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How to Cook Butternut Squash

Updated on November 4, 2016

I love butternut squash and since it is dead easy to cook, I think that it also loves me. At my house on Thanksgiving, we usually serve butternut squash mashed up just like mashed potatoes, with a bit of butter melted into it. But it is even easier to just cut it in half and bake it in the oven.

Here's a few different ways you can cook the extremely adaptable butternut squash.

Butternut Squash Recipes

Baked Butternut Squash

The simplest method to cook butternut squash is cut it in half and bake it in the oven. Just be careful when cutting the squash. The skin is very tough. Use a VERY sharp knife.

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Wash squash and then cut lengthwise down the middle
  • Scoop out the seeds and crud
  • Lightly coat the exposed meaty parts of the squash with butter or olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste, with a touch of ground ginger (or cinnamon, or nutmeg, your preference - for a sweeter taste, use cinnamon sugar)
  • Place cutside up in a baking pan with about an inch of water in the pan
  • Cook until fork tender -- usually about 1 hour. The squash should be lightly browned

After cooking, you can either serve the squash in the shell, or cut into quarters, or scoop out the squash meat. Some folks mash it or blend it, but I like it with a little more texture.

Butternut Squash  Photo:
Butternut Squash Photo:
Garlic Butternut Squash
Garlic Butternut Squash

Baked Butternut Squash w/Garlic

This garlic butternut squash recipe from looks delicious and is on my "to do" list for the next time I go to the supermarket.

Again, it is a very simple recipe, basically adding garlic, parsley and parmesan cheese to the standard baking method after cutting the squash up into cubes. From the photos, it certainly looks delicious!

For a more exoticly spiced flavor, also try this Roast Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices recipe. It looks delicious too. There are way too many great squash recipes!


Alton Brown tells you all about Squash!

Squash Cookbooks

Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash
Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash

There are tons of great recipes for all the different squashes. Explore a variety of them here.



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    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Easy to follow and deliciously simple directions. Nice recipe.

    • profile image

      Pauline 5 years ago

      I never made butternut squash. I am growing it in my garden. I thought I was getting the dark green zucchini but now I find out it is butternut squash. I will try some of these recipes as my garden is loaded with them. Thanks for the recipes.

    • profile image

      joebill 5 years ago

      well i'll be dipped. got yurself a done good recipe there for a quality tastin squash you do. tasty stuff that ol butternut squash is.

    • profile image

      Barbara 6 years ago

      I recently had butternut squash that was baked whole in the oven. Do you just wash it and put it in a 350 deg. oven until its tender?

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      Iris M. Gross 6 years ago

      Hi embitca! I'm doing this tonight. Going to drizzle mine with butter pecan syrup & some pumpkin pie seasoning.

      Kathy only YOU could screw up a simple squash. Joke. Her recipe is fine. Next time check your temperature.

      Others: please don't assume everybody has a microwave oven. I have never had one and don't want one. I'm still alive.

    • profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago

      Sorry, your basic receipe did NOT work. After 1 hour

      the squash was hard as a rock. Just cutting it in half

      is not enough. Needs to be cut in several pieces.

      Thanks for the info about temp and water in dish.

    • profile image

      holmes21 6 years ago

      doing this with cinnomon and butter with a drizzle of maple syrup grams used to do this and was ooooooh so tasty!

    • profile image

      Jonny 6 years ago

      Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy in my tummy.

    • profile image

      Doug 6 years ago

      Acorn squash is just as tasty made same way

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      John 6 years ago

      We've made a Mayan Hot Chocolate for years that is a chocolate base with pureed butternut squash blended in. Heavenly.

    • profile image

      Jorden Dobson :) 6 years ago

      wow i got confused looked awful but tasted lovely

    • embitca profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Boston

      Renny, try the baked butternut squash with garlic recipe. You don't need to add any sweet flavor to squash for it to taste good *g*

    • profile image

      Renny Poo 6 years ago

      i have never eaten butternut squash, but my father in law gave us 3 of them this evening. i am not much on the sweets. is there a way to prepare it that is not sweet??

    • profile image

      Stefanie 6 years ago

      I roast my butternut squash with butter and fresh thyme. It is always tasty.

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      GiGi 6 years ago

      My grandma use to make butternut squash soup she would add the garlic and veggies to it(meat if desired). Tonight I'm going for the cinnamon,butter,brown sugar and nutmeg!

    • profile image

      Barb 7 years ago

      If you pierce the skin before cutting in half and cook in the microwave for about 3-4 minutes, it'll soften, making the cutting much easier.

    • profile image

      Debbie 7 years ago

      It was nice to find a place that shows how to cook it. THANKS!

    • profile image

      allie 7 years ago

      this is very tasty!

    • profile image

      cammie 7 years ago

      yum!! im cookin it right now hope it turns out good!!!

    • profile image

      Risa 7 years ago

      I'm going to try to bake this butternut squash right now.

      It sounds easy; bake at 350 for an hour with brown sugar and cinimon. Thanks for all of the suggestions; This website made me hungry!

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 7 years ago from Michigan

      I've never made butternut squash, have eaten it once; remember it being very good; and now I'm sitting here thinking about it and decided to search the hubpages to see what I could find. Thanks! Now I have to get to the fruit market, LOL!!!

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      Kendra 7 years ago

      Yum! Thanks... :)

    • profile image

      Hannah 7 years ago

      I just grabbed an unidentified squash from the supermarket, turned out to be butternut. Thanks for all these great ideas on how to cook it easily!

    • profile image

      bree 7 years ago

      sonds great.. im making this right now.. thanks for the idea

    • profile image

      grandpa37 7 years ago

      I'm going to try some in the slow cooker.

    • profile image

      Gabriel 8 years ago

      Great recipe, worked like a charm. I made my first butternut squash this evening with your help.

    • profile image

      jason angeli 8 years ago

      350 degrees bake for about an hr... add some nutmeg, brown suga and butter. u got an awsome side dish....

    • profile image

      Darrin Forderer 8 years ago

      I baked the squash just like he said and the scraped out the stuff into a bowl added honey, brown sugar, nutmeg,butter, and milk didn't have cream but it turned out beautifuly

    • profile image

      Melissa 8 years ago

      Great, easy recipe. It's amazing how good food tastes when it is cooked properly...I should share this recie with my mom...

    • Ashley Joy profile image

      Ashley Joy 8 years ago

      I have cooked with butternut squash quite often and it is excellent. I got a recipe at for a butternut squash, apple au graten dish. That combo is wonderful!

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      I admit it. I have never cooked it. Though I love it when others cook it. YUM! I might have to give in and try this.

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      Martha McKinnon 9 years ago

      I use to work at a cafe that made a wonderful roasted butter nut squash salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and Port soaked raisins. I am salivating just thinking about it.

      We use to roast the cubes of butternut squash and sliced onions with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a little rosemary and salt and pepper.

      I love the simple tip for just cutting in half and baking - sometimes easier is better.

    • kevinlt9 profile image

      kevinlt9 9 years ago from Gwynn Oak,Maryland

      I know a lot of people don't like Squash,I happen to love it.Great hub on how properly prepare it,I'm definitely going to try the garlic butternut squash recipe over the holidays,man that looks good!