Honeynut squash are one of my favorite hybrid winter squash to hit the market recently. Petite sized but packed with sweet flavor, they’re perfect for roasting and stuffing with this quick and easy fall inspired filling.

Roasted and stuffed honeynut squash.
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Just like buttercup squash, I think I first stumbled upon honeynut squash in Trader Joe’s of all places.

Famous for cauliflower gnocchi and now winter squash, go figure.

At first I thought honeynut was just a mini butternut squash.

And while many do describe it as that, honeynut squash is it’s own variety. And very deserving of it.


Honeynut is a newer type of hybrid squash.

It’s another genius creation that Dan Barber has a hand in (just like koginut squash) in a quest to create the most delicious tasting food for his produce-heavy famous restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

Honeynut is technically a breed between butternut and buttercup squash.

While its looks more similarly resemble butternut, its taste is a different story.


Created and bred specifically for its flavor, you won’t be disappointed with the sweet and nutty taste of a honeynut squash.

It definitely leans more in the buttercup direction when it comes to flavor than butternut.

Its texture is also quite a bit smoother than butternut making it great for mashing or using in this twice baked and stuffed method.

The squash was actually bred to be roasted, a cooking method that allows its flavors and texture to shine.

So, that’s exactly what we’re doing today with this stuffed honeynut squash recipe.

The incredibly deep orange color of the flesh is a sign of the high levels of beta carotene in the squash (said to be about twice that of butternut squash), one of its many nutritional components.

Like most winter squash, honeynut is also a good source of vitamin A. It’s a healthy little thing!

Ground meat with apples, onions, celery and rosemary to stuff roasted honeynut squash.


Besides its deeper flavor profile, honeynut squash has a few other upper hands versus its predecessor:

  • Honeynut does not need to be peeled. The skin is thin and edible! Just like delicata squash.
  • It’s much easier (and safer) to cut through because of its smaller size.
  • It cooks faster!


To roast the honeynut squash:

  • 1 large (about 1.5 pounds) or 2 small (3/4 pound or smaller) honeynut squash
  • heavy duty sheet pan
  • cooking spray

To stuff the roasted honeynut squash:

  • ground meat (I used elk here after making some elk burgers and having some leftover but beef, bison, turkey, chicken or even venison will work – take your pick!)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • apple
  • celery
  • rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped pecans
Roasted honeynut squash stuffed with an easy ground meat and rosemary flavored filling.


Before stuffing, the squash needs to be roasted.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Save them to make roasted squash seeds!

Place the squash flesh side down on a heavy duty sheet pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray (use an avocado or extra virgin olive oil spray).

Roast for about 25 minutes until flesh is fork tender and edges of the squash are starting to turn golden brown and shrivel a bit.

Don’t over roast the squash to the point of mush or it will be hard to keep its shape in order to stuff!

Once it’s roasted, remove from the oven and let cool until you can safely handle it.

This stuffed honeynut squash recipe is an easy way to enjoy the sweet winter squash.


To make the stuffing, place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground meat of choice in the pan, breaking up with a spatula.

If there’s excess water in the pan, drain it then return to the stove with the meat still in the skillet.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the olive oil, onion, celery and garlic and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the apples and rosemary to the skillet and cook another 3-4 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you like the flavors of this stuffing, you’ll also probably like this stuffed red kuri squash recipe with a similar combination.


Scoop out the flesh from each half of the honeynut squash and place in a large mixing bowl.

Leave enough of the squash intact around the perimeter so that it can maintain its shape upright as a “bowl”.

Add the filling from the skillet to the mixing bowl and stir until fully combined. Season again with salt and pepper as necessary.

Spoon the mixture back into the hollowed out squash and top with the chopped pecans.

Return the stuffed honeynut squash on the baking sheet to the oven and roast for another 5 minutes until heated through.

Garnish with any additional fresh chopped rosemary and serve warm.

Learn how to roast and stuff honeynut squash with this quick and easy fall inspired recipe.


