Butternut squash makes the perfect vegetable side dish. It is very versatile and goes so well with many different flavors and cuisines.
Butternut squash has a slightly sweet flavor. It's a little buttery and nutty when cooked (hence the name). The flavor pairs well with spicy seasonings and citrus tones, such as lime juice and lemon juice, but also works great with creamy cheesy flavors and seasonal Fall herbs.
Butternut squash also has a gorgeous orange-yellow color, which makes every recipe cooked with butternut squash look very impressive and comforting thanks to the warm orange tones.
Butternut squash also happens to work great in casserole (sweet AND savory!), making it the ultimate comfort food!
And of course, butternut squash soups are a must-make in the Fall.
Can you eat butternut squash raw?
Yes, you can eat butternut squash raw! It doesn't have any toxic or dangerous elements.
You might not want to bite into a large chunk of butternut squash raw, but it is really good when spiralized into thin strips. It has a nice crunchy texture and an earthy flavor.
If that freaks you out, a nice balance between raw butternut squash and completely cooked butternut squash is a quick stir fry of butternut squash spiralized "noodles." You'll retain lots of the crunch of raw butternut squash but it will be a little softer and sweeter than eating raw butternut squash.
Butternut squash benefits
→ Butternut squash is extremely good for you. It is light in calories - it has about 65 calories per 1 cup, so you can enjoy larger servings of butternut squash recipes without consuming too many calories.
→ Butternut squash is high in fiber, with almost 3 grams of fiber per cup. Fiber helps you feel full longer and helps keep the digestive system healthy and regular.
→ Butternut squash is also loaded with many healthy nutrients and vitamins. It is extremely high in Vitamin A and C. It also has a lot of potassium, magnesium, and some calcium.
→ Butternut squash contains beta-carotene and lutein, which are good for your immune system and your eyes.
Since butternut squash is so healthy, delicious, and versatile, we are trying to eat more of it!
How to cook butternut squash
Butternut squash can be prepared so many different ways: roasted, pan-fried, steamed, boiled, in the Instant Pot, or simply spiralized into a salad.
Butternut squash cooks relatively fast for a dense squash - it can be roasted in the oven at 375F - 400F in about 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of the butternut squash cubes. It also cooks fast when it is steamed or boiled. You'll see some of the best ways to prepare butternut squash in the recipes below.
Here are our favorite butternut squash side dishes:
This butternut squash puree is made with roasted butternut squash and roasted garlic for the most wonderful Fall flavor, and has tender white beans pureed into the butternut squash mash for extra texture, fiber, and protein.
An AMAZING butternut squash side dish to complement ANY main course!
This stuffing casserole is packed with classic Fall flavors and lots of texture. And yes, it has butternut squash! It's not your traditional Thanksgiving stuffing, and it makes a great side dish for any night of the year.