16 Complete Protein Pairings with Squash

Summary:

  • Squash is low in protein - about 1.8 grams per cup.
  • In addition, squash provides only 6 of the 9 essential amino acids sufficiently - it is a little low on leucine, lysine and methionine.[1]
  • Squash pairs well with carrots, pumpkin seeds, crimini mushroom, chia seeds or dijon mustard to create a complete protein profile. [2] More squash pairings and detailed analysis below.

A complete protein is a protein source that "contains adequate proportions of the nine essential amino acids" that our body can not produce on its own.

World Health Organization [2], National Academy Press [3]

We analyzed the amino acid composition of squash, and found both vegan and vegetarian pairings with squash that creates a complete protein profile. Read on to discover new combinations of foods to enjoy!

Details on how we calculate complete protein profiles.

image of squash source

Amount of Protein in Squash

Relatively low in protein, a single cup of squash contains 1.8 grams of protein, or about 4% of recommended daily values. [1]

To get the adequate amount of protein with squash alone, you will need 27 cups of squash (5560 grams) for an average female, or 33 cups of squash for males. [4] That's over 2220 calories, and a lot of squash! Pairing squash with a richer protein source is a good idea.

Full nutritional profile for squash
USDA Source: Squash, winter, butternut, cooked, baked, without salt

Macronutrients in 1 cup (205g) of squash:

% of RDV Amount
Calories
4.1% 82 kCal
Carbohydrates
0% -
Total fat
0.3% 0.2 grams
Protein
3.7% 1.8 grams

Essential Amino Acids in Squash

Proportionally, squash does contain abundant amounts of 6 out of the nine essential amino acids. However, squash is a little short on leucine, lysine and methionine.[1]

To have adequate amounts of all nine essential amino acids with squash alone, you will have to eat 38 cups of squash (7818 grams) for an average person. [2]

That's about 41% more squash to compensate for the lack of leucine, lysine and methionine, compared to the protein requirement alone.

The amount of each essential amino acid in 1 cup (205g) of squash:

Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [1] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
3.7% 1.845g
Histidine
5.5% 0.035g
Isoleucine
8.3% 0.072g
Leucine
5.5% 0.105g
Lysine
4% 0.068g
Methionine
2.6% 0.023g
Phenylalanine
4.8% 0.072g
Threonine
6.2% 0.055g
Tryptophan
10.3% 0.027g
Valine
7.4% 0.08g

More Complete Protein with Squash

Top vegan pairings with squash include:
  1. Carrots
  2. Pumpkin Seeds
  3. Crimini Mushroom
  4. Chia Seeds
  5. Dijon Mustard
  6. Yellow Mustard
  7. Spirulina
  8. Spinach
  9. Avocado
  10. Pistachio
  11. Cashews
Although dairy and eggs are generally considered complete proteins, some types of vegetarian food pair more efficiently with squash. These include:
  1. Sour Cream
  2. Caramel
  3. Yogurt
  4. Mayonnaise

Vegan 1. Carrots and Squash


image of carrots
image of squash

Low in protein, carrot is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, which is complementary to squash.

A ratio of 1.3 cups of squash (256g) and 2.4 carrots (172g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.7:1 of carrot to squash will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for carrots
USDA Source: Carrots, raw

Table of amino acids of 1.3 cup squash and 2.4 large carrots :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [5] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
7.8% 3.9g
Histidine
17.8% 0.11g
Isoleucine
25.8% 0.22g
Leucine
16.2% 0.31g
Lysine
15.1% 0.26g
Methionine
7.3% 0.06g
Phenylalanine
13.1% 0.19g
Threonine
44.2% 0.4g
Tryptophan
20.8% 0.05g
Valine
20.2% 0.22g

Vegan 2. Pumpkin Seeds and Squash


image of pumpkin seeds
image of squash

Pumpkin seed is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, complementing the profile of squash.

