Kabocha Squash Produce Guide + 25 Recipes

Kabocha squash produce guide is an informative guide including nutrition benefits, how to cut it, cook it, along with 25 kabocha squash recipes!

overhead shot of kabocha squash sliced in half with seeds

This time of year is my absolute favorite, and winter squash is one of the reasons why.  Each variety is special in its own rite, and while it’s hard to choose a favorite, I almost always gravitate toward kabocha squash.

Before I went to cooking school, I had no idea what kabocha squash was.  My instructor did an amazing job of exposing my class to a wide variety of produce, and I’ll never forget the first time I tasted this wonderful squash.

It became a favorite of mine immediately for it’s flavor, texture, and versatility, and I love finding new ways to incorporate it into my recipes.

Kabocha Squash

kabocha squash with wooden backdrop

Although kabocha is fairly common now, I come across people all the time that have never tried it.

I have my cooking school instructor to thank for introducing me to this wonderful squash, and I’m excited to introduce it to some of you out there in this produce guide.

See more of my produce guides here:



Fava beans



Poblano peppers

Swiss chard

What is kabocha squash?

Kabocha squash, also known as Japanese pumpkin, is a type of winter squash.  It’s dark green and bumpy with flecks of gold on the outside, and the inside is bright orange with velvety sweet flesh.     

How to grow kabocha squash

I’ve never grown winter squash to date, and hope to try it next year.  If you’re interested, click this link to find out how to grow kabocha

What does kabocha squash taste like?

Unlike most pumpkins, kabocha is sweet.  It’s also slightly starchy with a nutty flavor.

Can you eat the skin of a kabocha squash?

The peel of the squash is edible, and adds a nice chewiness to the velvety sweet flesh.  

I love that I don’t have to peel the squash, which makes prepping it so much easier.

overhead shot of kabocha squash cut in half without seeds

What type of squash is a good substitute?

If kabocha is not readily available to you or you simply prefer other varieties, you can substitute it with almost any variety of winter squash, including the following:

  • Acorn
  • Butternut 
  • Delicata
  • Heirloom pumpkins — ask the farmer or market for the best edible types!
  • Red kuri
  • Sugar Pumpkin
  • Sweet Potato

Health benefits

Kabocha squash includes many health benefits.  It’s low in calories and fat, and is a good source of fiber, antioxidants, iron, copper, magnesium, beta-carotene, and Vitamins A, B and C.

Nutrition information for one cup of squash is as follows:

  • Calories: 49
  • Fat:  .2
  • Carbs:  12
  • Fiber:  2.7
  • Sugars:  5.1
  • Protein:  1.8

Choosing and storing

  • Choose squash that’s firm and heavy, with no bruising or discoloration.
  • The squash will keep at room temperature in a cool, dark place for up to one month.
  • Once you slice the squash, it will keep wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for 3-5 days.
  • Freeze cut squash for up to 3 months.

How to cut kabocha squash

Cutting kabocha can seem daunting, but it’s very easy to do following my handy tips below!

  1. Stand the squash upright on a cutting board.
  2. Insert a paring knife into the top of the squash and cut downward until you reach the bottom, and repeat on the other side.
  3. Turn the squash over and either crack it open the rest of the way, or use your paring knife carefully to cut through the bottom of the squash.
  4. Use the tip of a large spoon to scrape the seeds and stringy insides out of the squash.
  5. Slice into wedges or cubes.

How to cook kabocha squash

You can cook your squash in the Instant Pot, oven or even your slow cooker!  Check out details by clicking the links below!

  • Cook your kabocha squash whole in the Instant pot or oven and puree it for soup, risotto or for baking.
  • Grate it and use in baking just as you would carrot.
  • Roast it in wedges or chunks with your favorite seasoning and add to salads or serve as a side dish.
  • Simmer it in chili, curry or soup.

kabocha squash seeds in white ramekin



Kabocha Squash Produce Guide + 25 Recipes


Roasted Kabocha Squash with Tahini Dressing

Roasted Kabocha Squash with Tahini Dressing is an easy roasted kabocha squash recipe with garam masala spice and maple orange tahini dressing!

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Cinnamon Ginger Kabocha Squash Soup with Tart Cherry Drizzle

Photo Credit: www.runningtothekitchen.com

This creamy cinnamon ginger kabocha squash soup is topped with a tart cherry drizzle and pecan cherry crumble. Grab and bowl and get cozy!

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Wild Rice Salad with Kabocha Squash and Brown Butter Vinaigrette — Loveleaf Co.

Photo Credit: loveleafco.com
Wild Rice Salad with Kabocha Squash and Brown Butter Vinaigrette
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How to Cook Kabocha Squash - 3 methods!

