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How to Cook Butternut Squash in 3 Really Easy Peasy Methods

How to Cook Butternut Squash
Cooking butternut squash is very easy, provided you know the right methods. It is appliance friendly, you can easily cook with the help of any appliance such as oven or microwave or pressure cooker.
Sonia Nair
Last Updated: Feb 17, 2018
Butternut squash is one of the sweetest winter squashes. This bell-shaped squash has yellowish skin and orange pulp with seeds inside. Apart from its sweet and nutty taste, this squash is very rich in nutrients too. It contains a considerable amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium and fiber. Butternut squash is widely used across the world.
Butter Squash can be roasted, toasted, baked, steamed, candied or fried. It is pureed or mashed and is added to various dishes, like soups, breads, muffins, and casseroles. It can also be grilled with spices.
Method I - Use an Oven
You may either use pre-cut squash from the supermarket or go for the whole one, which has to be cleaned and cut. Remove the stalk; wash and cut the squash in half (lengthwise). If you want to bake the squash, don't cut it further, as it is better to retain the half-cut shape.
Now remove the seeds, pulp, and strings and coat the meaty parts with butter or olive oil. You may also sprinkle salt, pepper, grated ginger or nutmeg powder, as per your preference.
Place the butternut squash in a baking pan, with the cut side up. Now, add some water to the pan (about one inch), before placing it inside the oven that is preheated to 350° F.
Cook the squash for about forty to fifty minutes or till it becomes tender. This cooked squash will be slightly brown in color. You may serve it in the shell itself or scoop out the meat for serving. You can also mash it and blend with other dishes.
The following is another method to bake butternut squash in oven. All you have to do is cut the squash in half. Take a foil-covered baking sheet and place both the pieces face down. Bake them for around thirty to forty minutes at a temperature setting of 400° F.
Once it is cooked, the squash will become soft and tender. Remove and serve it with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. If you don't like the sweet taste, add salt and pepper.
Method II - Use a Microwave
The microwave has to be set on high for this purpose. If you want to keep the squash in whole, then make sure that you make small slits all over the squash before placing it inside the microwave. You have to cook the squash in the microwave for around ten minutes (for a medium-sized fruit).
If you are using halved squash, place the pieces face down in the microwave and cook for around seven to ten minutes. You may also turn them over, when the squash is half done. In that case, cover the pieces with waxed paper, and cook till done.
Method III - Use a Pressure Cooker
A pressure cooker can also be used for cooking butternut squash. Peel and cut the squash into two halves. Remove the seeds and pulp. You may either retain the two halves as such or cut them into cubes. Put some water in the pressure cooker and let it boil. Place the steamer basket inside the cooker, but make sure that the water level is well below the steamer basket.
Place the squash pieces in the steamer basket and cook. If you have cut the squash in halves, cook with the cut side up, for four minutes (at 15 psi). While it takes only two minutes for cubed squash to get cooked in a pressure cooker, whole ones may take six to eight minutes, according to the size.
The cooking time may vary with the different methods of cooking and the size of the squash or squash pieces. It takes around six to eight minutes for steaming butternut squash in a steamer. Boiling is another method of cooking butternut squash. You have to let the squash chunks cook in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. If you want to roast the squash in the oven, it will take around forty-five minutes at a temperature of 400° F. In case of stir fry, you can check if it is done by piercing the squash pieces with a fork. Cooked squash will be tender.
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