Squash season is verily upon us. And while it’s a culinary occasion we look forward to all year, the reality is that it doesn’t take long for our well-worn recipes to start feeling repetitive. By now, you’ve roasted your acorn squash, raked out the spaghetti gourds and baked many a pumpkin pie. When it comes to butternut squash, soup is of course a perennial comforter, and for good reason: it’s reliable, it’s healthy, it warms the soul. But when you’re on your fifth butternut soup of the season, your enthusiasm may begin to wane.

That’s where we come in. Read on for 11 twists on the classic butternut squash recipes, along with surprising new ways to up your butternut game.

Grill It

Grilling doesn’t necessarily come to mind in the cooler times of the year, but butternut squash with a delicate char is nothing short of a super star, and any bitterness from the grill can be offset by buttery sage, browned butter and a pop of piquant Parmigiano Reggiano cheese – as in this delicious recipe. The best part is, you can prepare this dish indoors or out, on a griddle or over a grill-safe wooden plank for extra warmth and a touch of woody, smoky flavour. Cut the squash however you like, though a perfectly circular slice with the right seasoning is a great stand-in for a hamburger.

Toast It

Of all the bread substitutes out there, squash rarely makes the cut, but this recipe is simple, mildly sweet and absolutely lends itself to toppings like cream cheese and smoked salmon, peanut butter and bananas, cinnamon-sugar and butter, or even a savoury slice of brie and ham. The recipe calls for a toaster oven, but a preheated oven or an air fryer will produce the same effect. Remove the head or bulb of the squash so that you’re left with a symmetrical cylinder. A sharp knife is crucial in the process, as you’ll want your squash circles to be even and relatively thin.

Curry It

Indian cuisine is steeped in spices and famously celebratory of vegetables. This take on chickpea-based chana masala is no exception. It begins with a classic roasting of curry spices, like mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric, chilli and cinnamon, in oil to infuse your dish with deeper flavour. Add onions, ginger and garlic (and curry leaves, if you can find them). Follow with raw, cubed butternut squash, chickpeas and a bit of tomato sauce, and simmer. Add water as needed until everything is tender and uniformly tasty. Give it a vigorous stir, then top with fresh cilantro and a spray of lemon juice for tangy brightness.

Toss It

Finely sliced and roasted or griddle-grilled butternut squash adds warmth and dimension to all kinds of salads. In this recipe, sweet squash and dried cranberries meet spicy green arugula, earthy beets and warm toasted pecans or almonds. Feta cheese is an optional add-on, while a delicate vinaigrette pulls it all together.

Stuff It

Butternut squash’s boat-like shape just begs to be stuffed, and the options are virtually endless. This particular recipe calls for a hearty blend of quinoa, kale and cranberries. Start by halving your squash lengthwise and scooping out the seeds. Coat the halves lightly with oil and dust with salt and pepper, then roast face down in a preheated oven. In just under an hour, check to make sure the flesh is moist and pulling away from the skin. In the meantime, mix up your filling ingredients and season to taste. Scoop out the cooled and creamy squash, leaving about ½ an inch border of flesh in the squash halves, and combine with your filling. Stuff the filling into the halves and bake until golden brown and sizzling.

Noodle It

This will require a special tool known as a spiraliser, but when it comes to turning veggies into noodles, butternut squash is every bit as versatile as zucchini. And whether you’re looking to reduce carbs or simply satisfy a picky kid, everybody loves spaghetti! You can savour it with your favourite sauce, but we’re partial to pesto – the warmth of roasted pine nuts and nutty Parmigiano Reggiano is a match made in culinary heaven.

Knead It

Continuing on the pasta trend, butternut makes a great base for gnocchi. This recipe is a bit labour-intensive but truly satisfying to devour with quintessential brown butter and sage or something more adventurous, like scallions and dill or black pepper and pecorino cheese. Begin by roasting the squash until tender, then use a food processor or potato masher to create a smooth consistency. Combine with ricotta, Parmigiano, egg, salt and nutmeg. Add flour slowly to keep your dough fluffy and chewy. Gnocchi are filling as it is, so your goal is something cloudlike yet satisfying. Roll the dough into inch-thick snakes, and slice into cubes or your desired thickness. Boil in salted water until they float to the top, then drain and dress in your favourite sauce.

Sauce It

Butternut squash’s creamy consistency also makes it a star condiment in its own right. This recipe is a departure from the tried-and-true (if somewhat tired) brown butter and sage combo, using thyme and sausage for the sauce. Any sort of gnocchi will work, or you could double up and use your butternut noodles.

Bake It

Carrot cake and zucchini bread are canonical confections, so why not bring butternut into the mix? This bundt cake adds orange juice and lemon zest to the typical spice blend and tops it with a crunchy nutty topping. Butternut cooks up creamy and really amplifies those autumnal aromas of honey, nutmeg and cinnamon.

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