Butternut Squash, Three Ways
We’ve rounded up our favorite ways to prepare this seasonal veggie.
Don't be intimidated by squash. Akin to pumpkin with its slightly-sweet deep orange flesh, butternut squash is truly a versatile fall jewel that's quite simple to prepare. Pick one of these three easy ways to prepare butternut squash, and you'll soon be enjoying its rich deliciousness with only minimal effort.
Pureed Butternut Squash: Prepare & Bake Squash
Cut one butternut squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil and place squash halves, cut side up, on pan. Loosely cover with foil. Bake at 400 degrees until tender, about 1 hour.
Use a fork to test for doneness. When tender, the squash will be easily pierced with the fork.
Pureed Butternut Squash: Scoop Flesh & Puree
Remove squash from oven and allow to cool until it can be handled. Scrape out flesh with a spoon. Use a food processor, food mill, or electric mixer to puree until smooth.
Pureed Butternut Squash: Season
For a 3-pound squash, stir in about 3 to 4 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Consider adding a touch of honey, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, or brown sugar for additional flavor.
Pureed butternut squash can be made ahead. When ready to serve, reheat in a saucepan, stirring constantly, over medium heat or in the microwave.
Roasted Butternut Squash: Peel & Cut Squash
Cut one butternut squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Place each squash half with the cut side down, and use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Cut into 3/4-inch chunks, keeping the pieces close in size for even cooking.
For even easier preparation, purchase packaged pre-cut butternut squash cubes. Look for them in the produce section of the grocery store.
Roasted Butternut Squash: Toss & Season
Place squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Season with about 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, tossing again to coat. Spread squash out to a single layer, taking care to not crowd the pan.
For a flavor twist, sprinkle squash with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or ground cumin and toss to coat.
Roasted Butternut Squash: Roast
Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes until squash is tender and lightly browned, stirring twice with a large spatula.
Butternut Squash Gratin: Cook Squash & Onions
Cut one butternut squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Place each squash half with the cut side down, and use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Cut into 3/4-inch chunks, keeping the pieces close in size for even cooking. Place squash cubes in a pot and cover with cold water. Cover pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. Dice one small onion. While squash cooks, sauté diced onion in 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Squash and onions may be cooked up to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the Butternut Squash Gratin.
Butternut Squash Gratin: Combine Ingredients
In a mixing bowl, lightly beat 1 egg. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup Panko-style bread crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Fold in cooked onions and squash. Spoon mixture into a greased 9x9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the top with an additional 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
Butternut Squash Gratin: Bake
Bake at 350 degrees until heated through and light golden brown on top, about 45 to 60 minutes.
To prepare in advance, bake for only 30 minutes. Cool completely and refrigerate for up to two days. On the day of serving, bake at 350 degrees about 30 to 40 minutes until heated through.