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21 rib-sticking fall squash recipes that will have you reaching for the nearest pumpkin

I can't help myself. Every year around this time, when pumpkins start appearing at markets, I start buying them up like a fiend. To me, it just isn't fall unless there are at least 12 pumpkins, gourds and other members of the cucurbitaceae family strewn about my home. 

But I'm constantly faced with the same question once they've outlived their decorative function; what do I do with them now? Luckily, as I've since discovered, there are almost endless possibilities. 

Squash is one of those unique veggies that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, making it not only easy, but also super convenient to make all the recipes in this list. Another perk? While a recipe may call for the use of pumpkin or butternut squash, you can pretty much use any type of squash you'd like. I know, magical. 

Wild Rice, Butternut and Pecan Pilaf
This is one hearty dish. Featuring a healthy helping of wild rice, pecans, butternut squash and dried cranberries, this side is sure to liven up your normal dinner. Looking for a dish to bring over for Thanksgiving? This one is perfect. 
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Vegetable Chili
Chili is a cold weather must-have that, in this case, is made even better with the inclusion of acorn squash. This soul warming recipe has all your favorite flavors — cumin, garlic, cilantro and avocado — and it's totally vegetarian. Yes, you can add meat if you want, but I don't think you'll miss it here. Looking for a acorn squash substitute? Try a carnival squash instead.
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Butternut Squash and Walnut Muffins
Looking for the perfect way to start off your morning? Bake a big batch of these muffins — they're basically fall's answer to banana bread. Incredibly moist, and with a slightly nutty flavor, these muffins are a treat you're going to want to bake all season long. 
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Fall Harvest Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
The cooler temperatures are a time to break out your Dutch ovens and make decadent, rich, time-consuming dishes, but there is always room to lighten it up a bit. Enter this harvest salad. Chuck full of goodies like pecans, apples and kale, you'll be reaching for this recipe again and again. While this salad calls for butternut squash, you can use roasted acorn, pumpkin, kabocha or any thing else you'd like. 
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Butternut Squash Soup
Come on, you didn't think I'd do a list of squash recipes and not include this classic? Butternut squash is one we all reach for as soon as the temperatures begin to dip. In this updated recipe we include some unusual ingredients like nutmeg, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. The result is a soup that is full of flavor. While this recipe features cream and chicken broth, you can certainly make the soup vegan- or vegetarian-friendly by substituting vegetable broth (or even water) and omitting the cream. You won't miss out on the flavor. 
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Bacon, Butternut and Blue Cheese Flatbread
Is there anything that bacon doesn't make immediately better? Blue cheese, butternut squash, and Brussels sprouts all get together with our favorite cured pork product to have a party on the flatbread that is sure to become a favorite. If you're running low on time, or just plain don't feel like making bread from scratch, feel free to pick up premade options from the grocery store. Also if you're looking to try a new squash, a good substitution here is red kuri squash. 
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Gluten-Free Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
I kind of don't want to share this recipe because you may not ever want to make another dish again. When I tell you that you'll be trying to make this riff on carbonara every other night, I mean it. Instead of bucatini pasta, we roast and toss in spaghetti squash for a heartier, gluten-free and even more flavorful dish. But don't think we would skimp on all of the good stuff. This pasta is full of it — egg yolks, Pecorino Romano cheese and bacon aplenty.
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Pumpkin Pancakes
Fall flavors are on full display in these fluffy pancakes. Pumpkin puree is gently worked into the pancake batter and the results are mind-blowing breakfast pancakes. It's topped with spiced pecan butter, which totally takes these to the next level. 
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Butternut Squash Pie with Pecan Crust
You thought I was going to give you a pumpkin pie didn't you? Nope! While you can use pumpkin in this recipe, this is a nice subtle change just in time for Thanksgiving. 
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Even more squash recipes, right this way:
Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Snack Cake
One-Pot Turkey Pumpkin Chili
Pumpkin Banana Bread Muffins
Grilled Kabocha Squash Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
White Chocolate and Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Butternut Squash and Kale Casserole
Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecorino and Sage
Steven Satterfield’s Roasted Spaghetti Squash in Squash Seed Broth
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage and Apples
Whipped Butternut Squash

Photo (wild rice pilaf): Lisa Lotts
Photo (vegetable chili): Ryan Hughley
Photo (squash muffins): Catherine Baker
Photo (harvest salad): Ramona King
Photo (soup): Ramona King
Photo (flatbread): Lisa Lotts
Photo (squash carbonara): Ryan Hughley
Photo (pancakes): Ramona King
Photo (pie): Catherine Baker

Author image

Ryan Shepard is the editor-in-chief at Southern Kitchen. Though originally from Los Angeles, she has lived in Atlanta since early 2017 and cannot imagine calling any other city home (except maybe New Orleans). Before joining Southern Kitchen's staff, Ryan worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on public policy issues. When she's not at work, she enjoys hunting down the best Mexican food in the city and drinking whiskey, obviously.