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Squash, butternut and pumpkin recipes to try in autumn

From everyday butternut and posh pumpkins to an array of squash (gourd) and more, Mother Nature treats us to her autumn bounty in our round-up of recipes. 

Posh squash 

When selecting squash, pick those that are heavy for its size and solid to the touch. The earlier you get them in the season, the more tender and delicate the flavour. 

Butternut squash 

Although this gourd is now available all year round, it is traditionally a winter variety. This means your butternut will taste the best in autumn and winter. 

Spaghetti squash 

A squash variety unlike any other, spaghetti squash is usually ovular in shape and ranges from bright yellow to cream in colour. This squash is known for its generous string-like flesh that resembles – you guessed it – spaghetti!  

Hokaido pumpkin 

These teardrop-shaped pumpkins have a red-orange skin with yellow-orange flesh. The soft skin is edible too, with a rich nutty flavour when roasted whole, halved or cut in wedges. These pumpkins are also great for pickling. 

Carnival pumpkin 

Much like a carnival, this pumpkin has a fun and unique appearance – creamy yellow in colour with stripes and speckles of green and orange. Once these little guys are roasted, the flesh is nuttier and sweeter than butternut with a buttery-like flavour. 

Gem squash 

Gems or “skorsies” have quite a thick, green skin with light to deep-yellow flesh. They are really versatile and the perfect vessels for adding flavour. It can be halved, then boiled or steamed, or cut into quarters for roasting. The skin can be eaten too, but as they mature (the bigger, darker ones) the skin and seeds become quite tough and the flavour of the flesh deepens. 

This is a large winter pumpkin with a bumpy skin that comes in a range of deep dark green, pale-blue green to orange and even yellow colours. The flesh has quite a sweet flavour, but it’s texture can be quite grainy, making it great for purées and soups.  

Pumpkin & ginger dumpling pudding 

Serves 4-6 

Autumn comfort in a bowl! 


½ cup (125ml) cooked and mashed pumpkin or butternut
¼ cup (60g) butter, melted
½ cup (125ml) milk or cream
2 tsp (10ml) bicarbonate of soda
2 cups (300g) flour, sifted
1 tsp (5ml) each ground ginger and ground cinnamon
½ tsp (3ml) each ground cloves and nutmeg
1 tsp (5ml) salt 

For the syrup 

2 ½ cups (625ml) orange juice
1½ cup (375ml) water
1½ cup (330g) sugar
1 tsp (5ml) each ground ginger and ground cinnamon
Fresh mint, orange slices and vanilla ice cream, for serving 


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, butter, milk and bicarbonate of soda. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, spices and salt.
  3. Add to pumpkin mixture and mix well until combined.
  4. Place syrup ingredients in a pot and boil, stirring to combine.
  5. Add spoonful’s of pumpkin batter into bubbling syrup.
  6. Cover and cook dumplings over low heat for about 12-18 minutes or until cooked through, rotating regularly.
  7. Top with mint and orange slices, then serve with ice cream on the side.

Bobotie baked squash 

Serves 4-6 

Add some raisins to your mince filling for an extra kick of sweetness. 


2 gem squash, halved and seeds removed
1 Hokkaido pumpkin, halved and seeds removed
1 butternut, halved and seeds removed 
Canola oil
Salt and milled pepper
500g lean beef mince
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp garlic and ginger paste
2 Tbsp medium curry powder
2-3 fresh or dried curry leaves (optional)
¼ cup chutney
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
Plain yoghurt and tomato-and-onion sambal, for serving 


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Place onto a baking tray and brush the squash, pumpkin and butternut halves with oil. Season. 
  3. Roast for about 20 minutes until almost tender.
  4. Place oil in a pan over medium heat and brown mince for about 6-8 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  5. Fry the onion and garlic and ginger paste in the same pan until soft.
  6. Stir through cooked mince, curry powder, curry leaves (if using) and chutney. Season.
  7. Spoon mince mixture into squash halves to fill three- quarters.
  8. Whisk together eggs and milk, and pour over mince.
  9. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  10. Serve drizzled with plain yoghurt and sambal on the side.


Mushroom & barley stuffed pumpkins 

Serves 4 

You can swap out the barley for spelt or risotto rice. 


2 Hokkaido pumpkins, halved and deseeded (butternut works well too)
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
200g brown portobello or wild mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
4 cups stock of choice
1 cup pearl barley
2 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme
¾ cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
½ packet (50g) pumpkin seeds (any roasted seeds or nuts work well too) 


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Place pumpkin on a roasting tray, drizzle with oil and season.
  3. Roast for 20-25 minutes (or 35-40 minutes for butternut) until tender.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and fry mushrooms until golden. Remove and set aside.
  5. Sauté onion for about 8 minutes or until golden, then add garlic and fry for a minute.
  6. Add stock, barley and herbs. Season and simmer for 35-40 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.
  7. Return the mushrooms to pan and stir through grated Parmesan.
  8. Fill pumpkins with barley mixture and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds or nuts and extra Parmesan, if using.
  9. Serve while hot garnished with extra fresh herbs.


Roasted butternut tagliatelle

Serves 4  

Swap out butternut for pumpkin or try out our nifty gem squash sauce. To save time, cook the veg in an air fryer for 25 minutes. 


1½ packets (750g) butternut, finely cubed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
½ tsp chilli flakes
2-3 sprigs fresh sage
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and milled pepper
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups cream
1 packet (500g) tagliatelle, cooked  

For the pangrattato topping 

1 cup day-old ciabatta breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan
¼ cup olive oil
4 sprigs crispy-fried sage, plus extra for serving 


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Place the butternut into an oven tray.
  3. Toss with garlic, chilli, sage and olive oil. Season and cover with foil.
  4. Roast for about 30 minutes or until soft.
  5. Gently simmer stock and cream in a large pot over low heat.
  6. Add roasted butternut and garlic cloves and blend using a stick blender. Set aside.
  7. Mix or blitz pangrattato ingredients together.
  8. Toast in a dry pan (or in the oven) until brown and crispy.
  9. Stir butternut sauce through hot pasta and top with pangrattato and extra sage, if using.


Easy gem squash & corn sauce 

Combine the flesh of 4-6 cooked gem squash, 1 can (400g) charred corn kernels, 1½ cup (375ml) chicken or vegetable stock, 2 tsp paprika, 1 Tbsp crushed garlic and ginger, 3 sprigs picked thyme, 2 Tbsp melted butter, ½ tsp chilli powder or flakes in the jug of a blender. Blitz until smooth. Pour into a pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Add 1 ½ cups (375ml) cream stir well. Simmer for another 5-8 minutes. Season. (If the sauce is too thick, thin it down with some chicken or vegetable stock.) 

Use it for: 

  1. Creamy squash chowder. Stir through shredded chicken, cubed and roasted potatoes or butternut and top with bacon bits. 
  2. Use as a quick pasta sauce and top with toasted peanuts or almonds.
  3. Bulk up stews or curries and swap out the cream for coconut milk. 


Compiled by: Gail Damon
Photographs: Fresh Living Magazine 

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