From comforting soup, healthy salad to velvety pie, here are 13 delicious kabocha squash recipes you want to make this fall!
With pumpkins and squashes making their seasonal debut, nothing represents Japanese autumn more than the kabocha squash. Have you tried this bright-orange flesh Japanese pumpkin yet? Luckily for us, it is now widely available in the US and many other parts of the world.
This Japanese variety of winter squash is known for its signature sweet flavor and creamy fluffy texture. It is almost like a cross between a sweet potato and a pumpkin, with hints of roasted chestnuts.
Kabocha squash is extremely versatile and makes a delicious substitute for some of the well-known squashes like pumpkin, butternut squash, and acorn squash in any recipes. You can braise it in stews and curries, roast it in the oven, puree it into soup, stir fry it, simmer it, deep fry it for tempura, or make some rich tasting pies with it.
Moreover, kabocha is a nutrient power house and has fewer carbs compared to other squashes, making it one of the best healthy winter squashes to enjoy.
Here, we’ve rounded up 13 delicious kabocha squash recipes you want to make this season!
Kabocha is notorious for its really tough green skin. So before we get to the recipes, you want to check out the complete guide on how to peel and cut kabocha squash into cubes or wedges with a sharp knife. Helpful tutorial video and step-by-step pictures included!
You can also hop over to our kabocha produce page to learn more about its nutrition, storage, etc.
13 Must-Try Kabocha Squash Recipes
Soup is mandatory when kabocha squash is in season. This kabocha squash soup requires just a few simple ingredients. It’s rich and creamy yet so good for you. To serve, garnish with some chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil (optional) if you wish.
Sweet golden kabocha is boiled and mashed until fork-tender, and then combined with sliced cucumber, crispy bacon, and tossed with creamy Japanese mayo. This beautiful salad could be your new classic on the holiday table. Just leave out the bacon for a vegetarian version. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container.
Kabocha gratin with a Japanese twist is the ultra comfort food in cold weather months. In this recipe, tender chunks of sweet kabocha, umami mushrooms, sweet onion, garlic, and macaroni are cooked in a creamy béchamel sauce, topped off with panko breadcrumbs, and baked until crispy golden. You can use rice or pasta for your choice of carb. Yes, it’s vegetarian-friendly too.
Thinly sliced and oven-baked until slightly charred and fork-tender, these roasted kabocha squash are possibly the easiest way to enjoy the seasonal gem. In the recipe, I’ll show you how to lightly flavor it two ways: with shichimi togarashi spice blend and with sweetened soy sauce.
Cut any leftover squash into thin slices and make this stir fry for a quick and protein-rich weeknight dinner. Seasoned with a sweet and spicy sauce called gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), it is not-your-typical-stir-fry but a bold and robust meal to serve with steamed rice.
You could use ground chicken or ground turkey. For vegetarians, you can sub with seitan or minced mushrooms.
Hearty and flavorful, this hearty miso soup is filled with sweet kabocha, umami-rich mushrooms, and nutty sesame seeds. It’s vegan, easy to make, and incredibly delicious!
Who can resist delicious crispy homemade kabocha tempura? Learn the tips and techniques for best tempura here.
Cooked in a savory dashi broth seasoned with soy sauce and sake, this classic Japanese Simmered Kabocha Squash makes a great healthy side dish that is chock-full of nutrients like vitamins, beta-carotene, fiber, and antioxidants.
This flavorful vegetarian curry is loaded with colorful vegetables like kabocha squash, eggplant, asparagus, and king oyster mushrooms. You can certainly keep things simple and improvise with the vegetables you have on hand.
One of the best treats to make with kabocha squash is these crunchy Japanese pumpkin croquettes or kabocha korokke! Crispy on the outside and naturally sweet and savory on the inside, these croquettes are simply irresistible. Your family will love the recipe so much that you’d want to make this as your fall tradition whenever kabocha squash is in season.
Instead of a regular pumpkin pie, try making Kabocha Squash Pie for your holiday entertaining this year. With a much sweeter and fluffier texture, kabocha makes a tastier filling than other types of squashes. So good with a dollop of freshly whipped fresh cream!
Oyaki Japanese dumplings are a popular snack in Nagano Prefecture in central Japan. The outer dough is chewy and lightly crispy from the pan-frying. You can make oyaki with any fresh seasonal ingredients, but they are especially delicious when stuffed with sweet kabocha squash.
Classic and elegant flan paired with kabocha, this flan is the dream dessert of autumnal flavor.
More Delicious Fall Recipes
- Sweet Potato Pie
- Roasted Cauliflower Kale Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing
- Japanese Mushroom Rice
- Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Baked Japanese Sweet Potatoes (Yaki Imo)
- Sanma Shioyaki (Salt-Grilled Pacific Saury)