What is hubbard squash?


Hubba, Hubba, Hubbard Squash: How to Cook this Giant Squash

The interior of this winter squash is bright orange in color, sweet in flavor, and has a fine-grained texture, which can be a bit dry.

What is Hubbard Squash?

The flavor of Hubbard squash is a combination of sweet potato meets pumpkin, which makes it perfect in pies and soups. Though high in sugar, this squash can sometimes be mealy, which means it is best pureed. You can also mash the flesh like potatoes and mix into casseroles or combine it with wild rice or other whole grain side dishes. Like other squashes, the Hubbard is packed with vitamins A and C, and has plenty of dietary fiber and almost no fat.

Image zoom Photo by Meredith

How to Choose the Right Hubbard Squash

Somewhere between a sweet potato and a pumpkin, these behemoths of the squash world can weigh anywhere between five to fifteen pounds. When choosing a Hubbard squash at the market, pick one that is heavy for its size with a matte skin (not glossy). They are often sold already cut into pieces, which makes cooking with this large squash an easy job. They are typically available fall through mid-winter.

A Tough Nut to Crack

Probably the largest squash you’ll find at the market, its hard skin can be tricky to work with. The best way to crack open a Hubbard squash is to (carefully) whack it with a heavy-duty meat cleaver. Some grocery stores will sell pieces already quartered (so you don’t have Hubbard squash for days). We’ve even heard of folks putting these squash in a sack and dropping them from a decent height onto the hard ground.

Cooking Hubbard Squash

The flesh of Hubbard squash can be substituted for almost all other varieties of winter squash, which makes it ideal for both cooking and baking. Because of its tough rind, Hubbard squash is most often cooked in its skin. To roast, place your piece of squash, flesh-side down, on a baking sheet in the oven. After baking, scoop the cooked flesh from the skin and puree or mash it.

Swap out acorn squash for Hubbard squash in Fall Infused Mashed Potatoes. A seasonal kick on a classic dish, the blend of potatoes and Hubbard squash make for an extra creamy side for gravy.

Image zoom Photo by Buckwheat Queen

A pinch of cinnamon and brown sugar really does make for Sweet and Yummy Mashed Acorn Squash. This is the perfect kid-friendly dish to try out Hubbard squash.

Image zoom Photo by Happyschmoopies

With a bit of sweet, spice, and savory, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup is an elegant dish for the fall and winter table. Pureed until smooth, this recipe is perfect for any of your favorite varieties of winter squash.

Image zoom Photo by Bigstock

A classic way to use Hubbard squash, Grandma’s Sweet Hubbard Squash Custard Pie has all the fixings for a perfect dessert.

Hungry for More? Check out our collection of Winter Squash Recipes, including acorn, butternut, delicata, pumpkin, and spaghetti squash recipes.

Get more cooking tips and awesome food finds.

Winter Squash Guide

With a dozen common varieties readily available, choosing a winter squash to prepare can be confounding for the home cook. We’ve compiled descriptions of common varieties as well as some handy tips for selecting the right squash for you and plenty of delicious squash recipes you’ll love.

General selection tips

Winter squash are harvested late summer through fall, then “cured” or “hardened off” in open air to toughen their exterior. This process ensures the squash will keep for months without refrigeration. Squash that has been hurried through this step and improperly cured will appear shiny and may be tender enough to be pierced by your fingernail. When selecting any variety of winter squash, the stem is the best indication of ripeness. Stems should be tan, dry, and on some varieties, look fibrous and frayed, or corky. Fresh green stems and those leaking sap signal that the squash was harvested before it was ready. Ripe squash should have vivid, saturated (deep) color and a matte, rather than glossy, finish.


This forest green, deeply ribbed squash resembles its namesake, the acorn. It has yellow-orange flesh and a tender-firm texture that holds up when cooked. Acorn’s mild flavor is versatile, making it a traditional choice for stuffing and baking. The hard rind is not good for eating, but helps the squash hold its shape when baked.

  • Selection: Acorn squash should be uniformly green and matte—streaks/spots of orange are fine, but too much orange indicates over ripeness and the squash will be dry and stringy.
  • Best uses: baking, stuffing, mashing.
  • Other varieties: all-white “Cream of the Crop,” and all-yellow “Golden Acorn.”

Blue Hubbard

Good for feeding a crowd, these huge, bumpy textured squash look a bit like a giant gray lemon, tapered at both ends and round in the middle. A common heirloom variety, Blue Hubbard has an unusual, brittle blue-gray outer shell, a green rind, and bright orange flesh. Unlike many other winter squashes, they are only mildly sweet, but have a buttery, nutty flavor and a flaky, dry texture similar to a baked potato.

  • Selection: Choose a squash based on size—1 pound equals approximately 2 cups of chopped squash (tip: if you don’t have use for the entire squash, some produce departments will chop these into smaller pieces for you).
  • Best Uses: baked or mashed, topped with butter, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Other varieties: Golden or Green Hubbard, Baby Blue Hubbard.


These squash are named for their peanut-like shape and smooth, beige coloring. Butternut is a good choice for recipes calling for a large amount of squash because they are dense—the seed cavity is in the small bulb opposite the stem end, so the large stem is solid squash. Their vivid orange flesh is sweet and slightly nutty with a smooth texture that falls apart as it cooks. Although the rind is edible, butternut is usually peeled before use.

  • Selection: Choose the amount of squash needed by weight. One pound of butternut equals approximately 2 cups of peeled, chopped squash.
  • Best uses: soups, purees, pies, recipes where smooth texture and sweetness will be highlighted.


This oblong squash is butter yellow in color with green mottled striping in shallow ridges. Delicata has a thin, edible skin that is easy to work with but makes it a poor squash for long-term storage; this is why you’ll only find them in the fall. The rich, sweet yellow flesh is flavorful and tastes like chestnuts, corn, and sweet potatoes.

