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Butternut Squash - How to Bake It

Updated on December 03, 2016
Baked Butternut Squash
Baked Butternut Squash | Source
4.8 stars from 4 ratings of Butternut Squash

First Time Bakers of Butternut Squash Welcome

When the weather cools down and fall is in the air, butternut squash makes an appearance in the produce departments of Texas, the southern states and other markets like Australia and New Zealand where it's known as Butternut Pumpkin.

This pumpkin-like fruit was first developed in Stow, Massachusetts and is wonderful when used in baking breads and pies or even as a side dish. It's a member of the Cucurbita moschata family.

My family likes butternut squash in a no-crust pie recipe that I've I adapted that uses canned, frozen or fresh baked butternut squash. Having baked this pie for many years, I never tried it using fresh squash until recently. The difference in texture and taste is amazing.

After years of using the frozen kind of winter squash, I finally embraced my fears of strange and unusual vegetables, picked out a firm, uniform specimen at the produce department and took it home. Then I began to search for instructions on how to prepare and bake it. Was I to peel it? Did I cube it? Were there seeds?

Inside an old Mirro Ware Cookbook from 1954, I found a recipe for Acorn squash, which I adapted and it came out amazingly delicious. I was truly pleased at how easy it was to prepare even on my first attempt.

Butternut Squash

Fresh Butternut Squash
Fresh Butternut Squash | Source

Here is what butternut squash looks like. Tony knows a good one when he smells it.

Dogs know how to pick the best squash. They sniff them out.
Dogs know how to pick the best squash. They sniff them out.

How to bake butternut squash

First line a baking pan (13" x 9") with aluminum foil. It makes for easy cleanup later.

Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Wash the squash thoroughly to remove dirt and debris. Use a cutting board and a sharp knife to carefully cut the stem off the squash.

Cut off the stem

Cut off the stem.
Cut off the stem. | Source

Slice the squash in half

Use a sharp knife to carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise.
Use a sharp knife to carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. | Source
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 205 g or 1 cup
Calories 82
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 21 g7%
Sugar 4 g
Fiber 6 g24%
Protein 2 g4%
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Next, firmly grasp the squash and cut it in half lengthwise starting at the bulbous end. For best results, use a serrated knife.

It is hard to make both sides exactly even as the texture of the vegetable is very tough when raw. Use care here while cutting.

Just like you would with a cantaloupe or melon, scoop out the seed pockets using a spoon and set the seeds aside. These can be washed and saved for planting or baked and eaten.

Drop the seeds into a small bowl with a little water and the membrane will wash off and drop to the bowl bottom and the seeds will float. Spread them out to dry on a paper towel.

Scoop out the seeds along with the membrane
Scoop out the seeds along with the membrane | Source
Two Tablespoons of Butter
Two Tablespoons of Butter

Now spray the baking pan with a little Pam or lightly grease the foil with a little Crisco shortening.

Melt two tablespoons of butter in a microwaveable dish for about ten seconds and brush the cut surfaces of the squash with the butter.

In a small bowl, combine

1 T Granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Sprinkle the mixture over the buttered squash and place them on the baking pan cut side up.

Place 1 T of brown sugar in the bowl of each squash half.

Brown sugar in the hollow
Brown sugar in the hollow
Add one cup of water to the pan. Cut a few holes in the foil cover to allow the steam to escape
Add one cup of water to the pan. Cut a few holes in the foil cover to allow the steam to escape
The fork test
The fork test

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 35 min
Ready in: 1 hour 50 min
Yields: 2 to 3 cups

Add one cup of water and cover the baking pan with a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Bake the squash for around 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Remove the foil cover and bake uncovered for another 15 to 30 minutes or until a fork can be easily inserted into the flesh of the squash.

My first baked squash took an hour and 45 minutes to get tender. Each oven is different.

Source
Scooping out the cooked squash
Scooping out the cooked squash

Once tender, use a spoon to scoop out each shell and transfer the squash into a serving dish or covered container and refrigerate the cooked squash until needed.

