Butternut squash is an autumn favorite, often cooked alongside turkey, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and other foods you might have during the holiday season. What I love when I cook butternut squash is that it’s already so flavorful that very little seasoning is necessary.
If you’ve not learned how to cook butternut squash before, you may lump it in with other squashes, particularly yellow squashes, that are known to be within bland. That’s not the case with this one, though, as it can be quite tasty and it requires few other ingredients to make it an appealing dish.
The bright orange color can add a dash of excitement to your meal, complementing the other colors of the food to create an attractive spread.
How do you cook a butternut squash? I’ll share a few different ways you can cook this vegetable to give you some options to work with.
How to Cook Butternut Squash in the Oven
I’ll keep this recipe for how to cook butternut squash cubes very simple. If you’re worried that you’re going to mess it up, ruin the flavors or accidentally burn the squash, I got you covered with a very straightforward set of instructions.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit while you prepare the components to go in the butternut squash dish.
Then, peel the butternut squash and cut out the seeds. Next, slice the remainder of the squash into cubes that are about an inch square.
Gently toss your butternut squash squares with two minced garlic cloves and two tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on them as well and toss for about 20 seconds.
As the oven is heating, you can arrange a baking sheet with the seasoned squash. Don’t allow the squash pieces to rest on top of each other or they won’t bake all the way through.
Then, roast the squash in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. If you are wondering how long to cook butternut squash in oven, the squash is done cooking when it’s begun to turn lightly brown and is tender when you poke it with a fork.
How to Cook Butternut Squash on Stove
Start with a pound and a half of butternut squash that’s been peeled and seeded and cut into half-inch pieces. In a large skillet, heat on medium and then add in about three tablespoons of butter.
Whisk the butter until it’s melted and starts to foam. Once the foaming goes down and brownish milk solids form, the butter should take on a different smell, kind of like a nutty aroma.
Take the pan off the heat and add in a tablespoon of chopped thyme. Whisk again, and be careful about letting the butter cook for too long. You don’t want it to burn. Take the pan off the heat once more and put it somewhere to cool down so that the butter stops cooking.
If the butter starts to burn, you’ll want to get rid of it and start again.
Next, you need to brown the cubed squash in your butter sauce. Add in your squash pieces to the pan and bring the pan back on the burner. Turn the heat to medium and stir your squash to cover with the butter mixture. As the squash is cooking, add your salt and pepper, garnishing generously.
Turn the heat down to low and cover the pan to allow the squash to continue cooking until it is tender when poked with a fork. This should take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, with cooking times varying based on how big the pieces are cut.
How long to cook butternut squash on the stove? If you cut your pieces into half-inch cubes, that should take about 15 minutes to cook on the stove top. Smaller pieces will cook faster, so you want to check them when you get closer to the 10-minute mark. With larger pieces, it can take as long as 20 minutes to cook a pound and a half of butternut squash on the stovetop.
How to Cook Butternut Squash in Microwave
Did you know you can also use the microwave to cook butternut squash? The squash will need to be prepared a little differently from how you prep it for stovetop or oven cooking.
You can cook the whole squash at once in the microwave, but you’ll need to cut a few vents around the edges of the squash. Use a sharp paring knife to make a few slits in the skin of the squash.
The squash can microwave on a microwave-safe plate for 10-12 minutes. Then, take it out of the microwave and allow it to cool.
Once the squash cools, you can cut it in half lengthwise and then take out the seeds. The flesh can be scooped out with a spoon and seasoned and then served.
How to Cook Butternut Squash in Instant Pot
Another way to make butternut squash is with a pressure cooker or Instant Pot.
Cut the stem off the squash and then cut it in half lengthwise. Then, cut into quarters and remove the seeds. Use the wire metal trivet in the electric pressure cooker and add a cup and a half of water. The squash quarters should lay on top of the trivet, without overlapping much.
Cover the pressure cooker and select “steam” or “manual” and then cook for seven minutes using the high pressure setting. When it’s done cooking, you can release the pressure valve and test the squash. If it needs to cook longer because it’s not very tender, you can add an additional half cup of water and cook for two more minutes.
Once you take the squash out of the pressure cooker, you can scoop out the flesh from beneath the skin and then season it up for your dish.
There you have it- a few relatively simple ways to cook up butternut squash.