- A Guide to All the Different Types of Pumpkins
- Everything You Want To Know About Pumpkins
- Download Your Ebook Now
- Kent Pumpkins
- Butternut Pumpkins
- Dumpling Pumpkins
- Queensland Blue Pumpkins
- Zucchini Squash
- Rounded Zucchini
- Crookneck Squash
- Patty Pan (or Scallop) Squash
- Cousa Squash
- Tatume Squash
- Tromboncino Squash
- Acorn Squash
- Buttercup Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Delicata Squash
- Dumpling Squash
- Hubbard Squash
- Kabocha Squash
- Pumpkin Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
A Guide to All the Different Types of Pumpkins
Welcome to Cucurbita, the genus of pumpkins, squashes, and some gourds, the edible and ornamental fruits of fall. Once you recognize the variety of shapes and sizes, all kinds of decorative possibilities open up. Why stick to the standard orange icon of fall? Pale and monochromatic, bright and bold, eerily enigmatic, or elegantly dark and moody also abound.
There are five common species of Cucurbita: ficifolia (chilacayote squash and Malabar gourd), maxima (Hubbard, ‘Lakota,’ buttercup, and winter squashes), mixta (cushaw squash), moschata (‘Shakertown Field’ and ‘Long Island Cheese’ pumpkins), and pepo (jack-o’-lantern varieties, delicata squashes, ornamental gourds). The wanton willingness of each species to cross-pollinate with members of its own kind can create some curious offspring. Kabocha, the so-called Japanese squash, sports knobby black-green skin that’s often striped in celadon. The rinds of Australian squashes, such as ‘Jarrahdale’ and ‘Queensland Blue,’ vary from dusty gray to greenish blue. French pumpkins, such as the elegant ‘Rouge Vif d’Etampes,’ dubbed the Cinderella pumpkin, tend to be low to the ground and often display deeply ridged lobes. ‘Galeuse d’Eysines’ and ‘Marina di Chioggia’ are both pocked with bumps caused by a buildup of sugars underneath their skin and look scary even before they’re carved.
Their looks are as different as their names. Some sit bulging and broad, secure in their squatness. Some stand tall and are considered pear-shaped. They’re ellipsoidal and spherical. They can be wide-shouldered or slump-shouldered. The biggest even approach a ton; the smallest would barely tip the needle on a bathroom scale. The colors of their skin also vary enormously. Start with every tint of orange, of course, from amber to apricot, coral to persimmon. Then envision inky black or ghostly white; buttercream or slate blue; sage green or darkest myrtle. Some favor even more outlandish hues: baby pink, mustard, salmon, fiery red. Some aren’t content with a single shade at all, so they tart themselves up in stripes, mottles, marbling, and speckles.
All in all, they provide a color, size, and shape for every decorative idea you have this fall.
I bet you didn’t know there were 42 types of pumpkins, did you? Neither did I; I knew there were a lot of varieties because they are everywhere this time of year and for me, they are hard to resist!
You see, I have this “thing” I call Pumpkin Fever. It starts ummm…late September and by mid-October, it has completely consumed me! I can’t go anywhere without buying a pumpkin during Pumpkin Season, whether they are real or the retail variety (as in faux).
I guess I could have worse afflictions than Pumpkin Fever – for example, I could have Skeleton Fever or Zombie Fever and then my home would really look entirely different! Or, I could be that “cat lady who lives down the street” and have Black Cat Fever!
Anyway, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite pumpkin photos that I’ve taken the last 3 years to illustrate some of the 42 types of pumpkins there are in the universe. The reason I say “some” photos is because I’ve yet to come across all the 42 types of pumpkins out there. But now that I’m retired, I’ve added that to my bucket list – see all 42 types of pumpkins before I kick the bucket. I think that’s a worthy bucket list addition because that means I’ll be visiting many more pumpkin patches over the next few years and that’s not a bad thing in my book!
This is one of my favorite pumpkin patches – Bates Nut Farm – in north eastern San Diego County. I’ve lost count as to the number of times I have been to Bates Nut Farm because they not only have an awesome pumpkin patch every year, but have other great events throughout the year, like craft fairs and special exhibits. With over 100 acres in a beautiful valley, Bates Nut Farm is a truly special place. And, the drive to get there is so beautiful – a windy, tree-lined rural road in a peaceful valley.