For example, 2.5 cups of squash (513g) and 3.6 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds (15g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.03 to 1:11 for squash to pumpkin seed by weight.

Full nutritional profile for pumpkin seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, pumpkin and squash seeds, whole, roasted, without salt

Table of amino acids of 2.5 cup squash and 3.6 tbsp pumpkin seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [6] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
14.6% 7.3g
Histidine
25.8% 0.16g
Isoleucine
37.1% 0.32g
Leucine
26% 0.49g
Lysine
21.7% 0.37g
Methionine
13.6% 0.12g
Phenylalanine
21.1% 0.31g
Threonine
26.4% 0.24g
Tryptophan
44% 0.11g
Valine
38.7% 0.42g

Vegan 3. Crimini Mushroom and Squash


image of crimini mushroom
image of squash

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, crimini mushroom is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, which is complementary to squash.

A ratio of 1.7 cups of squash (342g) and 1.7 cups of crimini mushroom (147g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.43:1 of crimini mushroom to squash will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for crimini mushroom
USDA Source: Mushrooms, brown, italian, or crimini, raw

Table of amino acids of 1.7 cup squash and 1.7 cup crimini mushroom :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [7] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
13.5% 6.7g
Histidine
24.8% 0.16g
Isoleucine
30.8% 0.26g
Leucine
21.1% 0.4g
Lysine
28.2% 0.48g
Methionine
12.6% 0.11g
Phenylalanine
17.6% 0.26g
Threonine
28.7% 0.26g
Tryptophan
48.7% 0.13g
Valine
28% 0.3g

Vegan 4. Chia Seeds and Squash


image of chia seeds
image of squash

Chia seed is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, complementing the profile of squash.

For example, 2 cups of squash (410g) and 0.5 ounce of chia seeds (14g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.03 to 1:17 for squash to chia seed by weight.

Full nutritional profile for chia seeds
USDA Source: Seeds, chia seeds, dried

Table of amino acids of 2 cup squash and 0.5 oz chia seeds :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [8] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
11.9% 6g
Histidine
22.7% 0.14g
Isoleucine
29.5% 0.25g
Leucine
21.1% 0.4g
Lysine
15.7% 0.27g
Methionine
14.7% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
19% 0.28g
Threonine
23.2% 0.21g
Tryptophan
43.7% 0.11g
Valine
26.9% 0.29g

Vegan 5. Dijon Mustard and Squash


image of dijon mustard
image of squash

A great source of protein, dijon mustard is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, which is complementary to squash.

A ratio of 2 cups of squash (410g) and 3.6 tablespoons of dijon mustard (22g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.05 to 1:26 for squash to dijon mustard by weight.

Full nutritional profile for dijon mustard
USDA Source: Spices, mustard seed, ground

Table of amino acids of 2 cup squash and 3.6 tbsp dijon mustard :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [9] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
18.6% 9.3g
Histidine
41.2% 0.26g
Isoleucine
46.4% 0.4g
Leucine
34.8% 0.66g
Lysine
31.2% 0.53g
Methionine
17.4% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
26.6% 0.4g
Threonine
32.4% 0.29g
Tryptophan
41.7% 0.11g
Valine
45% 0.49g

Vegan 6. Yellow Mustard and Squash


image of yellow mustard
image of squash

Yellow mustard is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, complementing the profile of squash.

For example, 2.5 cups of squash (513g) and 7.3 tablespoons of yellow mustard (109g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.21 to 1:0.7 for squash to yellow mustard by weight.

Full nutritional profile for yellow mustard
USDA Source: Mustard, prepared, yellow

Table of amino acids of 2.5 cup squash and 7.3 tbsp yellow mustard :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [10] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.4% 8.7g
Histidine
34.5% 0.22g
Isoleucine
39.4% 0.34g
Leucine
30.7% 0.58g
Lysine
26.8% 0.46g
Methionine
16.2% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
23.9% 0.36g
Threonine
35.7% 0.32g
Tryptophan
29.4% 0.08g
Valine
37.6% 0.41g

Vegan 7. Spirulina and Squash


image of spirulina
image of squash

A great source of protein, spirulina is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, which is complementary to squash.

