How to Make and Freeze Butternut Squash Puree (+ 20 Ways To Use It)

By Rachel Tiemeyer
April 29, 2021

Learn how to make butternut squash puree, how to freeze butternut squash AND browse through 20 ways to use it. Such a great way to sneak in nutrition.

Overhead shot of butternut squash puree in a blender

One of my favorite inexpensive ways to incorporate more vegetables into our diet is by adding them into all kinds of my kids’ favorite foods. Think muffins, marinara sauce, and crockpot meals, to name a few.

In this post you’ll learn 3 main things:

1. How to make your own butternut squash puree

2. How to freeze butternut squash

3. 20 different ways to use butternut squash puree

Butternut Squash is SO Good for You

Whether you grow your own butternut squash in the summer or just find it on sale at some point at the grocery store, this vegetable is incredibly good for you–full of fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, and more (source). But the list of pros goes on!

It’s also delicious, versatile, and can be stored in a cool, dry place in your house for months without going bad. So, buy butternut squash (also known as winter squash) when they’re on sale and prep them when you have about 30-45 minutes to spare.

Mashing cooked butternut squash

How to Make Butternut Squash Puree

There are two methods for making butternut squash. Both are very easy and work well, but I prefer the boil method because it’s faster and doesn’t require use of the oven.

Method 1: How to Boil the Butternut Squash

  1. Fill a large pot with water, leaving room for the butternut squash pieces, and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse your butternut squash well, scrubbing with a veggie brush if needed.
  3. Then, with a very sharp knife, cut off the stems of the butternut squash. Then, cut them in half lengthwise.
  4. Scoop out the seeds and strings with a spoon. You can either discard them, save and roast them like you would pumpkin seeds, or dry them out and use as garden seeds for next year.
  5. Cut the rest of the squash into large chunks. The pieces should be roughly the same size (about 2 inch pieces) and able to fit into your pot. No need to be precise here or to undertake the difficult task of peeling them!
  6. Carefully drop the butternut squash pieces into the boiling water. Boil for about 10-15 minutes or until very tender.
  7. Strain the pot into a colander in the sink. Rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.
  8. Use your hands to separate the skin from the flesh. Discard the skin. It should peel away very easily.
  9. Place the bright orange flesh into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Or use a potato masher by hand to puree your butternut squash.
Diced butternut squash

Method 2: How to Roast Butternut Squash

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Then, with a very sharp knife, cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. No need to peel!
  3. Scoop out the seeds and strings with a spoon. You can either discard them, save and roast them like you would pumpkin seeds, or dry them out and use as garden seeds for next year.
  4. Rub the insides with 2 tablespoons softened butter or olive oil.
  5. Place squash on a baking sheet that has been brushed with a bit of olive oil (or covered in parchment paper) and roast. Check the squash after 30 minutes to see if it is soft enough to be fork tender. If not, keep adding 5 minutes of roasting time until it is. Usually takes 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your squash.
  6. When done, remove squash from oven. When it’s cool enough to handle, use your hands or a large spoon to separate the skin from the flesh. Discard the skin. It should peel away very easily.
  7. Place the bright orange flesh into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Or use a potato masher by hand to puree your butternut squash.
Roasted butternut squash

How to Freeze Butternut Squash Puree

You might have figured out by now that we are big fan of freezer meals. While we love a great make-ahead meal, we are also big advocates of freezing fruits and vegetables when they are in season or to save yourself time in the long run.

Like many in the list above, freezing butternut squash is SO smart. You can use it in all sorts of different recipes and it’s a great way to not waste any food.

TO FREEZE: Divide the cooked butternut squash up into 1 cup portions. Put each 1 cup portion in a small ziptop baggie and then place all the baggies in a gallon-size freezer bag. This will allow you to pull out only what you need for a recipe.

Here‘s more valuable information about and recipes for freezer meal cooking as well as a few more articles about freezing household items:

20 Ways to Use Butternut Squash Puree in Recipes

Like I mentioned, butternut squash is very versatile. Below are lots of ideas how to use it in your kitchen.

Keep in mind that butternut squash puree is usually interchangeable with pumpkin and sweet potato purees, so I included recipes where you could easily make this swap. There is a slight difference in taste, but not much and it’s really delicious in baked goods!

1. Make homemade Mac and Cheese with Sneaky Sweet Potato (sub butternut squash).

A better mac and cheese with sneaky sweet potato

2. Toss some puree into our Orangesicle smoothie.

Orangesicle smoothie pack

3. Add some puree into store-bought or homemade applesauce. Stir in cinnamon and your kids will never know.

crock pot cinnamon apples

4. Make Pumpkin French Toast (sub butternut squash).

pumpkin french toast

5. Add any of this puree into store-bought or homemade marinara sauce, and blend in the blender if needed. Start with a small amount and taste as you go, so you don’t add too much.

