Cooking Butternut Squash – The Easy Way

Two Approaches For Cooking Butternut SquashButternut squash going into the oven.

I enjoy cooking butternut squash in two different ways.  It depends on whether I want it as a garlicky, salty, side dish – or, as a way to satisfy my ever present sweet tooth!

Whichever way I prefer – at any given moment – I’ll still roast my squash to get it ready for the dinner table.

 

First Things First – Cutting Up The Squash

Butternut squash before preparation.

The tools I use are:

  1. Tuo Carving Knife – It takes all the work out of sectioning the butternut squash – getting it ready for the next steps.
  2. OXO Potato Peeler – This is one heckuva sharp peeler! Keep your fingers out of the way – and always peel away from them when possible.  If this tool can strip away that hard butternut skin effortlessly – just imagine what it can do to one – or more – of those digits attached to your hand!  So, be careful!
  • Whack off the top and bottom of the squash.

The very first thing I do is get out my TUO knife and lop off the top and bottom of the butternut squash – just enough to give me a solid, smooth foundation for the squash to rest while performing the further steps of preparation.

Cut off top and bottom of the butternut squash.

  • Cut the squash in half.

Continuing with my TUO knife, I cut the butternut squash in half – width-wise – right where it flares out into the fat bottom section.  This knife handles this task with the greatest of ease.

  • Peel off the skin.

Next, I get out the sharpest potato peeler I have – my OXO peeler – and I remove all the skin from both the top slender piece and the bottom bulbous portion.

NOTES

This butternut squash still has green streaks of skin to remove.

There will be some green streaks left behind.  Continue to use the peeler until all the green is removed – since it is part of the skin and can be pretty bitter tasting.

Now, the butternut squash has been properly peeled - no green streaks.

The OXO is a super sharp peeler.  Be acutely aware of that fact – and do everything you can to keep your fingers clear of that razor sharp blade!

Scoop out the pulp and seeds with a spoon.

  • Cut the fat section in half to remove the pulp and seeds.

Time to get out my TUO knife again – and, cut the fat section lengthwise.  Then, it is easy to use a spoon to remove all the seeds and pulp.  All the pulp and seeds will – by all rights – be found in the lower section of the butternut squash.

NOTE:  Don’t throw the seeds away.  At the end of this article, I’ll explain how to roast them – and create a deliciously healthy snack!

  • Chop up the squash.

Time to dice up the squash flesh.  One inch – to an inch-and-a-half – is a good size for the pieces.  You’ll be surprised how much you can get from just one butternut squash.

  • Now – add some oil and garlic salt.

I mix a teaspoon of garlic salt with 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil, pour it over the squash pieces, and coat all of them thoroughly.  Then, I spread the chunks out as evenly as possible on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet.  The aluminum foil just makes for easier cleanup of the baking sheet – so, if you don’t have the foil, don’t worry about it.

Put the coated chunks of butternut squash in the oven.

  • Pop ‘em in the oven.

With the oven set at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius), I stick the baking sheet full of squash into the oven for three quarters of an hour – give or take a few minutes.  When a fork pierces the pieces easily, the squash is done – and, it is time to sink your teeth into it!

NOTE:  When I have a sweet craving, I forgo the olive oil and garlic salt, and, instead, I use 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of melted butter, mixed with a half cup of brown sugar – and, a dash of cinnamon – to coat the squash chunks.  The cooking time and temperature is the same – 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes – and, when the squash comes out, it is far better tasting than sweet potato casserole or pumpkin pie – in my humble opinion!

 

Time To Roast The Seeds!

Adding water to the seeds and pulp makes most seeds float to the surface.

There is nothing like chomping down on some roasted squash seeds.

Put the mass of pulp and seeds into a bowl of water – and, most of the seeds will float to the top for easy separation.  Stir the mix every once in a while and more seeds will detach from the pulp and float freely.  To get the last few seeds, it becomes necessary to pick through the pulpy mess – pitching the pulp and grabbing the remaining seeds as you go.

Pat dry the seeds in a paper towel – and coat them with a little olive oil and a bit of garlic salt.Coated butternut squash seeds ready for the oven.

Put them on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, stick the sheet in a 325 degree Fahrenheit (163 degree Celsius) oven for 25 to 30 minutes – until they just start to turn a darker color.

Then, they’re done – and ready for snackin’!

 

And, There You Have It!

By the way, do you know the best thing to put into a dish of roasted butternut squash?

Why – your teeth, of course!

Best thing to put into roasted butternut squash is your teeth!

 

Comment below or email me, noah@apathtoabetterlife.com.

 

Noah

Lookin’ On The Lightside!

16 thoughts on “Cooking Butternut Squash – The Easy Way

  1. Anastazja Reply

    Great article.  Its practical, easy to read with great images of what to do.  I am a home cook always looking for new ideas and recipes.  I have cooked different kinds of squash a variety of ways, but this is the simplest recipe by far. The garlic and salt is a good idea – a great side for a more formal dinner.  I think I would add just a touch of maple syrup to your more sweet brown sugar recipe.  I am wondering if it is necessary to turn the squash halfway through cooking for an even coloring.  We always back pumpkin seeds, but I haven’t used squash seeds yet.  Thanks for your suggestions.  I really enjoy the article.

    • Noah Post authorReply

      Hi Anastazja,

      Maple syrup is an added sweetener that I use occasionally, too.

