Slow Cooker or Baked Carnival Squash

Simple Slow Cooker Carnival Squash

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
78 Calories
5g Fat
10g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 78
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 29mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 7mg 37%
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 299mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The carnival squash is a hybrid of the sweet dumpling squash and the acorn squash. It's an attractive variety with a combination of orange, yellow, and green (depending on maturity) stripes and speckles on a cream-colored skin. Much like butternut squash, carnival squash is nutty and sweet in flavor. You only need to season it lightly with salt, pepper, and a little butter, but it is also delicious sprinkled with a little brown sugar or a drizzling of maple syrup before cooking, which can be done in the oven or the slow cooker. The baked squash takes less time, but the slow cooker is convenient if you need the oven for other dishes. 

You can serve the squash as is or scoop the flesh from the shells and mash into a puree. Carnival squash is a simple side dish for roasted turkey or chicken, as well as a beef roast or pork loin.


  • 2 cups cubes carnival squash

  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, or olive oil

  • 1 dash kosher salt

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper

  • Brown sugar and/or maple syrup, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Cut off the ends of the squash and slice it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. If desired, slice the halves in half again.

  2. Brush each cut side with melted butter or olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If desired, sprinkle with a little brown sugar and/or drizzle with maple syrup.

Slow Cooker Method:

  1. Butter the inside of the slow cooker.

  2. Layer the carnival squash halves (or quarters) cut-side up in the slow cooker. Add about 1/3 cup of water to the bottom of the slow cooker.

  3. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the squash is fork-tender.

  4. Serve as is or scoop the squash out of the skins and mash before serving.

Oven-Baked Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 375 F.

  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. 

  3. Place the carnival squash halves (or quarters) on the baking sheet cut-side up.

  4. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until tender.

Is the skin of carnival squash edible?

Once cooked, the skin of the carnival squash is safe to eat and offers a nice contrast to the soft and tender flesh. Keep in mind that squash that has been harvested later in the season will have a tougher exterior compared to a younger variety. If you choose not to eat the skin, the easiest way to peel the squash is to cook it first, as the ridges will make it very difficult to peel when it is raw.

How to Store Carnival Squash

Carnival squash should be stored in a cool, dark place where it will last for one to three months. Cut-up or cooked squash will keep for five to seven days in the refrigerator.

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