Skip to Content

Are Butternut and Spaghetti Squash the Same?

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclaimer for additional details.

Squash comes in different shapes, sizes, and forms. Some are categorized as summer squash while others are lumped together in a group known as winter squash.

Speaking of winter squash, a few varieties have brought attention to squash lovers for their texture and taste, especially squashes that are used in different types of delicacies such as butternut and spaghetti squash.

Both butternut and spaghetti squash are winter varieties commonly available in your local markets. But because of their appearance, some people have a hard time telling which is which.

Are butternut and spaghetti squash the same?

Butternut and spaghetti squash are completely different from one another, and they are not the same species.

In fact, the easiest way to differentiate between each variety without having to actually buy the fruits is by looking at their skin color.

Butternut squash has a tan or orange skin color, whereas spaghetti squash comes in different colors such as orange, white, and yellow.

Bunch of Spaghetti squash and butternut squash

Spaghetti Squash vs. Butternut Squash

Aside from skin color, there are a few other ways to tell the difference between spaghetti and butternut squash. For instance:


Butternut squash, or butternut pumpkin, is bell-shaped and may look like a gigantic peanut. Meanwhile, spaghetti squash, or vegetable squash, is oval-shaped and comes in different sizes.

On average, butternut squash is much bigger than spaghetti squash. It can grow up to one foot long, whereas spaghetti squash measures less than one foot long.

Nutritional Values

Although both varieties are highly nutritious, they don’t have the same nutrient composition. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the nutritional value for each squash per 100 grams (3.5 ounces).

Nutrient Per 100 g (3.5 oz)Butternut SquashSpaghetti Squash
Carbohydrates11.69 g6.91
Protein1 g0.64 g
Fat0.1 g0.57 g
Vitamin A0.532 mg0.006 mg
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.1 mg0.037 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.02 mg0.018 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)1.2 mg0.95 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.4 mg0.36 mg
Vitamin B60.154 mg0.101 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)27 mg0.012 mg
Vitamin C21 mg2.1 mg
Vitamin E1.44 mg0.13 mg
Vitamin K1.1 mg0.001 mg
Iron0.7 mg0.31 mg
Calcium48 mg23 mg
Magnesium34 mg12 mg
Potassium352 mg108 mg
Phosphorus33 mg12 mg
Manganese0.202 mg0.125 mg
Zinc0.15 mg0.19 mg

Based on the table above, we can quickly summarize that butternut squash has a higher composition of vital nutrients such as carbohydrates, calories, protein, vitamin A, and calcium.

On the other hand, spaghetti squash has more fat content, which makes it less desirable for people who are looking for low-fat food.

sliced butternut squash on chopping board with yellow white checkered fabric on the table


If you’re a fan of pumpkin, then you should opt for butternut squash.

With a similar taste, this squash also offers sweet and nutty flavors. On the other hand, if you’re not into sweet fruits, spaghetti squash would definitely satisfy your taste buds.

However, this is not necessarily a negative. Since spaghetti squash has mild and bland flavors, you have the freedom to add other flavorful ingredients into the mix to create the taste you’re looking for.


Both varieties possess different flesh textures. Butternut squash has bright orange to tan firm flesh. In some situations, its flesh can affect the colors of ingredients that are used in the same cooking.

On the other hand, spaghetti squash has a pale yellow, stringy texture that resembles spaghetti. However, its flesh won’t change or affect the colors of your cooking ingredients.

Cooked Spaghetti squash and fork on wooden board

Culinary Uses

Butternut squash is a perfect substitute for recipes that require smooth but firm and creamy fruits or vegetables such as mashed pumpkins and potatoes.

Meanwhile, spaghetti squash received its name due to its stringy, rope-like texture that mimics spaghetti noodles. So, it is best used in making pasta noodles, squash and cheese, and other noodles recipes.

Now that we have listed out everything that makes these two varieties different, there are also some similarities that you may find in both fruits. For instance:

  • They generally weigh 2 to 4 pounds (0.9 to 1.8 kilograms).
  • Both varieties have thick and hard skin that’s hardly penetrable with your fingernails.
  • It generally takes 3 months for both varieties to fully mature.
  • Both butternut and spaghetti squash contain numerous seeds in the middle part of the fruits.
  • Since both are winter varieties, they are readily available in the early winter.
  • You need to store both varieties in a cool and dry place. Make sure that the place is humidity-free. Properly kept butternut and spaghetti squash can last in storage for 2 to 3 months.
Halved raw spaghetti squash on wooden board

Can Spaghetti Squash Be Substituted for Butternut Squash?

Most of us love to eat or make different kinds of dishes for our friends and family. And cooking is an art. So, there’s no reason why we can’t be creative with our own recipes.

But some people might wonder whether they can use spaghetti squash as a substitute for butternut squash in their cooking.

Truthfully, there are two ways to look at this thing. Instead of butternut squash, you can use spaghetti squash if you’re just looking for a healthy meal replacement.

In fact, your options aren’t just limited to just winter squash varieties.

But if you’re planning to make pasta noodles, you can only use spaghetti squash. This is because butternut squash has a firm and creamy texture that can only be chopped into small blocks. Meanwhile, spaghetti squash has a string-like texture that resembles spaghetti.

In addition, you might want to use your favorite sauce or flavoring with your noodles. The nutty taste of butternut squash can drown the taste of ingredients in your dish, whereas spaghetti squash has a bland taste that goes well with other flavorful sauces or ingredients.

Does Spaghetti Squash Taste Like Butternut Squash?

Spaghetti squash tastes slightly different than butternut squash. It has a neutral, mild, and bland flavor. On the other hand, butternut squash has a strong, sweet, and nutty taste.

Delicious roasted butternut squash curry rice bowl on a tray

Which Is Healthier, Butternut Squash or Spaghetti Squash?

Based on the nutritional table listed above, butternut squash is healthier than spaghetti squash. It has a higher composition of vitamins A and C, carbohydrates, proteins, and calories.

So, if you’re looking for a nutritious food that can give you more energy to get through your active daily life, butternut squash would be your best bet.

On the other hand, if you’re a low-carb food lover, you can opt for spaghetti squash. This variety is also rich in essential nutrients and minerals. But those nutrients aren’t as abundant as you can find in butternut squash.

Hands holding two different size of butternut squash

How Can You Tell Butternut Squash From Spaghetti Squash?

There are many ways to tell butternut squash from spaghetti squash. The easiest way is through physical identification.

Butternut squash has tan to orange skin with bell-shaped bodies, whereas spaghetti squash comes in white, orange, or yellow with oval to round bodies.

You can also cut these fruits and compare their flesh texture. Butternut squash has a soft, creamy, and firm texture compared to spaghetti squash which has stringy flesh.

But if you decide to taste them, you will instantly spot that butternut squash tastes sweet and nutty, whereas spaghetti squash has a mild flavor.

Final Thoughts

Overall, both varieties are definitely a good choice for healthy food lovers. Each species has its own advantages that you can use to fulfill your needs. But most importantly, they aren’t exotic species. So, you can grow them in your backyard or just head to the nearest stores to purchase these fruits.