How To Cook Squash And Winter Vegetables

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How To Cook Squash

How To Cook Squash And Winter Vegetables

We have had some questions about how to cook squash, including spaghetti squash, acorn squash, butternut, Hubbard and pumpkin. I really haven’t done a whole lot with these so I will need your help to let us know how you cook them. If you have a recipe to use them in, post that, too!

With most squash, you can wash it off, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and strings and bake in an oven at 375 degrees until tender. You can also brush squash with oil before you bake it. When the squash is done, you can mash it, seasoning it with different seasonings or serve with various sauces.

Squash can be baked, boiled, roasted and even microwaved. It can be made into soups, lasagna, stuffed, etc.

The spaghetti squash is often baked and then the insides look like regular spaghetti noodles. You can scoop them out and serve with the same sauces you would use on regular spaghetti.

Please pop in and help me out by sharing any recipes or tips you might have for preparing squash!

Thanks, Jill


  1. Glenda says

    Yum Yum – I love butternut squash. I peel and boil till tender. Then I mash like mashing potatoes. Put a bit of salt, pepper and a little milk. Easy and delicious!

  2. Crystal says

    I saw a great spaghetti squash recipe on Rachael Ray the other morning. She took two spaghetti squash, cut them in half and spooned out the seeds. She put some olive oil, salt and pepper on them and cooked them until tender. Then, she scooped out the “spaghetti”, but left it in the squash. She made a hardy tomato-based sauce that would go great with pasta, and served it on top of the squash, using the actual squash as a “bowl”. It was so cute!

  3. Margaret2 says

    Bake a small winter squash, halved, with cinnamon sugar or curry powder and brown sugar. Serve with toast, for breakfast. I have done this in the floor of a woodstove, but you can bake it or nuke it as well. I’ve heard of serving it with vanilla ice cream, above the Mason-Dixon line.

    Grate squash and cook in your cornbread.

    Cook winter squash or pumpkin with onions, rosemary, and beef broth or bouillon. Serve on the side of a roast, or throw some in the beef stew.
    Mexicans cook it with cumin, garlic, and chile, but I don’t have that recipe. If you do, I definitely want it (or other Mexican veggie recipes).

  4. Anonymous says

    thank you for answering about my sghetti squash question. its hard when all your used to is brocoli and carrots and potatos all the time.

  5. Anonymous says

    I buy pumkins the day after hallowen. Cut them in half and bake them in the oven at 375 until tender. Puree them and put them quart size freezer bags for pumkin pies for Thanksgiving. Butternut squash is wonderful cut in half, scrape out seeds, put at little butter,honey, and cinnamon in the hole. Wrap in foil and put in the oven or in the south we put it on the Grill!!!!

  6. says

    I frequently cut a large butternut or acorn squash in half and place them into my crockpot with a little bit of water….turn it on medium high for about 3 hours and they are done! I also do this with a couple of large sweet potatoes..(there are only two of us) so it saves time and I don’t have to heat up the oven.

  7. Nicole says

    I baked my spaghetti squash as above, scooped out the “spaghetti” and placed in a pie plate. Then put chopped onions and sweet bell peppers on top and then “sprinkled” Mozzarella cheese and put it in the oven for a few minutes until cheese was melted. While the cheese was melting, I “whisked” 6-8 eggs (depending on size since we have our own chickens) along with salt, pepper, and MORE Cheese (used cheddar this time – ran out of mozzarella). Pour this on top of the “crust” and top with some more cheese. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (or until knife inserted in eggs comes out clean). My KIDS LOVED this. We called it our breakfast pie. It got a lot of veggies into my kids and husband and they enjoyed it.

  8. Denise says

    One butternut squash is usually enough for 2 or more meals for the 2 of us. I cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Then I cut off the bottom part (with the hole) leaving enough squash at top to make a flattened “round”. These I brush just a bit of olive oil on the cut side, place cut side down on baking sheet and cook (same way I would cook an acorn squash). To serve, turn it over and put a little butter and brown sugar in the “bowl”. We scoop and eat the squash out of the “shells” like a baked potato. The top half I peel and cut into cubes and toss with a little oil, put in a pan and roast. A mix of squash and root veggies cubed up and mixed in a roaster make a great side dish (butternut squash, sweet potato, white potato, turnip, rhutabega (I know I spelled THAT wrong), parsnip, etc.) Mmmm.. I’m getting hungry.

