The Carnival squash is a tasty winter squash that is nutrient-dense and versatile to cook. Its sweet flavor pairs well with both savory and sweet ingredients. While you can enjoy Carnival squash raw, cooking brings out its natural sweetness and makes it easier to digest. In this article, I will instruct you how to cook carnival squash in microwave, oven, and air fryer.

1. How To Cook Carnival Squash in Microwave

Microwaving is the quickest and easiest way to cook Carnival squash. It takes only minutes to cook through and requires minimal preparation. Follow these simple steps:

  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Slice each half into 1-inch wedges, peel the skin off each wedge.
  • Place the peeled squash wedges in a microwave-safe dish and add 2 tablespoons of water.
  • Cover the dish with a lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape.
  • Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, until the squash is very tender when pierced with a fork.
  • Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before removing from the microwave.
  • Toss the cooked squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, browned butter or maple syrup. Top with toasted nuts or seeds for added crunch.

2. How To Cook Carnival Squash in Oven

While microwaving is fastest, baking Carnival squash unlocks more complex flavors. Follow these instructions for oven-baked squash:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
  • Brush the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You can also stuff the cavity with butter, brown sugar, spices, or cheese for extra flavor.
  • Place squash cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife. Baking times vary depending on size.
  • For caramelized, crispy edges, turn squash cut-side up during the last 10 minutes of cook time.
  • Once tender, scoop out flesh into a bowl and mash with extra butter, salt, pepper, Parmesan, brown sugar or maple syrup.

3. How To Cook Carnival Squash in Air Fryer

An air fryer gives Carnival squash caramelized edges and tender interior in record time. Adjust cook times as needed based on your model.

  • Cut squash into 1-inch thick half moons and scoop out seeds. Peel if desired.
  • Toss squash slices (no more than 2 cups at a time) with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer in air fryer basket.
  • Air fry at 380°F for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway, until browned and tender.
  • Repeat with remaining squash in batches, adjusting time if needed.
  • Serve immediately as a side dish or base for tacos, nachos, chili and more. Top with cheese, herbs, chili powder for extra flavor.

With its sweet nutty flavor and smooth creamy texture when cooked, Carnival squash shines in both savory and sweet dishes. Microwaving, baking, and air frying are simple ways to unlock its best qualities. Adjust cook times as needed and get creative with mix-ins and toppings.

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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