How to Cook Butternut Squash and Butternut Squash Recipes

A Whole Butternut Squash
A Whole Butternut Squash

An Introduction to Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a fruit/vegetable which is now widely available around the globe. Unfortunately, a great many people resist buying it when they see it in supermarkets or grocers' stores for the very simple reason that they do not know how to prepare it, cook it, or with what to serve it. As this page will show, butternut squash is a very versatile cooking ingredient and can be prepared and served in many ways, ranging from soups and stews, to being chopped and roasted as an alternative to or accompaniment for potatoes.

Butternut squash is extremely nutritious, being high in such as Vitamins A and C, as well as fibre. When you are choosing a butternut squash in the supermarket, pick one which is still hard to the touch to enjoy it at its best and feels surprisingly heavy when lifted.

How to Prepare Butternut Squash for Cooking

Washing the butternut squash seeds in warm water
Washing the butternut squash seeds in warm water
Roasting the butternut squash seeds on foil in the oven
Roasting the butternut squash seeds on foil in the oven
Roasted butternut squash seeds ready to eat
Roasted butternut squash seeds ready to eat

The precise way in which you prepare butternut squash will vary depending upon how you intend cooking it and the recipe you are making. In most instances, however, the procedure will begin by washing the butternut squash, drying it and slicing it in half lengthwise. This will reveal the seeds which are gathered in a small bulb towards the wider base of the butternut squash. A great many people will scoop out the seeds and membrane with a teaspoon and simply discard them, prior to preparing the remainder of the squash as required.

Butternut squash seeds are not only absolutely delicious roasted, they are also highly nutritious. Instead of discarding them, therefore, add them to a medium sized bowl of warm water. Use your hands to rub any remaining fleshy membrane from the seeds, in the water. What you should find happening is the flesh sinking to the bottom and the seeds floating on top of the water. They can then simply be removed with a slotted spoon and dried with kitchen paper.

Place the seeds in a small, clean bowl and add enough olive oil and salt to coat them all evenly when carefully stirred. Make a little nest of foil on a baking tray and add the seeds to the oven, preheated to 350F/180C for ten to fifteen minutes, until the seeds are beautifully golden.

The tray should be removed from the oven and the seeds left on it to cool. They can either be eaten as a snack, or perhaps tossed in a salad as would certain types of nuts. Do, however, prepare yourself for a very welcome, if highly unexpected, explosion of taste in your mouth as you eat them...

Butternut Squash and Root Vegetable Stew with Boiled Rice

Principal ingredients for the butternut squash stew
Principal ingredients for the butternut squash stew
Softening the onion and the garlic in olive oil
Softening the onion and the garlic in olive oil
Root vegetbales chopped and prepared for the stew
Root vegetbales chopped and prepared for the stew
Stew ingredients are all added to the pot
Stew ingredients are all added to the pot
Preparing the boiled rice for presentation
Preparing the boiled rice for presentation

This recipe is one which would work equally well as a casserole in the oven. It is simply some chopped butternut squash and other root vegetables, stewed in vegetable stock and served with boiled rice and chopped flat leafed parsley as a garnish.

Ingredients (Serves Two)

½ butternut squash
1 large sweet potato
1 large carrot
1 large parsnip
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
3 to 4 pints of fresh vegetable stock
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp olive oil
5oz basmati rice
Salt and white pepper
Flat leafed parsley for garnish

Method

The onion and garlic should be peeled. Quarter the onion and finely slice the garlic cloves. Bring the olive oil gently up to heat in a large soup or stew pot and add the onion and garlic. The onion will separate naturally during cooking. Cook off very gently for five minutes, stirring frequently, while the remaining ingredients are peeled and chopped as uniformly as possible.

When the onion has separated and started to take on a translucent quality, add the remaining vegetables and stir carefully but well. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and white pepper. Add enough vegetable stock to comfortably cover the ingredients and bring to a simmer for twenty-five to thirty minutes, until all the vegetables have softened. Be sure to check for seasoning before serving.

The rice should be washed in a sieve under running cold water. Add it to a pot of boiling, slightly salted water and simmer for eleven or twelve minutes. Drain through the sieve.

Line two small bowls with a sheet of plastic film and pack in the rice. Upend the bowls carefully on to the plates and lift the bowls away. The film should either come free with the bowl or easily peel free. Spoon the stew around the rice and garnish with the flat leafed parsley.

Red Curry Butternut Squash - Delicious and Innovative

Roasted Butternut Squash with Leg of Lamb Fillets on Potato and Parsnip Mash

Chopped butternut squash prepared for roasting
Chopped butternut squash prepared for roasting
Gently pan fry the leg of lamb fillets
Gently pan fry the leg of lamb fillets

More Great Butternut Squash Recipe Ideas to Help Boost your Repertoire

Roasting butternut squash is one of the most common ways in which it is prepared. This can be achieved in a number of fashions and in this method, the squash is peeled, chopped and roasted in herbs and olive oil.

