile-spiced butternut squash make the perfect addition to Ree Drummond’s buttery kale stir-fry.

This comforting side dish relies on corn and winter squash for hearty texture. There are many varieties of winter squash, but one with firm, smooth flesh that turns tender when cooked — such as butternut squash, acorn squash or pumpkin — will do best in this dish. (For a complete list of winter squash varieties, see here).

Glazed_Squash_014.tif

Glazed_Squash_014.tif

Pieces of glazed squash on a whote rectangular plate

©prop stylist: Marina Malchin Food stylist: Jamie Kimm

prop stylist: Marina Malchin Food stylist: Jamie Kimm

Mild-tasting acorn squash is the ideal canvas for Food Network Kitchen’s sweet-tart balsamic glaze. Once it's coated, roast the squash on high heat until the balsamic vinegar and honey have caramelized to perfection. No need to fuss with peeling; acorn squash has a soft, edible skin.

FN_10_2010 COVER 156139.tif

FN_10_2010 COVER 156139.tif

Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

This creamy fall soup contains just 226 calories per serving, making it the perfect light starter for any fall meal — and especially a Halloween dinner party. For a festive presentation, ladle the soup into small baked pumpkins and provide an array of toppings, like croutons, pumpkin seeds and crispy prosciutto.

For more seasonal squash dishes, check out these recipes from our friends:

The Lemon Bowl: Slow Cooker Beef Curry

Keep Reading