Meatless Monday Roundup: 4 Kabocha Squash Recipes

kabocha congee

You might be all pumpkin-ed out after the festivities of last Thursday, but there’s still some tasty winter squash hanging around the farmers markets, and we’ve got some ideas for some tasty yet decidedly un-Thanksgivingy kabocha squash recipes for Meatless Monday.

Kabocha squash is a Japanese squash frequently served in vegetable tempura dishes. Its flesh is creamy and sweet, with a slight chestnut or hazelnut aroma and a bright orange color. Like other orange vegetables, it’s rich in beta carotene, and like other winter squash, it keeps well for between several weeks and several months in the pantry.

Congee is a traditional porridge made of rice. This version turns the simple dish into something special: a kabocha squash congee that can be topped with a variety of garnishes, from cilantro to roasted squash seeds to green onion. Some versions swap corn for the rice, for a version of the dish that’s decidedly more American than Japanese — play with this recipe until it suits your tastes!

roasted acorn squash recipe

Photo by Ally Jane Grossan

This tasty stuffed acorn squash recipe is just as tasty with kabocha squash! Whichever winter squash you choose is stuffed with a combination of hearty barley, fennel, herbs and spices. While winter squash likely featured on your Thanksgiving table, the rich, anise flavor of fennel likely did not, and it’s the key to turning this dish into a December delight rather than a Thanksgiving remix.

squash ravioli

Image: cyclonebill

Pumpkin is a fairly common ravioli filling, but kabocha squash does the job just as nicely. The natural sweetness and creaminess of roasted kabocha squash makes these kabocha squash ravioli nearly impossible to mess up. A simple, creamy sauce with hazelnuts is all the garnish these need; let the sweetness of the squash shine through for this special Meatless Monday treat.

chocolate bundt cake

Image: 3liz4

Winter squash doesn’t have to stay relegated to the dinner plate; it’s just as delightful in dessert! Kabocha squash lends a nuttiness to this chocolate bundt that pairs perfectly with fall spices. While desserts should always be enjoyed with moderation, you can feel good about serving this healthful, wholesome, homemade cake to your family.

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Top image: watashiwani

Emily Monaco is a food and culture writer based in Paris. Her work has been featured in the Wall... More about Emily Monaco