Honeynut Squash: Cute and Sweet

by Nov 16, 2020

Patti McCoy
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I was at Sprouts the other day and I came upon this cute little squash I had never seen before. I know, it sounds like the intro to Little Shop of Horrors, but it was quite the opposite. I am always down to try new foods, so I bought a couple to try out. Like any normal person, I hopped on the Google to find out what these cuties were and how to enjoy them. The interweb did not disappoint.

The honeynut squash was created by Michael Mazourek, a plant breeder at Cornell University, and a curious chef by the name of Dan Barber. The two met at Stone Barns Center, and bonded over the chef’s challenge to make the butternut squash better-tasting and smaller, which the breeder had already been working on for a year. After several years and lots of cooking techniques to bring out the best flavor (something unfamiliar for a plant breeder), they cultivated the now known, Honeynut Squash.

Girl drinking water from a water bottle.
The honeynut squash is quite the powerhouse. It contains three times the amount of beta-carotene as butternut squash and is an excellent source of vitamin A. The squash is also a good source of B vitamins, and also contains calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Honeynut squash also contains carotenoids, fat-soluble antioxidants that function to reduce oxidative stress in the body. Eat honeynuts with a bit of healthy fats, like coconut oil or avocado oil, to reap the benefits that mitigate the effects of inflammation, diabetes, and high blood pressure to name a few.

Another benefit of the honeynut squash in the many ways it can be prepared, including eating the skin. The skin is so thin that when roasted it can be eaten, similar to a delicata squash or potato. The best way to prepare honeynut squash is roasting. Simply, cut the squash in half and rub with a healthy fat, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast at 400˚F for thirty minutes and eat! You can level up your squash with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey, sprinkle pomegranate and pepitas, add dollops of whipped coconut cream, stuff with a mushroom hash, or sprinkle cinnamon and chopped pecans. The list is endless: The squash pairs well with kale, miso, radicchio, green apples, pine nuts, quinoa, farro, garlic, onion, chives, thyme, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, black beans, Parmesan cheese, mushrooms, corn, maple syrup, and honey.


Gavlick, K. (2019, December 3). Say Hello to the Honeynut Squash, the Cutest Winter Squash Ever. Retrieved from Organic Authority

Honeynut Squash. (2020, July 29). Retrieved from Wikipedia

Whitney, A. (2017, November 30). Honeynut Squash is a Tiny Squash with a Big History. Retrieved from Bon Appetit

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