Beginner’s Guide to Butternut Squash (with Recipes to Try!)

Squash is a staple food in our home. We follow a grain-free diet most of the time, particularly because I feel better eating that way with an auto-immune thyroid condition (Hashimoto’s). We eat spaghetti squash, acorn squash, red kuri squash, and blue hubbard squash. In fact, we grew all of those squash in our garden last year! But the one we eat the most often is butternut. It has many wonderful qualities.

Beginner's Guide to Butternut Squash 3

Butternut squash…

  • has a lovely sweet flavor.
  • is simple to prepare as a main course, side dish, or in soups.
  • is fairly easy to find at your local grocery store year round.
  • is effortless to grow in the garden, as long as it gets plenty of sun.
  • is not outrageously expensive like some squash (hubbard).
  • is chock full of vitamins and minerals.

butternut squash cubed

The other advantage is winter squash stores very well over a long period of time, as long as it stays cool and dry. The remaining squash we have from our September harvest are still happily resting in our garage just waiting to be eaten in the next few weeks!

If you are not familiar with butternut squash, then this beginner’s guide is for you!

If you’ve never tried any type of winter squash, I’d encourage you to start with butternut.

Butternut squash can be prepared in many different ways, as you will see in the recipes below. But first I’d like to share with you how we eat it most often in our house. To save time and make life simple, our favorite way of eating butternut squash is to cut it up, steam it, and then add butter or coconut oil and sea salt. It’s simple, but tasty.

steamed butternut squash

Steamed Butternut Squash

Ingredients

  • One butternut squash
  • Filtered water
  • Butter or coconut oil
  • Sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • Parsley, rosemary, or your favorite herb (optional)

Directions

  1. With a sharp knife, cut the rounded end of the butternut squash off and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
  2. Cut the remaining squash into small cubes and place in pan. (If you decide not to steam the entire squash because of it’s large size, wrap the raw squash in a plastic bag and place it in the refrigerator to use later.)
  3. Fill the bottom of the pan with about an inch of filtered water, cover with a lid, and turn on medium heat.
  4. When the squash is tender to your liking (about 20 total minutes for us), remove the pan from the stove top. Your pan and stove top may cook more quickly, so check the squash more often at first.
  5. Pour off the excess water into a glass for drinking or into a soup pot for eating later. (This way, you still receive benefits from the vitamins and minerals that leached into the water.)
  6. Add a generous amount of coconut oil or butter and gently stir in.
  7. Add a few teaspoons of sea salt or Himalayan salt to your taste.
  8. Sprinkle your favorite herb on top for extra flavor and color. (optional)
  9. Enjoy hot as a side dish or snack.
Steamed Butternut Squash
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • One butternut squash
  • Filtered water
  • Butter or coconut oil
  • Sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • Parsley, rosemary, or your favorite herb (optional)
Directions
  1. With a sharp knife, cut the rounded end of the butternut squash off and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
  2. Cut the remaining squash into small cubes and place in pan. (If you decide not to steam the entire squash because of it’s large size, wrap the raw squash in a plastic bag and place it in the refrigerator to use later.)
  3. Fill the bottom of the pan with about an inch of filtered water, cover with a lid, and turn on medium heat.
  4. When the squash is tender to your liking (about 20 total minutes for us), remove the pan from the stove top. Your pan and stove top may cook more quickly, so check the squash more often at first.
  5. Pour off the excess water into a glass for drinking or into a soup pot for eating later. (This way, you still receive benefits from the vitamins and minerals that leached into the water.)
  6. Add a generous amount of coconut oil or butter and gently stir in.
  7. Add a few teaspoons of sea salt or Himalayan salt to your taste.
  8. Sprinkle your favorite herb on top for extra flavor and color. (optional)
  9. Enjoy hot as a side dish or snack.
Notes
Choose a butternut squash without bruises or soft spots. Grow in your own garden, shop at your local farmer’s market, or buy from your favorite grocery store.

Do NOT peel butternut squash. It’s not necessary. During cooking, the outside layer becomes quite soft and you won’t notice it. Plus, it’s extra fiber! :)

Steamed butternut squash is also delicious cold for a take-to-work lunch the next day, especially combined with other vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, or lettuce. Add some chicken or turkey sausage and you have a complete meal!

More Butternut Squash Recipes to Try!

It’s my privilege to share the creative kitchen talents of my blogging friends. Please click on the links or photos below to read about their butternut squash recipes, including ingredients and instructions.

Let me know which ones you try and like!

sqash-soup-1-titles-1024x682Simple Squash Soup with Sage – Well Fed Family

Garlicky-Baked-Butternut-Squash1

Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash – Whole Intentions

Cold-Kicker-Chicken-Soup-505x800

Cold Kicker Chicken Soup – Family, Home, and Health

Squash-Soup

Simple Butternut Squash Soup – Intoxicated on Life

Creamy-Butternut-Squash-Pasta-Sauce-with-Bacon-and-Rosemary

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce with Bacon and Rosemary – Nourishing Simplicity

butternutsquash

Baked Garlic and Butternut Squash and Freezer Tips – Melissa K. Norris

butternut-custard-300x225

Butternut Squash Custard – Well Fed Family

I hope this Beginner’s Guide to Butternut Squash has been helpful!

Savor butternut squash. We do!

This entry was posted in Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, Real Food, Recipes, Vegetables. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Beginner’s Guide to Butternut Squash (with Recipes to Try!)

  1. Rachel says:

    Wow these are great! I love butternut squash as well! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love spaghetti squash but haven’t ventured into butternut – I like the sound of the garlicky bake!
    Kayla Whittington recently posted…Looking Forward:2015My Profile

  3. Pech says:

    I have to say butternut squash is my second favorite after baby squash (any baby squash is just soooo cute)!
    Pech recently posted…Bing Mi Food CartMy Profile

  4. Bea says:

    Butternut squash is such a great “beginner” squash. I love it unfortunately the rest of my family does not love squash as much as I do, but we still get plenty of it through our CSA :)
    Bea recently posted…Chicken Pot Pie {#dairyfree #recipe}My Profile

  5. Pingback: Thyme for Garlic Butternut Squash Fries | Restored Roots

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