Do you like butternut squash recipes? This vegetable (technically a berry!) is also known as butternut pumpkin or gramma in Australia as well as in New Zealand. This winter squash grows on a vine and has a scrumptious sweet and nutty taste similar to pumpkin. The tan-yellow skin encases orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds at the blossom end.
As it ripens, the color deepens to a rich orange and this delicious ingredient becomes even sweeter. Butternut squash is not just tasty, you know – it’s also a great source of fiber, Vitamins A and C, magnesium and potassium. This versatile fruit (and yes, it’s technically a berry!) can be used in a variety of dishes.
It can be roasted, sautéed, baked, puréed for soups, or mashed for casseroles, breads, muffins, and pies. Did you know that butternut squash is part of the same squash family as ponca, Waltham, pumpkin, and calabaza? Now you do!
History of Butternut Squash
Let’s take a trip back in time to explore the fascinating history of butternut squash recipes! Did you know that the word “squash” comes from the Native American word “askutasquash,” which means “eaten raw or uncooked?”
While it’s true that some Native Americans enjoyed eating certain types of squash without cooking them, today most of us prefer our squash cooked to juicy perfection. Ancient Native Americans believed that squash was so nutritious that they would bury it with their loved ones to sustain them on their final journey.
And while many varieties of squash have been grown in North America for hundreds of years, butternut squash is a relatively modern addition. It was developed by a man named Charles Legget in Massachusetts back in 1944, who crossed pumpkin and gooseneck squash varieties to create this delicious and nutty winter squash.
Butternut squash is also known for its impressive storage capabilities. Butternut squash will stay good for up to 3 months. Some varieties will keep up to 6 months. Store them at 50°F (10°F) at about 50% humidity, and, if you can, let it cure for a couple of months after harvest.
What to Make with It
Let’s talk about all the fun things you can do with butternut squash in the kitchen! One of the most popular ways to prepare it is by roasting it, which opens up a world of possibilities for how you can enjoy it. After removing the skin, stalk, and seeds (which aren’t usually eaten or cooked), you can use the flesh in a variety of dishes.
But don’t toss out the seeds just yet – they’re actually edible, whether raw or roasted, and you can even press them into a delicious oil to use in your cooking or as a salad dressing.
“Down Under”, in Australia, butternut squash is often considered a type of pumpkin and can be used interchangeably with other varieties. Meanwhile, in South Africa, butternuts are a staple ingredient and are frequently turned into soups or grilled as a side dish for barbecues.
Have you ever tried grilled butternut? A tasty seasoning is nutmeg and cinnamon, or you can even stuff it with delicious spinach and feta before wrapping it in foil and throwing it on the grill. This tasty side dish often makes an appearance at all the best barbecues, and the soup makes for a great appetizer!
Did you know butternuts were introduced commercially in New Zealand back in the 1950s by the Harrison brothers, who were nursery workers and market gardeners in Otaki? Pretty cool, right?
10 Top Butternut Recipes
1. Roasted Butternut Squash: Cinnamon brings out the beautifully sweet flavor of the butternut squash in this recipe. Don’t worry about the prep work, it is easy, and even peeling squash is quick and simple as long as you’re using a decent peeler such as this OXO peeler I wouldn’t want to be without.
2. Butternut Soup: You can’t go wrong making this rich and creamy soup – it’s perfect for the cooler months, and wonderful if you serve it with crusty bread. If you are looking for butternut squash recipes for the fall or winter, you’ll want to bookmark this soup. It’s hearty and warming, and the flavor is out of this world.
3. Butternut Squash Salad: Add nuts and cheese to butternut squash – the nuts add a beautiful crunch to the salad while the cheese contrasts a creamy texture with a sweet one. This salad is perfect for any season, occasion or mood. It’s one of the most versatile butternut squash recipes.
4. Butternut Pizza: This one is really going to make you drool. The sweetness of the squash pairs with creamy cheese and – wait for it – sweet caramelized onions, to make one of the most incredible pizzas you ever tasted.
5. Butternut Squash Lasagna: Boasting caramelized onions as well as spinach, this easy butternut squash lasagna is a dish fit for vegetarians and carnivores alike. It pairs the sweet with the savory, and the combo of onions, spinach and squash is beautiful.
6. Butternut Squash Curry: Thinking about making something curried? This squash curry teams the sweetness of the squash with aromatic spices. It’s more British Indian food than true Indian cuisine but sometimes fusion food is the best (although this curried pasta recipe might be a little much if you’re more traditional palate-wise).
7. Butternut Fries: You aren’t going to believe how easy this recipe is. All you need is the squash and some oil and salt, and you have all the makings of some of the best fries you ever tasted. If you love sweet potato fries you’ll adore these for sure.
8. Butternut Risotto: Soft, juicy risotto makes a fabulous appetizer, main course or side dish. In this recipe, the sweet squash is showcased with typical risotto ingredients like white wine and butter, for a fantastic result. I like to double up on this one and enjoy it the following day for lunch. I’ve even been known to take it to work and eat it chilled. Trust me, this risotto is great any way you serve it! And if you’re a fan, you might also enjoy this mushroom risotto or risotto stuffed squid.
9. Butternut Squash Ravioli: Sage and garlic are just two of the ingredients in this butternut ravioli recipe. This is a gorgeous recipe and goes to show it’s not difficult to make your own ravioli from scratch. So, give the grocery store ravioli a swerve and try this instead. You’ll be happy you did!
10. Stuffed Butternut Squash: You can stuff butternut with anything and sausage stuffed butternut squash is one popular take on the dish. However, this apple and sausage stuffed butternut has a special place in my heart. The sweet butternut and meaty sausage flavors are simply incredible with the apple. The whole family will rave about this recipe.
Photos from Pexels