Ingredients for Two Servings

½ butternut squash
4 small leg of lamb fillets
1 large potato
1 large parsnip
Pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of dried rosemary
Olive oil
Salt and white pepper
Frozen peas (quantity as desired)

Method

The butternut squash should be seeded and peeled, before being chopped in to bite sized pieces. Place on a baking tray, scatter over the dried herbs, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Mix carefully but well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Place in the oven, preheated to 400F/200C, for forty-five minutes.

Peel and chop the potato and parsnip. Add to a large pot of cold water and season with salt. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for twenty -five to thirty minutes until potatoes are soft. Drain well and return to the pot. Mash with white pepper and a little butter.

The lamb fillets should be seasoned on both sides with salt and pepper before being gently fried in oil for eight minutes each side. Allow enough time to rest them on a heated plate, covered with foil, for ten minutes prior to service.

The frozen peas should be added to boiling water for three minutes before being drained and served immediately.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Mozzarella Cheese and Thyme

Thin slice is cut from the bulbous underside of the halved butternut squash
Thin slice is cut from the bulbous underside of the halved butternut squash
Diced mozzarella cheese is mixed with dried thyme
Diced mozzarella cheese is mixed with dried thyme
Mozzarella and thyme are used to stuff the cavity of the butternut squash
Mozzarella and thyme are used to stuff the cavity of the butternut squash
The butternut squash is wrapped in a loose tent of foil
The butternut squash is wrapped in a loose tent of foil

This way of roasting butternut squash is perfect for a simple, yet entirely satisfying, vegetarian lunch.

Ingredients per Serving

½ butternut squash
2oz pizza mozzarella cheese
Pinch of dried thyme
Salt and white pepper
Olive oil
1 large tomato
Flat leafed parsley or basil for garnish

Method

The butternut squash should be halved and seeded (reserving the seeds for later) but not peeled. A good tip here, however, is to take a very thin slice off the bulbous underside of the halved butternut squash. This allows it to be more stable both on the baking tray during cooking and on the serving plate.

Finely dice the mozzarella and mix it with the dried thyme. A good way to do this is to put both in to a small dish with a lid and simply invert the dish a few times. Stirring with a spoon can cause the mozzarella to stick to it.

The butternut squash should be placed as shown on a large sheet of tinfoil in a baking tray. The cheese and thyme should be stuffed in to its cavity. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Carefully wrap the foil to form a loose but sealed tent and put in to a preheated oven (400F/200C) for forty-five to fifty minutes.

Remove the tray from the oven and very carefully unwrap the foil. Use a spatula or fish slice to transfer the butternut squash to a plate and garnish with sliced tomato and parsley. Do note in this instance that the squash skin is entirely edible but, if desired, the flesh and cheese may simply be scooped out with a knife and spoon.

What is your take on Butternut Squash?

  • I like it in soups
  • I like it roasted
  • I like it cooked many different ways
  • I don't like it
  • I've never heard of butternut squash before
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5 stars from 1 rating of these butternut squash recipes!

Hopefully, you will have found this page useful in terms of providing ideas on how to cook butternut squash. Thank you for spending some time reading through it and any feedback which you have may be left in the space below.

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26 comments

Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 3 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Your recipe sounds delicious, as does your serving suggestion, Natasha. Glad the information here will prove useful to you and thanks for visiting.


NatashaL profile image

NatashaL 4 months ago from USA

I wish I had found this Hub before I asked in the Q&A. I've always had a hard time preparing butternut squash for cooking because of the skin. I usually end up purchasing the cubed squash at the store. I sauté this with a chopped apple, cinnamon, and a splash of apple juice. My family enjoys this with pork chops.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, 2patricias. Delighted you enjoyed the roasted seeds. Thanks very much for that add and I hope it proves useful.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

I have now tried roasting the seeds - wonderful! I have eaten a few, but will use the rest in a salad.

I've also tried the roast with mozzarella and thyme - tasty, but I underestimated the cooking time. Still pretty good, but I'm sure I'll do better next time.

I've now added this to my Recipe Index for HubPages.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, 2patricias. I hope you enjoy your butternut squash, however you decide to cook it. Do also try roasting the seeds. They're delicious.

I am honoured that you are considering this page for your index. Thanks for that, for visiting and for commenting.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

You have provided such clear instructions and good photos. I have a butternut squash in my fridge now, and hope to cook it according to one of your recipes.

