Halloween just passed and you know what that means…..Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Every year we spend the month of November preparing and planning for the largest feast of the year.  Who is supposed to bring what? What time are we eating where? How are we going to prepare our Turkey this year? These are just some of the questions that we begin to think about as soon as October rolls into November.

Each recipe that we post this month will be dedicated to the preparation of traditional Thanksgiving foods.  These dishes would also be considered a great addition to any autumn or winter meal.

Fresh Butternut squash that we purchased on our last trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Where we live, the Fall harvest season has come to an end.  The pumpkin patches no longer are full of visitors finding that perfect pumpkin to carve, the corn mazes are now empty, and all the gourds, squashes, and decorative corn stalks have found new homes.  During our last trip to the pumpkin patch this year, we purchased a Butternut Squash. I have to be honest, this isn’t something that we make on a weekly basis, or even monthly. But there is something about the chill in the air and the smell of pumpkin and squash that puts you in the mood for the holidays. Butternut squash is often prepared as  a traditional side dish at Thanksgiving.  It’s also used in many soups and is a common ingredient in several pasta dishes.

There are several ways to prepare fresh Butternut Squash.  Some people bake it whole, and others peel the skin with a sharp peeler.   The directions below is our preferred  method of creating the ideal cooked Butternut Squash.  For our Vegan family and friends, substitute olive oil for the butter and you have a Vegan friendly side dish.

Cut the top and bottom off the Butternut Squash to make it level to cut the squash lengthwise

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425degrees

1. Wash your Butternut Squash

2. Cut off each end to make it sit level on your cutting board

3. Cut your Squash lengthwise

4. Scoop out seeds and ‘gunk’

***Save the seeds and roast them as you would do with Pumpkin seeds – they are just as tasty!

5. Place on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet with skin side down

6. Spread two tablespoons of melted butter evenly on both halves

Butter, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon and Nutmeg used to add flavor

7. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg

8. Cover with foil

9. Bake for 30 minutes

10. Uncover and continue to bake for 10 minutes to lightly brown

Butternut squash cut and peeled away from the skin
Diced Butternut Squash
Diced Butternut Squash
Puree squash for use in soups and casseroles

11. Once you remove it from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes.  Slice in 1/2 inch portions – removing the skin of each piece.

**Please note:  Some skin will fall right off, however you may need to cut off the skin on the bottom side or scoop the flesh off the skin.

12. Dice into bite-sized pieces.

13. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Now what???  There are several options on how to serve your Butternut Squash.  Traditionally you would serve it ‘as is’ as a side dish.  It is a tasty compliment to your Thanksgiving Turkey, traditional meatloaf, or as part of a pasta meal.

You can also place your diced (or scooped) pieces into a food processor to make a puree for use in soups, sauces, and casseroles.  I even freeze my butternut squash puree for future use in comfort dishes that we tend to crave on those cold winter nights.

There are several cooking websites that can show you additional recipes to use with your freshly roasted butternut squash.

Here is a link to a Butternut Squash Soup recipe courtesy of  Food Network’s Ina Garten.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-butternut-squash-soup-and-curry-condiments-recipe/index.html

Whatever you choose to make with your Butternut Squash, it is really easy to make it from scratch!

Mary

How to Cook Butternut Squash
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Ingredients
  1. Butternut Squash
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425degrees
  2. Wash your Butternut Squash
  3. Cut off each end to make it sit level on your cutting board
  4. Cut your Squash lengthwise
  5. Scoop out seeds and 'gunk'***Save the seeds and roast them as you would do with Pumpkin seeds - they are just as tasty!
  6. Place on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet with skin side down
  7. Spread two tablespoons of melted butter evenly on both halves
  8. Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  9. Cover with foil
  10. Bake for 30 minutes
  11. Uncover and continue to bake for 10 minutes to lightly brown
  12. Once you remove it from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes. Slice in 1/2 inch portions - removing the skin of each piece.**Please note: Some skin will fall right off, however you may need to cut off the skin on the bottom side or scoop the flesh off the skin.
  13. Dice into bite-sized pieces.
  14. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
Notes
  1. Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms
Old World Garden Farms http://oldworldgardenfarms.com/

16 thoughts on “How to Cook Butternut Squash

  • November 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm
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    Oh my, this sounds so good! Thanks for sharing!

    Found you at Wow Us Wednesdays 🙂

    Kelly (For the Love)

  • November 8, 2012 at 7:20 am
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    Oh I am so going down to my cellar and get a squash now. MMMM B

  • November 8, 2012 at 6:35 am
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    i am pureeing this veg today to make pie tomorrow

  • November 7, 2012 at 11:53 am
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    I too will steam it in the microwave. I slice it horizontally and it cooks in about 5-6 minutes.

  • November 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm
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    Yum, I love butternut squash, but hate peeling it before cooking it…this looks like a much better option, thanks!

  • November 6, 2012 at 9:24 pm
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    Yum, I love butternut squash but hate peeling it before cooking it…this looks like a much better option, thanks!

  • November 6, 2012 at 9:13 am
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    I cut them in half, lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and strings, and turn cut-side down in a baking dish with a half inch of water in it. Place in the microwave, covered loosely with waxed paper, and cook till tender…check after about 8 minutes…a fairly large one will take maybe twice that long…just till skin is easily pierced with a fork. This can be done in the oven, if preferred; it just takes longer. Turn over, drain off water, and sprinkle with brown sugar and dot with butter. Stick back in microwave or put under broiler until browned nicely. This is delicious eaten from the skin or can be scooped out and served that way. So easy and absolutely delicious.

  • November 5, 2012 at 3:30 pm
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    Butternut squash can be prepared even faster…just peel, cut up in small pieces, place in steamer basket and steam. Only takes about 10 minutes and you are ready to mash and season as desired. I never bake them anymore. This method wastes very very little squash. I usually do a bunch at a time and freeze seasoned squash in qt. bags ready for a meal. Try to have orange veggies at least twice a week.The chickens love the seeds/peels that I cook for them,too.

  • November 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm
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    That looks so good. I have only baked this once, but only used butter, salt and pepper. Oh so good!

  • November 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm
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    Thanks for your ideas! We have a pile of them in the pantry from our garden. I am trying to incorporate them into our weekly meals as it’s not a veggies everyone likes. I put them (in small chunks) in stews and will try them in chilis as well. Oh, and I’ve made Ina’s soup – it’s pretty amazing! Thanks again for posting! I’m a new follower too…blessings! Nancy at livininthegreen

  • November 5, 2012 at 6:15 am
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    This looks great! I thought I purchased seeds but it turns out it was acorn squash, which was also fantastic. I want to plant these next year. We’ve dehydrated acorn and spaghetti squash, made pumpkin cakes and of course had them fresh. I still have several squashes sitting in the other room just waiting to be cooked and it’s been at least a month since I harvested some of them.

  • November 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm
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    It’s also a good idea to save some seeds for next years crop. 😉

  • November 2, 2012 at 8:55 am
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    Oh my-I feel so silly. I have been cutting and dicing mine Before I cook it. I bet it is much easier to do AFTER you cook it. Duh? 🙂

    We grew butternut squash in our garden for the first time this year. I am in love with it! It is so easy to grow and so yummy to eat. The only way I have prepared it so far is to dice it and and sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Then bake until soft. I will be trying your version too.

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