Butternut squash is a superfood. That’s not why it’s one of my all time favorite vegetables though. I simply love the rich sweet taste of this incredibly flavorful squash. It’s quick and easy to prepare and takes little effort to “gussy up.” When serving it as a side dish, I put butternut squash on the table hot out of the oven with a smear of coconut oil, a big shake of ground cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt.
Butternut squash is a winter squash (like pumpkin), and a member of the gourd family. Winter squash is generally in season from later summer through mid-winter, though can be grown year round in some locales. I find that I am able to obtain the best (tastiest) winter squash in my area from mid-September until sometime in March, depending on the weather each year.
Here is how I roast my butternut squash. If you wish you can line the baking sheet with [parchment paper] –that will work just fine. Or, roast the squash sans parchment to get the edges just a bit more browned.
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Using a big hefty knife, cut the squash in half
- Scoop out the seeds and discard, or save for later use
- Rub inside and out of squash with coconut oil
- Place face down on a metal baking sheet
- Bake at 350° for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tender
In my experience, butternut squash works incredibly well in recipes that call for pumpkin; I use these two members of the gourd family interchangeably in my recipes. In my experience it is often easier to find a ripe sugary butternut squash than it is to find a sweet pumpkin –though I do have great success with hokkaido pumpkins quite often.
Speaking of pumpkin, I’m often asked why canned pumpkin does not work in my recipes. Unfortunately, numerous readers have reported that using canned pumpkin in my pumpkin dishes (I’ve created all of these recipes using fresh baked squash or pumpkin) yields an extremely watery, soupy result. So best to stick with the exact recipe, or consider making an adapted version as a complete experiment, with an unpredictable result.
Use butternut squash in the following recipes that call for pumpkin –it will work very well!