The 6 Best Substitutes For Acorn Squash

What can I use instead of acorn squash? You can replace acorn squash with any available winter squash, as most varieties are interchangeable in recipes. Butternut, pumpkin, Blue Hokkaido, and buttercup squash have a similar flavor to acorn squash. However, Hubbard, pumpkin, and Kabocha boast a similar taste and texture. 

Acorn squash is a beloved winter vegetable packed with healthy vitamins and minerals. This sweet and nutty veggie is often roasted, steamed, mashed, sautéed, stuffed, or blended into a heartwarming soup. Here are our top six recommended alternatives to best match the taste and texture of acorn squash. 

The Best Acorn Squash Substitutes

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is an excellent acorn squash substitute, offering a similarly sweet, nutty taste.

However, butternut has a lightly smoother and creamier texture compared to acorn squash’s more fibrous and sometimes stringy texture.

Butternut squash is a bottled-shaped winter squash with bright orange flesh, a sweet, nutty flavor, and an oh-so-versatile character.

Like acorn squash, you can roast, steam, mash, sauté, stuff, or puree butternut squash for a delicious side or main meal.

Acorn squash and butternut squash are both healthy and low in calories. However, Acorn squash is filled with fiber and potassium, whereas butternut squash ranks higher in vitamins A and C.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin boasts a similar texture, color, and flavor to acorn squash, making it an excellent and versatile alternative when acorn squash is all sold out at the store.

While Field pumpkins are generally dry and flavorless, “Sugar Pie” or similar small, sweet varieties are nutty and sweet, making them great for eating.

The most distinct difference between acorn squash and pumpkin is that the latter may lend a bolder and slightly sweeter taste compared to the mild buttery flavor of acorn squash. So, consider slightly cutting back on the sugar when substituting acorn squash with pumpkin.

Substitute acorn squash for pumpkin when making roast veg, soup, or mash.

Hubbard Squash

Despite the smallest Hubbard squash dwarfing the largest acorn squash, Hubbard squash is another excellent substitute.

Hubbard squash is tear-shaped with dark green to pale grayish blue skin. The squash has a similar taste and texture to acorn squash; however, the Hubbard squash is slightly sweeter.

You can follow acorn squash’s cooking methods when preparing Hubbard squash.

However, Hubbard squash tastes at its best when roasted with simplistic seasoning or mashed with large dollops of butter and warm spices.

Kabocha Squash

Kabocha squash is a large, round, squat, and green-mottled squash variety that makes a lovely table decoration before making its way into your oven.

This winter squash also serves as a deliciously sweet substitute for acorn squash. Kabocha squash boasts a similar tender, creamy texture and sweet, slightly nutty flavor to acorn squash. However, Kabocha squash tends to be somewhat sweeter.

You can use both winter squash varieties interchangeably.

Kabocha squash has a dense flesh, allowing it to hold its shape well during cooking. You can bake, roast, steam, or add acorn and kabocha squash to chunky soups.

Blue Hokkaido Squash

Blue Hokkaido squash is a special pumpkin variety that you can use as an acorn squash substitute.  

Blue Hokkaido squash is open-pollinated Japanese Kabocha squash. Typical of Kabocha squash varieties, the Blue Hokkaido squash has a flattened globe shape with a blue-grey color.

If the unique gray-blue skin that secretly gives way to bright orange flesh doesn’t convince you, these subtle sweet, and deep nutty flavors are sure to sell you.

You can roast Blue Hokkaido, puree it into a soup, or use it as a vessel for stuffed squash similar to acorn squash.

Buttercup Squash

You can use acorn squash and buttercup squash interchangeably in most recipes. Buttercup squash is one of the tastiest winter squash varieties.

Buttercup squash is similar in shape and size to a small pumpkin and flaunts a green exterior that reminds me of acorn squash.

In addition, its orange flesh is sweet and creamy with a hint of nuttiness, much like acorn squash.

Buttercup squash is perfect for baking, steaming, roasting, pies, risotto, soup, and more. So, if you access acorn squash at the grocery store, ensure you capitalize on buttercup squash.

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