How to Cook Butternut Squash

Overview

Butternut squash is used on its own as a side dish or in recipes with other items. The mildly sweet flesh, suitable for both sweet and savory dishes, also can be used in pies similar to pumpkin. Butternut squash can be either roasted or boiled. Roasted squash is suitable when you wish to serve it on its own or want it to maintain its texture in the finished dish. Boil butternut squash when you need it pureed or mashed in a recipe.

Roasting

Step 1

Cut off the top and bottom of the squash with a sharp chef's knife. Butternut squash is not as hard as other winter squashes and cuts easily with a quality knife.

Step 2

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp from the center with a spoon.

Step 3

Set the squash halves on a baking sheet, cut sides down. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 4

Bake for 30 minutes, then attempt to pierce the flesh with a fork. Remove from oven if it is soft, otherwise continue to cook and check for softness with the fork every 10 minutes.

Step 5

Scoop out the cooked butternut squash flesh from the peel once it has cooled. Use in the desired recipe.

Boiling

Step 1

Cut off the top and bottom of the squash with a sharp chef's knife.

Step 2

Peel the squash with a serrated vegetable peeler, peeling away from yourself to avoid injury. You can also use a sharp paring knife.

Step 3

Cut the peeled squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon and discard.

Step 4

Cut the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a large pot and add enough water to cover.

Step 5

Bring the water to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes or until tender. Puree in a blender or mash for use.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always use a sharp knife and cut away from your body. Dull knives are more likely to cause injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Chef's knife
  • Spoon
  • Baking sheet
  • Fork
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Pot

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Winter Squash
Keywords: cooking butternut squash, butternut squash roasting, winter squash preparation

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.