      I’ve do occasionally stir the squash chunks halfway through the cooking process to ensure that the pieces are evenly cooked.

      Any type of squash seeds can be made into a delicious snack.  I never – ever – throw them away!

      Noah

  2. PeterMinea Reply

    Hello Noah!

    You just showed us a beautiful recipe for cooking this special kind of pumpkin – butternut squashes are very similar to pumpkins! Nice pictures, attractive colors, cute shapes, and I assume that cooked butternut squash is also tasty, even though I am not sure whether it’s available in my area (Eastern Europe) or not, at least if imported from other countries.

    The knife and the peeler you use must be high-quality tools, if we use them we will have to be very careful and refrain from testing their sharpness on our own skin :). Your TUO knife should be pretty strong in order to handle pumpkins and their butternut “cousins”. Sectioning them takes pretty much time with average knives.

    Enjoy the butternut squash taste!

    Peter

    • Noah Post authorReply

      Hi Peter,

      Butternut squash was introduced to Europe from the Americas a couple hundred years ago.  By now, it should be available – since it can be grown just about anywhere.  Just look around through some of the local food markets.  I’m sure you can find it.

      High-quality tools like my peeler and TUO knife come in real handy for prepping this tasty veggie!

      Noah

  3. anikbuft Reply

    Hi Noah, I experience cooking butternut squash in two one-of-a-kind ways. It depends on whether or not I want it as a garlicky, salty, facet dish and fulfill my ever gift sweet mouth.

    Whichever way I took, I will nonetheless roast my squash to get it geared up for the party.

    • Noah Post authorReply

      Glad I was able to give you a couple of ways that will allow you to enjoy butternut squash as much as I do!

      Get that party goin’!

      Noah

  4. Jake Reply

    Hi, I have yet to try cooking with squash or even eating it because I am not sure how it will taste.

    I picture it tasting kinda like sweet potatoes or something like.  How good does it taste raw compared to cooked also? And would you say that it is worth trying, for someone that is a picky eater? Your recipe looks delicious.  Great site as well. 

    • Noah Post authorReply

      Hi Jake,

      Eating butternut squash raw might be a bit hard on your mouth and teeth – unless your jaws have the strength of a lion!

      Stick to cooking it – and adding some of the flavorings I suggested.  These recipes bring out – as well as enhance – the true goodness of this veggie!

      Noah

  5. Margaret Reply

    Hi, I enjoyed reading your post on Cooking Butternut Squash – the Easy Way.  Your step by step directions with pictures is so helpful and easy to follow.  I love Butternut Squash but have never tried to cook it in the oven.  The brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon sounds delicious!   The next time I cook Butternut Squash, I am going to try this recipe.

    Thank you,

    Margaret

    • Noah Post authorReply

      Hi Margaret,

      I gotta tell ya – eating butternut squash – as outlined in the recipes is “to die for!”  You can even add a little maple syrup sometimes for some extra sweet and juicy, lip smackin’ enjoyment!

      Noah

  6. Evelyn Kimball Reply

    Thank you for the recipe that is so tempting to try!  I live in California and have never tried eating butternut squash.  I never noticed if my local supermarket sells them.  I think I have seen them and have ignored them because squash has very hard peel and so it is hard to peel.  Does butternut squash have a health benefit?  Looking at the color it maybe good for eyes health.  Well, definitely, I will try get some and bake them the way you described how to fix it.  Thank you.

    • Noah Post authorReply

      Hi Evelyn,

      If you look close, you’ll find butternut squash – even in the upscale supermarkets in California.

      All veggies have health benefits – and butternut squash is no exception – from top to bottom, your body will benefit from chowing down on butternut squash.  Guaranteed!

      Noah

  7. Babsie Wagner Reply

    Oh, wow, so you can roast the seeds for the squash too? I never thought about that before. I mean, I’ve roasted pumpkin seeds, I don’t know why I never tried the squash.

    Now, with mine, I always cook it with the skin on it. I mean, honestly, it kind of disintegrates and you don’t even know it’s there. I wash it really good and cut up the squash.

    I would love if you would post an article about the acorn squash. I have the worst time even cutting into that plant, but I love the flavor. Maybe some tricks on the easiest way to cook that? Thanks so much! ~ Babs

    • Noah Post authorReply

      Hi Babs,

      Never – ever – throw away any squash seeds.  They can all be turned into tasty roasted snacks!

      Some of my cohorts cook butternut squash with the skin on.  But, the skin – and the green undercoating – can be a little bitter to me.  So, I take the skin – and any leftover green stripes – off before preparation begins.

      You read my mind.  Acorn squash recipes are next on the agenda!

      Noah

  8. Nate Stone Reply

    Hi Noah,

    Great article!

    I advise people on ways to naturally increase testosterone production, a large part of that is eating naturally occurring carbohydrates in place of manmade ones.

    So squash is a personal favourite of mine, I’m often asked about the best ways to cook squash, which admittedly isn’t my area of expertise. The garlic and salty “seeds” look great to me and I’ll be trying that myself, I’ll be pointing my guys to you website, to get some ideas!

    • Noah Post authorReply

      Hi Nate,

      Veggies – especially those in the squash family – are much, much better for the body in all ways than anything artificial.  Most of us agree with you on that!

      And, their roasted “garlic salt” seeds are an added treat!

      Noah

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