I plan to add a section on butternut squash to my Recipe Index for Hubpages, and will surely include your hub.

Voted up.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, Linda. Wow - I wish I had the space to do something like that but don't have the opportunity at present. Great to know that the idea works and it's definitely something I'll bear in mind for future reference. Thanks for visiting, and sharing this very useful information.


Linda Budd 4 years ago

I saved my seeds from last years shop bought Butternut squash and easily grew 2 plants from the six seeds I had and have just today harvested my 14th Butternut squash !!, I LOVE THEM! :D

ps they do need quite a lot of room!


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 4 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hi, Melovy. Thanks for visiting and commenting. I'm glad you like the butternut squash ideas.

Re the seeds, I absolutely love preparing and eating them this way. The only problem is that they are so addictive and - for me - there are not enough seeds in one butternut squash to satisfy my craving for them! Obviously, there's not a lot I can do about that. As to whether this would work with pumpkin seeds, I'm pretty sure it would though have never personally tried it.

Thanks for the info about purchasing squash. Unfortunately, shops like the ones you mention where I am living at the moment have long since been forced out of business by the supermarkets but am sure your tips will be of great use to many people.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

I'm working on a butternut squash recipe and this came up as related so I had to take a look! I'm pleased I did! I am particularly pleased to see your suggestions for what to do with the seeds as I have tried to use them and never found a way that works. I will give your suggestion a go next time I cook a squash - which won't be long as we eat it a lot. Presumably your tips would also work on pumpkin seeds? (I always find the outer shell too hard on pumpkins.)

Just notice Ann's comment and your reply and where to get variety in squash is in the smaller vegetable shops. We buy from Earthy in Edinburgh or Damhead just outside, and both have a huge variety of squash when it's in season.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

That pie sounds delicious, JimmieWriter and definitely one for me to try. I hope you like anything you try from here. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


JimmieWriter profile image

JimmieWriter 5 years ago from Memphis, TN USA

I recently made two pies with a combo of butternut and sweet potato. We ate one And gave another to a couple we love. They RAVED over that pie. Wow. Major brownie points! (or pie points?)

Your photos and directions are fantastic. next time I buy a butternut I should try some of these dishes.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thank you, nancynurse. You are right about butternut squash soup. Very warming on a cold night.


nancynurse profile image

nancynurse 5 years ago from Southeast USA

Great hub. I love butternut squash soup esp in the winter. Your photos are very informative.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hello, Plinka. I am glad that you found the Hub useful and wish you luck with your roasted pumpkin soup. It's been a while since I've tasted that. Thanks for visiting and commenting.


plinka profile image

plinka 5 years ago from Budapest, Hungary

I'm planning to cook roasted pumpkin soup, so I the part on roasting squash was useful for me. Mozzarella, squash and thyme altogether sound good. I like sprinkle thyme over most of the dishes. Bad habbit. Voted up and shared!


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thank you very much, RTalloni. Part of the reason this Hub came about was through my belief that a great many people didn't realise just how delicious and versatile butternut squash really is and how many different ways there are to enjoy it.

Thanks again for the visit and the comments.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Fabulous hub in every way. Voted up and useful and awesome. :) I should add beautiful because it's so well done, and funny, because I think it is funny that I should've known that there was so much more to butternut squash than I realized.

Thanks for all the info and clear recipes.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Hello, Ann. Thanks for the visit and comment. I get butternut squash from my local Morrison's (they almost always have it) but you're right, there doesn't seem to be much available by way of an alternative. Hope you enjoy the recipes.


annmackiemiller profile image

annmackiemiller 5 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

I love butternut squash in all sort of forms, I've bookmarked this to come back and try the vegetarian recipes - I wish we could get different kinds of squash in the UK - have to grow my own perhaps? :o)


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thank you, Steph! I love sweet potatoes, too. It's good that we all have a variety of differing tastes and makes for great food debates; my problem is that I like too many things...! :)


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Love Butternut Squash!! Your hub is making my mouth water. I also love sweet potatoes, so I guess Simone and I have dissimilar tastes. Wonderful article and rated up!


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thanks, Simone. My only problem with them is that I can't stop eating them until they are all gone! :)


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Oh yeah, I'm crazy for ALL squash seeds!! You make an excellent point XD


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom Author

Thank you, Simone! If the sweetness is a little off putting, I would recommend above all the roasted seeds. I well remember the first time I tried them and I quite literally couldn't believe how tasty they are, without the sweetness of the flesh.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

Goodness gracious Gordon Hamilton, you've done it again! GREAT Hub - I am not one for butternut squash because I don't much like sweet flavors, but I think I just might have to try one or two of these recipes out :D

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