This is a pile of Wee-Be-Little pumpkins in a box at Bates Nut Farm.
Here’s a Wee-Be-Little pumpkin on my kitchen table (I gave it a bath). Don’t you love the stem with the vine attached?
Speaking of tiny little pumpkins, this is a crystal bowl filled with Jack-Be-Little pumpkins, also on my kitchen table (I like to change things up). Those are palm trees in my backyard in the background. September and October are really hot months in Southern California and palm trees do very well here.
These, too, are Jack-Be-Little pumpkins on my kitchen table. I couldn’t decide which photo I liked better, so I’m sharing both!
And, this is a pile of Munchkin pumpkins at another pumpkin patch in Southern California. It’s called Mountain Valley Ranch and I haven’t made it there, yet, this year.
This is the Fairytale Pumpkins sign at Bates Nut Farm.
And this is a Fairytale pumpkin at Bates Nut Farm. Actually, I think this is really a Cinderella pumpkin. The difference is in the color. Cinderella pumpkins are orange and Fairytale pumpkins are peach with green striations.
This is a Howden pumpkin growing in a field at Mountain Valley Ranch in San Diego County. Howden pumpkins are one of the most popular variety for pumpkin carving because of their size and perfection.
Here’s another Howden pumpkin – this one used as a sign to announce a pumpkin patch down the road.
Here’s a field full of carving pumpkins about 10 miles down the road from us at Mountain Valley Ranch. Aren’t the scarecrows cute? Moving on…
This is the stem of a Rock Star pumpkin. Rock Star pumpkins also have preferred status as carving pumpkins. I guess the name, Rock Star pumpkin, is a dead giveaway. One of the differences between a Rock Star pumpkin and a Howden pumpkin is that Rock Star pumpkins have this beautiful blue-green stem. This Rock Star pumpkin is in a blue wheelbarrow, thus the glorious background. Sometimes I just get plain ol’ lucky when it comes to composition, lighting and subject matter and this was one of those zen moments. This is one of my favorite photos.
This is a Rock Star pumpkin basking in the glow of the hot afternoon sun at Bates Nut Farm.
These are two Rock Star pumpkins in an orange wheelbarrow at Bates Nut Farm. So perfect and lovely!
And this is my blue wheelbarrow full of pumpkins are Bates Nut Farm. The blue one in front is a Jarrahdale pumpkin. There are also Rock Star pumpkins, Munchkin pumpkins, White Ghost pumpkins, Baby Boo pumpkins (the little white ones) and Wee-Be-Little pumpkins. Oh, I think there is a Pie pumpkin in there too! Did I miss anything?
Here’s another blue wheelbarrow full of various pumpkins. Two different years, but I’m guessing you see a theme going on here – I like blue wheelbarrows and I like lots of different pumpkins!
This is a Lil’ Pumpkemon pumpkin on top of a White Ghost pumpkin by my front door. The Lil’ Pumpkemon is quite distinctive because of the orange stripes on the white pumpkin. So cute!
These are Casper pumpkins, so named because they are white.
And this is a pile of Lumina pumpkins. Actually, I don’t know that for sure – these could be White Ghosts or Casper or Lumina pumpkins – I truly don’t know how to distinguish between them. They are all white and about medium-sized.
This is a Pink Porcelain Doll pumpkin on my office desk. I loved this pumpkin because of its beautiful color, but also because it was misshaped and lopsided. A reminder that we all don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!
Now on to the Big Mac pumpkins – the ones that take our breath away (literally, have you ever tried to lift one?).
A field of Big Mac pumpkins at Bates Nut Farm.
A giant Big Mac pumpkin on a bale of hay at Bates Nut Farm.
More Big Mac pumpkins in a field at Bates Nut Farm. This is proof that Bates Nut Farm does raise pumpkins, but the demand is so high because they are such a popular destination, that they do truck in other pumpkins.
