Squash is one of my favorite veggies, and I have more squash recipes than I do of any other veggie. It is sweet, satisfying, rich in fiber and so high in potassium. Potassium in squash helps to beat bloat, keep you hydrated, reduce inflammation and is great for your kidneys. Squash comes in many varieties, but for the most part, the nutrition is very similar in all squashes, though they all look very different. I've picked a handful of my favorite squash recipes to share with you that take a twist on original, more standard recipes. Check these out, and be sure to share your favorite recipes with me if you have any of your own!

1. Spaghetti Squash with Almonds

Spaghetti Squash with Almonds

Spaghetti squash is one of most used squash varieties in most squash recipes, and is also one of the best squashes to eat in multiple ways. Plus, even though it looks like starchy pasta, it is so beneficial for you! Spaghetti squash is lower in carbohydrates than pasta, making it the perfect replacement for noodles in spaghetti, or your favorite pasta such as linguine, etc. Spaghetti squash is sweet, but very low on the glycemic index. It has a nice starchy taste and is rich in fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It is easiest to roast spaghetti squash whole and then cut it open to remove the flesh. This recipe uses a simple approach with spaghetti squash, and pairs it with some wonderful seasonings and delicious almonds for a nutty crunch.

Ingredients:
1 3-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
kosher salt and black pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions:
Heat oven to 400u00b0 F. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the cut sides with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and turn cut-side down. Roast until tender, 40 to 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread the almonds on a second rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together the lime juice, honey, cumin, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and u00bc teaspoon pepper.

With a fork, gently scrape the strands of squash flesh into the bowl and toss with the lime juice mixture. Sprinkle with the almonds and scallions.

**Source: **realsimple.com

2. Parmesan-Roasted Acorn Squash

Parmesan-Roasted Acorn Squash

Acorn squash has been one of my favorite squash varieties from the moment I first tasted it years ago. The trick to getting a good squash is to know what to look for in the color. Acorn squashes come in green and orange tones. Here's a tip: the greener the rind is, the riper it is and sweeter it will be. If you buy one with a good bit or even a little bit of orange on it, it will be blander than those with a dark green rind. My favorite way to cook it is to simply toss the whole squash in the oven on a pan to roast it. Then, just open it up and enjoy it for a deliciously sweet, rich and slightly nutty substitution to a potato. This recipe takes squash to a new level by slicing it first and then sprinkling with Parmesan cheese for a hearty, cheesy touch.

Ingredients:
1 2-pound acorn or delicata squashu2014halved, seeded, and sliced 3/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 sprigs fresh thyme
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)

Directions:
Heat oven to 400u00b0 F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with the oil, thyme, u00bd teaspoon salt, and u00bc teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Roast the squash until golden brown and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

**Source: **realsimple.com

3. Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

If you didn't already know, pumpkin is actually a member of the squash family, and in the same family of plant gourds. Pumpkin's sweet, rich taste is just perfect to use in soup. It is a nice change on the typical tomatoes and other vegetable soups we usually eat during colder months. Pumpkin soup is delicious and one of my favorite things to eat when I need something comforting, yet still soft on my stomach. I highly suggest trying this recipe if you have always wanted to find a new way to enjoy pumpkin, or have never tried it before. Believe it or not, there are many more ways to enjoy pumpkin than dressed up in a pie!

Ingredients:
1 3-pound sugar pumpkin or 3 pounds kabocha or butternut squashu2014peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
5 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
4 leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
4 to 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
sour cream, croutons, and paprika (preferably smoked), for serving

Directions:
Heat oven to 400u00b0 F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the pumpkin with 3 tablespoons of the oil, u00bd teaspoon salt, and u00bc teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the roasted pumpkin, 4 cups of the broth, and u00bd teaspoon salt and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a blender, working in batches, puree the soup until smooth, adjusting the consistency with the remaining broth as necessary. (Alternatively, use a handheld immersion blender in the saucepan.) Top the soup with the sour cream and croutons and sprinkle with the paprika, if desired.

**Source: **realsimple.com

4. Roasted Butternut Squash with Mustard Vinegarette

Roasted Butternut Squash with Mustard Vinegarette

Butternut squash is one of the best squash varieties to try because it is sweet, rich in fiber, high in potassium, water, Vitamins A and C, and it is lower in carbohydrates than other squashes if you're concerned with carbs. In this recipe, it takes on a delicious tangy and sweet flavor when paired with this fabulous dressing, which is essentially guilt-free! Make this as a side dish next time you want a twist on your typical side dishes. I've even eaten this for lunch a few times over a couple of days. After it sits in the fridge for a day, the flavors intensify, so it makes great leftovers!

Ingredients:
3 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds each)u2014peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons
8 shallots, cut into wedges
4 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions:
Heat oven to 375u00b0 F. Divide the squash and shallots among 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Toss the vegetables with a total of 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with a total of u00bd teaspoon salt and u00bd teaspoon pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast, turning once, until golden brown and tender, 50 to 55 minutes.

Meanwhile, simmer the cider in a small saucepan until reduced to u00bc cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar, mustard, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and u00bc teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Transfer the squash and shallots to a serving dish and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

**Source: **realsimple.com

5. Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples

I have one thing to say, girls: make this dish now! It is so tasty! Pairing apples with butternut squash and other tangy ingredients is a fantastic flavor combination. This would make a great side dish during the holidays, or make a simple dish to eat when you want a healthy snack. It would pair well with any vegetarian entru00e9e, or with a chicken or turkey dish. Use up the best foods that fall has to offer by making this delicious dish!

Ingredients:
Squash:
1 butternut squash, about 1-1/2 pounds, washed well
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Apples:
2 apples, cored, chopped into half-inch pieces
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (don't skip)

Directions:
Set oven to 375F. Place a glass or ceramic baking dish in the oven to preheat.

Squash:
Place the squash in the microwave for 3 minutes to soften (see TIPS). Remove the skin, seeds and membrane, then into half-inch cubes (see How to Cut, Peel & Cube a Butternut Squash). In a large bowl (see TIPS), toss the squash with remaining squash ingredients, coating the cubes well with butter and spices. Transfer to baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Apples:
Combine apples, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Arrange apples over the squash. Re-cover with foil, bake for another 10 minutes.

Uncover the dish, stir and bake for about another 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the squash is fully cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately.

Alanna's tip:
Cooking the squash for just 3 minutes in the microwave softens the very outer layer just enough so that it's much easier to slice off the ends and the skin. While it would be possible, say, to just toss the squash with the butter and spices right in the baking dish, I find that to use less fat when roasting vegetables, it's easier to use another dish so that you can really move the pieces around, coating every last inch.

**Source: **kitchenparade.com

6. Chicken with Acorn Squash and Tomatoes

Chicken with Acorn Squash and Tomatoes

Chicken is a fantastic protein source that tastes great with squash. The flavors just complement each other perfectly, with a nice mix of sweet and hearty. This dish tosses in some tomatoes for an extra zest of flavor, making it perfect when you need something besides your traditional chicken dinner. This recipe is not only simple and flavorful, but also easy on the eyes too, so it makes a lovely dish to make for company and guests.

Ingredients:
1 small acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Directions:
Heat oven to 425u00b0 F.

On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash, tomatoes, and garlic with 2 tablespoons of the oil, u00bd teaspoon salt, and u00bc teaspoon pepper.

Roast the vegetables until the squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Season the chicken with the coriander, u00bd teaspoon salt, and u00bc teaspoon pepper. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes per side.

Serve the chicken with the squash and tomatoes and sprinkle with the oregano.
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****Source: **realsimple.com

7. Moroccan Chicken with Kale and Acorn Squash

Moroccan Chicken with Kale and Acorn Squash

Chicken, kale and squash make the perfect dinner solution for a few reasons. It is easy to make if you aren't in the mood to get creative but are craving something tasty and full of flavor. It is also great to make if you want a healthy meal high in nutrition with a variety of nutrients. Did I mention it tastes great too? This recipe is full of Vitamin A, fiber, lean protein, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron. I highly suggest making this dish for a new take on each of the ingredients used in this brilliant recipe!

Ingredients:
1 large acorn squash (about 2 pounds)u2014halved, seeded, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves torn (about 6 cups)
1 cup pitted prunes, halved
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Directions:
Heat oven to 450u00b0 F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil, u00bd teaspoon salt, and u00bc teaspoon pepper. Roast, turning once, until tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with the coriander, ginger, cinnamon, u00bd teaspoon salt, and u00bc teaspoon pepper and cook until cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the kale, prunes, and garlic; cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until the kale is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the squash and toss to combine. Serve with the chicken.
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****Source: **realsimple.com

If you haven't tried winter squash yet, be sure to make this year the year that you adopt this yummy and nutritious veggie into your meal plans! I promise it will become an annual favorite for you each and every fall season! You can even find some varieties of squash all throughout the year to enjoy outside of the cooler months too. Do you like winter squash? If so, what's your favorite kind?