Cooking butternut squash seems simple enough but there are a few secrets that you need to know in order to cook it perfectly. Butternut squash is an amazing addition to any dish in the fall or winter because of its nutty and sweet taste. Similar to a pumpkin, butternut squash is actually a fruit but it is commonly used as a vegetable in many dishes ranging from soups to mashes, to tacos, and even muffins! Depending on what you are making with your butternut squash, you will need to cook it a little bit differently but as long as you keep these five secrets in mind, you are bound to end up with delicious butternut squash that everyone will love!
Start out With the Perfect Squash
The first secret to cooking butternut squash involves starting out with the perfect squash. When you are able to find the perfect squash, you can pretty much guarantee that your recipe will be a hit. But what does a perfect butternut squash look like? The first thing you need to look at is the color. You should look for a squash that has a nice beige color and is free of any deep scratches, cuts, and soft spots. Once you have the right color and appearance in mind, you need to look at the weight. You don’t need the biggest squash but you do need one that is heavy and dense for its size.
Prepare the Squash Correctly
The second secret to cooking butternut squash is to prepare the squash correctly. Depending on how you are cooking it and what you are making, you will need to prepare it in different ways. However, you may need to peel it and you will probably have to remove the seeds. Peeling a butternut squash can be difficult and you can use either a peeler or a paring knife. You may want to cut off the end pieces beforehand so that it sits flat for easier peeling. If you are having a lot of trouble peeling, you may want to place the squash in the microwave for a couple of minutes to make the process easier.
In order to remove the seeds, you should scoop out all of the seeds and strings from the squash and either throw them away or save them to roast later.
Season the Squash
The next secret to cooking butternut squash is to season it before you cook it! You don’t have to go crazy here with the seasonings but a few simple ones can really help take your recipe to the next level. You may want to brush your butternut squash with some olive oil prior to cooking. Seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, oregano, and basil all work really well with butternut squashes.
Don’t Overcook It
Once you have your squash all prepped and seasoned, it’s time to cook it! Here’s where the next secret comes into play – make sure not to overcook it. Cooking butternut squash can be tricky because cooking time depends a lot on the size and weight of the squash. Therefore, it’s always best to go with the lower end of the estimated cooking time and check your squash to see if it’s done. It should be tender enough to pierce with a fork and slightly browned.
Add It to a Delicious Recipe
The last secret to cooking butternut squash is to incorporate it into different delicious recipes! Butternut squash can definitely stand on its own but it doesn’t have to. In fact, you can incorporate into all sorts of different things like risotto, salad, stew, tacos, crisps, and muffins!
Now that you know the secrets of cooking butternut squash, you can definitely get to it in the kitchen and start making delicious butternut squash recipes that everyone will crave.