  • Selection: Because they are more susceptible to breakdown than other winter squash, take care to select squash without scratches or blemishes, or they may spoil quickly.
  • Best Uses: Delicata’s walls are thin, making it a quick-cooking squash. It can be sliced in 1/4-inch rings and sautéed until soft and caramelized (remove seeds first), halved and baked in 30 minutes, or broiled with olive oil or butter until caramelized.
  • Other varieties: Sugar Loaf and Honey Boat are varieties of Delicata that have been crossed with Butternut. They are often extremely sweet with notes of caramel, hazelnut, and brown sugar (They’re delicious and fleeting, so we recommend buying them when you find them!).

Heart of Gold/Festival/Carnival

These colorful, festive varieties of squash are all hybrids resulting from a cross between Sweet Dumpling and Acorn, and are somewhere between the two in size. Yellow or cream with green and orange mottling, these three can be difficult to tell apart, but for culinary purposes, they are essentially interchangeable. With a sweet nutty flavor like Dumpling, and a tender-firm texture like Acorn, they are the best of both parent varieties.

  • Selection: Choose brightly colored squash that are heavy for their size.
  • Best uses: baking, stuffing, broiling with brown sugar.

Kabocha (Green or Red)

Kabocha can be dark green with mottled blue-gray striping, or a deep red-orange color that resembles Red Kuri. You can tell the difference between red Kabocha and Red Kuri by their shape: Kabocha is round but flattened at stem end, instead of pointed. The flesh is smooth, dense, and intensely yellow. They are similar in sweetness and texture to a sweet potato.

  • Selection: Choose heavy, blemish free squash. They may have a golden or creamy patch where they rested on the ground.
  • Best Uses: curries, soups, stir-fry, salads.
  • Other varieties: Buttercup, Turban, Turk’s Turban.

Pie Pumpkin

Pie pumpkins differ from larger carving pumpkins in that they have been bred for sweetness and not for size. They are uniformly orange and round with an inedible rind, and are sold alongside other varieties of winter squash (unlike carving pumpkins which are usually displayed separately from winter squash). These squash are mildly sweet and have a rich pumpkin flavor that is perfect for pies and baked goods. They make a beautiful centerpiece when hollowed out and filled with pumpkin soup.

  • Selection: Choose a pie pumpkin that has no hint of green and still has a stem attached; older pumpkins may lose their stems.
  • Best uses: pies, custards, baked goods, curries and stews.

Red Kuri

These vivid orange, beta carotene-saturated squash are shaped like an onion, or teardrop. They have a delicious chestnut-like flavor, and are mildly sweet with a dense texture that holds shape when steamed or cubed, but smooth and velvety when pureed, making them quite versatile.

  • Selection: Select a smooth, uniformly colored squash with no hint of green.
  • Best Uses: Thai curries, soups, pilafs and gratins, baked goods.
  • Other varieties: Hokkaido, Japanese Uchiki.


These football-sized, bright yellow squash are very different from other varieties in this family. Spaghetti squash has a pale golden interior, and is stringy and dense—in a good way! After sliced in half and baked, use a fork to pry up the strands of flesh and you will see it resembles and has the texture of perfectly cooked spaghetti noodles. These squash are not particularly sweet but have a mild flavor that takes to a wide variety of preparations.

  • Selection: choose a bright yellow squash that is free of blemishes and soft spots.
  • Best uses: baked and separated, then mixed with pesto, tomato sauce, or your favorite pasta topping.

Sweet Dumpling

These small, four- to-six-inch round squash are cream-colored with green mottled streaks and deep ribs similar to Acorn. Pale gold on the inside, with a dry, starchy flesh similar to a potato, these squash are renowned for their rich, honey-sweet flavor.

  • Selection: pick a smooth, blemish-free squash that is heavy for its size and is evenly colored. Avoid a squash that has a pale green tint as it is underripe.
  • Best uses: baking with butter and cinnamon.

Miscellaneous Varieties

At some food co-ops, farmer’s markets, and apple orchards in the fall you may encounter unusual heirloom varieties of squash that are worth trying. If you like butternut, look for Galeux D’eysines, a rich, sweet and velvety French heirloom that is large, pale pink, and covered in brown fibrous warts. You might also like to try Long Island Cheese squash, a flat, round ribbed, beige squash that resembles a large wheel of artisan cheese. If you prefer the firmer, milder Acorn, you might like to try long Banana or Pink Banana squash. If you like a moist,dense textured squash (yam-like), try a Queensland Blue or Jarrahdale pumpkin. These huge varieties are from Australia and New Zealand, respectively, and have stunning brittle blue-green rinds and deep orange flesh. Both are good for mashing and roasting.

Interested in exploring how much there is to love about winter squash? Check out our collection of Sweet and Savory Winter Squash recipes and articles.

/ marekuliasz

What do butternut squash soup, acorn squash with cranberry stuffing and healthy Italian spaghetti squash have in common? They all showcase types of squash commonly available from late summer through the mid-winter months, hence the name winter squash. Winter squash differs from summer squash due to the season when it’s harvested, but it’s also generally sweeter, denser, more firm in texture and eaten after the outer skin has hardened. If you’re on a diet, winter squash is a great low-cal option, packed with complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins A, B6 and C, manganese, folate and loads of antioxidants.

While each type of winter squash is unique, the purchase and storage of all varieties is basically the same. Always choose a firm squash with no blemishes, bruises or soft spots. The skin should be dull, not glossy. The stem should be intact and the squash should feel heavy for its size. To prepare, the skin is usually removed with a knife or vegetable peeler, then the squash is cut in half and the seeds and fibers scooped out—although it can also be baked whole. One of the great advantages of winter squash is its long shelf life, if stored properly. Store it whole in a cool, dry and well-ventilated space between 45 and 50 degrees. Once cut, cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Baked or steamed squash can be frozen for later use in soups, like these butternut squash soup recipes, casseroles, breads, muffins and pies.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the most common varieties of winter squash. And don’t forget this handy cooking tip: You can substitute any sweet, orange-fleshed variety of winter squash for another.

