Butternut squash tastes goooood. Like sweet potatoes and a pumpkin had a love child good.
And it’s versatile. You can make them into soup, eat them as a side dish or snack, make them savory or sweet, or mash them up for homemade baby food.
I’m a ridiculously picky eater and generally only eat so I don’t die. But since I actually looooove sweet potatoes and pumpkin, I was super excited to discover butternut squash.
I’m also a food purist which means I like food to taste like what it is. Sweet things stay sweet, savory things are savory. On a side note, you don’t put freakin’ blueberries in beer!
So….I’m going to show you how to make cubed butternut squash that tastes like….butternut squash.
Buy a Butternut Squash.
Find them at your local farmer’s market or grocery store. Look for squash that isn’t squashed (teeheeeheeeehee!). For real.
If it’s bruised, looks like it fell down a flight of stairs, or like it has the plague (bubonic version), pass it by. Your squash should be firm and rich in color, and without wax. It’s also good for it to have a little nubbin of stem left.
Decide to cook it.
Bring it home and decide to cook it right away instead of leaving it on your counter for two months until its rotten.
I have never left a butternut squash on my counter to rot.
Note: You can leave butternut squash sit in a cool, dry place like your basement for up to a month without harm.
Strip your Butternut Squash.
You can either use a good peeler or a good knife. I recommend the peeler as the skin is tough and very easy to slip off of with a knife.
Turn on the oven.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Hack it up!
Start by cutting off the head and butt of the butternut squash.
Frugal Hippie Tip: In hindsight, I recognize that one could cut the squash in half horizontally prior to cutting vertical strips, thus drastically reducing the risk of accidental disembowlment…unless you’d like to lose a few pounds…of intestine…then do it the way I did.
Next, hack it in half.
Pull out its guts.
You can use a metal spoon to scrape them out. Just like you do with a pumpkin at Halloween.
Frugal Hippie Tip: Feel free to set aside the seeds to dry so you can plant them in your garden. Run them under water while removing the shmecky, stringy stuff. Pick the largest seeds & place them on a towel to dry. When thoroughly dry, save seeds in an envelope marked with the date.
Chunk, chunk, chunk it up.
Try to get the pieces as close in size as possible so they bake evenly.
Coat your butternut squash.
Melt some coconut oil in a large dish for which you possess a lid.
Then, add the cut pieces of butternut squash into the bowl, put the lid on (hold it on tightly!) and shake it. A bunch, until the squash pieces are coated with oil.
If you like to take sweet things and make them savory (blasphemer!), you can use olive instead of coconut oil & add things like garlic, thyme, parsley, rosemary, salt & pepper.
If you’re only a little bit of a heathen, you can drizzle some honey over the squash and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Spread your squash out onto a pan, or cookie sheet. And into the oven we go. (I’ll tell you all about that purrrty cast iron pan when we’re done).
Bake it until fork tender. It should feel a lot like a baked sweet potato when done. which will be about 25-35 minutes depending on your chunk size.
Aaaaand….. You’re done!
Scroll down to see the full recipe or continue reading to learn about the wonderful, beautiful, amazing virtue of cast iron griddles.
A Little Anecdote About Cast Iron Griddles
Farmboy’s brothers are all large strapping lads with extraordinarily healthy appetites. And this year, we were hosting the yearly Thanksgiving Brother’s Breakfast.
Farmboy thought it would be much easier to make the nine zillion eggs we had to make on a cast iron griddle as opposed to using our several cast iron frying pans.
Though I quite like, and primarily cook with cast iron, practical me said, “What the heck are we gonna’ do with it for the rest of the year? We only make nine zillion eggs at a time once a year…and we have six frying pans”
I’m an idiot. Farmboy is not.
This griddle is my new bff. I’ve used it to make meatloaf, eggs, pancakes, squash, cookies, bacon, potatoes & veggies. Cast iron cooks evenly, gets food a little bit crispy or caramelized, and makes everything just taste better.
I’m kind of in love with it. If Farmboy weren’t so hot, I might divorce him and become one of those strange people that marry inanimate objects.
If you are need of a new husband, you can purchase one just like mine here (the griddle, not the Farmboy): Lodge Cast Iron Griddle.
And, if you just hafta have the cutest microwave that ever existed to melt your coconut oil, you can find it here: Nostalgia Microwave.
Like the bowl pictured with the cutest microwave ever? It has a lid and comes as part of a nesting set for easy storage. You can find them here: Pyrex Nesting Bowls
Last, but not least, here’s the concise How To Bake Butternut Squash Recipe.
Butternut Squash, Baked
- 1 Whole Butternut Squash
- 3 TBSP Coconut Oil (or oil of your choice)
- Choose a blemish free butternut squash with good color and without wax covering. Be sure to choose a squash with a stem.
- Cut top and bottom off of squash.
- Peel skin until you see orange.
- Cut in half horizontally.
- Pull out guts (seeds and strings).
- Cut into chunks (keep them as even as possible).
- Place in bowl with melted coconut oil or oil of your choice. Put lid on top and shake, shake, shake to coat squash.
- Spread squash on cookie sheet, pan, or cast iron griddle or pan.
- Bake for between 25-40 mins (depending on chunk size) until fork tender. When done, they’ll have the consistency of a baked sweet potato.
Peace & Love,
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