Delicata Squash in Brown Sauce


cubed squash in brown sauce in serving dish

Each Fall I buy a Delicata squash and roast it, but until I came across a hundred-year-old Delicata squash recipe, I never gave any thought to other ways that it might be prepared. It was fun to try a “new” way of serving this old-time squash.

The century-old recipe was for Delicata Squash in Brown Sauce. The recipe called for cubed squash that is served in a delightful classic brown sauce.

Here is the original recipe:

recipe for delicata squash in brown sauce
Source: American Cookery (January, 1919)

I made several adaptions and assumptions when making this recipe. I used fresh Delicata squash rather than canned. And, I used butter rather than “fat.”

I was a bit foggy about what was meant by three slices of carrot and five of celery. Does the recipe really mean just a few small pieces of sliced carrot and celery – or was it referring to larger chunks? I made the assumption that the recipe was calling for one carrot and two stalks of celery – but this may not be what the recipe writer intended.

And, have you ever heard of mushroom ketchup? Since I didn’t have any idea what it was, I went with the Worcestershire sauce option.

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Delicata Squash in Brown Sauce

  • Servings: 2 - 3
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

1 Delicata squash

3 tablespoons butter

2 slices of a large onion

1 carrot, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

4 tablespoons rye or barley flour (I used rye flour.)

1 1/4 cups beef broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Peel squash, halve and remove seeds and membranes; then cut into 1-inch cubes. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Put on the stove and bring to a boil using high heat; then reduce heat and simmer until tender (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and drain.

In the meantime, melt butter in a skillet. Add onion, carrot and celery; sauté until tender using medium heat. Stir in the flour, and continue stirring until the flour just begins to brown. Gradually add beef broth while stirring constantly; continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and strain; reserve the strained sauce. (If desired, the cooked vegetables may be served separately; otherwise discard.) Return the strained sauce to the saucepan; stir in salt, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. Reheat until hot.

To serve, place cooked squash in serving dish. Pour brown sauce over the squash.

34 thoughts on “Delicata Squash in Brown Sauce

  1. I roast a lot of veggies and this recipe is a nice change. Love the sauce ingredients! With most recipes I make I just add the veggies to taste – mushroom ketchup? Never heard of it either but I like your substitution of Worcestershire sauce.

  2. A good grocery store will sell you mushroom ketchup here in the UK. And jolly useful it is too. However, I’ve never come across canned squash. Is it rather watery? I don’t know ‘Delicata’ either.

    1. I have seen plastic bags with cubes of winter squash in the frozen food aisle at the supermarket where I shop – but I don’t think that canned cubed squash is sold today.

  3. I’ve never heard of delicata squash. In fact, I can’t remember seeing it in the stores. It may be that I’ve seen it and assume it was one of those decorative ones they roll out in autumn. ‘Mushroom ketchup’ seems weird, too, but I’ll bet it’s much like the mushroom sauce we sometimes made as a gravy — at least in terms of taste.

    1. At supermarkets around here, Delicata squash is usually displayed with acorn, and other small, winter squash. My mother-in-law always called this squash “sweet potato squash.”

  4. Hello dear Sheryl’
    I especially waited to see today’s blog from; you so I set aside the ;morning to share my thoughts with you. I have thoroughly enjoyed your blogs since you started way back with memories of family. You are really a beautiful soul. Thank you for sharing with so many of us along the way. There are few special out there and it is YOU who wins my heart. Getting older and more tired makes one go for frozen foods, take out an the lot. But there is so far Sheryl and she is tried and true. THANK YOU LOVELY LADY!

  5. Delicata squash is my favorite squash. I didn’t see any this year in my local stores. I did search through groceries I don’t go to.

    Mushroom ketchup is a very old sauce that originated in Europe. They used to make ketchup out of fruit and various vegetables. The oldest recipe I have seen was from the 17th century. Ketchup was a way to preserve fruits and vegetables. Normally mushroom ketchup was something the common people would make because they had access to apple vinegar, onions, horseradish, common brown mushrooms, honey, herbs and sometimes spices like cloves. Spices was very expensive. Tomato ketchup didn’t show up until later and became popular when food started to be made commercially. People that can share recipes for various ketchups from heirloom recipes. My dad would go mushroom hunting and made mushroom ketchup. He starved a lot as a kid and this was something they made and put in crocks and jars.

    1. Wow, this is fascinating! The mushroom ketchup sounds wonderful, and the story of your father really adds context. It makes me realize what a special food it was.

  6. Mushroom Ketchup recipe from David & Rose Mabey’s Jams, Pickles and Chutneys:
    3lbs mushrooms, 3 oz salt, 1/2 tsp mace, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 pint malt vinegar, port wine (2 tbs or as much as you can spare).
    Best mushrooms are large, black and flat (say the Mabeys) – pick on a dry day.
    Gather mushrooms, remove base of stalks, wipe clean. Break them into pieces, sprinkle with salt, leave overnight. Next day rinse mushrooms, mash them with wooden spoon. Put them in covered earthenware dish with spices and vinegar and cook in warm oven for 30 minutes. Then strain, add port wine and pour the hot ketchup into bottles and seal. Put bottles in pan of hot water and simmer for 30 minutes – this is very important as the product will ferment if not properly sterilized!

    I’ve never made this recipe, but I have made many other recipes from this wonderful book (like Elderberry sauce on the next page) and all their recipes are excellent.

    1. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Mushroom Ketchup sounds really yummy. I’ve never picked wild mushrooms; I wonder if the mushrooms sold in the store would work.

  7. Mushroom catsup (ketchup) never heard of it so I googled it.. I must say I need to get some! I LOVE mushrooms ! My son gave me a small jar of mushroom truffle and salt it stinks up the cabinet that it is in but it’s wonderful on food!😄

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