1. Acorn

Acorn squash is small and round and has a dull, dark green rind with orange markings. Avoid choosing a squash with too much orange—they tend to be tougher and more fibrous. (Golden varieties of acorn squash are also available but not as common.) The flesh is yellow-orange with a mild sweet and nutty flavor that’s perfect for baking, roasting, steaming, sauteing or even microwaving (be sure to pierce the skin first). Because of its compact size, acorn squash can be halved and stuffed for recipes like Turkey Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash. It’s also tasty in savory dishes like Pork Chops & Acorn Squash or sweetened up in Maple-Glazed Acorn Squash. Store acorn squash for up to one month.

2. Banana

Large and elongated, banana squash can weigh up to 35 pounds! The skin is orange, pink or blue when mature and the flesh is vibrant orange. Because of its size, it’s often sold in precut chunks. Considered one of the most superior, versatile types of squash, banana pairs well with rich, bold flavors, herbs, and spices such as curry, ginger and cinnamon. With proper storage, whole banana squash can last for up to six months.

3. Buttercup

This squat, compact squash is green with light green stripes and has a distinctive round ridge on the bottom. Its bright orange, somewhat dry flesh is very mild in flavor and much sweeter than most varieties. Buttercup squash is best steamed or baked, and it works well in curry dishes. The skin is inedible and can be difficult to peel, but the squash can be baked first and then the flesh scooped out for use in recipes like Buttercup Squash Coffee Cake. This squash also makes for a great variation on mashed sweet potatoes. Store whole buttercup squash for up to three months.

4. Butternut

Not to be confused with buttercup squash, pear-shaped butternut squash has a creamy, pale orange exterior with a slim neck and a bulbous, bell-shaped bottom, which houses the seeds. Its orangey-yellow flesh tastes similar to sweet potato and isn’t stringy, making it a good choice for pureeing and using in soups like Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup. (The more orange the exterior, the riper, drier and sweeter the flesh will be.) It’s easiest to use if you cut it into two sections and handle the neck and bulb separately. The skin is fairly easy to peel, and the skin and seeds are edible. Whole butternut squash will keep for up to three months when stored properly.

See all of our best butternut squash recipes here.

5. Carnival

This variety is a cross between an acorn squash and sweet dumpling squash, and it looks as fun as its name implies. Carnival’s decorative exterior has deep furrows and lively variegated stripes and patterns of green, orange and creamy yellow. Look for squash that still has some green on it, indicating that it’s ripe but not past its prime. The flesh is pale orange with a flavor similar to butternut squash. Carnival squash is best when roasted and added to stew, risotto, curry or pasta, or blended into soups and sauces. Store whole carnival squash for up to one month.

6. Delicata

This squash, also known as Bohemian or sweet potato squash, is cylindrical in shape and features pale yellow skin with green stripes. Its rind is more delicate than most, making it easy to work with. When cooked, the orange flesh tastes very similar to sweet potatoes with an earthy flavor. The skin is edible, and because of its shape, it lends itself well to stuffed dishes. Delicata is most often roasted, steamed or microwaved. Store whole delicata squash for up to three months.

7. Hubbard

Large and bumpy, Hubbard squash has orange, green or grey-blue extra-hard skin with sweet-tasting orange flesh. Because of its size, it’s usually sold precut and seeded. You can peel and boil, roast, bake or steam Hubbard squash, but it’s best for mashing or pureeing and turning into pie, like this alternative to pumpkin pie. Store it whole for up to six months.

8. Kabocha

Small and squat and most commonly available with dark green skin, this Japanese variety of squash is also known as Japanese pumpkin. The sweet, bright orange flesh tastes like a cross between pumpkin and sweet potato. Mash it up and use it as a thickener for soups and stews, stuff it with figs and carrots or cut it into chunks for tempura, as it is widely used in Japan. Store whole kabocha squash for up to one month.

9. Spaghetti

If you’ve been searching for a low-cal alternative to pasta, this is it. Spaghetti squash is cylindrical in shape with pale to bright yellow skin—the yellower the riper. Once cooked, you can scrape the flesh into strings similar to spaghetti noodles (with approximately 165 fewer calories and 30 fewer carbohydrates per cup), then use it as a healthy substitute in dishes like Chicken Florentine Meatballs. Whole spaghetti squash can be stored at room temperature for several weeks.

Turn to these spaghetti squash recipes when you’re craving pasta but want fewer carbs.

10. Sugar Pumpkin

Also called pie pumpkin, these are not the pumpkins you carve at Halloween. Like their larger counterparts, they have bright orange skin, but these are small and round with bright orange flesh. This squash has classic pumpkin flavor—puree it and make your own pumpkin pie from scratch (the texture will be a bit more fibrous than using canned pumpkin pie filling). On the savory side, sugar pumpkins are also tasty in soups and curries. Store whole sugar pumpkins for up to one month.

11. Sweet Dumpling

Small and compact with whitish-yellow skin with green striations, sweet dumping squash tastes similar to sweet potatoes or corn. You can eat the skin, and this variety is a good substitute for pumpkin or sweet potatoes. Store whole sweet dumpling squash for up to three months.

12. Turban

This large, decorative variety has bumpy skin that ranges from green to orange to yellow, sometimes all three in one. The blossom end features a turban-like cap, and the flesh tastes mild to sweet. Because of its mild flavor, it pairs well with a wide complement of foods—from pears to cilantro to ground beef to chicken. It’s easiest to handle if you cut the turban section off, slice both sections into cubes, then bake, roast or steam and remove the skin once cooled. Store whole turban squash for up to three months.