Using fresh cooked squash instead of canned or frozen definitely gives butternut squash pie an improved texture and adds to its holding power in the refrigerator. The pie can be served warm or chilled and is delicious when topped with some whipped cream or Cool Whip. Even Kids will love it.

I hope you won't wait as long as I did to try this really easy recipe to make fresh baked squash.

Recipe for Butternut Squash Pie by PegCole17

Here is an easy recipe for a butternut squash pie that doesn't require a crust. I hope you'll give this a try. It's great for the holidays or anytime at all and can be made with fresh, canned or frozen squash.

Fresh baked Butternut or Winter Squash is delicious served warm as a side dish.
Fresh baked Butternut or Winter Squash is delicious served warm as a side dish.
Fresh Baked Butternut Squash Pie
Fresh Baked Butternut Squash Pie

© 2011 Peg Cole

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    • profile image

      cygnetbrown 5 years ago

      I absolutely love freshly baked winter squash. There's nothing like it on a cold winter day. The vitamins A and C that it contains is also good for good health this time of the year!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Cygnet

      So nice to see you here today and thanks for the great comment. Baked squash really does taste great and is good for you. Hope you are doing well and that your book sales are skyrocketing! Peg

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      You've given such a tribute to one of autumn's most beautiful delights. LOVE both the pics and the instructive text.

      I've been cooking butternut for years in the oven...and so my techniques and ingredients are a bit diff. But your instructions are awesome. I hope more people go out to their local farm markets and buy up this marvelous squash in its prime. Up, useful, and awesome!

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Sounds and looks delicious. I will have to try this and I will check out your pie recipe as well. Thanks you.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Sally's Trove - I feel like a dork for not trying it sooner, it was super simple. I'd be interested to know the differences in how you prepare yours. From now on it will be fresh squash for me when I can find it.

      Thank you so much for the thoughtful comments. You are the cat's meow.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Peg, I slice the butternut and scoop out the seeds exactly as you do, using the same kind of pan and foil cover, adding the 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the bowl of each half, and bake at 350. Here's what's different...

      I don't line the pan with foil because I don't use butter or granulated sugar, so clean-up is a snap.

      Cover with the foil and cook in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Done!

      If someone wants butter on their squash, it's on the table.

      My version doesn't have that beautiful brown speckling that yours does, of course, nor the spices and salt, but it's quick and easy, and the squash is so sweet and creamy at the end that we don't add anything to it unless it's going to become a pie. :)

      I cook acorn squash the same way. It's a bolder flavor and absolutely delicious. BTW, forgot to mention, I LOVE the doggie's curiosity!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Tebo, Thank you for checking out this recipe and I hope you'll let me know how you like the pie.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Sally, It is reassuring that your method is so much like mine, after all, you've been baking this veggie for years. Yes, for people watching their cholestrol and sugars it would be better to leave off the sugar, salt and butter. But what is a potato-like-substance without the salt? And mounds of delicious butter. (I've been watching too much Paula Dean. She puts butter on butter!) I do love the taste of this squash and now I'll venture out into the more scary vegetables, like Acorn squash.

      Tony is among the sweetest, most dedicated pups I've ever known. He follows me everywhere and has to inspect everything I bring into the house. He'll be two in February, my little furry son.

    • Ask_DJ_Lyons profile image

      Ask_DJ_Lyons 5 years ago from Mosheim, Tennessee

      Peg, Your explanations were easy and your pictures were awesome. I marked this up. Thank you! Now, I'm off to check out the recipe for using this in a pie. Thanks so much!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello DJ, The orange vegetables are supposed to be very nutritious and good for you. Maybe not with the sugar and butter but certainly delicious that way. So glad to meet you here and thanks for your nice comments.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Your furry son is handsome!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you GmaGoldie. He's a real Mamma's boy too. Sleeps on my legs.

