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Upgrade Recipes: 5 BEST Substitutes for Summer Squash

Summer squash often gets overlooked in the kitchen.

However, cooking and using this glorious vegetable is easier and more convenient than you might think.

With some creativity, you can use it for anything from an addition to salads to a low-carb pastry substitute.

On top of that, there are plenty of easy-to-find substitutes if it isn’t available in your local grocery store.

So why not let summer squash bring out the creative chef in you? Cooking with this vegetable is sure to be a rewarding experience – let’s explore all its uses and the five best substitutes for summer squash.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Summer Squash

If you’re looking for a vegetable to use as an alternative to summer squash, you have many options.

Here are five of the best substitutes for summer squash that can be used in almost any recipe calling for this versatile ingredient.

1 – Spaghetti Squash

spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash is an incredibly versatile vegetable that has the ability to be a great substitute for summer squash.

This type of squash has an oblong shape and yellow or orange coloring, similar to pumpkins.

When cooked, the flesh of spaghetti squash easily shreds into thin strands similar to noodles.

Hence its name.

The texture of these long stringy noodles is slightly chewy yet soft, and its subtle flavor pairs well with other ingredients such as herbs, spices, and sauces.

Roasting in the oven or boiling in a pot are two of the most popular ways to prepare spaghetti squash; both will yield flavorful results that make it a very useful alternative to traditional summer squash dishes.

2 – Acorn Squash

acorn squash

Acorn squash is one of the most recognizable winter vegetables out there, known for its deep creases and vibrant orange hue.

It has a sweet but nutty taste, and its flesh is quite dense and slightly chewy.

Whether roasted, boiled, or puréed, acorn squash can be enjoyed in a wide variety of dishes like stuffed pasta, salads or soups.

Though it’s traditionally used as an autumn staple due to its seasonal availability, you can effectively swap it for summer squashes like zucchini when cooking.

As long as you bear in mind the denser texture of acorn squash and allow for a longer roasting time – you’ll enjoy delicious results.

3 – Hubbard Squash

hubbard squash

Hubbard squash is a winter squash variety that is recognized for its unique shape and vibrant color.

This large, ribbed vegetable can grow anywhere from 6-20 pounds, varying in hues of blue, orange, and green.

Though the skin can be hard to cut through, the inner flesh is tremendously sweet and filling when cooked.

Its texture changes depending on how it is prepared: cooked down slowly to release its sugar content or roasted for maximum taste potential, making for two different experiences.

To substitute Hubbard for summer squash in a recipe, simply adjust the cooking time, as Hubbard needs more time to become tender.

With a simple switch, you can take any dish from seasonal to all year long.

4 – Buttercup Squash

buttercup squash

If you have never heard of buttercup squash, it is time that you discovered this hidden gem.

Part of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes other winter squashes like acorn and butternut, this vegetable is an excellent addition to your favorite Thanksgiving recipe.

With a deep orange color and firm texture, buttercup squash has a distinct flavor profile with its creamy sweetness resembling a cross between sweet potato and acorn squash.

Even better, it pairs particularly well when substituted for summer squashes in many dishes.

So when you’re feeling like experimenting in the kitchen, don’t forget to pick up some delicious buttercup squash.

5 – Delicata Squash

delicata squash

Delicata squash is a unique root vegetable that has caught the attention of health-conscious cooks in recent years.

It is oval-shaped and has distinctive cream and green stripes on its hard skin.

It can be baked, roasted, boiled, and even microwaved with satisfactory results.

Its sweet, nutty taste combined with its creamy flesh make it an ideal centerpiece for any dish; it pairs well with spices like cumin, garlic, oregano, thyme, and chili flakes.

For those who haven’t yet tried delicata squash but would like to add more vegetables to their diets, it makes a wonderful substitute for summer squash in many different recipes.

substitutes for summer squash

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Summer Squash

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Acorn Squash
  • Hubbard Squash
  • Buttercup Squash
  • Delicata Squash


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Follow the substitution ratio to determine how much is required in your recipe.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

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