Now that you know about the many ways you can cook winter squash, don’t forget about roasting the seeds! Squash seeds make a tasty, crunchy fall snack and can be prepared as easily as pumpkin seeds.

Use Your Slow Cooker to Make Winter Squash 1 / 30

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

I got this golden soup recipe from a friend. Sometimes I add a few slices of red pepper to change up the flavor a bit. —Pat Roberts, Thornton, Ontario Get Recipe

Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Olives

This squash is welcome as a side dish, but you can also top it with canned tuna to serve as a main dish. I use my own canned tomatoes for the best flavor. It’s easy and so tasty! —Carol Chase, Sioux City, Iowa Get Recipe

Sausage, Kale and Squash Bread Pudding

Who said bread pudding has to be for dessert? I love to serve this for brunch or dinner when I want something hearty and a little unusual. —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Get Recipe

Butternut Squash and Barley Soup

I love to use my garden produce in this veggie-packed soup. Serve it with oatmeal dinner rolls and you’ve got a delicious, healthy dinner. —Julie Sloan, Osceola, Indiana Get Recipe

Spicy Pork and Butternut Squash Ragu

This recipe is a marvelously spicy combo that’s perfect for cooler fall weather and satisfying after a day spent outdoors. —Monica Osterhaus, Paducah, Kentucky Get Recipe

Italian Spaghetti Squash

This is a unique and easy way to cook spaghetti squash. Be sure the squash is on the small or medium side so that it fits into the slow cooker after being cut in half. —Melissa Brooks, Sparta, Wisconsin Get Recipe

Spiced Carrots & Butternut Squash

When I’ve got a lot going on, my slow cooker is my go-to tool for cooking veggies. I toss in cumin and chili powder to bring out the natural sweetness of carrots and squash. —Courtney Stultz, Columbus, Kansas Get Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

My husband loves anything pumpkin, and this creamy, comforting pumpkin pudding recipe is one of his favorites. We make our easy pudding all year long, but it’s especially nice in the fall. —Andrea Schaak, Bloomington, Minnesota Get Recipe

Butternut Squash with Whole Grains

Fresh thyme really shines in this hearty slow-cooked side dish featuring tender butternut squash, nutritious whole grain pilaf and vitamin-packed baby spinach. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen Get Recipe

Fresh Pumpkin Soup

This appealing soup harvests the fall flavors of just-picked pumpkins and tart apples and is sure to warm you up on a crisp autumn day. I top the creamy puree with a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds. —Jane Shapton, Irvine, California Get Recipe

Pork Chops & Acorn Squash

My husband and I are crazy for the squash we grow in our garden. For a sweet and tangy dish, we slow-cook it with pork chops and orange juice. —Mary Johnson, Coloma, Wisconsin Get Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

There’s nothing like a bowl of warm oatmeal in the morning, and my spiced version works in a slow cooker. Store leftovers in the fridge. —Jordan Mason, Brookville, Pennsylvania Get Recipe

Black Bean ‘n’ Pumpkin Chili

My family is crazy about this slow cooker chili because it uses ingredients you don’t usually find in chili. Believe it or not, I discovered that pumpkin is what makes the dish so special. Cook up a big batch and freeze some for later; it tastes even better reheated. —Deborah Vliet, Holland, Michigan Get Recipe

Spiced Acorn Squash

Working full time, I found I didn’t always have time to cook the meals my family loved. So I re-created many of our favorites in the slow cooker. This cinnamony treatment for squash is one of them. —Carol Greco, Centereach, New York Get Recipe

Slow-Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Much of the work for this soup can be done in advance, and it keeps all day in the slow cooker. This can easily be doubled if you’re feeding a crowd. Once you’ve tried it, try mixing it up—add save or savory with the thyme or replace it with nutmeg. For a vegan version, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. —Jennifer Machado, Alta, California Get Recipe

Butternut Coconut Curry

I love my slow cooker because it’s so easy to make dinner with one! This flavorful curry was first created for a potluck and since then, the recipe has been requested often.—Jess Apfe, Berkeley, California Get Recipe

Autumn Pumpkin Chili

We have this turkey pumpkin chili often because everyone loves it, even the most finicky grandchildren. It’s a definite “keeper” in my book! —Kimberly Nagy, Port Hadlock, Washington Get Recipe

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding

Savor your favorite fall flavors with this scrumptious bread pudding, served warm with a sweet vanilla sauce. Yum! —Judith Bucciarelli, Johnson, New York Get Recipe

Ham and White Bean Soup

I came up with this recipe when I wanted to make dinner in the slow cooker but didn’t have time to go to the grocery store. I went through my freezer and cupboards and threw in what I thought would go well together. At the last minute, I decided to add Old Bay. This flavorful soup was a make-again! —Stacey Cornell, Saratoga Springs, New York Get Recipe

Maple-Almond Butternut Squash

A heartwarming side dish, especially on chilly days, this is a cinch to prepare, making it a good choice for any weeknight. It’s impressive enough for company, too. —Judy Lawson, Chelsea, Michigan Get Recipe

Squash & Chicken Stew

We created a satisfying stew that’s nutritious, loaded with flavor and family-friendly. Slowly simmer chicken thighs with stewed tomatoes, butternut squash, green peppers and onion for meal-in-one convenience. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen Get Recipe

Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon

The golden color, smooth and creamy texture and wonderful taste of this soup make it a welcome addition to a chilly fall day. It has a slightly tangy flavor from the gingerroot, and the sweet cinnamon really comes through. —Jackie Campbell, Stanhope, New Jersey Get Recipe

