Cooking

6 Ways to Use Up Butternut Squash

Creative recipes ideas – beyond the well-loved soup – for using up a very large amount of squash.

7 min read
9/28/2023
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Butternut squash lends its buttery-smooth texture and nutty flavor to so much more than just soups; it plays well with all sorts of sweet and savory ingredients, including sweet warming spices like cinnamon and ginger and savory herbs like sage and thyme. 

When stored in a cool, dry place, butternut squash keeps for several months, so you can feel free to stock up on this ever-versatile squash while it’s in season, typically from September to December. Whether you’re working with a whole squash or supermarket-prepped cubes, here are six of our favorite ways to use up all that butternut squash.

Lasagna with Butternut Squash Noodles

This twist on classic lasagna subs in thinly sliced strips of butternut squash for lasagna noodles. To make the butternut squash “noodles,” simply take the peeled neck of the squash and slice it into 1/4-inch-thick strips using a mandolin or sharp knife (be extra careful here!). Once sliced, simply layer them into your go-to lasagna recipe and bake until the squash is tender (about 50-60 minutes at 375°F) for a comforting, crowd-pleasing meal that makes an excellent addition to holiday dinner tables.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds

Don’t toss those seeds! Roasted butternut squash seeds make a great snack or topper for salads and fall soups. To harvest the seeds from your butternut squash, separate the seeds from the flesh and place them in a colander. Rinse the seeds, picking away any remaining flesh. Once clean, spread the seeds out on a kitchen towel or paper towels and pat dry. Once seeds are clean and dry, toss them with olive oil and salt on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 325°F for about 15 minutes. You can also spice things up with other seasonings like cinnamon sugar, chili powder, tajín, and curry powder. Seeds will save for several days stored in an airtight container.

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When stored in a cool, dry place, butternut squash keeps for several months, so feel free to stock up on this ever-versatile squash while it’s in season.

Butternut Squash Vegan Queso

Surprise your friends and family into eating something vegan at tailgates and football parties by transforming your butternut squash into vegan queso. Sure, it requires a little more effort than opening up a jar, but it’s a thousand times more delicious and nutritious.

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Butternut squash vegan queso begins with freshly roasted and puréed butternut squash. To make purée, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds. Set butternut squash halves, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Lightly coat the squash with olive oil and season with salt and bake for 45-60 minutes at 400°F. Once cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Then purée flesh until smooth in a food processor or blender.

Butternut squash vegan queso comes together easily by blending together 2 cups butternut squash purée, 2 cups raw cashews soaked in water for at least an hour (but preferably overnight), 1/2 cup nutritional yeast, 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk, and a teaspoon each of spices like paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a dip; over nachos; or as a sauce for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and more.

Butternut Squash Bread

To make butternut squash bread, simply swap the canned pumpkin for roasted and puréed butternut squash in your favorite pumpkin bread recipe (yep, just like our suggestion for the pie!). Feel free to experiment with mix-ins like chocolate chips, chopped nuts, blueberries, or a swirl of cream cheese for an any-time-of-day autumnal treat. Butternut squash bread will keep in an airtight container for several days and can also be wrapped in aluminum foil and frozen for up to three months.

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Butternut squash lends its buttery-smooth texture and nutty flavor to so much more than just soups.

Butternut Squash Pie

You know that canned pumpkin you buy every year? It’s not actually pumpkin. That’s right, canned “pumpkin” is typically made from one or more types of winter squash, including the almighty butternut. That’s because these squash varieties have a better flavor, texture, and color than pumpkin. And the USDA doesn’t really make a distinction between pumpkin and squash when it comes to labeling. So the next time you’re whipping up a pumpkin pie, swap out the canned stuff for some freshly roasted and puréed butternut squash.

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Butternut Squash Dumplings

Everything is better in dumpling form, and butternut squash is no exception. Because butternut squash is so versatile, there are a lot of routes you could take here flavor-wise, but our favorite is Chinese-inspired. 

Mix 2 cups of butternut squash purée with 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Then, tuck the filling into roughly 3 dozen store-bought or homemade wonton wrappers. To cook, begin by searing dumplings in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet, cover, reduce heat to low, and let steam for another 5-7 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, like sweet chili sauce or black vinegar.

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PHOTO CREDIT:

  • Photographer: Paul Quitoriano

  • Stylist: Mary Rupp

  • Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros