10 Delicata Squash Substitutes

Have you ever found a yummy-looking recipe that sounds delicious but has ingredients that are kind of hard to find?

This happened to me this weekend. I was ready to make a new baked pasta recipe but I got stuck on one ingredient- delicata squash.

I couldn’t find it anywhere! Rather than give up, I switched my energy toward finding the best delicata squash substitute.

Luckily, there are lots of substitutes for delicata squash that all work quite well. My new pasta recipe was saved (and it turned out great!)! 

Generally speaking, the best substitute for delicata squash for making soup is a sugar pumpkin. Sugar pumpkins are sweet, easy to cook, and have a similar taste and texture to delicata squash.

Use acorn squash in place of delicata squash for roasting or sautéing. Spaghetti squash is the best substitute for delicate=a squash if you want to stuff the squash. It cooks beautifully when whole and stuffed. 

Delicata Squash Substitutes

1. Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are a fantastic substitute for delicata squash. While the sweet potato is not a squash at all, it does have a very similar texture to the flesh of delicata squash. 

Sweet potatoes have a sweet, nutty flavor that is just like the taste of delicata squash. A roasted sweet potato will blend right into any soup recipe, replacing delicata squash perfectly. 

Sweet potato peels should be removed before adding to a soup. 

2. Sugar Pumpkins

A sugar pumpkin is a type of winter squash that is much smaller than a regular, carving pumpkin.

Sugar pumpkins are sweet, very fleshy, and have few strings. They are perfect for roasting and adding to soups!

Sugar pumpkins have a similar sweet taste to delicata squash. Remove the seeds from the center of the sugar pumpkin and then cook it exactly as you would prepare delicata squash. 

3. Buttercup Squash

Buttercup squash is a small, dark green squash that opens up to reveal a bright orange flesh.

The little squash is quite tasty when roasted and will add lots of rich, creamy flavor to any winter squash soup recipe. 

The rind on a buttercup squash is not edible like that of the delicata squash. Roast buttercup squash with the rind on and then scoop the cooked squash out. Add it to your favorite soup and discard the green peel. 

4. Kabocha Squash

If you want to replace delicata squash with something even sweeter, try using kombucha squash.

The small, green Japanese pumpkin has super sweet, orange flesh that will be delicious in your soup. 

Kabocha squash tastes like butternut squash and sweet potato combined. It is a perfect substitute for delicata squash in any soup recipe.  

5. Acorn Squash

Acorn squash gets its name from its acorn-like shape. It is a small squash that is orange both inside and out. The peel of acorn squash is thicker than that of a delicata squash but it is still edible. 

Slice and roast acorn squash just like you would cook delicata squash. Both types of squash are delicious when caramelized and roasted in the oven. 

Acorn Squash substitute for Delicata Squash

Acorn squash not only looks like delicata squash but the flavor and how you use the squash are quite similar. It is a great substitute for delicata squash.

6. Yellow Squash

Yellow squash is one of the most common types of squash. You can find it in almost any grocery store, any time of year. If you can’t find delicata squash, you can likely find yellow squash! 

Yellow squash can be cut and roasted just like delicata squash. The thin peel is edible and easy to cut. 

Yellow squash isn’t quite as sweet as delicata squash. It has a much more mild flavor. Roasting and caramelizing yellow squash will help sweeten it. 

7. Butternut Squash

The Butternut squash may be the best substitute for delicata squash for roasting. Butternut squash is sweet and nutty, just like delicata squash. It roasts into tender, juicy pieces of squash that are irresistible. 

Butternut Squash substitute for roasting

The rind on a butternut squash is quite thick. Peel and discard the skin, scoop out the seeds then roast the butternut squash. The orange vegetable will taste delicious in place of delicata squash!

8. Carnival Squash

Small carnival squash gets its name thanks to the fun, colorful rind. They look beautiful when stuffed, roasted, and served on a plate! 

Carnival squash is quite small so you may need a few extra to replace delicata squash. About two carnival squash will make up for one delicata squash. 

9. Sweet Dumpling Squash

Sweet dumpling squash is small and round with ridges around the outside. It is a whitish color with green vertical lines. 

Sweet dumpling squash is completely edible, just like delicata squash. You can scoop the seeds out of a sweet dumpling squash to make a bowl, stuff it to the rim then bake the whole squash. It is a perfect substitute for delicata squash. 

10. Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is very easy to find in the grocery store. It is a similar size and shape when compared to delicata squash. It also has a nice sweet flavor that is nutty and succulent like delicata. 

Spaghetti Squash Substitute For Stuffed Delicata

Spaghetti squash is perfect to stuff. Once the squash has cooked, it has a stringy texture similar to spaghetti.

This goes well with any meat stuffing that you put inside the squash. It is like a whole meal in a squash bowl!

What Is Delicata Squash?

Delicata squash is an oblong, pale yellow squash with green and orange stripes. It is a winter squash but has thinner skin than most other winter squashes. The edible skin on the delicata squash sets it apart from most other winter squashes. 

Winter squash usually has thicker rinds that need to be removed. Not delicata! You can simply slice and cook the squash with the yellowish-green skin right on!

No matter what you call it, delicata squash is becoming quite popular and is used in many wintery recipes.

Unique Flavor Of Delicata Squash

The flavor of delicata squash is often compared to butternut squash. Both have a rich, buttery taste that is sweet and a little nutty. 

Many people compare delicata squash to sweet potatoes. Both the squash and sweet potatoes are moist and rich. 

Delicata squash tastes great with warm, winter spices like cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sage and brown sugar are often used to season the squash, too. 

Keep these flavors in mind when looking for a good substitute for delicata squash. Understanding the taste of the squash is important to help you pick the best replacement for delicata in your recipes. 

Uses For Delicata Squash

There are quite a few ways to use delicata squash. How you plan to cook the squash will also help guide you toward the best substitute for delicata squash.

You may want a different delicata squash substitute if you are making a soup versus if you are roasting the squash. 

Delicata squash is often sliced, seasoned, and roasted. This makes an easy, delicious side dish to many main courses.

Roasted delicata squash is also great on top of a salad or tossed into veggie pasta.

Delicata squash soup is another perfect way to use the winter veggie. Squash soup is hearty, filling, and very rich. It’s a perfect winter meal!

There are many recipes out there for stuffed delicata squash which play on the long, boat shape of the squash.

You will definitely need a similarly shaped squash if you need a substitute for stuffed delicata! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Substitute Delicata For Butternut?

Yes! Delicata and butternut squash both have similar, sweet, and nutty flavors. They cook in similar ways and are both moist and tender.

Butternut does have a thick rind that should be removed. Delicata peel, however, can be eaten. 

Is Acorn Squash And Delicata Squash The Same Thing?

No. Acorn squash and delicata squash are two different varieties of squash. One way to easily tell the difference is to look at the appearance of each squash. 

Acorn squash is small, slightly round, and comes to a point. Delicata squash is oblong and much bigger than acorn squash. 

What Squash Is Most Similar To Delicata Squash?

Butternut squash, acorn squash, and sugar pumpkins are the closest in flavor and texture to delicata squash.

Final Considerations

There are so many fantastic substitutes you can use for delicata squash. Replace delicata in your favorite soup recipe using sweet potatoes or try stuffing a spaghetti squash instead of a delicata. 

Hopefully, delicata squash becomes easier to find in local grocery stores. I know I love that sweet, tender delicata taste! For now, these substitutes for delicate will work well.

I hope you find that these replacements for delicata squash work for you too! Enjoy. 

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