A ratio of 2 cups of squash (410g) and 1 tablespoon of spirulina (7g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.02 to 1:9 for squash to spirulina by weight.

Full nutritional profile for spirulina
USDA Source: Seaweed, spirulina, dried

Table of amino acids of 2 cup squash and 1 tbsp spirulina :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [11] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
15.6% 7.8g
Histidine
23.3% 0.15g
Isoleucine
43.2% 0.37g
Leucine
29.7% 0.56g
Lysine
20.5% 0.35g
Methionine
14.7% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
22.9% 0.34g
Threonine
35.8% 0.32g
Tryptophan
46% 0.12g
Valine
37.9% 0.41g

Vegan 8. Spinach and Squash


image of spinach
image of squash

Spinach is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, complementing the profile of squash.

For example, 1.7 cups of squash (342g) and 5.5 cups of spinach (164g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.48:1 of spinach to squash will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for spinach
USDA Source: Spinach, raw

Table of amino acids of 1.7 cup squash and 5.5 cup spinach :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [12] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
15.5% 7.8g
Histidine
25.9% 0.16g
Isoleucine
42% 0.36g
Leucine
28.6% 0.54g
Lysine
23.3% 0.4g
Methionine
14.5% 0.12g
Phenylalanine
22.2% 0.33g
Threonine
32.5% 0.29g
Tryptophan
41.6% 0.11g
Valine
36.8% 0.4g

Vegan 9. Avocado and Squash


image of avocado
image of squash

Low in protein, avocado is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, which is complementary to squash.

A ratio of 2 cups of squash (410g) and 1.8 avocado (248g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.6:1 of avocado to squash will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for avocado
USDA Source: Avocados, raw, California

Table of amino acids of 2 cup squash and 1.8 fruit avocado :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [13] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
17.1% 8.5g
Histidine
29.9% 0.19g
Isoleucine
40.6% 0.35g
Leucine
29.5% 0.56g
Lysine
26.6% 0.45g
Methionine
15.9% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
25.4% 0.38g
Threonine
32.1% 0.29g
Tryptophan
44.4% 0.12g
Valine
38.9% 0.42g

Vegan 10. Pistachio and Squash


image of pistachio
image of squash

Pistachio is a great source of protein, and is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, complementing the profile of squash.

For example, 1.7 cups of squash (342g) and 0.3 cup of pistachio (31g) make a complete amino acids profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.09:1 of pistachio to squash will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for pistachio
USDA Source: Nuts, pistachio nuts, dry roasted, without salt added

Table of amino acids of 1.7 cup squash and 0.3 cup pistachio :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [14] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
19.2% 9.6g
Histidine
35.5% 0.22g
Isoleucine
48.4% 0.42g
Leucine
36.7% 0.69g
Lysine
28.1% 0.48g
Methionine
17.9% 0.15g
Phenylalanine
31.7% 0.47g
Threonine
34.8% 0.31g
Tryptophan
48.2% 0.13g
Valine
49.8% 0.54g

Vegan 11. Cashews and Squash


image of cashews
image of squash

A reasonable source of supplementary protein, cashew is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, which is complementary to squash.

A ratio of 1.7 cups of squash (342g) and 0.8 ounce of cashews (24g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.07 to 1:42 for squash to cashew by weight.

Full nutritional profile for cashews
USDA Source: Nuts, cashew nuts, raw

Table of amino acids of 1.7 cup squash and 0.8 oz cashews :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [15] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
14.9% 7.5g
Histidine
26.6% 0.17g
Isoleucine
36% 0.31g
Leucine
28% 0.53g
Lysine
19.7% 0.34g
Methionine
14.5% 0.12g
Phenylalanine
23.4% 0.35g
Threonine
28.7% 0.26g
Tryptophan
43.7% 0.11g
Valine
36.7% 0.4g

Vegetarian 12. Sour Cream and Squash


image of sour cream
image of squash

Sour cream is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, complementing the profile of squash.