As a relatively new to market (it’s only been around a few years now) winter squash, you can surprisingly find honeynut at most local markets when it’s in season.

The season for harvesting honeynut usually starts in early September but you can sometimes find it sooner in mid-late August (like I did for this recipe).

Markets like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s even big box stores like Costco will have honeynut and I’ve even seen it now in more conventional grocery stores like Shoprite and Hannaford near me.


If you don’t want to make a meal of it with this stuffed honeynut recipe, you can always simply roast the squash just like this roasted buttercup squash or roasted sweet dumpling squash – the maple dijon tahini sauce with that recipe would be delicious with honeynut as well!

Another option is making soup out of it!

Substitute honeynut for kabocha in this kabocha squash soup or for delicata in this creamy coconut delicata squash soup.

You could even add some roasted honeynut squash to this creamy root vegetable soup for some depth of flavor. It’d make it a pretty orange color too!


One misconception out there when people hear about “new” varieties or cross-breeding is that the result is a GMO product.

That’s not the case with honeynut squash. It is a non-GMO crop.

High mowing seeds describes the process here for more information on the creation of honeynut squash.

Petite sized honeynut squash are perfect for roasting and stuffing. Enjoy both methods with this fall inspired easy recipe.

For more general information on winter squash of all kinds, check out my guide to winter squash which includes information on how best to store squash, select them at the market and more including a plethora of winter squash recipes.

That guide was actually written before honeynut squash even existed but all the information can be applied to the squash as well.

One unique feature of honeynut is actually its built in notification feature of when it’s ready to be picked.

The squash grows as a bright green color then turns orange when it’s ready to be harvested. When selecting honeynut at the store, choose one with the least amount of green (if any at all).

Honeynut can be stored for months in a cool dry place but it’s best eaten as soon as possible for the most flavorful outcome.


Maple baked white acorn squash
Twice baked spaghetti squash
Kabocha squash chili
Holiday butternut squash hummus

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4.87 from 158 votes

Stuffed Honeynut Squash

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Stuffed honeynut squash on a baking sheet.
Honeynut squash is a sweet miniature winter squash perfect for roasting and stuffing with a quick and easy fall inspired filling.


  • 1 large, or 2 smaller honeynut squash, halved and seeded
  • 1/2 pound ground elk, or meat of choice such as beef, bison, venison, turkey, chicken, etc.
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large sweet/tart apple, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans


  • Preheat oven to 400°F and spray a heavy duty baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Place the halved and seeded honeynut squash flesh side down on the baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes until flesh is fork tender and skin has started to turn golden brown around the edges.
  • While honeynut squash roasts, prepare the filling by placing a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the ground meat and cook until browned, breaking into small pieces with a spatula as it cooks.
  • Drain any excess water from the meat (this will depend which kind of meat is used) if necessary and return the skillet with the meat to the stove. Reduce heat to medium.
  • Add the olive oil, onion, celery and garlic to the skillet. Stir to combine and cook for about 5 minutes until onions and celery start to soften.
  • Add the chopped apples and rosemary and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • When squash is roasted, remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle.
  • Scoop some of the flesh out of the squash and place in a large bowl, leaving enough squash intact around the perimeter to maintain the shape.
  • Add the ground meat mixture to the bowl with the scooped honeynut squash and mix until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon the filling back into the squash halves. Top with the chopped pecans and place back into the oven for another 5 minutes until warmed through.
  • Garnish with any leftover chopped rosemary and serve warm.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 212kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 17gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 141mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is a wonderful dish, thank you so much for the recipe. I made this today for my husband and we both thought it was delicious. I used bratwurst for the meat, cutting and taking off the outer skins before cooking, while pine nuts replaced the pecans.

  2. 5 stars
    This was amazing. I found a bag of these squash – 3 for $2.25… I had never had them, but it was squash… and the price… it’s a yes for me! So I went searching for a recipe today and came across this one. I used deer sausage b/c that’s what I had. I was amazing. I prepped the other 2 and will have lunch for the week. I think I may sprinkle some feta on the next one.