Butternut squash is sweet, nutty and wonderfully versatile. It’s a great addition to risottos and soups, is brilliant with pasta or stuffed into ravioli, you can use it to bulk out curries, or roast it whole to serve as the centrepiece for a veg roast.
Whichever way you use it, learning how to cook butternut squash is a handy skill to have in the kitchen to guarantee nutritious and delicious dinners. Here’s everything you need to know about the autumn veg as well as 11 beautiful butternut squash recipes that will go down a storm.
Want more? Take a look at our favourite warming autumn recipes
What are the health benefits?
Butternut squash is not only tasty, it’s also a great source of vitamins A and C, both of which we need to keep our skin nice and healthy. 80g of cooked butternut squash can count towards your 5-a-day. Check out our Vegepedia to learn more.
How to cook butternut squash to perfection
Butternut squash is in season from September to December, however it keeps very well in storage, so you’ll find it readily available for most of the year. Choose a firm squash that feels heavy for its size.
For a basic butternut squash recipe, halve the squash, scoop out the seeds and chop into chunks. You don’t have to remove the skin — it will go soft and sweet as the squash cooks — just make sure you wash it well before cooking. Roast at 180°C for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden and soft.
Or, next time you’ve got the oven on, use up the space to cook a whole squash – simply bake it just as it is until you can insert a knife in easily, then use it over the following days for throwing into salads or to turn into pancakes or fritters.
11 epic butternut squash recipes
Roast a whole squash for this recipe, then mash it up with ricotta for a beautiful filling for homemade ravioli, served up with 7-veg tomato sauce, rocket and Parmesan. Luxurious.
Not much beats a bowl of oozy, comforting risotto. A little sausage goes a long way in this delicious dish, paired with sweet squash, red wine, chilli, fennel and thyme.
Stuffed with nutty, cranberry-spiked rice, this vegetarian squash roast is a real showstopper — be sure to bring it to the table to open up the foil for everyone to see, then carve into nice thick slices.
This winter salad takes minutes to prepare and lets the oven do most of the hard work. Spiced with cumin and paired with couscous and pumpkin seeds, this is a great portable salad to take to work or school.
This is a clever way to use up leftover squash — mash it up and mix it with allspice, ricotta, an egg and a bit of flour, then fry tablespoons in olive oil for moreish mouthfuls.
Butternut squash is great friends with Indian flavours, like curry leaves, cumin, mustard seeds, chilli and coconut. Take dal to the next level in this squash curry recipe.
Roasted with sage, garlic and chilli, and smashed onto hot toasts, this is a great antipasti dish for sharing.
Make this delicious pancake recipe for a weekend brunch and do something different with your squash. There’ll be smiles all round.
This is the easiest method for cooking squash. Roast it whole, then add all the flavour at the last minute when you smash it in. Topped with crispy sage, toasted pine nuts, a drizzle of sage oil and a little balsamic vinegar. It’s a winner.
If you’ve got a bit of leftover chicken, veg and stuffing after a Sunday roast, make this winter salad. Teamed with spiced chickpeas and a fresh hit of parsley and rocket, it’s an epic Monday night dinner.
Chunks of sweet roasted squash with crispy, smoked bacon and rosemary, this butternut squash recipe is great as an antipasto or side.
Get more tips on preparing and chopping your squash here.