Learn About Butternut Squash

Author: Chef Toby

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What is Butternut Squash?

Butternut squash is a winter squash that is native to North America. The squash can range anywhere from one to five pounds in weight, and vary in size. Like other winter squashes, the butternut variety has a waxy, inedible skin that is a light tan color. The inside of the squash is bright orange, with smooth flesh, and many seeds and pulp in the center.

What does Butternut Squash taste like?

Butternut squash has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor, similar to that of sweet potatoes. 

How do you use Butternut Squash?

Use Butternut squash by peeling the skin and removing the inside seeds and fibers from the inner cavity. You can then cook it diced, sliced, or whole by roasting, sauteing or boiling. Add it to soup, stews, salads, purees, and other dishes. A popular dish using the squash is butternut squash soup, which is made by roasting or boiling the squash and pureeing with broth and other ingredients. Serve roasted diced squash seasoned with salt and pepper as a vegetable side dish. 

Learn About Butternut Suash

Where do you buy Butternut Squash?

You can find butternut squash at most major grocery stores throughout the year, however, the best time to find locally sourced butternut squash is in September and October. It is usually sold whole or sometimes pre-packaged and diced. 

How do you store Butternut Squash

Like other winter squash, store butternut squash in the pantry for two to three months. 

Fun fact about Butternut Squash:

Don’t toss your butternut squash seed! Like pumpkin seeds, you can clean, salt, and roast butternut squash seeds in the oven. This gives the seeds a crunchy texture that is perfect for snacking or topping salads and soups.

Did you know?

The squash isn’t the only edible part of the Butternut squash plant. Many people often eat the blossoms of squash buy stuffing them with cheese and roasting or deep-frying them.

Recipes Using Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash Soup

To make this classic soup, slice butternut squash in half and roast in the oven with olive oil until tender. In a large stockpot, sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil until fragrant. In a blender, combine the aromatics and the squash and then blended together with chicken broth, maple syrup, and nutmeg until smooth. Transfer the soup to the stockpot to heat thoroughly and add any additional chicken broth. If you don’t have chicken broth, use chicken or vegetable bullion and water as a substitute.

Simple Roasted Butternut Squash

For a simple roasted side dish, toss cubed squash, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Pour the seasoned squash onto a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until tender.

Butternut Squash with Vanilla and Walnuts

To make this sweet squash, roast 1-inch cubes tossed in olive oil on a baking sheet in the oven. In a dry skillet, toast walnuts and add in butter. Toss the roasted squash into the skillet and add grated ginger, vanilla extract, black pepper, salt, and dried thyme. Don’t have walnuts? Replace with cashews or pecans.

Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chili

This vegetarian chili uses butternut squash instead of meat to make this hearty, warm chili that is perfect for fall weather. Sauté onions, butternut squash, and garlic, until the onion is translucent, and season with chipotle peppers in adobo, cumin, and cinnamon. Then, add canned tomatoes, beans, bay leaf, and the broth of your choice. Simmer the soup until it is thick and the butternut squash is cooked through.

Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe

To make this pasta dish, boil chopped butternut squash until tender. Place the butternut squash in a blender and puree until smooth. In a large skillet, fry sage leaves in butter, and remove the leaves once they are crisp. In the butter, fry up garlic and onions until soft. Then add in the butternut squash puree, vegetable broth, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Add in the pasta to the sauce and stir to combine. Serve with more parmesan cheese and fried sage.


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