And even more Big Mac pumpkins at Bates Nut Farm with Wee-Be-Little pumpkins on a table in the background.
And if real pumpkins aren’t your thing, you can buy velvet ones or felt ones in the store at Bates Nut Farm…
Or ones made of plastic or tin or glass…so many choices!
Here’s the list of 42 types of pumpkins (just in case you were wondering):
- American Tonda
- Amish Pie
- Baby Bear
- Baby Boo
- Baby Pam Sugar Pie
- Big Mac
- Big Max
- Big Rock
- Cinderelle (aka Rouge Vif d’Etampes)
- Cotton Candy
- Cushaw Gold
- Cushaw Green
- Fairytale (aka Musque de Provence)
- Full Moon
- Halloween in Paris
- Howden Biggie
- Iron Man
- La Estella
- Lil’ Pumpkemon
- Long Island Cheese
- Marina de Chioggia
- New England Pie
- Old Zebs
- One Too Many
- Orange Smoothie
- Pink Porcelain Doll
- Queensland Blue
- Red Warty Thing
- Rock Star
- Snack Jack
- White Ghost
Oh, that’s 50 types of pumpins! Shusshhh…don’t tell anyone that I can’t count. Trying to keep things at 42 for the “4 Two” thing in the Toot Sweet 4 Two name. So, just consider the rest bonus content.
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Ten of the best pumpkins to grow for the table including heritage french varieties and types that grow well in cooler climates
There’s a pumpkin for every garden but not all of them are for eating. As anyone who has cooked up a standard supermarket type knows, some of them can be watery, stringy, and flavourless. Choose the wrong type for your garden and you could be just as disappointed.
If you’re planning on growing pumpkins for the table, choose a variety that’s known for good taste and texture and types that will grow well in your climate and garden size. Here ten of the best pumpkins to grow for eating whether you have a small garden in northern California or a large one in Great Britain.
Home growers don’t have access to ‘Select Dickinsons Pumpkin’ seeds. Image courtesy of the Illinois Farm Bureau
The Most Popular Eating Pumpkin in North America
There’s one eating “pumpkin” that has worldwide renown. Libby’s, the American company famous for pumpkin purée, breeds its own variety of pumpkin called the Select Dickinson pumpkin.
While the company has full rights to the variety, there are similar types that you can still get seeds for. Just don’t expect the ‘Dickinson Pumpkin‘ to look like a Halloween pumpkin — it more closely resembles a butternut squash, just like the Select Dickinson does.
Porcelain Doll Pumpkin seeds are for sale on Amazon
Other delicious pumpkin varieties that you can get include: Pink Porcelain Doll Pumpkin, Rouge Vif D’ Etampes, and Jarrahdale Blue Pumpkin,
Rouge Vif D’ Etampes isn’t a heavy producer but it grows stunning Cinderella style pumpkins
Best Pumpkins for Eating in Britain
Choosing the best pumpkins to grow in the garden can be difficult and more than a little overwhelming. There are dozens of varieties on the market and if you don’t do your research you could end up with type that doesn’t suit your needs. This couldn’t be more true for short-summered Britain.
Sarah Raven conducted a test some years back and wrote about it over on her website. Of the fourteen varieties she grew, Squash ‘Zucca da Marmellata‘ was the favourite for flavour. It also grew well in our climate.
Other varieties that taste great and grow well in Britain include: Queensland Blue, Uchiki Kuri, Rouge Vif D’ Etampes, and the sweet, thin-skinned Musquee de Provence
Growing Pumpkins in Small Gardens
Pumpkins are notorious for taking up space in the garden. If you turn your back on them, their vines will grow as quickly as Cinderella’s pumpkin transforming into a carriage. Many varieties will do well in small spaces though, including large pots and containers. If you’re short of floor space, you can also grow them vertically up trellises and over wigwams.
For small gardens try growing the Burgess Vine Buttercup (also available in the UK from the Real Seed Company). It produces small dark-green squash but doesn’t take up as much space as other varieties.