Moroccan Vegetable Chicken Tagine

Take a trip to Morocco with this rich, exotic dish. A tagine is a North African slow-cooked stew named after the pot it’s cooked in.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen Get Recipe

Vegetable Lentil Soup

Here’s a healthy soup that’s ideal for vegetarians and those watching their weight. Butternut squash and lentils make it hearty, while herbs and other veggies round out the flavor. —Mark Morgan, Waterford, Wisconsin Get Recipe

Slow-Cooker Curry Pork

I’m a stay-at-home mom, and the slow cooker helps me create dishes like this pork with a curry and cumin rub. I add a splash of coconut milk. —Beverly Peychal, Waukesha, Wisconsin Get Recipe

Colorful Minestrone

Butternut squash, a leek and fresh kale make my minestrone different from most others. Not only do ingredients like this help keep the fat grams down, but they create a lovely blend of flavors.—Tiffany Anderson-Taylor, Gulfport, Florida Get Recipe

Squash and Lentil Lamb Stew

My family lived in New Zealand many years ago. Every Sunday my mother made a lamb stew—it was Dad’s favorite! I changed the recipe to suit my family’s more modern palates, but it seems just as exotic and delicious. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada Get Recipe

Brown Rice and Vegetables

This filling rice dish, full of big chunks of butternut squash and sweet potatoes, is a standout combination of sweet and savory flavors. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen Get Recipe

Lentil Pumpkin Soup

Garlic and spices brighten up my hearty pumpkin soup. It’s just the thing we need on a chilly fall day. —Laura Magee, Houlton, Wisconsin Get Recipe

Loaded Vegetable Beef Stew

I first had this dish during a trip to Argentina a few years ago. It inspired me to recreate it at home. It turned out so well, I wrote “Yum!” on the recipe card! —Kari Caven, Post Falls, Idaho Get Recipe

Velvety smooth and naturally sweet, this Hubbard Squash Soup is perfect for the fall season! Fresh and healthy, there’s no cream in this squash soup. It’s easy to make with a natural hazelnut flavor. Autumn bliss in a bowl!

Hubbard Squash Soup

I use to be a part of a lunch co-op at my office where each of us would come up with a wide range of recipes and share with our group. We ended up getting some amazing recipes, like this Crock Pot Cabbage Roll Casserole. At our October lunch co-op, one of our members named Bob brought in this hubbard squash soup. It’s fall…it made sense and as we all sat down to eat, we were astonished at how amazing it tasted. I asked him for the recipe and he said, “I have no idea what I did! I started out following some girl’s recipe for butternut squash with rice balls and then it got weird with the rice ball stuff so I just started making my own version with a hubbard squash and BAM…we ended up with a really good soup!”

Isn’t that how it always works? The best recipes just happen!

What is Hubbard Squash?

There’s actually 3 types of hubbard squash. Blue, Golden, and Green.

  • Blue Hubbard Squash – is a winter squash and tastes sweet, like a sweet potato, and has a natural nutty taste. Think hazelnut with this one. They can grow to be quiet large and have a light blue shell that is extremely hard and not edible like most summer squash. When cut open, the squash has a deep orange colored flesh. They can be really hard to find. I’ve never seen one in a grocery store, but I have seen them in Sprouts and Whole Foods in October and November. When you spot one, snatch it up because it’s the best type of squash for this recipe. Blue Hubbard Squash is my all time favorite squash because of its mild sweet taste. It’s the perfect squash for making soups.
  • Golden Hubbard Squash – has a hard orange shells and is shaped more like a teardrop. This squash is the sweetest tasting of the hubbard squashes. Most people use this type of squash for canning or decorating for the fall season.
  • Green Hubbard Squash – the most commonly found in the hubbard family. The shell has a deep green color. The flesh is more of an orange-yellow color. Similar to the kabocha squash, it’s great for roasting.

Video: How To Make Hubbard Squash Soup

I think visuals are super helpful, so I made a video showing you how easy it is to make this soup!

Hubbard Squash Soup Ingredients

  • Hubbard Squash – if you can find a blue hubbard squash, use it in this recipe. If not, use a green hubbard squash.
  • Olive Oil – used to baste the squash when roasting.
  • Butter – helps make this soup creamy. Use a salted butter.
  • White Rice Flour – the thickening agent that provides a sweet taste.
  • Nutmeg – provides that wonderful autumn flavor.
  • Salt/Pepper – used to enhance the flavor.

How To Make Hubbard Squash Soup

  • Preheat Oven – Start off by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut the squash horizontally: Using a sharp knife, cut the squash. Be really careful when you do this because the shell is very hard. Once the squash is cut, scoop out the seeds and discard, or use them in recipes for broth or this spiced squash soup.
  • Baste with olive oil: Pour 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl and liberally brush the oil onto both pieces of squash. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper for added taste.

Roasted Squash

  • Roast the squash: Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place both squash flesh side up. Bake the squash for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the flesh is soft. By the way, your house is about to smell really amazing!
  • Scoop and Puree: When the squash has finished roasting, take an ice cream scoop and scoop out the roasted squash. Place in a blender or food processor. With my Hubbard squash, I had about 3 cups of squash after I was finished scooping. Slowly add a cup of water to your blender or food processor and puree until your squash is soft and silky.
    • Expert Tip – You want your consistency to be a little on the liquid side after the puree.

Cooking Squash Soup

  • Add squash puree, rice flour, butter, nutmeg and water: Once the squash has been pureed, move the mixture to a large pot. The stove-top cooking temperature should be set to medium-high. Add in the rice flour, 2 more cups of water, salt, pepper, butter and ground nutmeg.
  • Cook and Simmer: Cook the soup until it comes to a rolling boil. Turn down the burner to medium heat once it reaches the rolling boil. Let your soup simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring as needed. Add more salt and pepper as needed per your taste. You are now ready to serve.
  • Toppings: I love topping this soup with brown sugar. I typically add a teaspoon on top and it melts down into the soup. I also top this soup with roasted pumpkin seeds, scallions, sour cream, and fresh cranberries.

