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How to Cook Squash

How to Roast, Steam, or Nuke Winter Squash


There are several easy ways to cook up winter squash - whether you have a butternut squash, an acorn squash, a spaghetti squash, or a pumpkin. Use these methods to cook squash simply and serve with a bit of butter and sugar or just salt and pepper for an easy, flavorful, nutrient-chocked sunny dish.

How to Bake or Roast Winter Squash

Photo © Molly Watson
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut off any stem end the squash may have. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Use a large soup spoon or a melon baller to scoop and and discard seeds and the fibrous stuff that grows around them. Lightly oil or butter a baking sheet or pan. Place squash cut side down on the sheet and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, which can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes depending on the type and size of the winter squash at hand.

Roasting or baking works for all winter squashes, and is a particularly good way to cook up a large number of winter squash.

Also see specific instructions for Roasting Spaghetti Squash and Roasting Pumpkins.

How to Steam Winter Squash

Photo © Molly Watson
Peel, seed, and cut or slice squash into serving pieces. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot. Put squash pieces in a steamer basket and place, covered, over the boiling water. Steam, covered, until tender to the bite or when pierced with a fork, 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size of squash pieces.

Steaming works best with squash varieties that aren't too difficult to peel, such as butternut squash and kabocha squash.

How to Microwave Winter Squash

Photo © Molly Watson
Poke winter squash all over with a fork. Microwave at full power for 5 minutes for smaller squash and 10 minutes for larger squash. At this point a fork should easily pierce the peel and flesh. If it doesn't, microwave squash at 1-minute intervals until tender. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard seeds, and season, scoop, or cut squash as desired.

Microwaving is an easy way to cook all winter squash varieties.

Related Video
How to Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash

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