DIY Squash Bar

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | November 4th, 2016 | Techniques, Tools, and Tips

dried-cranberries-pecans-and-cinnamonAs I thought about this post, I debated as to how I should categorize it. Is it really a recipe? Is it more of a food tip? Possible even a cooking basic? Thinking about it, I guess I’ll best describe it as a tip, especially one for people trying to introduce foods to picky eaters.

When my kids were younger, they were pretty open to new foods. I had a “no thank you” serving rule, in which they had to try everything being served but didn’t have to eat a large portion. It worked well, as it exposed them to many foods, but there weren’t painful battles over finishing a dish.

They were exposed to all sorts of foods and were decent eaters of foods in all categories. However, one of the harder to sell veggies was winter squash. I couldn’t understand this; winter squash is one of my favorite veggies. It’s versatile; you can enjoy it as savory or sweet; it can work in almost any dish from appetizer to dessert. Yet, my kids didn’t find it appealing.

To try and get them past the “no thank you” serving, I offered it in many formats. What worked best was keeping it simple. Bake or roast the squash, then serve it with an assortment of toppings. Butternut and acorn squash work particularly well for this.

DIY Squash Bar
Serves 4
A simple way to make winter squash appealing


  1. 1 butternut squash or 2 acorn squash
  2. Butter
  3. Brown sugar
  4. Honey
  5. Maple syrup
  6. Dried cranberries
  7. Chopped walnuts or pecans
  8. Sour cream
  9. Fresh chives, minced
  10. Salt & pepper
  1. Roast squash until full cooked.
  2. Give each diner a serving of squash.
  3. Place all toppings on table for each to create their own squash dish.
  1. All toppings aren’t necessary. Play to the palates of your diners.
Think Tasty

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