9 Butternut Squash Substitutes for Fall and Winter Recipes

Butternut squash is a healthy winter vegetable harvested in fall. It has so many tasty recipes that some of them are included in our holiday-dish lists. 

Although butternut squash is a type of veggie that keeps well for several months, you may still face a problem getting it especially during the holidays. 

Fall holidays and Christmas are the right time of the year for butternut squash recipes and everyone likes to have it in their pantry.  

However, there is no need to worry, because even if you can’t find it, there are a number of other vegetables of the same family that can be used instead. 

The best butternut squash substitutes are acorn squash, buttercup squash, hubbard squash, sugar pumpkin, delicata squash, banana squash, kabocha squash, spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes. 

Best Substitutes for Butternut Squash To Try

1. Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is a mild-tasting squash with hard dark green skin. It is yellow-orange inside and is fibrous in texture. This squash comes with a smaller size than butternut squash. 

It has a nutty and sweet flavor when cooked, so you can use it in place of butternut squash in baked goods, roasted dishes, soups and stews. 

2. Buttercup Squash

The next comes buttercup squash that’s round-shaped and has dark green skin. Buttercup squash has a sweet creamy flavor and the flesh is bright orange and dense. 

It stands quite close to butternut squash and can be used in place of it in almost all recipes. 

It has a firm skin and is sweeter than other varieties of squash and you may mostly choose it for sweet dishes and desserts. 

3. Hubbard Squash

Hubbard squash is one of the largest winter squashes. It’s hard and firm and because of its size it’s usually sold pre-cut in supermarkets and grocery stores. 

Hubbard squash is also known as green pumpkin and has a rich pumpkin-like flavor with mild sweetness. It has either green, orange or white skin and is yellow inside. 

You can use it in casseroles, stews, soups and curries. You may also use it in pies and some other baked goods. 

4. Sugar Pumpkin

When it comes to sugar pumpkin we realize that it’s one of the cutest and sweetest types of pumpkin from the squash family. It has a pleasant orangey skin and yellow-orange flash. 

This pumpkin is very reminiscent of butternut squash as it has a dense texture, sweet buttery flavor and is used the same way as butternut squash.

You can consider it for pies as it’s also known as pie pumpkin. It’s a good choice for  many baked goods, muffins, cakes, desserts and sweets. You can also caramelize it and use it as a dessert if you often do so with butternut squash. 

5. Delicata Squash

Delicata squash is an oblong squash with a striped yellow skin and orangey flash. It’s subtly sweet and very flavorful. Compared to most winter squashes, it’s smaller and creamier with a kind of sweet potato flavor. 

So, you can use it in soups, casseroles, roasted, baked dishes and in many other recipes calling for butternut squash. 

6. Banana Squash

Banana squash is classified between sweet-flavored squashes and is another good replacer for butternut squash. It is pale yellow outside and yellow inside. You can use it in almost all recipes meant for butternut squash. It tastes mild in soups, stews, couscous, curries and desserts and goes well with butter and herbs. 

7. Kabocha Squash

Kabocha squash, also known as Japanese squash, is a round-shaped squash with dark green skin. It’s a winter squash and is usually harvested in late summer and early fall. It has hard skin and has an orange flash. 

This squash tastes sweet and nutty and reminds of a mixture of sweet potato and pumpkin. Kabocha is popular in Japan, South Africa, Thailand and California. 

So, there is a possibility to find it from grocery stores and use it in place of butternut squash in cooked dishes, curries, soups and baked goods. 

8. Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a medium-sized and watermelon-shaped squash with a spaghetti-like flash. It turns pale yellow when cooked and looks like spaghetti. It is very mild in taste with subtle sweetness. 

Compared to other squashes it comes with a neutral taste and allows you  to use your favorite seasonings and condiments to get what you want. You can use it in many dishes that require butternut squash. 

9. Sweet Potatoes

And your final choice can be sweet potato as it has a soft creamy texture when cooked and tastes as sweet as butternut squash. Compared to pumpkins and squashes, sweet potatoes offer two times more calories, carbs and minerals. 

They are a good alternative to butternut squash in case you want to try other ingredients in your recipe. The result won’t disappoint you. You can use sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash in soups, stews, baked dishes, pies, oven-roasted dishes and many more. 

FAQs on Butternut Squash

Can I substitute regular pumpkin for butternut squash? 

Yes, you can use regular pumpkin to substitute butternut squash in almost all recipes. Pumpkins are interchangeable with other winter squashes. 

Can I use carrots instead of butternut squash?

If you can’t find any squash or pumpkin alternative to butternut squash, then yes. Use carrots instead. Although they don’t belong to the squash family, they can perfectly replace butternut squash in pies and cakes. 

What are the benefits of eating butternut squash? 

Butternut squash is high in potassium. It helps to keep your blood pressure in check. It’s also rich in fiber which helps with blood sugar. It is low in calories and can help you lose weight if you include it in weight loss diet plans. 


You can buy and store squashes when in season but in case you don’t have the possibility to do so, you can always refer to these butternut squash substitutes for any recipe calling for it as a main ingredient. 

Almost all the substitutes are from the same family as butternut squash and they have similar texture and taste.