Kabocha Vs Buttercup Squash

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Last Updated on February 21, 2023

Let’s talk about kabocha vs. buttercup squash. Kabocha squash and buttercup squash may look similar in appearance but they aren’t the same. However, they are both from the family of gourds.

Kabocha and buttercup squash may look weird and unattractive but trust me, their taste is simply unique. These two squash are used among chefs, home cooks, gardeners, and professional growers because of their excellent culinary features and small size.

If you’ve ever wondered about the differences between kabocha and buttercup squash, we will be discussing that in this post and more. So continue reading to gain some info on kabocha vs. buttercup squash.

What Is Kabocha Squash

Kabocha squash is a Japanese type of winter squash that is gaining popularity these days for good reasons. Kabocha is a universal term for winter squash and pumpkin in Japan. Then in the United States, the term kabocha is regarded as a kind of Cucurbita maxima squash that was bred in Japan.

They are round in shape and they look kind of like a pumpkin and they have a belly button. Their outer layer is very hard and knobby with a rich green color.

Kabocha squash skin is absolutely edible. Then the inner flesh has this lovely orange-yellow color. This squash has a sweet and a bit of a nutty taste. Some even swear it has a cross-taste between a pumpkin and a sweet potato.

So, because the kabocha squash is a winter squash, they are mostly seen in the market starting from early October up until March.

They are filled with rich beta-carotene, iron, fiber, vitamin C, and other great nutrients. They are low in calories and carbs. One cup of kabocha squash is just 40 calories and 7 grams of carbohydrates. Therefore, kabocha squash is simply a delicious awesome plus to any kind of nutritious diet.

When you go shopping for kabocha squash, look for the ones that are heavy for their size and don’t have any soft spots. These are the ones that aren’t dried out and it’s still fresh and has enough moisture.

When you harvest your squash or you just shopped for one, just keep them in a cool dry place. You can simply leave them on your kitchen counter and they can last up to a month.

Read more about How To Tell If Zucchini Is Ripe

What Is Buttercup Squash

Buttercup squash is also a type of winter squash. It is one of the tastiest varieties of winter squash. They are squatty and round and they also look like a pumpkin with a belly button. Their rind or outer surface is green and the inner flesh is orange-yellow.

Their flesh is edible and simply juicy. Just like the juicy flesh, its seeds are as well an awesome snack food. The seeds are also great for roasting.

Burpee Buttercup Burgess Strain Winter Squash Seeds 30 seeds

You can find this juicy sweet flavor winter squash all through fall and winter at your local grocery store or farmers’ market.

Buttercup squash is also packed with great nutrients such as vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, and fiber. When you have the flesh color more intense, the more vitamin A it has.

Buttercup Squash Vs Kabocha

Some people may think buttercup squash and kabocha squash are the same because of their similar appearance. But this isn’t so. It’s pretty easy to confuse these two squash so this is why we will be looking at their differences. So let’s look into kabocha vs buttercup squash.

Click here to Know: Can You Plant Zucchini In A Pot?

Kabocha Squash Vs Buttercup Squash

Kabocha squash and buttercup squash may appear similar but don’t confuse them together because they are not the same. Here are some points to differentiate these two squash:

  • Size, Shape & Moisture: Buttercup squash is a bit bigger than kabocha and buttercup also have a bit of moisture than kabocha. The shape of buttercup squash is blockier than kabocha squash. Buttercup squash also has a boxier shape compared to kabocha which has a rounder shape.
  • Base: The base of kabocha squash usually appears button-like. Buttercup on the other hand has a distinctive round ridge on its base.
Kabocha Squash Vs Buttercup Squash
  • Exterior Part: the exterior part of buttercup squash is smoother compared to kabocha. The exterior of the kabocha is dark green and has some light stripes.
  • Flesh: Kabocha however has a denser flesh. The flesh of buttercup squash is sweet and dry but not as dry as the flesh of kabocha squash. Buttercup flesh is also liable to have brighter yellow compared to the hues of kabocha.
  • Seed Core: The seeds in the inner part of buttercups are packed much closer to their base. The seeds packaging for kabocha on the other hand is more centered.

Check Out Best Way to Germinate Seeds in Hydroponics

Buttercup Squash Kabocha Similarities

As we said, people confuse kabocha and buttercup squash because they are pretty similar. Here are some similar features you can find when it comes to kabocha vs buttercup squash:

  • Both kabocha and buttercup are shaped like pumpkins and these two squash have thick skin. They are both round with dark green color.
  • Both have a belly button.
  • Their inner flesh is both orange-yellow.
  • Both kabocha squash and buttercup squash are winter squash.
  • Both kabocha squash and buttercup squash are great for culinary use.
Buttercup Squash Kabocha Similarities

How Long Does it Take for Buttercup Squash to Mature? 

Buttercup squash can take up to 110 days to mature. Most early harvests are reported at 90 days. 

Seeds take between 7 and 14 days to germinate. By day 50, you’ll start seeing fruits. These take a few more weeks before they’re ready for harvest. Buttercup squash fruits aren’t particularly big. To determine if your squash is ready, feel its cap. If the cap is firm, the squash is ready for harvest. 