Pumpkin pan spotted in Paris
If all else fails
It could be that you have an apartment or no garden space at all and growing your own pumpkins is a dream…for now. Until you have a little space, rest assured that the pumpkins from your local farmers market will be selected for flavour. You can also satisfy your love of cooking and eating pumpkins with a gorgeous pumpkin pot like this one I spotted in Paris. You could use it to cook up creamy pumpkin soup with roasted pumpkin seeds.
Creative Commons image credits: Rouge vif d’Etampes by INRA Jean Weber, Blue Pumpkins by Catherine, and Select Dickinson Pumpkins by the Illinois Farm Bureau
Everything You Want To Know About Pumpkins
Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops
18 April 2015
Pumpkins seem to possess a mythical, magical quality to them like no other fruit or vegetable. Who doesn’t have childhood memories of the Fairy God Mother turning Cinderella’s pumpkin patch into a beautiful carriage – not to mention to spooky delights of a Jack-O-Lantern glowing ominously on the front porch during Halloween. Whether you consider yourself a pumpkin fan or not it is undeniable there is something uniquely alluring about this particular plant. If you are planning on eating, cooking, growing or if you simply just want to know more about pumpkins, make sure you take a look at this must-read article that will shed new light on this age old dinnertime favourite.
What is a pumpkin?
First things first – what is pumpkin? Despite often being referred to as a vegetable, pumpkin is actually a fruit – strange I know – and technically has more in common with berries than say a carrot. Pumpkins belong to a category of plants known as the Curcurbita family, which includes zucchini, squash and cucumber. Technicalities aside, pumpkin fruit is an incredibly healthy addition to anyone’s diet, rich in all kinds of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Most importantly, pumpkin is a hearty, delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used to make anything from soups, to desert, to Italian cuisine – whatever pumpkin touches seems to turn to gold (or should I say orange).
Are there different types of pumpkins?
Like most fruits and vegetables, pumpkin comes in a number of varieties, all of which are both hugely beneficial for your health and absolutely delicious on your plate. Here are a list of some different types of pumpkin to consider:
Queensland Blue Pumpkin: as the name suggests this Australian grown variety of pumpkin has a bluish-green skin with classic orange flesh. This variety tends to grow to around 3-5 kg and can be grown all year long in tropical climates.
Butternut Pumpkin: sometimes referred to as Butternut Squash, this variety tends to have an oblong bell like shape, with yellowish skin and an orange flesh. It tends to have a slightly sweeter and nuttier flavour compared to other pumpkins and has an average size of around 2 kg.
Jap Pumpkin: also known as Kent Pumpkin, has green skin mottled with yellow and brown patches, with orange flesh. This nutty variety has an average weight of 4 kg, with a longer maturation process.
These are the most common types of pumpkins grown in Australia however there are so many amazing varieties out there to investigate, like Atlantic Giant Pumpkins and Golden-nugget pumpkins, just to name a few.
What makes pumpkin so good for you?
As mentioned previously pumpkin is a rich source of many vital antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, like kale and cauliflower. Specifically, pumpkin is one of the densest sources of vitamin A that helps your body maintain healthy skin and mucus membranes, while also being great for your eyesight, as well as possibly helping prevent lung and cavity cancers. Pumpkin is also incredibly low in carbohydrates, with no saturated fats or cholesterol, which makes it a favourite of many dieticians when helping people lose weight and lower their cholesterol. Other vitamins and minerals include vitamins C and E, as well as lutein, xanthin and carotenes.
What parts of the pumpkin can I eat?
Most people normally only eat the orange fleshy interior of the pumpkin however the leaves and seeds are also perfectly edible as well. It is uncommon to eat raw pumpkin flesh as most people prefer to roast, cook or boil their pumpkin, as a means to soften it and improve the taste. Pumpkin seeds in particular are a delicious source of protein, omega-3 and fatty acids, making it perfect for a snack or garnish. Leftover scraps of pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are the perfect treat for your chickens – so please don’t forget to treat them to the excess scraps you don’t need or want before you throw it all in the compost. Note of warning though: chickens normally won’t eat pumpkin skin itself, but they will happily peck at the remaining flesh – so be sure to relocate the pumpkin skin into the compost once the chickens have stripped it clean.