For example, 3.3 cups of squash (683g) and 0.3 cup of sour cream (60g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.09 to 1:26 for squash to sour cream by weight.

Full nutritional profile for sour cream
USDA Source: Cream, sour, cultured

Table of amino acids of 3.3 cup squash and 0.3 cup sour cream :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [16] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
15.2% 7.6g
Histidine
27.2% 0.17g
Isoleucine
39.2% 0.34g
Leucine
28.7% 0.54g
Lysine
22.9% 0.39g
Methionine
14.2% 0.12g
Phenylalanine
22.4% 0.33g
Threonine
30% 0.27g
Tryptophan
43.9% 0.11g
Valine
35.5% 0.38g

Vegetarian 13. Caramel and Squash


image of caramel
image of squash

Low in protein, caramel is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, which is complementary to squash.

A ratio of 3.3 cups of squash (683g) and 0.4 cup of caramel (133g) creates a complete protein profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.19 to 1:0.04 for squash to caramel by weight.

Full nutritional profile for caramel
USDA Source: Toppings, butterscotch or caramel

Table of amino acids of 3.3 cup squash and 0.4 cup caramel :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [17] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
15.5% 7.8g
Histidine
26.9% 0.17g
Isoleucine
41.6% 0.36g
Leucine
28.6% 0.54g
Lysine
22.3% 0.38g
Methionine
14.5% 0.12g
Phenylalanine
22.4% 0.33g
Threonine
30.2% 0.27g
Tryptophan
34.2% 0.09g
Valine
36.7% 0.4g

Vegetarian 14. Yogurt and Squash


image of yogurt
image of squash

Yogurt is a reasonable source of supplementary protein, and is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, complementing the profile of squash.

For example, 3.3 cups of squash (683g) and 3.3 tablespoons of yogurt (50g) make a complete amino acids profile. The entire range to create a complete protein are ratios of 1:0.07 to 1:0.2 for squash to yogurt by weight.

Full nutritional profile for yogurt
USDA Source: Yogurt, plain, whole milk

Table of amino acids of 3.3 cup squash and 3.3 tbsp yogurt :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [18] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
15.8% 7.9g
Histidine
25.3% 0.16g
Isoleucine
38.9% 0.33g
Leucine
27.8% 0.53g
Lysine
22.4% 0.38g
Methionine
14.7% 0.13g
Phenylalanine
22.5% 0.33g
Threonine
28.5% 0.26g
Tryptophan
38.1% 0.1g
Valine
38.1% 0.41g

Vegetarian 15. Mayonnaise and Squash


image of mayonnaise
image of squash

Low in protein, mayonnaise is high in leucine, lysine and methionine, which is complementary to squash.

A ratio of 3.3 cups of squash (683g) and 0.8 cup of mayonnaise (180g) creates a complete protein profile. In fact, any ratio of more than 0.26:1 of mayonnaise to squash will be complete.

Full nutritional profile for mayonnaise
USDA Source: Salad dressing, mayonnaise, regular

Table of amino acids of 3.3 cup squash and 0.8 cup mayonnaise :
Amino Acid % of RDV [2] Amount [19] Complete /
Adequate
Protein
15.8% 7.9g
Histidine
25.9% 0.16g
Isoleucine
41.4% 0.36g
Leucine
27.5% 0.52g
Lysine
20.8% 0.35g
Methionine
16.1% 0.14g
Phenylalanine
22.9% 0.34g
Threonine
31.5% 0.28g
Tryptophan
45.9% 0.12g
Valine
37% 0.4g


Complete Protein Pairings