Squash Substitutes

Blue hubbard squash is by far the best squash to use for this soup, but if you can’t find a hubbard squash you can use butternut squash for this recipe. Kabocha, also called Japanese Squash, is also a great squash to substitute.

Where Can I Buy Hubbard Squash?

Hubbard squash can be hard to find, but I’ve been successful finding them in Sprouts and Whole Foods. I’ve never seen one in my local grocery store, but if you talk to your local grocer and put in a request, they can typically place an order for you. I’ve been successful in doing this with several different types of foods. If you’re a gardener, you can go online and buy Hubbard Squash seeds to plant in your garden.

What To Serve With Hubbard Squash Soup

My Quick Peppery Cheese Bread is absolute heaven with this squash soup recipe. It’s full of savory cheese and black pepper and perfectly with a bowl of this delicious comforting soup. This cheese bread recipe is gluten free and is simple to make!

More Delicious Soups To Try

  • Autumn Vegetable and Black Bean Soup
  • Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
  • Kale and Leek Soup
  • Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Tomato and White Bean Soup

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4.88 from 8 votes Hubbard Squash Soup Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins Total Time 1 hr 35 mins

Velvety smooth and naturally sweet, this Hubbard Squash Soup is perfect for the fall season! Fresh and healthy, there’s no cream in this squash soup. It’s easy to make with a natural hazelnut flavor. Autumn bliss in a bowl!Velvety smooth and naturally sweet, this Hubbard Squash Soup is perfect for the fall season! Fresh and healthy, there’s no cream in this squash soup. It’s easy to make with a natural hazelnut flavor. Autumn bliss in a bowl!

Course: Soup Cuisine: American Keyword: Hubbard Squash Soup, Squash Soup Servings: 6 People Calories: 47 kcal Author: Amanda Mason Ingredients

  • 1 Hubbard Squash
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons rice flour
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Start out by cutting your squash horizontally. Again, be really careful cutting your squash, regardless of the type you choose to use. Once it’s cut, scoop out the seeds and pulp and discard.
  3. Brush the 1 Tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil onto the flesh of your squash until it’s lightly covered. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly to season.
  4. On a silipat or a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil, place the squash flesh side up. Bake the squash for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the flesh is soft.

  5. When the squash is done, take an ice cream scooper and scoop out the squash. Place in a blender or food processor. With my Hubbard squash, I had about 3 to 3 1/2 cups of squash after I was finished scooping.
  6. Slowly add a cup of water to your blender/food processor and puree until your squash is pureed. You want your consistency to be a little on the liquid side after the puree.
  7. Once the squash has been pureed, move the mixture to a large pot. Cooking temperature should be set to medium-high. Add in the rice flour, 2 more cups of water, salt, pepper, butter and ground nutmeg. Cook the soup until it comes to a rolling boil. Turn down the burner to medium heat once it reaches the rolling boil.
  8. Let your soup simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring as needed. Add more salt and pepper as needed per your taste.
  9. Top this soup off with your favorite toppings! I used sour cream and scallions. Enjoy this one!

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts Hubbard Squash Soup Amount Per Serving (1 cup) Calories 47 Calories from Fat 36 % Daily Value* Fat 4g6% Saturated Fat 2g13% Cholesterol 5mg2% Sodium 211mg9% Carbohydrates 12g4% Fiber 1g4% Sugar 1g1% Protein 1g2% Vitamin A 58IU1% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Update Notes: This post was originally published in October 2017, but was re-published with updated step-by-step instructions, pictures, and tips in October 2019.

Hubbard Squash Care – How To Grow Hubbard Squash Plant

A type of winter squash, the hubbard squash has a variety of other names under which it may be found such as ‘green pumpkin’ or ‘buttercup.’ Green pumpkin refers not only to the color of the fruit at the time of hubbard squash harvest, but also to its sweet flavor, which can be substituted for pumpkin and makes a fabulous pie. Let’s learn more about how to grow hubbard squash.

Hubbard Squash Information

The hubbard squash has an extremely hard outer shell and can, therefore, be stored for long periods of time — up to six months. The green to gray-blue shell isn’t edible but the orange flesh inside is delicious and nutritious. Consistently sweet, hubbard squash has virtually no fat and is low in sodium. A cup of this squash has 120 calories, a good amount of dietary fiber and vitamins A and C.

Hubbard squash can be substituted for most other winter squash and is great for cooking or baking whether peeled and boiled, roasted, steamed, sautéed, or pureed. The easiest method, because of that tough outer layer, is to cut in half, de-seed, and rub the cut side with a bit of olive oil, and then roast cut side down in the oven. The result can be pureed for soups or stuffed inside ravioli. You can also peel the hubbard squash and cut up, of course, but this method is quite difficult because of that thick hull.

This squash variety can attain an extremely large size of up to 50 pounds. For this reason, hubbard squash is often found for sale at the local supermarket already cut in more manageable pieces.

Originally brought to New England from South America or the West Indies, the hubbard squash may possibly have been named by a Mrs. Elizabeth Hubbard in the 1840’s who apparently gave seeds to friends. A neighbor with whom she shared the seed, James J. H. Gregory, introduced this squash to the seed trade. A more recent variation of the hubbard squash, the golden hubbard, can now be found but it lacks the sweetness of the original, and in fact, tends towards a bitter aftertaste.

How to Grow Hubbard Squash

Now that we have extolled its virtues, I know you want to know how to grow a hubbard squash. When growing hubbard squash, seeds should be sown in the spring in an area which receives lots of sun and plenty of space for the long vines.

