What is the Best Substitute for Delicata Squash?

by Charlie

Delicata Squash is an uncommon winter squash that is mostly found in North and Central America. It is a cream-colored cylindrical squash adorned in green stripes (three turn orange when ripe). Like most squash, it is edible in its raw form. 

As we’ve said, delicata squashes are not mainly the most common out there. They might therefore be somewhat difficult to come by quickly. Luckily, there are many substitutes for delicata squash.

What is the best substitute for delicata squash? The best substitute for delicata squash is butternut squash. Butternut squash resembles a sweetness that is rather similar to delicata squash. Butternut is unarguably one of the most common and versatile of all the winter squashes. If you can use Delicata, you can use the Butternut! 

Overview of Delicata Squash 

Also known as peanut squash, sweet potato squash, and Bohemian squash, Delicata – like the name rightly suggests – has a soft, delicate rind (skin). Therefore, unlike many others in its family (like kabocha and butternut), peeling its skin off before eating is unnecessary. 

Of course, it’s edible right out of the ground. However, the most common way to prepare Delicata is by baking it. Other preparation methods include roasting (which enhances the flavor even more than butternut’s), microwaved, sautéed and steamed. 

If you throw away delicata seeds, then you don’t even know what you’re missing. Once toasted, they’re not only edible but are the perfect snacks. 

There are a few things the delicata squash is famous for. Their strongest suit has got to be how easy they are to cook, their texture, and their extreme creaminess. 

Delicata Squash is high in potassium and dietary fibers. It also has some magnesium, vitamin C, and B. IHoweverit is not nearly as high in beta carotenes (nutrients squashes are most common for). 

There’s a reason delicata squash is also called sweet potato squash: it is one of the sweetest squashes around. It is so sweet; you only need some olive oil, pepper, and salt to make it a wholesome meal. Everyday meals delicata squashes are used for are veggies (salads), grains, meats, pasta, noodles, and tacos, to name a few. 

Why Replace Delicata Squash?

  • Preference: You can’t blame people who, for some reason, don’t like foods you can die for. Some people simply prefer other squashes to delicata. 
  • Non-availability: When delicata squash isn’t available at a particular store, you use the nearest substitute. And these situations are more common than you’d even imagine. 

Best Recommended Substitute for Delicata Squash: Butternut Squash

The bright yellow winter squash is also referred to as butternut pumpkin by the Australians. True to its color, it is very sweet and has a crunchy/nutty texture. Sweet as it may be, the delicata squash is sweeter, especially when toasted (many people will disagree, but it is the truth).

If you feel like the delicata squash is too sweet and want to cut down on sugar, butternut squash is the perfect alternative. You should, however, bear in mind that its sweetness levels increase with ripeness. 

Unlike delicata, butternut does not have an edible and delicate rind/skin. It can be toasted, roasted, sautéed, used for soups and sauces, or simply eaten raw. It can also be mashed and used in pastries like bread, muffins, and casseroles. 

Butternut squash has a perfect representation of the nutrients you’ll find in typical winter squash. It is, therefore, a better source of fiber and vitamin A.

Other Substitutes for Delicata Squash –

Kabocha Squash

The Kabocha squash is one of the most popular squashes around. Like butternut and delicata, it is very sweet. The rind is edible only when cooked (most people peel it and simply throw it away). It is mostly used in sauces, dishes, soups, eaten as a stand-alone meal when roasted in thin slices, or just munched raw as a side snack.

Like other squashes, you can cook, roast, bake, and toast kabocha.

PS: Kabocha might literally be a tough nut to crack, even with the sharpest knives. Microwaving for about two to three minutes will soften the rind and make the cutting easier.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes and delicata have strikingly similar tastes, preparation methods, and even nutritional values. The difference between these two squashes is that while the delicata squash can be eaten raw, sweet potatoes can’t. 

Acorn Squash

Weighing only 1-2 lbs, these are one of the smallest squashes. The best way to enjoy acorn squashes is to bake them. When prepared this way, the argument most people have that they’re too mild in taste to replace the sweet delicata squash holds no water. If they still don’t reach the desired sweetness levels, simply add more.

Spaghetti Squash

These come in different sizes and colors (with orange being the most common and nutritious). True to their name, when cooked, the meat of the fruit falls away from the rind and resembles spaghetti strands. It is considered mainly as a replacement for spaghetti, but it’d work just fine as delicata squash substitutes too.

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