  9. Christina says

    Buternut squash. I slice it and put on a microwave plate. cook it on the fresh veg mode. Dot with butter or margarine and a little salt and pepper. The peel comes off easily after its been fully cooked. Also I bake it in the oven whole, scoop it out of the peel puree and freeze it, tastes great as “mashed potatoes” or use it instead of pumpkin in pumpkin pie (drain off any xtra liquid before using) Also can peel & dice it and deep fry it in oil (like french fries–delicious!!)

  10. Lynette says

    My husband is partial to my butternut squash when I peel it and slice it-then fry it in a little butter and or olive oil-like you would fresh fried potatoes. Top it with some season salt and serve. Yum!!

  11. Karen N. says

    I’ve been peeling, seeding, and steaming squash and pumpkins for years. The veggie doesn’t burn nor get too waterlogged. Easy and fast!

    Karen N.

    • says

      How do you peel your squash and pumpkin?? Do you cook your pumpkin the same as squash,eg cut in cubes / chunks add a little water to a pot and simmer?

      • says

        Nancy cut it in half, clean out the seeds and slim. To microwave place it cut side down on a dish (you may need to cut it into 1/4’s, 1/3’s to make it fit) and microwave until it is tender and the peel comes away easily. Let it cool first of course then peel it. If you want to bake it in the oven do it all the same just place cut side down on the pan and bake 375-400 degrees until a fork will go in easily. Once again cool and peel. You can cut it into cubes or what ever. It peels easier after it has been cooked. Also if you are going to puree it you can let it cook slightly longer until it is really soft.

  12. Lizzie says

    I love butternut squash soup. Very warm and hearty, yet healthy and economical! I made this recipe up, though there are similar ones out there. I am a little free-wheeling with measurements, so bear with me! This is dairy-free and gluten-free. My version uses chicken broth, but could easily be made with veggie broth instead to be vegetarian/vegan.

    1 small to medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
    1 apple, peeled and diced large
    1 small yellow onion, chopped roughly
    1/2 tablespoon olive oil
    1/4 – 1/2 c. natural peanut butter
    2 to 3 cups chicken broth (I make from bouillon granules)
    1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon curry powder, based on your taste & its strength
    salt to taste (may not be needed)

    You don’t have to chop things to be pretty, they will be blended in the end! Saute onions in oil until they start to become soft. Add squash, curry powder apples and half the broth and simmer until squash is tender. Let the soup cool a little so it is safe to handle. Using a pitcher blender or a hand blender, blend the peanut butter in until it’s all smooth, adding more broth or alternate milk as you go until it is the right consistency for you. Don’t add salt until the end – the broth and peanut butter have salt, so you may not need additional.

    If curry is not to your taste, try making it without spices, or simply adding a little nutmeg or cinnamon. (not much!) If you like spicy food, try adding a small pinch of cayenne. Yum!
    Cook in a smaller amount of broth and blend with cream, coconut milk or plain soy milk for creamier flavor. Use other nut butters instead of peanut, such as almond or cashew.

    Hints: The raw butternut can be peeled with a vegetable peeler (tough, but it can be done!).

  13. Dineen says

    With acorn squash, I bake cut side down until soft (time varies depending on size). When soft, turn up and add a tablespoon each of butter and brown sugar. Continue to bake for 10-15 minutes for a carmel-y cauce inside. The barest dash of salt will enhance flavor. Depending on what else you’re serving and size of squash, 1/2 squash per person.

    To microwave, you can steam halved acorn squash in a large covered casserole with about a 1/3 cup water until tender.

    Tip for cutting winter squashes: put a dish towel down on your cutting board to help keep them from slipping so much. Use a rubber mallet to tap your chef’s knife or cleaver through the squash.

