6 One-Pot, Protein-Rich Recipes Starring the Season’s Finest Anti-Inflammatory Vegetable: Winter Squash

Photo: Stocksy/ Nataša Mandić
One pot, seasonal, and lots of protein? Challenge accepted. As we bid adieu to the strawberry stand and say hello to apple orchards, finding comforting, protein-rich recipes to match the fall-time vibes becomes a top priority.

As you cue up a jazzy fall Spotify playlist, light your favorite spiced apple candle, and throw on a pair of Uggs, we’ve got what’s for dinner covered with one-pot, protein-rich recipes starring the season’s finest anti-inflammatory vegetable: winter squash. And unlike summer squash (like zucchini or yellow squash) that is ripe only in the summertime, winter squash, including pumpkins and butternut squash, get harvested in the fall when they are hard and ripe. This mean they can be stored and enjoyed well into the winter months, too. Ready to hibernate until April? Read on for some of our favorite cozy winter squash recipes.

6 comforting anti-inflammatory winter squash recipes

winter squash recipes
Photo: Minimalist Baker

1. Thai-Inspired Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Before you go on a frantic frenzy scouring the internet for ways to use the butternut squash you picked up at the farmer’s market, we have a solution. This Thai-inspired butternut squash soup recipe by Minimalist Baker is about as warming as it gets. Yes, it has all of the components we love and adore in a cold weather soup: creamy, luscious, and nutrient-dense; however, it also has an unexpected (but definitely welcome) spicy kick thanks to anti-inflammatory ingredients like red curry paste and cayenne. Best of all, it was made for the Instant Pot, so weeknight dinners just got a whole lot easier.

Get the recipe: Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup (Thai-Inspired)

winter squash recipes
Photo: Minimalist Baker

2. Spicy Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

If you’re familiar with the Blue Zones, you’re likely already a big advocate of eating beans on the regular. Why? Well, according to longevity expert and Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner, beans are an all-star health food that many of the longest-living people in the world consume daily. This one-pot pumpkin black bean soup by Minimalist Baker is the ideal combination of spicy, hearty, and protein-packed, and will be the perfect excuse to eat more longevity-boosting beans. (Sign me up.)

Get the recipe: 1-Pot Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

winter squash recipes
Photo: Minimalist Baker

3. Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Garlicky Alfredo Sauce

In need of a delicious winter squash gluten-free pasta recipe? Look no further. This spaghetti squash pasta recipe by Minimalist Baker is packed with loads of protein thanks to the vegan garlicky cashew Alfredo sauce that’ll make you want to lick the bowl clean. Plus, you can do it all in your Instant Pot for virtually zero cleaning up. We’re positive this one will be on retainer all season long. That said, it's important to learn the ins and outs of how to cook spaghetti squash first, so your creations are delicious each and every time.

Get the recipe: Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Garlicky Alfredo Sauce

winter squash recipes
Photo: Erin Lives Whole

4. Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Recipe

If all you want to do is cozy up with a soul-warming bowl of pasta, this vegan pumpkin pasta recipe by Erin Lives Whole is what dreams are made of. It’s basically the love child of two of your childhood favorites—mac and cheese and creamy pumpkin soup—and has “fall” written all over it. Plus it’s made with anti-inflammatory fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, which are each packed with antioxidants and add a smoky, warm, comforting flavor to the dish.

Get the recipe: Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Recipe

winter squash recipes
Photo: Gimme Some Oven

5. Instant Pot Butternut Soup

Sometimes all you want to do is just kick back and relax. When making dinner is the last thing you want to think about, this easy Instant Pot butternut soup recipe by Gimme Some Oven will definitely come in handy. It’s gluten-free, vegan, and perfect for dunking a grilled cheese sandwich into. Plus, it’s loaded with fiber-rich butternut squash filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium, which will give your immune system a much-needed boost.

Get the recipe: Instant Pot Butternut Soup

winter squash recipes
Photo: Erin Lives Whole

6. Instant Pot Pumpkin Chili

We. Hear. You. Fall wouldn’t be complete without a hearty chili recipe like this Instant Pot pumpkin chili recipe by Erin Lives Whole. It’s made with two kinds of protein-packed beans (kidney and black) plus turkey, which is totally optional. Now for the fall-time touch, the recipe has pumpkin two ways: pumpkin pie spice and purée, which gives this recipe the soul-soothing fall vibes we crave all season long.

Get the recipe: Easy Pumpkin Chili (Instant Pot and Stove Top)

Could use a little more winter squash? Try this gluten-free pumpkin bread recipe:

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