How to Cook Butternut Squash (with recipes!)

Learn how to choose, store and cook butternut squash! Get a basic roasted butternut squash recipe, plus a solid list of other delicious ways to prepare this fall favorite.

Butternut squash is probably the most popular variety of winter squash, andit’s pretty easy to see why. It’s versatile, easy to prepare and downright delicious. It’s also one of the healthiest varieties of winter squash.

How to Choose & Store Butternut Squash

When you’re shopping for butternut squash, look for one with yellow to orange skin and no soft spots or bruises, though some imperfections, like bumps on the skin, are fine. The more orange the squash is, the sweeter it will be.

Don’t put uncut butternut squash into the refrigerator. Instead, choose aspoton the kitchen counter that’s out of direct sunlight, and make sure that the squash has room to breathe. It will keep best if you turn it every few days, so all sides get exposure to the air.

How to CookButternut Squash

You can roast or steambutternut squash whole or peel, dice and cookup the pieces.Cubes will cook up more quickly, and with more surface area to brown, I find that cubed butternut squash has a deeper flavor. The roasted butternut recipe below calls forpeeling and cubing prior to cooking for that reason.

Yields 3-4 servings

Basic Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe

Roasted Butternut Squash is lovely served warm as a side dish. It also makes a great salad topper, and you can use it that way warm or cold.

10 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

40 minTotal Time

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  • 1 butternut squash, seeded and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons oil of your choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Toss the butternut squash cubes with the oil, salt, and pepper together in an 8x8" glass baking pan.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the squash begins to brown. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, check in every 5 minutes.
  4. Serve warm or cold.

Butternut Squash Recipes

This is a festive spin on a holiday favorite. Toasted sesame oil and zesty lime transform basic roasted butternut squash into something extra special.

1.Sesame-Lime Butternut Squash

Toasted sesame oil, agave nectar and lime juiceplay so beautifully with sweet-and-savory roasted butternut squash. You make the easy marinade for this recipe right in your blender, so this fancy side dish is even easier to make than it looks!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

2.Butternut Squash Mac

Pureed butternut squash is the base for this rich, creamy vegan pasta dish. This is a great sneaky veggie dish for kids, too. My picky preschooler is wary of roasted veggies for some kid reason, but he demolishes bowls of butternut mac and asks for seconds.

3.Curried Squash Soup

Winter squash soups are classic cold-weather fare, and this curried version brings all of the warming spices to the table. This recipe uses roasted squash as the base, which really brings out all of the good, squashy flavors.

Butternut Squash Quinoa with Black Beans

4.Black Bean and Butternut Quinoa

Thishearty quinoa salad is a meal all on its own. It’s packed with nutrients and bright flavors to help you beat the winter blues. You can serve itimmediately for a warm dish or pack it in your lunch as a cold salad for the next day.

Homemade Butternut Squash Puree

photo by Diane MacEachern

5. Butternut Squash Puree

Making butternut squash puree is actually the same asmaking pumpkin puree, and you can use it anywhere you’d use canned pumpkin. In fact, a lot of store-bought canned “pumpkin” contains other winter squash, including butternut.

Butternut Squash Risotto

photo by Eve Fox

6.Butternut Squash Risotto

Creamy risotto with sweet, hearty roasted squash is a perfect holiday side dish. Serve this day-of ormake it ahead. This dishtastes even better a day or two later, when the flavors have had a chance to meld!

Butternut Squash Salad

7. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Warm, roasted butternut squash with cool winter greens is a salad that’s fit for a meal. Serve with some crusty bread or a big bowl of hearty soup, and you’ve got a perfect fall or winter supper.

Related at Care2

Learn how to choose, store and cook butternut squash! Get a basic roasted butternut squash recipe, plus a solid list of other delicious ways to prepare this fall favorite.

Whole Butternut Squash and Basic Roasted Butternut Squash images via Thinkstock. All other images via recipe authors, used with permission.


Rob Chloe Sam N
Rob Chloe Sam N2 months ago

Some very nice recipes for squash, Thanks for sharing this.

Lesa D
Lesa D3 months ago

butternut is a BEAUTIFUL squash & works SUPER in both savory & sweet applications...

thank you, Becky...

Christina C
Christina C3 months ago

Thank you for the recipes!

Mike R
Mike R3 months ago


Mike R
Mike R3 months ago


Lisa M
Lisa M3 months ago


Lisa M
Lisa M3 months ago


Chad A
Chad Anderson3 months ago


Paola S
Paola S3 months ago

thank you

ERIKA S3 months ago