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13 Easy Butternut Squash Recipes

Looking for some easy butternut squash recipes to add to your repertoire? These are some of my favorites!

Overhead view of easy butternut squash mac and cheese in bowl with fork

Of all the winter squash varieties out there, I think we can agree that butternut squash is the best, right? Or at least one of the best! It’s naturally sweet, a little bit nutty, and cooking only makes it sweeter and nuttier. 

Before we jump into my favorite easy butternut squash recipes, let’s cover Squash 101—the ins and outs of cooking with butternut squash.

Overhead view of halved butternut squash on cutting board with spoonful of seeds

How Do You Select a Good Butternut Squash at the Grocery Store?

First and foremost, when you're shopping for a butternut squash to use in a recipe, look for a squash that is firm all around and feels heavy for its size. This indicates that it is fresh and ripe. Avoid butternut squash with soft spots or gashes, as these are either signs of spoilage or a spot where spoilage is likely to occur soon.

Another important factor to consider is the color. A good butternut squash should have a deep, rich color, ranging from light beige to dark orange. Avoid squash that are pale or have a greenish tint, as these may not be fully ripe.

Finally, pay attention to the stem of the squash. It should be intact and dry. If it’s moist or moldy, the squash is probably old, spoiled, or on the verge of spoiling.

How Do You Prep Butternut Squash for Cooking?

The shape of butternut squash can make it a little bit intimidating when it comes to prep. Many butternut squash recipes will have instructions for preparing the squash.

My best advice if you’re cubing butternut squash is to consider the top and the bottom as two separate entities. Cut off the neck of the squash, then peel and cube it. The bulbous end has seeds in the middle, so you’ll want to peel that first, then cut it in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp before cubing. (The seeds can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds!)

If you’re roasting squash to mash or puree, prep is much easier. Simply cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and pulp, then roast as directed. 

Overhead view of two halves of roasted butternut squash on sheet pan with spoon scooping flesh

Do You Have to Peel Butternut Squash Before Cooking?

The short answer is no, you do not have to peel butternut squash before using it in recipes. The longer answer is: it depends and here’s why.

Like acorn squash, the skin on butternut squash is edible. But if you find acorn squash skin unpleasant to eat, you’ll definitely dislike butternut squash skin, which is even tougher. For this reason, most recipes do recommend peeling and discarding the skin. 

Alternatively, you can also roast the squash whole or halved with the skin on, as described above. Once cooked, the skin can easily be removed and you can use the flesh for your recipe.

Is Butternut Squash Good for You?

Butternut squash is a nutritious ingredient to incorporate into your meals. It's low in calories and high in fiber and it also contains vitamins A, C, and E, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium.

My Favorite Easy Butternut Squash Recipes

close up on a bowl of slow cooker chickpea soup with coconut yogurt, arugula and quinoa on top

Moroccan Chickpea Stew in the Slow Cooker

This easy vegan Moroccan chickpea stew comes together in the slow cooker, making it perfect for a busy weeknight! Packed with butternut squash, red lentils, and tomato, it’s a hearty and satisfying dinner.
Check out this recipe
quinoa bowl with roasted vegetables and chickpeas

Glowing Winter Quinoa Bowls

These nourishing Buddha Bowls feature quinoa, tender roasted butternut squash, garlic roasted beets, kale, broccoli, and chickpeas, all drizzled with a creamy tahini-miso dressing.
Check out this recipe
Vegan Gluten Free Cornbread

Butternut Squash Cornbread

Who knew you could use butternut squash to make an easy cornbread recipe?! This cornbread is the epitome of comfort food during the cozy winter months and perfect for holiday get-togethers. 
Check out this recipe
Cinnamon maple roasted butternut squash in serving dish with rosemary and pecans

Roasted Butternut Squash

Whether you're serving this easy Roasted Butternut Squash as a vegan side dish for a holiday gathering or for a weeknight dinner, it’s sure to impress with its layers of flavor and texture, along with the perfectly caramelized squash.
Check out this recipe

Quinoa Breakfast Tacos with Kale + Butternut Squash

Made with wholesome and nourishing ingredients, these breakfast tacos are not only healthy and detox-friendly, they’re also a delicious way to start your day!
Butternut Squash + Apple Soup -- made with roasted vegetables, rosemary, cinnamon and a ton of other spices! [VEGAN]

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

This Roasted Vegan Butternut Squash Soup is incredibly easy to prepare, with roasted squash adding an earthy, sweet flavor and velvety smooth texture.
Check out this recipe
Close up overhead view of two bowls of butternut squash quinoa risotto garnished with sage.

Butternut Squash Quinoa Risotto

If you love risotto made with rice, you’ll love quinoa risotto too! This recipe packs in much more protein than the original, while the butternut squash makes it creamy and delicious.
Check out this recipe
Overhead view of butternut squash mac and cheese in bowl with fork

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut squash mac and cheese is as indulgently creamy and cheesy as the classic version, but with some extra nutrition thanks to everyone's favorite winter squash!
Check out this recipe
Plate of Creamy Walnut Pasta with fork

Creamy Walnut Pasta

Nutty walnuts and butternut squash are a match made in heaven in this easy, creamy pasta recipe!
Check out this recipe
A simple fall quinoa salad packed with roasted butternut squash, chopped apples, pecan and spinach!

Fall Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash and Apples

This satisfying quinoa salad brings together the flavors of roasted butternut squash, crisp sweet apples, and toasted pecans, creating a salad that can stand as a meal on its own.
Check out this recipe
Best Vegan Enchilada Recipe with Black Beans

Vegan Black Bean Enchiladas

Black beans and butternut squash make the filling for this easy vegan enchilada recipe. Bonus: it’s freezer-friendly too!
Check out this recipe
Spiralized Butternut Squash Bowls

Spiralized Butternut Squash Bowls with Harissa Chickpeas + Quinoa

Yes, you can spiralize butternut squash! Dust off your spiralizer and put it to use making colorful squash noodles for these hearty meal bowls.
A hand holding up a butternut squash white bean burger in a bun garnished with lettuce, tomato, spicy mayo, and vegan queso.

Chipotle Butternut Squash White Bean Burgers

These delicious butternut squash white bean burgers are easy to prepare and bursting with bold flavor thanks to the addition of smoky chipotles in adobo. 
Check out this recipe

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