How Long Does Buttercup Squash Last? 

You can store your buttercup squash for about 13 weeks. Under ideal storage circumstances, it’ll stay fresh. I suggest using a dark cabinet, drawer, shelf, or pantry. The average temperature should not exceed 50°F. 

Before using your stored buttercup squash, you can test it for freshness. If the squash feels firm, it’s still good to use. Soft, mushy areas indicate that it’s past its time. 

When is a Kabocha Squash Ripe? 

Kabocha squash takes about 55 days to mature. After this, they’re ripe and ready to harvest. Depending on which type you grow, you can look at the skin color to determine ripeness. Most varieties will be green, orange, or gray. Here are more ways to test for ripeness:

  1. Knock on the squash a few times. If it sounds hollow inside, it’s ripe.
  2. A ripe kabocha squash will have a shriveled stem.
  3. The stripes on a kabocha squash will start fading as it ripens. 
  4. The skin of your kabocha squash should feel firm if you press your fingernail on it. 

Keeping track of when you sow your seeds is a great way to know when the fruit will be ready. You can log the germination period and when the flowers start budding too. 

When Do You Harvest Kabocha Squash? 

You can harvest your kabocha squash when it’s ripe or even before. It will continue to ripen off the vine. If you fear frost, I suggest getting your squash off the vine before it hits. You can also use frost cloth if you’re confident this will help. Typically, kabocha squash is ready to harvest in late summer and early fall. 

The longer you leave kabocha squash on the vine, the better it will taste. However, you can harvest it as soon as it reaches its mature size. This can range from 1.5 to 5.3 pounds, so it might be tricky to figure out if your squash is ready on this indicator alone. 

Is Kabocha Squash Acidic or Alkaline?

Kabocha squash contains a ton of goodness. It’s buttery and easy to digest! If your gut isn’t a fan of acidic foods, you’ll be happy to know that kabocha squash is alkaline. You can turn this winter squash into a favorite comfort food. There are many ways to prepare it, and its pH is neutral once cooked and digested.  

This squash also contains vitamins A, B6, and C. It’s packed with potassium, manganese, folate, riboflavin, and copped. You’ll also get dietary fiber when enjoying it. 

Kabocha vs Buttercup Squash: Additional Say

With kabocha and buttercup similarities, it’s no surprise these two squash are often confused or mislabeled. Even with their differences, both kabocha and buttercup squash are regarded as a single type in breeding and marketing. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

So there you have it differentiating kabocha vs buttercup squash. So if you’re puzzled about these two squash, simply look through our guide to point out the differences.

Learn more about Can You Eat Kabocha Squash Skin?


What is another name for kabocha squash?

I have seen this squash called a "Japanese Pumpkin". This is one of the best tasting varieties of winter squash, it's sweeter than most and has a nice texture. The skin is smooth, but if you want to remove the skin then just cook it for about 30 minutes until tender and let it cool a little before peeling off the skin.

What does kabocha taste like?

Kabocha is often described as “winter squash” because it tastes like winter. You can eat kabocha any way you want, from baking or roasting to frying or steaming. But for the best taste and texture, we recommend roasting.

Kabocha has a sweet, nutty flavor that complements many other vegetables. Kabocha squash is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and iron.

What does a buttercup squash taste like?

Buttercup squash is great for making soup, especially when it’s in season. The flavor is light, sweet, and not too dense. It tastes like a cross between a zucchini and a potato. It’s got a lot of flavor. It can be used interchangeably with pumpkin. If you’re making a soup, I recommend using a variety of squash, like butternut, acorn, and hubbard.

Is buttercup squash the same as butternut squash?

Yes, they are both forms of the same squash and are both delicious. Butternut is the most common in the US, and buttercup squash is more common in Europe. If you're shopping for a butternut squash, you're probably looking for a heavy-duty cooking type, but if you're shopping for an "average" buttercup squash, you can get away with a little less.

Buttercup squash has a light orange color with a yellowish interior. It's also much smaller than butternut squash, usually around 10-12 inches long. Butternut squash is usually larger, around 15-16 inches long, and it has a white interior with a very dark orange exterior. You can use both types of squash interchangeably in recipes. But for the best flavor, I recommend using butternut squash. Buttercup squash is great for stuffing, but its texture isn't as nice.

How do you pick a good kabocha squash?

Well, for starters, it should be firm and free of blemishes. If the stem is soft or you see any signs of decay, then that’s a pretty good sign of bad luck for this squash. It shouldn’t have any green spots on it. This means it’s probably a very young squash. Squashes with green spots are typically older than those without.

It should also feel heavy for its size. A good test is to hold it in your hand and if it feels heavy, then it’s probably a good one. If you can find it at the farmer’s market, it will likely be smaller and more tender. The smaller it is, the more delicate it will be. This is not a squash that you want to pick up and use like a football, but rather like a small melon or cucumber. If you can get your hands on a mature squash, that would be even better.

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