Photo Credit: www.rachelcooks.com

Learning how to cook Kabocha squash doesn’t have to be difficult! With these 3 easy methods, you’ll find one that works for you!

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Oven Baked Chicken and Wild Rice Skillet with Kabocha Ribbons

Photo Credit: soupaddict.com

Oven Baked Chicken and Wild Rice Skillet with Kabocha Ribbons

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Kabocha Two Bean Chili

Photo Credit: vanillaandbean.com

A cozy Kabocha Two Bean Chili simmered in a chipotle and poblano base with fire roasted tomatoes and warming spices.

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Dark Chocolate Kabocha Muffins — dolly and oatmeal

Photo Credit: www.dollyandoatmeal.com

Dark Chocolate Kabocha Muffins (GF)

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Creamy Kabocha Squash Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Kabocha Squash Mashed Potatoes are kabocha squash and yukon gold potatoes mashed to creamy perfection.  They’re creamy, festive and so flavorful!

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Kabocha Squash Hummus - Kitchen Coup

Photo Credit: www.kitchencoup.com

Kabocha Squash Hummus

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How to Make Pumpkin Puree (Instant Pot)

Learn how to make pumpkin puree effortlessly by cooking the pumpkin whole in the Instant Pot!  It’s velvety smooth, and so much better than store bought!

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Kabocha Squash Casserole (Gluten-Free)

Photo Credit: www.theroastedroot.net

Creamy, naturally sweet kabocha squash casserole with gluten-free walnut topping – a marvelous dish to share with friends and family during the holidays. 

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Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Chipotle Butter

Photo Credit: theviewfromgreatisland.com

Make a grand entrance with my Whole Roasted Kabocha Squash with Chipotle Butter and ‘carve’ it right at the table — then get ready for rave reviews.  This easy fall and holiday side dish will wow everybody!

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Thai Pumpkin Curry with Chicken

Thai Pumpkin Curry with Chicken is a quick and easy pumpkin curry recipe that’s loaded with chicken, veggies and a creamy flavorful coconut red curry sauce! 

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Vegetarian Stuffed Kabocha Squash Recipe {Vegan Option}

Photo Credit: www.fearlessdining.com

If you love winter squash, you are going to love this easy stuffed kabocha squash recipe! This recipe is vegetarian, but there is a simple way to make this stuffed squash vegan as well!! 

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Maple Roasted Kabocha Squash & Quinoa Salad

Photo Credit: mealpreponfleek.com

Light, fluffy quinoa is combined with roasted kabocha squash, pomegranate seeds, fresh herbs, crunchy pistachio seeds and a sweet maple dressing. Gluten Free. Vegan.

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Autumn Minestrone Soup

Autumn Minestrone Soup is an easy minestrone soup recipe with winter squash, kale and farro instead of pasta.  This soup is hearty, flavorful and perfect for fall!

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Chocolate Chip Kabocha Bars

Photo Credit: savoryspin.com

These cinnamon-spiked, gluten free, Chocolate Chip Kabocha Bars make for a decadent tasting dessert, but, check out the ingredient list and you will see that these are the perfect treat for breakfast too!

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Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing + Weekend Fun

Photo Credit: www.rachaelhartleynutrition.com

Roasted Kabocha Squash Salad

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Wild Mushroom Couscous Lamb Stuffed Kabocha Squash

Photo Credit: www.runningtothekitchen.com

Lamb stuffed kabocha squash is filled wild mushrooms and couscous, fresh cranberries, blue cheese and aromatic rosemary. It’s the best fall has to offer on your plate.

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Chili Maple Roasted Winter Squash

Chili Maple Roasted Winter Squash is winter squash roasted to perfection with chili powder and maple syrup, tossed in an orange maple vinaigrette.  It’s sweet and spicy, and is a side dish that no one will forget!

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Roasted Kabocha Squash Dip

Photo Credit: jeanetteshealthyliving.com

Roasted Kabocha Squash Dip is a healthy and delicious dip, perfect for a snack or for a party. 

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Kabocha Squash Spice Cake with Chai Caramel

Photo Credit: www.theroastedroot.net

Kabocha Squash Spice Cake with Chai Caramel

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Spicy Thai Kabocha Squash Soup with Coconut Milk | Crumb: A Food Blog

Photo Credit: www.crumbblog.com

Soicy Thai Kabocha Squash Soup

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Chorizo Black Bean Kabocha Squash Chili

Chorizo Black Bean Kabocha Squash Chili is a hearty chili that’s packed with spicy chorizo, black beans, and sweetness from kabocha squash and a hint of maple syrup.

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Organic Facts

Very Well Fit

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