Kabocha Squash Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Kabocha Squash

Kabocha Squash, annotated
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Kabocha squash (pronounced kah-bow-cha) looks like a green pumpkin or buttercup squash. It has a thick green skin and orange flesh. It was developed from the buttercup squash and the most common species are Cucurbita maxima and Cucurbita moschata.

The flavor is similar to other winter squash, but it also resembles a sweet potato and is usually sweeter than butternut squash. Many people say it tastes like pumpkin, but some varieties taste like potatoes. The skin is tough but edible. It is often peeled so you can cook it faster.

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one cup (245g) of kabocha squash cooked without added oil, salt, or butter.

  • Calories: 49
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 2.5mg
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fiber: 2.7g
  • Sugars: 5.1g
  • Protein: 1.8g

Carbs in Kabocha Squash

Finding carb and calorie counts for kabocha can be confusing because the USDA Nutrient Database doesn't specifically list kabocha squash—also called Japanese pumpkin. 

However, other sources report that there are approximately 49 calories in one cup of the squash and about 12 grams of carbohydrate. There are 2.7 grams of fiber in kabocha and about five grams of naturally-occurring sugar. The remaining carbohydrate in kabocha is starch.

Of course, the calorie and carb count will change depending on how you prepare and serve your kabocha. The squash is typically prepared like butternut squash. Adding butter, brown sugar, or syrup will add more calories to your dish.

Fats in Kabocha Squash

There are 0.2 grams of fat in a single serving of kabocha squash. However, the preparation method matters. If you roast the squash with butter or olive oil, your fat intake will increase.

Protein in Kabocha Squash

Kabocha squash is not a high protein food, but you will get a small boost of protein in a single serving. A one-cup serving provides about 1.8 grams of protein.

Micronutrients in Kabocha Squash

Kabocha squash is an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C. 

Kabocha squash also provides small amounts of iron, calcium, some B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium.

Health Benefits

The vitamins and minerals in kabocha squash provide certain health benefits.

Eating foods with vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is important for good bone structure, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels, it aids in the absorption of iron and promotes wound healing.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body needs for healthy skin and normal vision. A single serving of the squash provides 70 percent of your daily needs. 

The potassium in kabocha helps balance body fluids and blood pressure. Magnesium is a vital mineral that helps your body maintain a steady heartbeat, healthy muscle and nerve function.

Common Questions

Where can I buy kabocha squash?

You'll probably find kabocha squash in Asian or Japanese markets, but you may also find them at your farmers market or in some other markets if they are popular in your area. 

What do I look for to buy the best kabocha squash?

Look for squash that has hard, thick skins, feel heavy for their size, and don't have any sign of mold or squishy spots.

How do I store kabocha squash?

When you get your kabocha squash home, keep it in a cool, dry place like a dark kitchen cabinet. It'll keep for about a month or so in storage, or you can put it in your refrigerator. 

Recipes and Preparation Tips

An easy way to prepare the squash is to wash the exterior with plain water then cut the squash in half. Preheat the oven to 350 or 400 F. Place the squash cut sides down and bake for about 30 minutes or until the flesh is soft enough to pierce with a fork. 

Serve the squash with salt, pepper, and a little butter or olive oil. If you have any leftovers, they should be kept refrigerated and eaten within three to four days.

Allergies and Interactions

Reports of winter squash allergies or interactions with kabocha squash are extremely rare, especially in published medical records. If you suspect that you have an allergy to kabocha squash, seek medical attention.

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