You will need to maintain adequate moisture for the growing hubbard squash and a bit of patience as it requires 100-120 days to mature, likely at the end of the summer. Seeds saved from the hubbard are quite resilient and can be saved for future planting.

Hubbard Squash Harvest

Hubbard squash harvest should occur prior to heavy frost, as the cucurbit is a tropical plant and the cold weather will damage its fruit. If frost is predicted, cover the plants or harvest.

The rock hard exterior will not be an indicator of the fruits readiness nor will its green color. You will know when to harvest this squash when the maturation date of between 100-120 days has passed. In fact, the best way to tell if the squash is ripe is to wait until the vines begin to die.

If some of the squash are large and seem ready for harvesting before the vines die back, then look at the first few inches of stem attached to the squash. If it has started to dry and appears cork-like, then it’s okay to harvest because the squash is no longer receiving nourishment from the vine. If the stem is still moist and viable, don’t harvest, as it’s still receiving nourishment and has not yet reached its full potential of flavor, sweetness or seed viability.

Cut the fruit off the vine, leaving two inches attached to the hubbard. Leave the vine remnant on the squash to cure for 10 days to two weeks, which will help to sweeten the flesh and harden the shell for longer storage.

Hubbard Squash Care and Storage

Proper hubbard squash care will extend the life of this fruit allowing for storage up to 6 months. The hubbard will continue to ripen after picking, so do not store near apples, which give off ethylene gas and will hasten ripening and shorten storage time.

Store this winter squash between 50-55 F. (10-13 C.) at a relative humidity of 70 percent. Leave at least 2 to 4 inches of stem on each squash when you put it into storage. Prior to storage, wipe the squash off with a weak bleach solution of six parts water to one part bleach to prevent rot and extend shelf life.

Hubbard Winter Squash – Key Growing Information

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cucurbita maxima
CULTURE: Fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0–6.8 is best. Plastic mulch and fabric row covers (AG-19 grade) can aide plant establishment and exclude insect pests during the seedling stage. Row covers should be removed when plants begin to flower. Poor fruit development may indicate insufficient pollination.
TRANSPLANTING: Sow 2–3 seeds per 2″ container or plug flat about 3 weeks prior to transplanting. Thin to 1 plant/container or cell with scissors. Harden plants 4–7 days prior to transplanting. After danger of frost has passed, transplant out according to the spacing recommendations for each variety. Handle seedlings carefully; minimal root disturbance is best.
DIRECT SEEDING: Sow 2 seeds at the appropriate spacing interval for the variety’s vine length, 1/2–1″ deep. Thin to 1 plant per spacing interval after seedlings are established.
PLANT SPACING: Bush to short-vine habits generally require 6′ between-row spacing, while long-vine habits require 12′ between-row spacing. In-row spacing depends on fruit size and is generally: small, 18–24″; medium, 24–36″; large, 36–48″.
DISEASES: Common cucurbit diseases include powdery mildew, downy mildew, bacterial wilt, and phytophthora. Avoid problems with adequate soil drainage, good air flow, insect pest control, and crop rotation. If necessary, check with your local Cooperative Extension Service agent for specific control options.
INSECT PESTS: Cucumber beetles, squash bugs, and vine borers are all common pests for cucurbits. Protect young plants with floating row cover. Squash bug eggs found on the undersides of leaves may be crushed by hand. For vine borers, cut out of vines and hill soil over the wound. Keep field borders mowed and remove plant refuse in the fall; spring plow to bury pupae. Pyrethrin sprays may offer some control.

HARVEST: Fruits are typically ready about 50–55 days after fruit set, and should be harvested before any hard frosts. Cut fruits from vines and handle carefully. Sun cure by exposing fruits for 5–7 days or cure indoors by keeping squash at 80–85°F/27–29°C with good air ventilation.
STORAGE: Store at 50–60°F/10–15°C, 50–70% relative humidity and good ventilation. Repeated exposure to temperatures below 50°F/10°C may cause chilling damage. Hubbards are better after a few weeks in storage and will keep up to 6 months. Red Kuri is the exception in that it is delicious right out of the field, but will only last a maximum of 3 months.
DAYS TO MATURITY: From direct seeding; subtract about 14 days if transplanting.
AVG. DIRECT SEEDING RATES: (at 2 seeds/ft., rows 6′ apart) 1 oz./50′, 1 lb./850′, 8½ lb./acre.
SEED SPECS: See individual varieties.
PACKET: 30 seeds.

Blue Hubbard Squash

(C. maxima) 110 days. A spectacular storage squash, the famously long-lasting Hubbard squash arrived in Marblehead, Massachusetts, in 1854 in the holds of a ship from the West Indies. Seeds from the large green squash that originated in South America were shared with local seedsman J.H Gregory. A savvy breeder, Gregory selected the Hubbard’s skin to a more unique blue color and devoted his career to marketing the massive fruit. Gregory credited a Miss Hubbard as the person who originally gifted him the seed; he noted that she told him it was the best tasting squash she had ever tried and that she was given the seeds from a captain aboard a ship from the West Indies. A conflicting account from a local Marblehead woman stated that Miss Hubbard had bred the squash in her home garden from seeds originally brought on the ship from the West Indies. Either way, the colossal blue squash was naturally a great choice for a long sea journey as the thick skin makes for a longer shelf life. Blue Hubbard squash is known for keeping up to 6 months in the pantry. The fruit can weigh from 15-40 pounds each, making it a top choice for restaurants and family meals.

My squash journey this month continues with the big blue hubbard variety. They come in generally two sizes: big and giant. The big, or “baby” blue hubbard, weighs between 5 and 6 pounds. The regular size, pictured at the top of this post, can weigh upwards of 20 to 30 pounds. The good news about that is the amount of squash you get, and can use over the course of the winter.

