When someone says the word ‘squash’ to you, what do you think of? Nope, it’s not a racket sport or a fruity drink. Whenever we hear that word, we think of the different types of squash and what delicious dishes we can make with them.
Today we are going to show your 27 different varieties of squash. Some are long, some are round but many of them are really tasty! Let’s dig in!
How Many Types of Squash Are There?
In reality, there are over 100 different types of squash. They are often split into two distinct varieties, summer and winter. This is because they grow at different times of the year. Why have we only included 27? Well, there is a significant overlap between several types of squash.
Take the pumpkin, for instance. This is a subcategory that has over 40 different types… Yet aside from the size, they are practically identical. We’ve taken some broad brush strokes to find different types of squash that are all unique. Check them out below
What is the Most Popular Squash?
If you think you’ve never cooked with squash before, think again. Some squashes aren’t immediately obvious, but there’s a good chance that you have eaten them.
Pumpkin is really popular, as is butternut squash… And there’s one that most people don’t realize is a squash… Zucchini! If you’ve ever had pickles on your burger, you’ve actually eaten a squash, as these are pickled zucchini!
Here’s a list of 27 different types of squash… See if you’ve tried any of the others.
See Also: Different types of peppers
Different Types of Squash | 27 Amazing Varieties
1. Acorn Squash
One look at the acorn squash, and you’ll know where it gets its name from. This squash weighs between one and three pounds and can be found all over North America. The flesh is golden yellow in color. This can be used in pies and other recipes that call for pumpkin.
2. Banana Squash
OK, when they named this squash, we think that a fair amount of imagination was involved. They don’t really look much like a banana, although they are slightly elongated. The color isn’t yellow either. In fact, you’ll find that banana squash has a pink-orange glow when harvested. They can actually get pretty sizeable. The average is around 3 feet long (much bigger than a banana).
3. Buttercup Squash
Again, there was a little imagination used when naming this squash. The buttercup squash apparently looks like a peanut butter cup (we think it was so named because it has bright yellow flesh, which is really dense). This one can be used in soups and is also nice to cut and roast as squash chips.
4. Butternut Squash
Ah, one of the all-time classics. Butternut squash is one that you have almost certainly tried at some point. This long gourd starts bulbous at the base before tapering down to a tubular shape. The seeds are only found in the base, making it a popular choice as there is very little waste. You’ll most commonly find this on menus as part of a soup or puree. The flesh is sweet with a slightly sulfurous taste.
5. Carnival Squash
As far as looks go, this has to be one of our favorites. It’s colorful and bright, giving images of fireworks and fiestas! The outer skin is a mixture of mottled greens, yellows, and oranges. Think of this one a little like a brightly colored pumpkin, and you won’t go far wrong.
6. Delicata Squash
This squash is like the butternut squash’s poor cousin. The shape and flesh are very similar, except it isn’t as dense and has more seeds! Want the good news? You don’t have to peel this squash before you cook it. The skin is edible. In fact, it crisps up nicely when roasted in the oven, making it perfect as a vegetable side dish with roasted meats.
If you are looking to make vegetable tempura, then this squash could be the one to go for. This looks a little like a small pumpkin, except… It is green! It tastes very similar to butternut squash with a dense yellow flesh and a slightly sweet taste.
8. Giant Pumpkin
The giant pumpkin is often used as a centerpiece on Halloween. We let the kids carve the faces while we decide what we will do with all of that lovely orange flesh. Pumpkin pie for days! These are generally found around the fall and the start of winter. If you’ve got too much pumpkin, you can freeze it in cubes for use at a later date.
Old mother, Hubbard… When we see this squash, we know where she got her name. It’s gnarled, wrinkly, and tough. The good news is that they grow pretty big and taste really nice (once you manage to break through the thick skin)
10. Honeynut Squash
This is the solution if you like butternut squash but find them a bit too big to work with. The honeynut squash is a man-bred adaptation from the butternut squash. The flesh tastes and looks similar, but it is ever so slightly sweeter.
Ah, the humble pumpkin! One of the most popular squash varieties on the planet! There’s a whole list of subcategories of pumpkins, which would add hundreds more to our list of different types of squash. Pumpkins are generally bright orange, with a globe shape. Interestingly Jack O’laterns aren’t edible and have been bred simply for pumpkin carving.
Love pumpkin? Then try out this classic Costco pumpkin pie.
12. Costata Romanesco
As the name suggests, this type of squash originates in Italy. The beautiful thing about Italian zucchini is that they come in different colors, dark green, pale green, and often yellow. This makes them a great choice to add a splash of color to a plate. They taste exactly the same as regular zucchini.
13. Luffa Squash
Of course, we do! Sorry, we thought you said ‘love a squash’! Here’s a truly different type of squash. Want to know where loofahs come from? Now you know. This squash looks similar to a large zucchini when young. Leave it to dry out, and you get left with a loofah! We bet you didn’t know that!
OK, so we may have cheated a bit here. Do you know why? In Europe, a zucchini is called a courgette. So if you are ever offered one, don’t think you have tried a different type of squash; it is literally identical to the zucchini, and it is only the name that is different. If you want to read about zucchini and what we do with them, see the end of our list!
