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Butternut squash steams quickly, making this a great cooking technique to enjoy this fall vegetable as a weeknight side dish. For extra flavor, toss the steamed butternut squash with salt, pepper and a little bit of olive oil, butter or Parmesan cheese after cooking.

EatingWell.com, October 2017; updated November 2022

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How To Cook A Butternut Squash Quickly

One of the fastest and easiest ways to cook butternut squash is to steam it. Halve the squash, remove the peel and seeds and cut the flesh into uniform cubes and you're ready to steam. To make the process go even faster, look for prepackaged butternut squash cubes in the produce section where other prepared vegetables are sold. (Have a little more time on your hands? Try Roasted Butternut Squash.)

Do I Have To Peel Butternut Squash Before Cooking?

While the peel is technically edible, it is tough and is better to remove before cooking. If you want to skip the peeling, opt for a winter squash with a more delicate skin such as delicata or honeynut squash.

How To Use Steamed Butternut Squash

Steamed butternut squash can be dressed up simply with a little salt and pepper, oil or butter and tossed with Parmesan cheese, chopped nuts or fresh chopped herbs. If you don't like cubes, you can mash steamed butternut with a pinch of salt and pepper and a teaspoon or two of butter or olive oil with a fork. From there you can enjoy it as is, or add the mashed butternut to soup or risotto for a fall spin.

Can I Cook Steamed Butternut Squash Ahead?

Because it is delicate, butternut squash is best enjoyed right after its cooked, but that doesn't mean you can't get a head start! You can prepare and chop the squash and store in the refrigerator, covered, up to 3 days before cooking. If you've bought the packaged variety, cook it within a day or so of the sell-by date on the package.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer 

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring 1 inch of water to boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket.

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  • Add squash. Cover and steam until very tender, about 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup
26 calories; protein 0.6g; carbohydrates 6.6g; dietary fiber 1.1g; sugars 1.3g; fat 0.1g; vitamin a iu 6027.1IU; vitamin c 11.9mg; folate 15.3mcg; calcium 27.2mg; iron 0.4mg; magnesium 19.3mg; potassium 199.6mg; sodium 2.3mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

1/2 starch

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