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How to cook butternut squash (5 ways)

This is the complete guide on how to cook butternut squash 5 different ways: roasted, boiled, in the microwave, in a crockpot, and in an Instant Pot. In addition, find out how to peel and cut it easily (halved, quartered, or cubed) to prepare side dishes, soups, or to make bread and pies. It is as easy as peeling pumpkin!
Course:Side Dish
Keywords:how cut and peel butternut squash, how to cook butternut squash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories174 kcal
Cost $ 0.80 per person


  • baking sheet, pot, microwave, Instant Pot, or slow cooker



  • 3 lb butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 rosemary sprigs chopped


  • 3 lb butternut squash
  • a good pinch of salt
  • water enough to cover


  • 3 lb butternut squash

Instant Pot:

  • 3 lb butternut squash
  • 1 ½ cups water


  • 3 lb butternut squash


  • Roasting: Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Wash squash with a brush and pat dry.
  • Cut off ends and then in half crosswise. Place halves upright and peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife.
  • Cut squash into quarters and remove both the seeds and strings using a spoon.
  • Cut into ¾ to 1–inch cubes. Place them into a bowl and mix with olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and salt and pepper until coated.
  • Spread mixture into a large baking sheet (preferably lined with foil for easy cleaning).
  • Roast for about 35-40 minutes or until fork-tender and caramelized.
  • Boiling: Wash squash with a brush and pat dry. Cut off ends and then in half crosswise. Place halves upright and peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife.
  • Cut squash into quarters and remove both the seeds and strings using a spoon. Cut into ¾ to 1–inch cubes.
  • Place squash in a pot and fill with enough water to cover by 1-2 inches above the squash. Season with salt and boil over high heat for about 12-15 minutes or until fork-tender.
  • Drain or remove cooked squash with a slotted spoon. You may serve with butter while still hot or a hint of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Crockpot: Wash squash with a brush and pat dry. Place whole squash in the slow cooker (with or without stem), close lid, and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8-10 hours. There is no need to pour water in the bottom to cook it.
  • Let it cool just enough to handle and cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and strings and then scoop out the flesh. That is how to cook butternut squash in the crockpot easily!
  • Instant Pot: Wash squash with a brush and pat dry. Cut off ends and then cut in half crosswise.
  • Put each half upright and cut into quarters. Remove seeds and string using a spoon.
  • Place steam basket into the Instant Pot and pour in 1 ½ cups of water. Place squash quarters on top of the steam basket, lock the lid, secure the valve, and cook on high pressure for about 6-7 minutes. Depending on your pressure cooker, you may have to press the steam button and manually set to 6 or 7 minutes.
  • Remove quarters with tongs and scoop out the flesh. To serve it as baby food, just smash or purée the cooked flesh.
  • Microwave: Wash squash with a brush and pat dry. Using a paring knife, make slits around squash to vent.
  • Place whole squash in a microwave-safe dish and cook for about 10-12 minutes (1200 Watts) or more depending on the potency of your microwave.
  • Check if tender enough by pricking the cooked squash with a fork. Allow it to cool just enough to handle.
  • Cut cooked butternut squash in half and remove seeds and strings with a spoon. Cut into slices or cubes, or scoop out the flesh.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Cooking time varies depending on the chosen method.  The time stated above is for the Instant Pot.
Calories vary according to the cooking method. The one stated above is for roasting! The other methods contain less calories.  
How to peel and cut squash:
  1. Wash squash thoroughly using a vegetable brush. This will help to not contaminate the vegetable peeler! Then, pat dry to keep the peeling process from getting slippery.
  2. Next, cut off the ends and slice the squash in half crosswise. This will allow you to place each half upright in a steady position on the cutting board. 
  3. Using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, peel off all the skin. 
  4. Cut halved squash in quarters. Then, remove both the seeds and attached strings using a spoon or ice cream scoop. 
  5. At this point, you may cut the squash into slices or into ¾ to 1-inch cubes. Or you can cook the quarters in the Instant Pot, for example. 
If raw, uncut squash will keep well for 3-4 months if stored in a cool and dry place. Discard if it becomes soft, moldy, or squishy.
If cooked, store butternut squash in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days, or a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3-4 months. If freezing cooked and cubed squash,  place the cubes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid before putting them in a bag/container. This simple step will prevent them from sticking to each other. 


Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 958mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 28930IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 2mg

** Nutrition labels on easyanddelish.com are for educational purposes only. This info is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate, since the nutrition content of recipes can vary based on ingredient brand or source, portion sizes, recipe changes/variations, and other factors. We suggest making your own calculations using your preferred calculator, based on which ingredients you use, or consulting with a registered dietitian to determine nutritional values more precisely.

Please note that health-focused and diet information provided on easyanddelish.com is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to initiating any significant change in your diet or exercise regimen, or for any other issue necessitating medical advice.

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