15. Red Kuri
What do you get if you cross a squash with an onion? A Red Kuri is the answer. This squash bears an uncanny resemblance to a giant onion. However, it’s squash through and through! The interior is made of bright yellow flesh that tastes like a cross between butternut squash and pumpkin.
16. Spaghetti Squash
If you are trying to keep your carbs to a minimum, you are going to love this. The firm flesh of this squash makes it an ideal choice to shred and use as a spaghetti replacement (hence the name). The flesh of this squash is mild tasting too, so it won’t overpower your bolognaise.
17. Sweet Dumpling Squash
We’ll be honest. We haven’t made sweet dumplings with it. This squash gets its name because it is round, squat, and pretty dense. As the name suggests, it tastes pretty sweet, and we occasionally include a few cubes in stews and casseroles.
18. Turban Squash
This one looks a bit freaky. We call them a ‘Frankenstein’ squash as they look like they’ve had the top of their head removed before being stitched back on. Turban sounds a little less macabre… This is a pumpkin with a little head. It has to be seen to be believed
Also called a round zucchini, the cousa can be prepared and eaten in exactly the same way. Just like with a standard zucchini, you can roast these with the skin on to make a wonderful side dish or as part of a nice lamb traybake.
Ever heard of a vegetable pear? One look at the chayote, and you’ll see where it gets its name from. This squash looks a little like a green pepper. The flesh inside is very dense, with only a small number of seeds.
21. Crookneck Squash
This one doesn’t need a lot of imagination to tell where it got its name from. The crookneck squash looks a little bit like a giraffe. It is bright yellow in color with an elongated ‘neck’; this normally has a bend in it. We are still trying to work out why this one wasn’t named ‘banana squash’ as it looks much more similar?
22. PattyPan Squash
Pattypan squash looks a little like a squat yellow pepper. But, don’t be fooled. They actually taste very similar to butternut squash. If you catch them early on in the season, they are slightly crunchy and slightly less sweet. Also referred to as a scallop squash as they’re initially a white type of pepper..
23. Round Zucchini
If you’ve ever tried to make stuffed zucchini and find that you haven’t got the room, then these types of squashes are a perfect choice! They taste identical to regular zucchini, but you’ll have much more room to maneuver due to their round shape! We love to stuff ours with a mixture of breadcrumbs, goat’s cheese, cream cheese, and a few slices of red pepper. Bang it in the oven for 30 mins, easy!
24. Squash Blossom
You’ll often see these flowers when you go to a fancy restaurant. OK, it’s not technically a different type of squash, but still… Variety is the spice of life. Suppose you are wondering how to serve them. In that case, you can just use them as a colorful garnish, but for something really special, give them a dip in an egg wash and then dunk them in panko breadcrumbs before deep frying. They are really crispy and light and take about 5 minutes to prepare.
25. Yellow Squash
Do you remember the crookneck squash? Well, this is a prouder and classier cousin. Why? It is practically identical in every respect, including flavor, texture, and the recipes you can use. The only difference? It’s got a straight neck. Oh, and the neck is a little wider, too, meaning you get a little more flesh to tuck into!
The zephyr squash is a real treat, and you don’t see that many around. That said, when you do see one, you’ll definitely know about it. Why? Because it looks super funky! The zephyr squash looks very similar to a sort of thick-bottomed zucchini. However, its standout feature is a large yellow collar located towards the stem of this gourd. The weird thing is that the flesh inside is all the same color and tastes pretty identical to a zucchini!
Last but by no means least, we have the zucchini. We’ve really saved the best for last. Not many people realize that the little zucchini is in the same family as the pumpkin. This has to be one of our absolute favorite types of squash. You can make so many recipes with it! The trick to cooking zucchini is to avoid cooking it for too long. We sometimes cut them into thick batons before giving them a roll in some seasoned breadcrumbs and baking for 25 minutes. Another suggestion is to grate a zucchini, add an egg, a tablespoon of flour, and some cumin seeds, before deep frying. Zucchini fritters? Yes, please!
How do you cook different types of squash?
Cooking squash is easy and you start by allowing it to be sauteed, baked or even roasted. It’s important to know what winter squash needs to be cooked, while you can eat summer squash raw. Whether you want to add in on the grill, roast or puree it into a soup, the choice is yours.
What are types of white squash?
There are different types of white squash, with pattypan being the most commonly known white squash around. White squash is also referred to as scallop squash.
What are types of summer squash?
There are many different types of summer squash, these include straightneck, zucchini, field pumpkin, cousa, crookneck, tatuna, pattypan, tromboncino, zephyr
What kind of squash is yellow?
There are numerous yellow squash variations. You will find crookneck squash has a bright yellow color and are perfect when diced up.
What squash is green?
Many green squash varieties exist. The most commonly known are Zucchini, Chayote, Luffa and Kabocha which are types of squash that have a green color
Is squash a fruit or a vegetable?
Since squash tends to be cooked it is regarded as a vegetable, however, squash is a fruit since it contains seeds and they flower.
Could you believe there are so many different types of squash? We were pretty amazed at some of them. Our favorite? It’s got to be the zucchini. They are quick to prepare and really versatile. What is your favorite type of squash? Have we missed any? Why not let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from you!