Butternut squash puree

I like to think of this recipe as foundational–butternut squash puree doesn’t really stand on its own all that well. It makes a good side dish, but you can’t exactly down a bowl of it and call it a meal (late night snack, maybe).

However, now that I’ve worked out the kinks, I have a lot of grand ideas for things I’m going to do with this stuff. Also, I should mention that recipes which require you to consult other recipes to in order to prepare an ingredient excite me.

The first time I made this, I served it in the skin with ham on the side (or maybe the squash was on the side–I couldn’t tell because it was a bit much and the squash took way longer than I thought it would so the timing was all wrong and it wasn’t really the best night). This time, I decided to scoop the flesh out and adjust the seasoning, which I think made it a bit tastier and far easier to eat.

You prep the squash by covering it with butter and seasonings and toss it in the oven for a while. As I mentioned above, the result makes a decent side dish, but I think it’ll be an even better foundation. I have plans in the works for a twist on lasagna, as well as some sort of muffins. You could also use the puree for a stew. It would even make a good spread for a hearty fall sandwich.

But enough about what you can do with it. Here’s how you make it:

Butternut squash puree

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • allspice
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • ground cloves
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice off the top and bottom of the squash with a sharp knife, then halve it right down the center. Warning: these babies aren’t easy to cut into. I recommend a good chef’s knife and maybe scoring the outline of your cut before really sticking the knife in.
  2. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and stringy flesh from the bottom part of the squash. Discard.
  3. Arrange squash flesh-sides up in a baking dish or a foil-covered cookie sheet with sides. Place butter pieces all over the flesh of the squash, including in the cavity where the seeds were.
  4. Sprinkle with brown sugar and spices to taste.
  5. Bake for about an hour and 15 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
  6. Allow squash to rest for about 5 minutes after removing from the oven, then use a spoon to scoop all flesh from the skin. Place flesh in a heat-proof bowl.
  7. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the squash. It should be about the consistency of mashed potatoes.
  8. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve hot or save for other culinary experiments.

PS: There’s a bonus prize for the first commenter who spots the inconsistency in my photos.

UPDATE: Try this mixed in with oatmeal. It’s like fall in a bowl.

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7 thoughts on “Butternut squash puree

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