What is the difference between a Honeynut squash and a Butternut squash? Learn why you might want to consider the sweet Honeynut for your next recipe.
Somewhere along the way the Butternut squash became one of the two most popular squash varieties along with the acorn.
But that doesn't mean that it is necessarily the best squash. Or that you shouldn't try some others.
Today I want to introduce you to a squash that kind of looks like a butternut squash but is different in many ways. Ladies and gentleman, the Honeynut Squash.
🍯 What is a Honeynut Squash?
Looking at the color of the Honeynut you might start thinking is this some kind of pumpkin? Alas it is not a pumpkin. The Honeynut is a small squash variety that is a cross between a Butternut and a Buttercup squash. It was originally bred in the 1980s but took another 20 years before it was given main stream attention.
Here is a great piece to read on the History of the Honeynut Squash.
🙋 How is It Different?
There are several things that make this squash different than a Butternut
- It's much smaller in size
- Has less water weight, thus stronger flavor
- More beta-carotene - just look at how orange it is inside
- Thinner skin - the skin is actually edible
- Shorter shelf life
I love that this squash is smaller. It's much easier to manage. I don't absolutely love squash where I want to eat it by the bowl full. This is especially a good squash if you are someone living by yourself and don't need a giant squash.
But what really makes this squash a winner is it's intense sweet flavor and that beautiful orange interior. It's one of the sweetest squashes. My wife feels like eating Butternut squash is like eating baby food, but doesn't feel that way with the Honeynut. The texture is creamier.
The downside to having thinner skin is often a shorter shelf life. Where a butternut can last for months, you really should eat a Honeynut within about a month of purchasing it. I still like to use them for couple weeks for fall decoration, but then I pull them to eat them. Speaking of eating them....
🍴 How to Cook Them
Whatever Butternut can do, a Honeynut can do as well. You can substitute butternut squash for honeynut squash or honeynut squash for butternut squash.
You can cut it into cubes and sauté it up until brown. But the best way I think is roasting. You can just cut them in half and roast them in a hot oven. Since they are smaller they cook a lot quicker. If you are feeding a larger group, just cook several of them, they will stick cook faster.
Use it to make soups. I included one I pureed up into a batch of Beef & Barely soup to add some sweetness and flavor.
Don't just toss the seeds. You can save those for roasting, they are delicious.
RECIPE - Air Fryer Honeynut Squash
🍌 How to Tell if Ripe
Sometimes you will find Honeynut squash that still has some green on the skin. These ones aren't as ripe as ones that are all brown. I might suggest waiting for them to turn all brown before cooking them. Don't put them in the fridge, just leave them out.
🛒 Where to Buy
Here are some grocery stores I know that have carried them. You also can look at your local farmer's market. They are easier to find in the eastern part of the country. You can find both conventional and organic Honeynut.
- Baldor Food
- Bristol Farms
- Central Market
- Giant Food
- Fresh Direct
- Stop & Shop
- Trader Joe's
- Whole Foods
Many seed companies sell the seeds, so you can grow them yourself. I wouldn't just grow the seeds of a squash you buy as it may not be true to type. Squash can easily cross pollinate to produce a squash that is a new variety. That's why we have so many squash to choose from!
➕ More Posts
Here are some other squash related posts you will enjoy reading.
- Butternut vs. Acorn Squash
- What to Do with Delicata Squash
- When is Spaghetti Squash Season
- Roasting Squash Seeds
- What's a Tiger Stripe Pumpkin
Have you tried the Honeynut Squash before? What do you think of it. Leave us a comment below.