What is a simple and easy way to cook pumpkin?
One of the healthiest and tastiest ways to prepare pumpkin is to simply roast it in the oven. Though “roast pumpkin” doesn’t sound as exciting or innovative as pumpkin ravioli or pumpkin pancakes, it is still simply one of the tastiest ways to sink your teeth into this delicious fruit. Here’s what you can do…
Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees.
Chop approximately 1 kg of pumpkin into chunks, removing the seeds and giving them to your chicken or compost – remember the smaller the chunks the faster it will cook. Also, it’s up to you whether you decide to leave the skin on or off.
Dump all the pumpkin chunks into a large bowl or container.
Drizzle 2 tbsp. of good quality olive oil, along with 1 tsp. of cinnamon and 1 tsp. of salt onto the pumpkin chunks, before mixing it through vigorously using your hands.
Spread a single layer of pumpkins chunks onto 1-2 baking trays.
Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes (or longer depending on the size of the pumpkin chunks) until soft and caramelised.
Serve and enjoy.
Roasting pumpkin is pretty simply stuff, but remember you can always spice things up by using a variety of different spices that pair well with pumpkin, such as, ginger, coriander, sage, nutmeg, vanilla and cloves.
How else can I use pumpkin as an ingredient?
There are simply so many different culinary innovations people have made using pumpkin as a key ingredient. The sweetness and smooth texture of pumpkin has led many culinary gurus to use it in desserts – who hasn’t heard of pumpkin pie? Another delicious pumpkin treat for anyone who has a sweet tooth is pumpkin pancakes – who would have thought of that? Not to mention pumpkin cupcakes or mini pumpkin cheesecakes! But, can anything really compare to a beautiful, warm bowl of pumpkin soup with crusty French bread at the end of a hard day…? I’ll let you make up your own mind.
How do I pick the best quality pumpkin?
Whether you’re at a farmer’s market or a supermarket the rules are still the same when it comes to selecting a delicious and nutritious pumpkin. First, inspect the pumpkin to see if it has any cuts, bruises or peculiar discolorations on its skin. If the pumpkin doesn’t look 100% on the outside, chances are it won’t be of the best quality once you take it home and cut it open. Simply place that pumpkin to one side and keep looking. If you find a pumpkin that visually seems to meet the grade, hold it up to your ear and give it a firm knock. A healthy pumpkin will produce a solid woody sound, not unlike when you knock on a wooden door or table.
Where should I store my pumpkins?
Simply keep your pumpkins in a cool, dry and well-ventilated spot in your kitchen. Too much heat will cause your pumpkin to age and rot relatively quickly. Some people segment their pumpkin, wrap it in cling wrap and store it in the fridge. This will of course cause the pumpkin to decline in flavour and quality more rapidly, but it is a good option is you are short on space and the temperatures outside are starting to rise.
How can I grow my own pumpkins?
All things considered pumpkins of all varieties are relatively easy to grow. The most unique aspect about growing pumpkins you’ll need to consider is that fact that the vines grow directly upon the ground surface, before eventually sprouting large pumpkin fruits. Here are some fast facts about growing pumpkins that will help you with your backyard adventures.
Pumpkin vines grow best in fertile, compost-rich, well-drained soil that has access to full sunlight, with a PH level of approximately 6-6.5.
Soil needs to be ideally around 20 degrees, but not less than 16 degrees, if the seed is to germinate and start growing.
It is a smart idea to mix chicken manure into your soil patch 4-6 times before you sow the seeds. This helps ensure that the soil is rich in all the essential nutrients it will need to help produce a nice, big, healthy pumpkin.
Pumpkin vines do not develop deep root structure, which means it’s imperative that they are watered regularly during dry, hot and windy conditions.
Pumpkins grow exceptionally well in weather around 20-35 degrees, making it the perfect plant to grow in tropical climates all year round.
It is vital that you implement a smart approach to crop rotation when growing pumpkin, as it can quickly sap your soil of essential nutrients. Ideally you should grow leafy greens, before planting pumpkins and eventually move on to root and legume vegetables.
