Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash: What’s the Difference?

Written by August Buck
Published: August 4, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/DipaliS
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If you are looking to add more gourds to your meals and menus, you may be wondering what the differences are between spaghetti squash vs butternut squash. Both of these squash varieties are extremely popular, for a number of reasons, but what are the differences between them and in what ways can you use them to their maximum effectiveness? 

In this article, we will compare and contrast spaghetti squash with butternut squash so that you can get a full understanding of both types. We will address their physical descriptions as well as what they taste like, and the ways that they are typically prepared. Let’s get started and talk all about butternut squash and spaghetti squash now! 

Comparing Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash

Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash
Spaghetti squash is found in more colors compared to the tan butternut squash.

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Spaghetti SquashButternut Squash
ClassificationCucurbita pepoCucurbita moschata
DescriptionRound or oval shaped squash found in white, yellow, or orange varieties. Contains stringy flesh and large seeds throughout, with a mild and delicate flavor.Smooth, tan skin covers beautiful orange squash inside. Shaped with a narrow top and large bottom half, full of seeds and pulp. Tastes nutty and delicate, with a sweetness that is similar to pumpkin.
UsesMost commonly used as a substitute for spaghetti noodles in a low-carb diet; can also be eaten after roasting or boiling, and the seeds are also ediblePopularly roasted, steamed, sauteed, or mashed. A great substitute for pumpkin or mashed potatoes, and it also works well in breads, muffins, and pies
Nutrition InfoHigh in Vitamin B and fiber, which makes it a great low-calorie alternativeA great source of Vitamin A and C, as well as sweetness with fewer calories
Special FeaturesAlso known as vegetable spaghetti, given its popularity as a spaghetti pasta alternative!Originated in the year 1940, but is now the most popularly consumed winter squash variety!

Key Differences Between Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash

Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash
Spaghetti squash is a common substitute for spaghetti noodles, while butternut squash is used in a variety of other ways. 

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There are a number of differences between spaghetti squash and butternut squash. While both of these squashes belong to the same plant genus, they are different species from one another. In addition, spaghetti squash is found in more colors compared to the tan butternut squash. Finally, spaghetti squash is a common substitute for spaghetti noodles, while butternut squash is used in a variety of other ways. 

Let’s go over all of these differences and a few more in more detail now. 

Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash: Classification

While both of these plants belong to the same genus, there are some differences in the scientific classification of butternut squash and spaghetti squash. For example, spaghetti squash belongs to the pepo species of squash, while butternut squash belongs to the moschata species. While this is only a subtle difference, it leads to some extreme differences in their general appearance and flavor. 

Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash: Description

Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash
The flesh of the spaghetti squash is stringy, while butternut squash remains hard and compacted until cooked.

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You can easily tell the difference between spaghetti squash and butternut squash by looking at them side-by-side. For example, the shape of the spaghetti squash is uniformly ovular compared to the shape of the butternut squash. The neck of the butternut squash is much thinner compared to the bottom half of the squash itself, while spaghetti squash remain uniformly round. 

In addition to this General shape difference, spaghetti squash can be found in white, yellow, and orange varieties, while butternut squash only comes in a tan shade with orange innards. The flesh of the spaghetti squash is stringy, while butternut squash remains hard and compacted until cooked. Finally, the seeds of the spaghetti squash are often prepared like pumpkin seeds and eaten, while butternut squash seeds are not frequently eaten. 

Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash: Uses

Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash
Spaghetti squash is commonly used as an alternative to spaghetti noodles, while butternut squash is a popular substitute for sweet potato or pumpkin.

iStock.com/chengyuzheng

In case you didn’t already know, spaghetti squash and butternut squash have very different culinary uses for one another. For example, spaghetti squash is commonly used as an alternative to spaghetti noodles, while butternut squash is a popular substitute for sweet potato or pumpkin. 

For the most part, butternut squash is used in a variety of different ways, while spaghetti squash is primarily used as noodles. However, you can cook them in similar ways, including roasted, boiled, sauteed, or mashed. When it comes to their flavor, butternut squash has a nutty and sweet taste compared to the fairly neutral flavor of spaghetti squash. 

Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash: Nutrition Information

Both butternut squash and spaghetti squash have fantastic nutritional value and plenty of vitamins and minerals. When it comes to vitamin A and vitamin C, butternut squash has far more of these two vitamins compared to spaghetti squash. However, spaghetti squash has more Vitamin B and fiber compared to butternut squash. For the most part, spaghetti squash is a great low calorie alternative to noodles, while butternut squash is a great alternative to potatoes

Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash: Special Features

Spaghetti Squash vs Butternut Squash
When it comes to vitamin A and vitamin C, butternut squash has far more of these two vitamins compared to spaghetti squash.

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No matter what you choose, spaghetti squash and butternut squash have fascinating histories and are popular for a number of different reasons. For example, spaghetti squash is also known as vegetable spaghetti, given its popularity as a spaghetti alternative. While you may think that butternut squash has been around for quite some time, it was actually created in the 1940s. Despite its recent creation, butternut squash is the most popular winter squash consumed around the world, alongside pumpkins!

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