    Raw butternut oozes a really slimy slippery juice that can make hard to peel. I find it easy to peel with a paring knife than with a peeler (especially the inside curves). I also will cut off a chunk of a large butternut and peel it rather than try to peel it before cutting. With really large ones, I will wrap the cut end and put in the fridge and cut off successive pieces for other meals.

    If you partially bake a whole squash (vent it with a few sticks of the knife that go all the way into the seed chamber), you can very easily scoop out the seeds and strings. Remove the squash after 20-30 minutes, allow to cool until able to handle and cut open. Let cool a little more to scoop out seeds. Return to oven to finish baking. If you make your venting knife sticks around the “equator” of the squash, you can “connect the dots” when you cut it open and that way your shell won’t leak if you’re going to use it for serving.

    Some smaller pie pumpkins have really hard shells that you can save for little serving bowls.

  14. Marilyn Potter says

    I have cooked a beef stew in a medium to large pumpkin then served it in the cooked pumpkin on the table. When taking out the beef stew scoop out some of the pumpkin as well.

    For summer squash and zucchini I cut lengthwise and parboil until fork tender. Remove the seeds, put a little butter on it, then cover with grated cheddar cheese. Place under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. A favorite with my family.

    • says

      Marilyn, what a neat idea. I bet this would be fun for a fall party or get together or marshmallow roast. We use to have hobo parties this time of year and serve stew so this would be different and more festive.

  15. Karen Howard says

    Wow! All of these Squash recipes sound Delicious! I’ll have to try the ones I don’t know. Thanks for sharing them. : )

  16. Drusilla says

    This is the recipe I am most asked for of any that I have. I always serve it with “Salmon on a Plank” or chiken

    Zucchini Casserole

    2 pounds zucchini squash, sliced (6 cups) *
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 cup dairy sour cream
    1 cup shredded carrots
    1 8-oz pkg. herb or chicken seasoned stuffing mix
    1/2 cup butter or margarine

    In a saucepan, cook sliced squash in boiling salted water for 5 minutes; drain.
    Combine soup and sour cream. Stir in shredded carrots and onion.
    Fold in drained squash. Combine stuffing mix and butter or margarine.
    Spread half of stuffing mixture in bottom of 12″ x 7-1/2″ x 2″ pan.
    Spoon vegetable mixture atop. Sprinkle remaining stuffing over vegetables.
    Bake in 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

    * Yellow summer squash may be used Makes 8 servings

    Zucchini – Spinach Frittata (this was really good — even if you don’t like zucchini)

    6 eggs
    1 Tbls. parsley, chopped
    1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
    1/4 tsp. pepper 1/2 tsp. dried basil leaves
    Dash of Tabasco 6 Tbls. butter
    4 small zucchini, sliced 1/2 cup grated parmesan, Romano,
    1 large onion, sliced Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese
    1 clove garlic, crushed (2 oz.)
    2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

    Beat eggs, salt, pepper and Tabasco in a large bowl.
    In a large skillet, melt 3 Tbls. butter.
    Add zucchini, onions, garlic and saute until soft.
    Stir in spinach, parsley, oregano and basil. Saute 2 minutes until limp.
    Add sauted vegetables to egg mixture.
    Add 3 Tbls. more butter to skillet and then add egg/vegetable mixture.
    Cook over low heat until eggs are set.
    Sprinkle cheese over top. Place under broiler (about 4 inches below heat) until cheese is bubbly.
    Serve in pie shaped wedges.

  17. Stacey says

    For our spaghetti squash, I nuke it until done. Of course, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and string the spaghetti strings out with a fork. From there add butter/margarine, garlic, oregano, pepper and a little Parmesan cheese to taste. This makes a great side dish and I think the yellow is such a beautiful color too. Thank you for these recipes, I just bought some acorn squash, and now have a new way to make it.

  18. Sandi says

    I still think Delicata squash is the best squash ever grown. It’s a little hard to find, but well worth the effort. I steam it in the rice cooker after washing, cutting, and scooping out the seads (which I then roast like pumpkin seeds). I love it plain (you can even eat the skin), but my husband puts butter on it. It’s so sweet you don’t need to add any sweetener. I’m planning to grow my own this coming year.

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