Homemade meaty marinara

6. Stir 2-4 tablespoons of puree into your favorite boxed Mac and Cheese sauce. I often even blend the sauce in the blender and then pour it over the Mac, so there is no visible chunks. This makes for a nice yellow sauce that your kids will love.

7. Spread just a little puree on a PB & J sandwich before adding peanut butter.

8. Spread just a little puree on grilled cheese sandwich before adding the cheese.

9. Make Sweet Potato Quick Biscuits (sub butternut squash).

Sweet Potato Quick Biscuits

10. Make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (sub butternut squash).

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

11. Make Pumpkin Banana Bread (sub butternut squash).

Pumpkin Muffins

12. Make Coconut Flour Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (grain-free) (sub butternut squash).

coconut flour pumpkin muffins

13. Use any of this puree in Dark Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal.

Dark Chocolate Banana baked oatmeal

14. Make Whole Wheat Chocolate Pumpkin Waffles (sub butternut squash).

healthy whole wheat pumpkin chocolate waffle recipe

15. Make Blueberry Pumpkin Baked French Toast (sub butternut squash).

healthy baked french toast recipe

16. Make Brownie Baked Oatmeal (sub butternut squash).

baked brownie oatmeal recipe

17. Make Pumpkin Protein Waffles (sub butternut squash).

Pumpkin waffles

18. Make Easy Cheesy Mexican Chicken in the slow cooker (hint: this recipe already includes butternut squash!).

Easy Cheesy Mexican Chicken - A delicious and healthy slow cooker recipe!

19. Make Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes (sub butternut squash).

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

20. Use it as a sub for sweet potato in our Turkey Chili!

Turkey Chili

Print

How to Make Butternut Squash Puree (+ 20 Ways To Use It In Recipes)

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3-4 cups
  • Category: Puree
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Try one of these methods (roasting or boiling) to make the perfect butternut squash puree.


Ingredients

  • One whole butternut squash
  • Softened butter or olive oil

Instructions

Boil Method:

  1. Fill a large pot with water, leaving room for the butternut squash pieces, and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse your butternut squash well, scrubbing with a veggie brush if needed.
  3. Then, with a very sharp knife, cut off the stems of the butternut squash. Then, cut them in half lengthwise.
  4. Scoop out the seeds and strings with a spoon. You can either discard them, save and roast them like you would pumpkin seeds, or dry them out and use as garden seeds for next year.
  5. Cut the rest of the squash into large chunks. The pieces should be roughly the same size (about 2 inch pieces) and able to fit into your pot. No need to be precise here or to undertake the difficult task of peeling them!
  6. Carefully drop the butternut squash pieces into the boiling water. Boil for about 10-15 minutes or until very tender.
  7. Strain the pot into a colander in the sink. Rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.
  8. Use your hands to separate the skin from the flesh. Discard the skin. It should peel away very easily.
  9. Place the bright orange flesh into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Or use a potato masher by hand to puree your butternut squash.

Roasting Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Then, with a very sharp knife, cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. No need to peel!
  3. Scoop out the seeds and strings with a spoon. You can either discard them, save and roast them like you would pumpkin seeds, or dry them out and use as garden seeds for next year.
  4. Rub the insides with 2 tablespoons softened butter or olive oil.
  5. Place squash on a baking sheet that has been brushed with a bit of olive oil (or covered in parchment paper) and roast. Check the squash after 30 minutes to see if it is soft enough to be fork tender. If not, keep adding 5 minutes of roasting time until it is. Usually takes 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your squash.
  6. When done, remove squash from oven. When it’s cool enough to handle, use your hands or a large spoon to separate the skin from the flesh. Discard the skin. It should peel away very easily.
  7. Place the bright orange flesh into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Or use a potato masher by hand to puree your butternut squash.
  8. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes

Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze:
Bake squash completely. Let cool. Puree. Then freeze in freezer bags or containers for 3-6 months. I would suggest dividing the puree into 1 cup portions when freezing. Put each 1 cup portion in a small ziptop baggie and then place all the baggies in a gallon-size freezer bag. This will allow you to pull out only what you need for a recipe.

To Prepare:
Pull out individual sized containers for whatever recipe you are using.

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4 replies
  1. Judi B says:

    To roast squash you can just scrub the outside, place on foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 to 400 degrees, for 30 minutes, turn over and continue baking until soft, test by piercing with a knife about halfway down the length the squash. Depending on the size and oven temp it should be 20 to 45 minutes longer. Let cool for 15 minutes, cut in half, scoop out seeds, then pulp. This way you don’t have to try and cut the raw squash in half, which isn’t easy to do.
    I’ve also done them whole in a Nesco roasting oven on the baking rack and it seems to cook them faster.

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth D. says:

    Thank you for the wonderful ideas. I also cook it by washing the whole squash well and putting it into my slowcooker (on low for 6-8 hours or so.) I let it cool down a bit, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Then the rest just scoops out of the skin ready to be purees and used.

    Reply