Though growing pumpkins is reasonably easy, it’s important that you keep the basics in check, just to ensure the success and quality of this delicious crop.
Many garden and vegetable loving Australians will be able to relish the joy of eating, cooking and growing pumpkin all year round. Chickens are possibly one of the best companion animals to eating, cooking and growing pumpkins because they’ll not only gladly help you get rid of your scraps, but also nourish the soil with their droppings, to ensure bountiful pumpkin growth in the future. If you decide to invest in a flock of chooks to help you make the most of the pumpkins that come through your garden and kitchen, be sure they have a nice home to live in, like the Taj Mahal, Penthouse and Mansion coops.
Sources and further reading
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The world of pumpkins is a surprisingly diverse one. Although the typical pumpkin may conjure up an image of a strong, round and bright orange vegetable, the humble gourd actually come in a variety of colours, shapes, and sizes.
From kent to butternut, here are a few of our favourite types of pumpkins, and a few tips on how to make the most of their unique textures, flavour profiles and best qualities:
Also known as Jap pumpkins, these sweet varieties are perfect for salads and baked dishes. They’re not entirely orange, boasting more of a mottled grey and green exterior, with darker yellow flesh. To retain the depth of flavour they’re famous for, kent pumpkins are best cooked whole, in their tough skin, before scooping out the seeds and putting the soft flesh to use.
We like butternut pumpkins best when they’re roasted, but this hardy oblong variety is one of the most versatile options in the pumpkin aisle. Butternuts are a little sweeter, dryer and can be turned into soups, roasted with cinnamon or put to use in most cooked pumpkin dishes. They’re quite pale on the outside, but the flesh is often a deep orange and makes for a wonderful nutty flavour burst.
Bold flavours don’t necessarily need big sizes. These beige and green dumpling pumpkins are a single-serve favourite, small enough to serve as individual, whole vegetables. This variety pairs well with creamy and sweet flavours – the simple addition of butter and honey in the roasting pan draws out the pumpkin’s best qualities. Why not try stuffing individual ones with a hearty creamed sweetcorn mixture and baking in high heats?
Queensland Blue Pumpkins
Big, bold and as blue as the neighbouring ocean, these large greyish pumpkins are a firm winter favourite. They’re incredibly hardy and relatively easy to grow – thriving on compost and providing a high yield when given enough sunlight and space. The QLD blue is perfect in baked dishes and also lends itself really well to boiling, making it great for mashes and soups.
Types of Summer Squash | Types of Winter Squash
Oh, squash! Let us count the ways we love you. Whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or fall, there’s always at least one way to enjoy your sweet, nutty flavors, not to mention your silky, interesting textures and colors. After all, there are so many types of squash out there to choose from.
And did you know that just a few squash plants bear enough nourishment for weeks—with plenty leftover for sharing? That’s a good thing, because squash are a well-known crowd favorite and are the perfect thing to serve at any dinner party or holiday party. You’ll want to have it around, year-round!
Of course, not all squash are created equal. You’ve likely heard of the two main types—winter and summer—but do you know how (and why!) they differ?
Josh Kirschenbaum, vegetable account manager at PanAmerican Seed, has the answer we’ve been searching for.
“Summer squash is harvested in the warm weather months and doesn’t store for long,” he says. “Winter squash is harvested in the fall and has a hard rind, which allows it to keep well for months.”
It makes sense, and it’s important to know. Whether you’re planning on growing them yourself or purchasing a few of each variety at your local grocery store, you’ll want to be informed about what it is that you’re serving your guests or family. And while each type of squash cooks up in relatively the same way, there are a few noteworthy differences in taste, seasonality, and texture that you’ll want to stay in the know about.
Below, we’re sharing a few of our all-time favorite squash varieties for your garden (or your grocery list!). Both winter and summer squash are listed here, along with tips and tricks for growing them, roasting them, grilling them, and more!
Summer squash are bush types (with a few exceptions that grow on vines) that take up less room in your garden. “Less” is relative because most still need 3 to 4 feet of space in every direction to grow. Pick summer squash when it’s small and tender, not big and seedy. And keep picking to keep the harvest going!
