Ultimate Guide to Butternut Squash vs Sweet Potato

Ultimate Guide to Butternut Squash vs Sweet Potato 

Last Updated on July 27, 2023

Which one should you choose for your next meal: butternut squash or sweet potato?

Choosing between these two is tough because they’re both nutritious and versatile ingredients. 

In this guide, we’ll compare their taste and nutritional value to help you decide which one suits your taste buds and dietary preferences.

From satisfying main courses to delightful side dishes and even mouthwatering desserts—get ready to discover the possibilities with these two ingredients.

Let’s dive in and explore the differences between butternut squash and sweet potatoes!

Butternut Squash vs Sweet Potato: What’s the Difference? 

For you to decide which one to use, you first need to know the main differences between the two.

Vitamins and Minerals: While both butternut squash and sweet potatoes are nutritious, they differ slightly in their vitamin and mineral content. Butternut squash is an excellent source of vitamin A. On the other hand, sweet potatoes are richer in vitamin C.

Fiber Content: If you want to increase your fiber intake, both butternut squash and sweet potatoes are fantastic choices. However, butternut squash is slightly higher in fiber content.

Carbohydrates: When it comes to carbohydrates, sweet potatoes contain a bit more than butternut squash. They are both great for an energy-boosting side dish or post-workout snack.

Taste and Texture: While taste is subjective, butternut squash is known for its slightly sweet and nutty flavor, whereas sweet potatoes have a natural sweetness with a hint of earthiness. In terms of texture, butternut squash tends to be smoother and creamier when cooked, while sweet potatoes have a firmer, more fibrous texture.

How to Make Butternut Squash 

Nutritional Information

Butternut squash is rich in vitamins and minerals. It has lots of vitamin A, which helps keep your eyesight sharp and your immune system strong.

It also has a bit of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps your body make collagen and protects your cells from getting damaged.

Butternut squash is also full of fiber, which is important for digestion and can make you feel more satiated.

Now, let’s get cooking!

Recipe #1: Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon for added flavor

Instructions:

  • Start by peeling and cubing the butternut squash. Remove the seeds and set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until they turn golden and fragrant.
  • Add the cubed butternut squash to the pot, along with the vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the squash becomes tender.
  • Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the soup until smooth and creamy. Season with salt, pepper, and any optional spices you desire.
  • Serve the butternut squash soup hot and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs or a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

Recipe #2: Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: a sprinkle of cinnamon for added warmth

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into bite-sized cubes.
  • In a bowl, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and optional cinnamon. Mix well.
  • Add the butternut squash cubes to the bowl and toss them in the maple glaze until evenly coated.
  • Spread the coated squash cubes onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Roast in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the squash turns tender and caramelized, flipping them halfway through for even browning.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving. These roasted butternut squash bites make a fantastic side dish or a flavorful addition to salads.

Recipe #3: Butternut Squash Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) of pasta (your choice of shape)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Start by peeling the butternut squash, removing the seeds, and cutting it into small cubes.
  • Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chopped sage leaves, and sauté until fragrant.
  • Add the butternut squash cubes to the skillet and cook until they become tender and slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally.
  • Using a fork or a potato masher, mash the cooked butternut squash until it forms a creamy consistency.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss it with the mashed butternut squash until well coated. If desired, sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top for added flavor.
  • Season with salt and pepper according to your taste preferences.
  • Serve the delicious butternut squash pasta hot and enjoy the delightful combination of flavors!

These three recipes are just a taste of the endless possibilities that butternut squash offers. 

Get creative in the kitchen and try out different flavors to make each dish your own.

How to Make Sweet Potato 

Nutritional Information

Sweet potatoes are not just tasty, they are also full of essential nutrients.

Like butternut squash, sweet potatoes are also packed with vitamin A and dietary fiber. However, sweet potatoes are richer in vitamin C compared to butternut squash. 

And here are some recipes you can try with them:

Recipe #1: Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into thin, even strips resembling French fries.
  • In a bowl, toss the sweet potato strips with olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until well coated.
  • Arrange the seasoned sweet potato fries on the baking sheet in a single layer, ensuring they don’t overlap.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until they turn golden and crispy.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving. These homemade baked sweet potato fries make a tasty and healthier alternative to traditional fries.

Recipe #2: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Corn tortillas
  • Toppings: diced avocado, chopped cilantro, salsa, lime wedges, etc.

Instructions:

  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the cubed sweet potatoes and season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Cook the sweet potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they become tender and lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Add the black beans to the skillet and heat them together with the sweet potatoes for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Warm the corn tortillas on a separate skillet or in the microwave.
  • Assemble the tacos by filling each tortilla with a generous amount of the sweet potato and black bean mixture.
  • Top with diced avocado, chopped cilantro, salsa, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Serve these delicious sweet potatoes and black bean tacos as a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Recipe #3: Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups of chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of toasted walnuts or pecans
  • Dressing: 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of honey (optional), salt, and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Steam or boil the diced sweet potatoes until they are fork-tender, then let them cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped kale, cooked sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, and toasted walnuts or pecans.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey (if using), salt, and pepper to make the dressing.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss until everything is well coated.
  • Allow the flavors to meld together for a few minutes before serving. This sweet potato and kale salad is a nutritious and refreshing side dish or light lunch option.

Choose the Right Recipe for You 

Butternut squash and sweet potatoes are not only delicious and nutritious, they’re also versatile ingredients. 

So, whether you choose butternut squash or sweet potatoes, you’ll be treating yourself to a nutritious and delightful dining experience!

Now that you’ve learned all about butternut squash and sweet potatoes, you decide which one will satisfy your cravings and fulfill your nutritional needs.

Remember, these recipes are just the basics.

Feel free to be creative and try different seasonings, ingredients, and cooking methods to make each dish your own.

You can even mix elements from different recipes to create something unique.

Use this blog as your guide, and let your taste buds lead you to the perfect dish.

Takeaway: Butternut squash and sweet potatoes belong to the same family known as “Cucurbitaceae” or “gourd family.” This plant family also includes cucumbers, pumpkins, and melons.

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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