Butternut Squash Prep 101


Arrange squash halves, cut-side up, in a shallow microwavable dish, cover, and cook until tender, rotating the dish halfway through the cooking time, 7 - 10 minutes. You can also place large chunks of any winter squash in a shallow microwavable dish, cover, and cook about 8 minutes or until tender. Let stand for 5 minutes after cooking.


Place seeded squash halves, cut-side down, in a vegetable steamer and cook over boiling water for 15 - 20 minutes until tender. Or, cook peeled chunks or slices of squash in the steamer.


Although this method is faster than steaming, boiling water will dilute the flavor of the squash slightly. Place peeled squash pieces in a small amount of boiling water and cook until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Drain well.


Halve small squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and strings (squash can also be seeded after baking). Cut large squash into serving-sized pieces. Place the squash, cut-side down, in a foil-lined baking pan (its sugary juices may burn onto the pan). Pour about 1/4" of water into the pan, cover with foil, and bake in a 350°F - 400°F oven until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife or toothpick. Halfway through baking, the squash halves (or pieces) may be turned, cut-side up, brushed with a little melted butter or oil, and sprinkled with brown sugar and spices. Bake squash halves for 40 - 45 minutes and cut-up squash for 15 - 25 minutes.


Cook squash as desired. Cool completely and place content in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers. Leave ½ inch headspace for expansion.
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