Your grandma probably grew this reliable, high-yielding type in her back yard. Perfect for grilling, sautéing, or baking in quick breads and cakes.
Types of Zucchini: Bossa Nova, Easy Pick Green, Cocozelle, Gold Rush
Easy-to-grow (and super-cute!), these little guys are prolific producers. Roast or grill whole, or harvest them larger and stuff with rice, meat, and veggies.
Types of Rounded Zucchini: Eight Ball, Papaya Pear
With rounded bottoms and curved necks, these kinds of squash are best picked when no more than 4 to 6 inches long so they’re tender, not tough.
Types of Crookneck Squash: Yellow Crookneck, Gold Star
Patty Pan (or Scallop) Squash
These adorable, flying saucer-shaped squash can be grilled whole when 2 to 3 inches wide, or for larger fruits, dice and sauté or stuff.
Types of Patty Pan (or Scallop) Squash: Benning’s Green Tint, Sunburst
Squash for Everybody
Olena DemchenkoGetty Images
Many people think these squat, oval-shaped Middle Eastern types are the best-tasting of the summer squash. Steam, sauté, or stuff ‘em!
Types of Cousa Squash: Lebanese White Bush Marrow, Magda
These heat-tolerant Mexican heirlooms are fast growers. They grow on a vine (unlike most summer squash) that can quickly reach 10 feet long! Firm, sweet white flesh has more flavor than many other kinds of summer squash. Harvest when the fruits are the size of softballs.
The slender, curvy fruits of this Italian heirloom are firm and less seedy than many types. Train them up a trellis or fence so they don’t take over your garden because their 15-foot-long vines will crowd everything else out if you give them a chance! They taste best when harvested from 8 to 12 inches long.
Winter squash need room to stretch as their vines sprawl 10 to 15 feet in every direction; train the plants up a trellis or fence to conserve space. Harvest winter squash when the rind can’t be pierced with your thumbnail, around the time when the vines wither or even right after the first light frost.
Shaped like its namesake, these popular winter squash are reliable performers. They’re best baked or stuffed.
Types of Acorn Squash: Honey Bear, Jester
These easy-to-grow, turban-shaped squash store well into late winter and are buttery-sweet and satiny when baked and mashed.
Types of Buttercup Squash: Burgess, Bonbon
Butternuts typically are cylindrical with a bulb-shaped end and a classic, tan rind. You’ll need a few weeks of storage for the flavor to develop, but they last for months. Bake, sauté, or add to soups and stews.
Types of Butternut Squash: Honeybaby, Waltham
Squash Recipes to Try Tonight
This heirloom variety has cream and green-striped oblong fruits about 3 inches wide and 6 inches long. They’re extremely tender with a flavor reminiscent of sweet potatoes. Even the rind is edible.
Types of Delicata Squash: Bush Delicata
These multi-colored squashes with a squat little shape are both pretty and edible. They’re prolific producers, and they can be baked, grilled, steamed, or stuffed.
Types of Dumpling Squash: Sweet Dumpling, Carnival
These squash, popular in New England, have a tough, bumpy rind and range in color from orange to aqua blue. Some varieties weigh in at 12 to 15 pounds each! Roast the medium-sweet flesh, or put it in stews.
Types of Hubbard Squash: Red Kuri, Blue Ballet
These Japanese squash are similar in appearance to buttercup with a flavor that’s similar to sweet potatoes. Bake, steam or puree in soups.
Types of Kabocha Squash: Sunshine, Hokkori
Creativ Studio HeinemannGetty Images
Pumpkins are a type of winter squash, so they’re not just for carving! Bake, steam, put in stews, and roast the seeds.
Types of Pumpkin Squash: Pepitas, Super Moon, Hijinks
More for Pumpkin Lovers
These oblong-shaped squash have stringy flesh you can scrape out after cooking to create spaghetti-like strands. Use as a pasta substitute or in soups.
Types of Spaghetti Squash: Sugaretti, Tivoli
Arricca SanSone Arricca SanSone writes for CountryLiving.com, WomansDay.com, Family Circle, MarthaStewart.com, Cooking Light, Parents.com, and many others.