Blue hubbard squash, a member of the curcurbita maxima species, has a soft blue-grey color with a very hard inedible shell. The hard shell makes this an ideal squash to last though the long winter. In a cool dry spot it’s been known to last up to six months! The best way to break open a blue hubbard is to place it in a large plastic or paper bag and drop it on the ground. The shell is pretty tough to cut it with a knife. The best way to prepare this squash is by simply roasting it, and then giving it a run through your food processor to smooth it out. The texture is a little on the denser side, similar to an acorn or butternut, and the flavor is sweet.

I recently picked up a baby blue hubbard from the Gaia’s Breath Farm table at Gossett’s, and decided to give it a whirl. For the sake of information, that is the Cinderella pumpkin I wrote about last week, also grown by Gaia’s Breath. My baby blue hubbard weighed in at 5 pounds 2 ounces, and when cleaned of it’s seeds and innards dropped to 4 pounds 14 ounces. After roasting I ended up with 4 cups of pureed squash. So figure about 1 cup per 1 pound, on average. Find yourself a little time over the weekend and make your own puree. (You will thank me later!) Most of the cooking is inactive, as the oven is doing all the work. Cool, puree and place in 2 cup containers and freeze. There is nothing better than fresh baked squash for your recipe. Is it easier to open a can? Of course, BUT this is just about the purest way to enjoy this vegetable.

Last week with my Cinderella puree I made a really tasty Fresh Pumpkin Pasta Sauce recipe. This week I decided to see how the blue hubbard would fare in a stuffed pasta, and I was pleasantly surprised. In my recipe-testing exercise I made the first batch in manicotti tubes and the second batch in shells. Either way, it works beautifully. It’s really all about what you want to see on the plate.

The big part of this dish is the sauce. Starting from a beschamel, one of the five mother sauces, I added an egg yolk. It’s not entirely necessary to add the yolk, but I was looking for a really creamy texture to the sauce, and the egg provides that.

A few things to keep in mind while making the sauce: you want to have your milk warm, not ice cold. This will keep the roux from seizing up.

Second, you want to the temper the yolk before adding it to the milk. The last thing you want to do is have shreds of scrambled egg in your sauce.

Take a few minutes and read through the entire recipe. While it looks like a lot of steps, it’s really pretty easy and all about multi-tasking. You might want to make the squash part separate, but that’s not really necessary. While the squash is baking you can get all the rest of the components together, and then add in the 2 cups of puree at the end.

This is also a great do-ahead dish. Get the whole thing together and refrigerate or freeze it. Then follow the baking instructions when you are ready to serve.

Click this link to see my recipe for Squash Stuffed Pasta.

Squash and pumpkins are everywhere right now. Pick a few up and give them a try.

Buon appetito!

One year ago:Mizuna
Two years ago: Making a Timbale or Timpano

Baby Blue Hubbard Squash

Winter squashes (Cucurbita spp.) are warm season tender annuals in the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes cucumbers, summer squash, melons, and gourds.

Soil Nutrients and Requirements

Plants need loose, fertile, well drained soil with plenty of organic matter and nitrogen and a pH 5.8-6.8. Fertilize seedlings with fish emulsion if leaves yellow.

Seeding Depth


Plant Spacing

Plant spacing: for bush varieties 18-24”, for vining 24-36”

Row Spacing

Row spacing: for bush, semi-bush and short vine types is 6’, for vigorous vining types use 9’. Plants can also be planted in hills of 3-5 plants in rows 3-5’ apart (bush types provide less weed suppression so are typically planted closer than vining types) for easier tractor cultivation.

When to Sow

Days to maturity are from direct seeding, subtract 2 weeks if transplanting. Winter squash has a long season, requiring 90-120 frost free days to reach maturity, so it is usually transplanted in northern climates. It can also be direct seeded once danger of frost has passed and soil temperatures reach 70°F. Start transplants indoors 3-4 weeks before last risk of frost. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 85-95°F.

Other Considerations

Black plastic mulch can be used to increase soil temperature for earlier planting.


Harvest when fruits are full size and have a deep rich color and hard rinds that can’t be easily dented with a finger nail. Changing color of the “ground spot” from yellow to cream, gold or orange is another general indicator of ripeness. To harvest, cut stem at least 2” from the fruit: a short or broken stem can lead to rot. Cure after harvest by keeping in a warm, dry location for a few days then


Store at 50-55°F with 55-75% relative humidity and good air circulation. Delicata and acorn squash do not need curing, but will not store as long as other varieties.

Pest Info

  • Striped Cucumber beetle feeding can damage young leaves so extensively that plants either die or are stunted in growth. Dipping or spraying seedlings with kaolin clay can significantly deter infestations. Combine clay with insecticidal soap (such as Safer Brand™, see Supplies) or neem (such as Ahimsa Neem Oil). Use of a trap crop preferred by cucumber beetles, such as blue hubbard squash, lures beetles away from main crop. Crop rotation, removal of crop debris to discourage overwintering populations, and use of floating row cover can be effective in controlling cucumber beetles.
  • Squash vine borer will cause plants to look wilted even when moisture is plentiful. Slice open stem and remove and destroy.
  • Squash bugs can be controlled by handpicking. Bury or compost plant residues at the end of the season.

Disease Info

  • Powdery mildew can be checked by providing good air circulation. Give plants wide spacing and eliminate weeds, especially milkweed, marshcress and yellowrocket. Choose resistant varieties.
  • Fruit rots such as anthracnose, scab, and fusarium fruit rot are common under wet conditions. Space plants apart, avoid wetting foliage and water early in the day so that leaves can dry.
  • Fusarium Wilt is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Melonis (Fom), and can be seed and/or soil borne.
  • Bacterial Wilt and Cucumber mosaic virus should be controlled by removing and destroying infected plants.

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