Hard winter squash can be intimidating, but they are actually very simple to prepare as well as satisfying, nutritious and affordable!
Butternut squash, for example, delivers healthy carbohydrates, vitamins A and C plus potassium.
We’ll share two recipes here to get you started with winter squash.
This basic recipe brings out the best in winter squash: little bites delightfully caramelized outside and creamy inside.
Serve straight from the oven as a side dish or use in soup, tacos, enchiladas, pasta and salad.
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. Halve the squash lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard seeds.
If desired, peel with a vegetable peeler or cut into big chunks and keep steady on the cutting board while cutting off the peel with a knife. You can also place a damp kitchen towel under your cutting board to help stabilize when cutting the squash.
Cut into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a large, rimmed baking sheet. Toss with oil, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer.
Roast, tossing occasionally, until just tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Spaghetti squash makes an excellent side dish or a fun substitute in thin noodle recipes, from Asian to Italian.
It is loaded with nutrients, such as beta carotene and fiber, and is tender, with just a slight crunch.
1 (about 3 1/2 pounds) spaghetti squash
Preheat oven to 375°F and halve squash lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard seeds from the middle of each half.
Arrange squash in a 9- x 13-inch casserole dish, cut sides down. Pour 1/2 cup water into the dish and bake until just tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
Rake a fork back and forth across the squash to remove its flesh in strands…like spaghetti!
Hungry for More?
Once you know how to roast a spaghetti squash or butternut squash, you can give these dishes a try:
Spaghetti Squash Marinara with Italian Sausage and Garlic Bread opens in a new tab
Winter Squash Stew with White Beans and Kale opens in a new tab
Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Prosciutto opens in a new tab
Italian Style Spaghetti Squash with Tempeh opens in a new tab
Selecting and Storing
Choose winter squash that are firm, heavy for their size, and that have hard, tough skin with no cuts, punctures, sunken spots or mold. A tender rind indicates immaturity, which is undesirable in spaghetti squash and other types of winter squash. Winter squash can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place for a month or more. After cutting, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate.
How do you like to serve winter squash?