Honey Nut Squash vs. Butternut – My Review

As I mentioned in the video I did on August 20 (the day I harvested my Honey Nut squash) I thought they were hybrids.

Seeds saved from hybrids can’t be relied on to produce true to the fruit from which the seed was harvested.  And since I save seed — that’s a  negative for me.

Also studies have shown that hybrids are not often as nutrient dense as open pollinated. I explained to what degree this is true in this post. 

Much to my delight – I discovered I was wrong! 

And although Honey Nut started out as a cross of two different varieties (a hybrid) — over a number of plant generations the variety was stabilized by Cornell University. Thus, it is now considered open pollinated.  Yippee!

I’ve saved the seed and I’m ready to grow it again next year.

You Can Stabilize a Favorite Hybrid in Your Own Garden-

–  by careful selection of seed saved over a number of years. When your seed consistently produces the fruit you desire every year it is considered  open pollinated.

The Reason I’m so Thrilled About This

Because they are without a doubt the most delicious winter squash I’ve EVER tasted — with the exception of spaghetti squash which tastes totally different than any winter squash I’ve tasted.

I place spaghetti squash in a gourmet category. Delicate and delicious seasoned only with a superior quality butter and salt and pepper to taste.  (Appropriate for a candle light dinner. : – )

Next in line to enjoy gourmet status (at least in my opinion) would be the Honey Nut squash.

After tasting it I can understand that it’s sometimes served with ice cream.  But in my opinion it’s just as delicious without an added attraction.

Butternut Lost its Appeal after Tasting Honey Nut

If you watched my video – you know that I grew Butternut squash this year.  From years past I remember enjoying them a lot. After eating the Honey Nut – the Butternut lost its appeal.

Butternut squash harvested in Sept and Oct

This was not only due to the delicious richness of the Honey Nut. 

Other Gold Star Qualities of Honey Nut

After Harvest:

  • Easy to cut in half. (Butternut is much harder.)
  • You can eat the peel!  (Butternut peel is too hard.)
  • Cooking time is 30 minutes or less. (When halved rather than cubed,  the Butternut is almost double the time)
  • Delicious!

Honey Nut Squash baked with a small amount of butter and a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper.

While Growing:

  • Compact vines of Honey Nut don’t take up the space that Butternuts take. I grew only one plant in my front border rather than the garden.  With a support for it to grow on it only took about a square foot space.
  • If you have to grow in containers – this little squash might be perfect for you.
  • Has a strong resistance to Powdery Mildew.
  • Fruit is uniform producing 4 to 5 inch mini butternut-like fruits.  Each was about the length of my hand.

Mature Honey Nut Squash harvested Aug 20


Said to store 2 to 3 month. 

I ate mine after 2 months – although I didn’t intend to eat all 6 + the two small ones that I didn’t think would ripen – but did.

They were so good I couldn’t resist  having them for my meals until all six + the 2 babies were gone.

How Many Should You Grow?

I only grew one plant.  As mentioned it produced 6 fully mature fruits plus two tiny ones that I didn’t think would ripen, but did.

I read online that other growers said to expect 3 squash per plant.  They indicated this was due to the female blossoms have to be pollinated and often are not. The recommendation was to grow at least 3 plants. Maybe I got lucky.

As much as I liked them I could grow and use a lot more than 3 plants even if each produced 6 squash.

Final Thought

Honey Nut squash will be my choice for the future.

With their great taste and being so easy to grow, they might be your choice as well.


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  • This seems to be a no brainer: sounds (and looks!) delicious and easy to grow – I must give it a go! (together with spaghetti squash)

    [and yes, they sell seeds here in NZ too, yay!]

    Thank you Theresa for sharing!!

  • sounds intriguing. as a single person the size works well also. where did you get the seeds originally?

    been a strange growing season. tomatoes were iffy and beans though slow to start over produced!

    good to hear of your experiences.
    Tish Iorio

  • We’ve always thought butternut was the best squash but now I have to try honey-nut. Sounds great and shorter vines would fit in well with my garden.

    Thanks again Theresa

    Ray Kent

  • Great article. I’ve pinned it for future reference. Thank you for showing and describing the difference between the two squashes. This will be my go to for next year.

  • That honey nut squash looks delicious!
    Seeing and hearing about yours makes me want to search for some seeds and grow next year. Thank you for the excellent report.
    If you grow out more plants next season, and they only last 2 – 3 months, how will you preserve them?

  • Oh wow. I will look into these! I love spaghetti squash, but I don’t care for the flavor of Butternut. The Honey Nut sounds like a “happy medium”. I’ve been very pleased with all of the varieties of vegetables you’ve recommended in your posts. Thank you. 🙂

  • Giulia, I’m delighted that you can get the seed for Honey Nut in NZ!
    It will be just perfect for your spacing and I think you and Gino will love it as much as I do.

    When I go through my seeds again — I’ll look to see where I got the seed and let you know.
    And yes, it has been a very strange growing season!

    Just about everyone I’ve spoken to or heard from were not pleased with how their tomatoes performed — including me. This is the first year I ever remember not having tomatoes until at least the end of Dec. or into Jan. I’ll be lucked to make it through November with tomatoes.

    Ray, I thought that these would fit well with your garden. Also I know you grow some things in containers and these should do well there too.

    Gina, I’m delighted to hear that you’ll try these next year. Let me know how you like them.

    Toni, I smiled all over when I read your question about how will I preserve them. Even if I grew enough to get 24 squash — they’d be gone in 3 months. So that won’t be a problem for me. This year’s half dozen would have been eaten sooner had I known how delicious they were.

    Although I love my usual daily meal of chopped cabbage, carrot, and when I have it garlic, onion, pepper, tomatoes, arugula or lettuce. — these Honey Nuts make for some diversity for me— which is most welcomed.

    Rob, remember to let me know how you like them next year.
    I was glad to hear that you’ve been pleased with the all the varieties of vegetables that I’ve recommended. Thanks for letting me know.

    Thank you all for commenting.

  • Hello Theresa,
    Thanks for passing this on and I will give it a go in 2024. Do you like Delicata Squash? I think its really good and I also like the acorn squash. I have grown butternut but have not recently partly because they get bigger than I prefer.
    I have a cantaloupe sliced up and in the refrigerator that I picked just last week right here in central Iowa USA, zone 5. Temperature last night was 30 F so it’s that time of year here but with a little protection I was able to get this lonesome straggler to the finish line. Surprised it’s so good. Also got the garden put to bed for the winter, a good feeling for now but already thinking 2024.
    Best of Health! Your bud near the North Raccoon River.

  • Hello Theresa,
    With a small garden I keep telling myself to lessen/restrict the varieties I should try each year.
    Now how I can do so after reading your post? :-). Will definitely consider this one next year.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • I have to agree with you 100%. I planted some this year, but they did not make it (along with the cucumbers), but will try again in ’24.
    I came upon Honey Nut squash several years ago while shopping at Trader Joe’s. When I next tried to purchase it at TJ’s it was gone, I asked a clerk working in the produce department and he said they would not be getting anymore as TJ’s sometimes purchases product from small farms and take all they have. It was sweet tasting and just the right size.

  • Thanks for this good input Alice!
    Your experience is even more reason for us to grow it.

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