    • Keri Summers profile image

      Keri Summers 5 years ago from West of England

      Mmm. Sounds delicious. I cut my butternut squash in half, deseed, then slice into half circles. I put them in the roasting pan alongside potatoes. But I like the idea of doing it with cinnamon and nutmeg. I think the squash family can be difficult to make interesting, but butternut is the one I'm least daunted by!

      Thanks for the hub.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Keri. Thanks for stopping in to read and for the added tips on roasting squash. Nice to meet you here.

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 3 years ago from The High Seas

      I have baked both acorn and butternut squash many times for my wife and her sister who both love it. I never used the brown sugar nor brushed it with butter but, sometimes I'd drizzle it with honey. Good article!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello GetitScene. Thanks for the visit and I'll certainly try the honey idea on my next squash bake. Cheers!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Looks and sounds delicious. I can see this recipe as a part of my near future. Thanks for sharing!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Oh, hi Rebeccamealey! Fall is the perfect time for butternut squash. I just made a fresh pumpkin pie and cutting up the pumpkin reminded me of this process. Nice to see you.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 2 years ago from America

      This looks good my husband would love it he loves squash. I'm not a squash eatter in fact I hate squash but grow them in our garden every year.

      I'm trying to get on to make more comments and catch up on everyone's hubs. My commenter dropped from an 8 to a 5. With the kind of morning I had I just don't get time. Hubby's taking a nap so thought I could jump on.

      Anyway loved your hub. Shared it.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      I don't know how I missed this one but I'm glad I found it now. I love butternut squash and this is such an easy recipe that sounds absolutely delicious. Can't wait to try it.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Pinned too.

    • Melinda Longoria profile image

      Melinda Longoria, MSM 2 years ago from Garland, Texas

      I LOVE butternut squash. Thank you for posting this! I can't wait to try this recipe out!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Moonlake, This kind of squash tastes amazing and I've even used the baked pulp as a substitute for pumpkin in my holiday pies.

      I hope your hubby is feeling better and I'm glad you're taking a little time for yourself with your on line friends. Thanks so much for dropping by and for sharing this hub.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Tillsontitan, It's so good of you to drop in for this squash bake. The weather is getting nice for recipes that use the oven and I'm eager to start baking again. Thank you for the visit, the votes and the pin.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi Peg and thanks so much for the delicious recipe. Butternut Squash is one of my favorite side dishes in the fall. Your recipe has extra ingredients than mine and I look forward to trying it next time I make this. Thanks my friend.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I love to get recipes for squashes. Thanks so much for this!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Minnetonka Twin. I'm looking forward to baking some more of these delicious squash soon. Glad to see you here and thanks for taking time to comment.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      This sounds good! My mother loved butternut squash and she grew them in her garden. She used to peel, cube, and boil it, and it was served with butter. I hated it. :(

      This method you have here is very similar to the way my mother made acorn squash and that was very popular with all family members. The main difference was that my mother also added a slice of raw bacon to the 'bowl' of each acorn squash. I think she baked it for an hour or more.

      Going to have to try this recipe of yours on butternut squash. It sounds like a winner! :)

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 13 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Peg, this looks delicious. I love butternut squash soup at Panera Bread. I brought Aldi's butternut squash soup last month. I've tried to cut the squash 2 years ago and failed and have opted to buy pre-cut store-brought squash slices. I would love to try this out this spring. I've got a recipe for squash fries as well.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 13 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Kristen, I would love to try the squash fries. I've had sweet potato ones but not squash. Sounds interesting. Also, I have never tried to make the soup. I shop at Aldi's too and now will look for that on my next trip. In these cold winter temperatures it really does sound hearty and warming. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 13 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Hi Peg. I saw the recipe for it on Allrecipes.com, 2 years ago. If you're interested, I'll be happy to share it with you. You should. It's called Cook's Cupboard. There's one for tomato and peppers too. It does. My pleasure.

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