How to cook butternut squash

Share with your friends & family!

It is fall and squash is in season! This fall, we thought it would be helpful to post our comprehensive guide on butternut squash. This post contains step-by-step instructions (with pictures!) on how to prepare and cook butternut squash. Before we get to that, we answer a few frequently asked questions about butternut squash. If you are only interested in our step by step instructions on how to prepare and cook butternut squash, feel free to skip ahead to the tutorial section! 

Disclaimer: We discuss the health & nutritional value of butternut squash in this article. We recognize that everyone has different dietary needs and health concerns. Do your research to make sure an ingredient is appropriate for your own personal health concerns before incorporating it into your diet. Cheers!

halved butternut squash

Butternut squash Q&A

Cooking butternut squash

How do you prepare butternut squash?

There are a few steps you should take to prepare your butternut squash before cooking. You should first cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. You will see that the thicker half of the butternut squash is filled with seeds and stringy bits – much like a pumpkin. You should remove these seeds and stringy bits from the butternut squash with a spoon before cooking. You may need to complete a few more steps depending on what method you use to cook your butternut squash, but these are the main preparation steps. 

How do you cook butternut squash in the oven? 

There are two main strategies for cooking butternut squash in the oven. The first is to put the whole squash halves in the oven and cook them. This is by far the easiest strategy and it is what I would recommend if you are cooking something like stuffed butternut squash, mashed butternut squash, butternut squash soup, or anything recipe where the squash itself gets mashed or blended. 

The second strategy is to peel the butternut squash and chop the flesh into cubes before cooking it. Peeling a large squash is not trivial so I would recommend only using this method if it is necessary for your squash to have a defined structure.

Do you have to peel butternut squash before cooking it? 

For most recipes, you do not have to peel butternut squash before cooking it. You can just slice the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and throw the halved squash in the oven.  

How do you peel butternut squash? 

You can peel butternut squash with a large vegetable peeler. It is easiest to peel butternut squash if you poke a few holes in it with a fork and microwave it for 3-4 minutes beforehand. Microwaving butternut squash for a few minutes will soften the outer skin without cooking the inner flesh too much.

How long do you cook butternut squash in the oven? 

We recommend cooking butternut squash in the oven for 60 minutes at 350 degrees. If you are cooking cubed butternut squash, you should take your squash cubes out and rotate them once or twice during this time.  

Flavor of butternut squash

What does butternut squash taste like?

Butternut squash has a very sweet and slightly nutty flavor. If you like the flavor of sweet potatoes and pumpkin, you will likely like butternut squash.  

What goes well with butternut squash? 

Here is a list of ingredients that go well with butternut squash. Some of these go better in sweet dishes and some go better in savory dishes. 

  • spices: sage, rosemary, nutmeg, cinnamon
  • dairy: ricotta, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, coconut milk 
  • nuts: walnut, pecan
  • other: roasted garlic, maple syrup 

Before you make roasted butternut squash, you should decide whether you want to make a sweet dish or a savory dish. If you want to make a sweet butternut squash dish, you should think about using ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, walnuts, and pecans. If you want to make a savory butternut squash dis you should think about using ingredients like roasted garlic, sage, rosemary, and parmesan cheese. 

Health & nutrition of butternut squash

Is butternut squash healthy? 

Butternut squash is generally considered to be very healthy. Butternut squash is low in carbs and sugar compared to other starchy vegetables like potatoes. It is a complex carb that is packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Potassium. 

Is butternut squash healthier than sweet potatoes? 

While butternut squash and sweet potatoes are both packed with vitamins and nutrients, butternut squash is lower on calories, carbs and sugar than potatoes. To give you some more context, one cup of butternut squash has around 63 calories, 16 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of sugar per serving. Sweet potatoes, in contrast, have 112 calories, 26 grams of carbs, and 6 grams. This gives butternut squash the edge over sweet potatoes. 

Is butternut squash a bad carb? 

Butternut squash is a good carb! Butternut squash is a complex carb that is packed with vitamins and nutrients.

Is butternut squash keto? 

Butternut squash has about 16 grams of carbs per cup. Butternut squash has too many carbs to be a regular staple in a keto diet, but it can be enjoyed occasionally. Try pairing half a cup of butternut squash with a lower carb vegetable like broccoli for best results.  

Miscellaneous butternut squash questions

How long can you store butternut squash? 

Uncooked butternut squash can be stored for a month, or even more in some cases. Butternut squash will last the longest when it is stored in a cool, dark place. You should try to eat cooked butternut squash within 3 days of cooking.

Butternut squash cooking tutorial

How to cook butternut squash

Learn how to prepare a butternut squash and cook it in the oven. We include instructions for cooking butternut squash two different ways - roasting the halved butternut squash whole and roasting cubed butternut squash.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American, Multiple
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: cooking advice, dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 whole butternut squash
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

Whole roasted squash (recommended)

  • Cut  your butternut squash in half lengthwise. We recommend using a large chef's knife to cut butternut squash. 
    halved butternut squash
  • Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy bits on the inside of the butternut squash.
    halved butternut squash
  • Brush the flat side of your butternut squash in olive oil and sprinkle salt over it. Place your butternut squash flat side down on a baking sheet.
    halved butternut squash
  • Bake the squash for 60 minutes at 350 degrees
    whole butternut squash

Cubed butternut squash

  • Poke holes in your butternut squash with a fork and microwave it for 3-4 minutes to soften the skin.
    whole butternut squash
  • Cut  your butternut squash in half lengthwise. We recommend using a large chef's knife to cut butternut squash. 
    halved butternut squash
  • Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy bits on the inside of the butternut squash.
    halved butternut squash
  • Peel the butternut squash. It is easiest to do this with a large vegetable peeler. You can also cut away the skin with a large chef's knife. If you use a knife, it is easiest to place the halved squash flat side down and trim the sides off before tackling the rest of the skin. Dice the peeled butternut squash into cubes and toss them in salt and olive oil.
    diced butternut squash
  • Spread the butternut squash cubes out over a large baking pan and bake in the over for 60 minites at 350 degrees. Rotate the cubes every 20-30 minutes for best results.
    diced butternut squash

Butternut squash recipe ideas

References

The nutritional information in this post was sourced from webmd


Share with your friends & family!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating