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How To Make Butternut Squash

posted in Soups, Salads, Sides and Sauces by Kathy Maister
difficulty rating

A family favorite winter vegetable has always been butternut squash. There are many different types of squash and many different ways to cook it. It can be simmered on top of the stove, cooked in the microwave or pressure cooker and baked in the oven.

Different type of squash from the grocery store.

There are also tons of different ways to season squash. My mom used to actually cook it in a pressure cooker and mash it up with butter, salt, pepper, and of course, maple syrup.

Today, I’m going to bake it in the oven and then add a Granny Smith apple instead of the maple syrup. The tartness of the Granny Smith apple gives this dish a real zing! Adding cinnamon and nutmeg complete the flavors.

You can buy squash already peeled and cut at the grocery store. Or just peel it yourself. It will be a bit more expensive if you buy it already ready-peeled.

Butternut squash always stains your hands orange when you are cutting it. I wear disposable gloves when I’m preparing this squash. (Yes, I know it does look odd!)

Getting Ready to Make the Butternut Squash

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cut top part of the squash from the bulb end.

Then peel it with a knife or…

…with a vegetable peeler.

Cut the bulb end in half

And remove (and discard) all the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon. (Just like when you are making a Jack-o-lantern.)

Chop the squash into one inch pieces. (You need about 3 cups in total)

With a vegetable peeler, peel two Granny Smith apples.

Then remove the core with a small knife.

Keep the apple on the cutting board when you do this step. If you are holding the apple in your hand while trying to remove the core, you could easily slip and cut the palm of you hand!

Now slice the apple

Put ½ of the squash into an 8 inch square baking dish

Layer one of the sliced apples on top

Add the rest of the squash

And now layer the second apple

Sprinkle on 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon of nutmeg.

Cover the dish with tin foil and bake it in the oven for about 45-55 minutes.

When the squash and apples are tender, remove the dish from the oven. Add 3 Tablespoons of butter, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of ground pepper. With your potato masher start mashing. Keep mashing until everything is smooth and well blended.


P.S.: Watch this video if you’re interested in using butternut squash to make a great soup!

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will said:

I’ve definitely bookmarked this link, Kathy, and I am eager to try it out! . Here’s one of my favorites with butterneut squash:

Butternut Squash Soup:

1 Sqaush
1 – 2 Onions
1-2 TB oil for frying
tamari to taste
a few sprigs of flat-leaved parsely

Steam the squash, peeled and chopped into chunks, in a covered pot with an inch water at the bottom until it’s really soft. Meanwhile slice and sauté the onions them to desited shade of brown. ( I prefer them on the brown side)

then using a masher or a handblender blend the squash with the cooking water and add more to desired consistency.

add the fried onions with the oil (which has nice onion flavor) and tamari to taste (it tends to make the soup a slightly more borwn color — so to keep it bright orange, add only a bit and use regular salt for taste)…

let it simmer with the onions and tamari for 10 or so minutes, and at the last minute, throw in some chopped italian (flat leaved parsley)

This soup is also a good squash base which you can add other things, sour cream, coconut milk coriander ginger

Rhonda Miga said:

I just LOVE this website. It is awesome! I have told all my challengers at Change Your Life Challenge about this website.

We have lots of squash this time of year because we belong to a veggie club. Thank you for the wonderful recipes of what to do with them. (I used to think these were just for decoration during the fall season! LOL)

Rhonda, who is cooking challenged.

Lisa Sharp said:

So one does not utilize the top part of the squash when cutting it up? That’s why mine always tasted so weird. ?


Kathy Maister said:

Thanks Will, this recipe, with tamari, looks great!

Welcome Rhonda! Let me know if you have any questions. :)

Lisa, the whole squash, minus the peel, seeds and stringy bits, gets used.

Recently I’ve been roasting my butternut squash. Once peeled and the seeds removed, I cut it into huge chunks and put it on a baking sheet with sides.

Sprinkle on some olive oil, salt and pepper.

In a 425 degree preheated oven, roast it for about 40 minutes, turning once.


Roasting really does bring out the flavor of the squash!

Laura said:

Hi Kathy…

I looked at my lovely leftover butternut (I love it and make it a lot)…and realized it looked a lot like pumpkin…I made it into a butternut pie~and it SO much better than pumpkin (the squash is naturally sweeter). I am a butternut squash pie convert!


Kathy Maister said:

For my Pumpkin Pie I have, on occasion, used squash instead of pumpkin and it is fabulous!

Jane said:

Great ideas, but disposable gloves? What a waste. I have never had problems with lingering stains on my hands after chopping butternut squash.

tajw said:

Lisa wondered and I do too, does one not use the top of the squash? And I wonder too, how long will an uncut, refrigerated squash last?

I guess I’m going to find out today, cooking a month old squash – hopefully.


startcooking said:

Lisa and TJ, the only part of the squash that does not get used is the outer layer of skin and the seeds and stringy bits in the bulb end of the squash.
When I was a child, my parents would go to the local farm stands in the fall and buy butternut and acorn squash along with potatoes and onions for the whole winter. The vegetables would get stored in the cold cellar and keep for months.

“Winter squash has a long shelf life and can be stored for up to 3 months or longer in a cool, dry place between 55º and 60ºF. A higher temperature will shorten storage time, but it will not alter the flavor. Storage temperatures below 50ºF (as in a refrigerator) will cause squash to spoil more rapidly. If the squash needs to be refrigerated, it can be stored for 1 to 2 weeks. Cut pieces of squash should be tightly wrapped and refrigerated. Cooked, pureed squash can be frozen for use later as a side dish or to thicken, color, or flavor soups, sauces, or stews.” (source)

audra said:

Can you not microwave this type of squash as you can spaghetti squash??

startcooking said:

You can microwave butternut squash but NOT like the way you cook spaghetti squash as it will cook very unevenly.

Once the seeds are removed from spaghetti squash, it is basically even all around.

Butternut squash has a solid neck and the bulb at the end is filled with the seeds. It needs to be cleaned and cut before putting it in the microwave.

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