Out of all the beautiful fall produce at the market this time of year, I get the most excited about the plethora of winter squash to choose from. Delicata, acorn, butternut, and kabocha—I love them all. (So much so that we just shared the ultimate guide on how to cook winter squash.) And this year, I’m particularly into honeynut squash, a newer variety that’s gaining popularity for good reason. It’s sweet, packed with vitamins and minerals, and best of all—you don’t have to peel it.
I’m currently on a gut health-healing journey in which I’m cutting out wheat and grains for a month to see if it helps with my long-standing digestive issues. So, I’m leaning on naturally sweet, starchy vegetables to satisfy carb cravings, and honeynut squash recipes make a fantastic vessel for all kinds of ingredients. The other night, I even stuffed it with a sautéed vegetable and ground beef mixture that was so delish and super filling. So, get on board the honeynut train, read on to learn all about this veg—then make my recipe for roasted honeynut squash with hot honey, pecans, and rosemary.
What’s a Honeynut Squash?
This darling of the winter squash family is smaller than your traditional butternut, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in flavor. Deep orange in color and slightly reminiscent of a mini butternut, the honeynut squash is packed with sweetness, nuttiness, and an undeniable charm that elevates any dish.
Honeynut vs. Butternut Squash: The Delicious Difference
A frequently asked question: what’s the difference between honeynut and butternut squash? While they share many similarities in taste, there are some differences:
- Size and Appearance: The honeynut is the smaller, cuter sibling, usually about six inches in length. Its skin is darker, transitioning from a deep green to a rich caramel as it ripens.
- Flavor and Texture: Honeynut squash is sweeter and nuttier than butternut, making it a favorite for those who have a sweet tooth. Its texture is creamier and smoother when cooked.
- Peeling Needs: One of the best perks? There’s no need to peel honeynut squash! Its skin becomes tender and edible when cooked. That’s right—less prep time and more nutrients for you!
The Flavor Profile: What Does a Honeynut Squash Taste Like?
Imagine the creaminess of a sweet potato combined with the nuttiness of a butternut squash. Now, elevate that flavor with a hint of caramelized sugar, and you have the magical taste of honeynut squash. Perfect for both savory and sweet dishes!
How to Roast Honeynut Squash (Step-by-Step)
Roasting honeynut squash is actually quite simple, because again—no peeling.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice your honeynut squash lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
- Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning. Place it flesh-side down on a baking sheet, and roast for 25-30 minutes until the flesh is tender.
- Once it’s roasted, you can dig right in—the natural sweetness of the honeynut squash shines when roasted, and I love to enjoy it just like this.
However, we’re going to amp up the flavor for a dish that’s gorgeous and interesting enough for your Thanksgiving table—it even makes a great plant-based main course.
What You’ll Need to Make This Honeynut Squash Recipe:
- Honeynut squash (I use three squash to serve six people)
- Olive oil
- goat cheese
- apple cider vinegar
- herbs and spices: salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, fresh rosemary and parsley
We’re going to follow the roasting method above, and at the end, we level up with all these delicious flavors and serve it on a bed of beautiful purple raddichio leaves for visual wow-factor and a pleasant bitterness that goes so well with the sweet squash. Scroll on for the recipe.
What else can you make with honeynut squash?
While roasting is a classic method, the possibilities are endless. Turn it into a creamy soup, use it in salads, or even make honeynut squash pie for a unique twist on tradition. Its rich flavor pairs well with spices like nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. Think outside the box and let this delightful squash surprise you!
Honeynut squash is more than just a cute addition to your kitchen counter. It’s a flavor-packed powerhouse ready to transform your fall and winter meals. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen newbie, this honeynut squash recipe is sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire.
Other squash recipes you’ll love:
Rosemary Roasted Acorn Squash with Brown Butter and Rosemary
Warm Roasted Delicata Squash and Kale Salad
Vegan Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger and Coconut Milk