The up-and-coming honeynut squash looks like a baby butternut squash! A winter squash that reaches only about 5 inches long, honeynut’s small size makes it easier to peel, cut, and cook – perfect for one or two servings.
TASTE: Mild, very sweet taste and velvety smooth – smoother than even its butternut cousin.
In this Article
- About Honeynut Squash
- Honeynut Squash Nutrition & Benefits
- How to Select Honeynut Squash
- How to Peel & Cut Honeynut Squash
- How to Cook Honeynut Squash
- Favorite Honeynut Squash Recipes
- Can You Freeze Honeynut Squash?
- Can Dogs Eat Honeynut Squash?
About Honeynut Squash
Honeynut squash is a small squash with a slightly narrower top and a bulbous bottom. It looks like a tiny Butternut Squash! Its color is a yellow-tan, inside a gorgeous deep orange. Like butternut squash, the interior is extremely versatile, perfect for roasting or pureeing into velvety soups.
Many sources claim Honeynut Squash skin is thin like Delicata and thus edible. I’ll be honest here – I’m not convinced – I, personally, discard the skin. Then again, it took me awhile to enjoy Delicata Squash skin, so perhaps it’s just my learning curve!
The seeds reside inside the bottom, bulbous portion of the squash. Like other winter squash seeds, they’re edible and delicious roasted.
Honeynut Squash Nutrition & Benefits
Is honeynut squash healthy? Yes! Its bright orange flesh is nutrient dense, packed with even more vitamins than butternut, including vitamins A and C, along with beta carotene. It’s also an excellent source of B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium.
Honeynut squash is an excellent source of fiber.
How to Select Honeynut Squash
Select a squash that’s heavy for its size, with few blemishes, a firmly intact stem, and no soft spots or visible wrinkles. I’ve noticed Honeynut Squash has a dusky quality to its skin, and that older squash are a bit duskier, so I’d suggest inspecting those squash a bit more closely for soft spots, etc.
How to Peel & Cut Honeynut Squash
Preparing Halves for Baking or Roasting
There are times when you just want to roast the halves of your honeynut squash, and those are glorious times – because all you need to do is:
- Wash your squash.
- Lop off the top and bottom.
- Place the bottom, flat-cut end on your cutting board, making sure it’s nice and stable.
- With a heavy, sharp knife, cut the squash in half vertically.
- Scoop out the seeds. I like to use a sturdy ice cream scoop (or, with extra small honey squashes, a little cookie scoop).
How to Cut Up Honeynut Squash into Pieces
Cutting your squash into cubes or other shapes? You’ve got a bit more work to do. But don’t stress! It’s totally doable. Here’s how:
- Wash and dry your squash.
- Lop off the top and the bottom of the squash. This helps to stabilize the squash while you’re working with it.
- Peel off the skin using a vegetable peeler. (Note that many feel Honeynut’s skin is thin, edible, and even delicious! I am not a fan [yet] so I peel.) I like to do this over my cutting board in case my squash slips out of my hand (as opposed to over the sink). Peel vertically from end to end, starting with the long end then flip it over to get the round end.
- Place bottom-side-down on your cutting board and with a sharp, heavy knife, cut the squash in half. You will want to press on the back of the knife with the heel of your other hand, slowly rocking and pressing the knife through the squash until it is cut in two.
- Scoop the seeds out. You can use a spoon or I love to use an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop – makes it so easy!
- Place one side flat side down on the board (again with the stabilization!) Cut the squash in half going the other direction, so that the narrow end is one piece and the bulbous end is one piece.
- Cut each piece into strips, then cut those sticks into cubes (or whatever shape you want it to be).
How to Cook Honeynut Squash
To roast whole honeynut squash halves, brush the cut sides with olive oil and dust with a pinch of salt and a couple grinds of pepper. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and set in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven. Bake until a fork easily pierces the flesh, about 30 minutes.
To roast honeynut squash cubes, toss cubed squash with a drizzle of olive oil along with some salt and pepper. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Place in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven and bake, stirring once or twice, until fork-tender and golden in places, 25-30 minutes. You’ll want to check it at around the 20 minute mark for smaller pieces and it may take long for larger pieces.
You can also steam honeynut squash! Place cubes in a steamer over simmering water and cover. Steam until fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
To microwave honeynut squash halves, place the squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish and pierce with a fork three or four times to let the steam escape. Microwave until fork-tender, about 8 minutes (but keep in mind that microwaves vary!) Some people microwave the whole squash! I’m not sure I can recommend this, but if you try it, at least pierce the squash with a fork first, or you might have an exploding squash situation on your hands.
Favorite Honeynut Squash Recipes
I plan to cook a lot with with this gem of a squash next fall and winter! For now, I have this delicious recipe that I highly recommend.
Can You Freeze Honeynut Squash?
Yes! Place cubed raw honeynut squash in freezer bags, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. Remove from freezer and cook as desired. Or you can freeze cooked honeynut squash too!
Can Dogs Eat Honeynut Squash?
Yes! According to the ASPCA, Honeynut Squash is non-toxic to dogs and cats. And squash, in moderation of course, is actually good for them! This is a frequently-searched question, so I thought I would include it here!