Our Best Butternut Squash Recipes to Make This Fall


Thanks to its smooth, easy-to-peel surface and rich, sweet flavor, butternut squash has become the MVP of the gourd world. Like its relations, other winter squash such as acorn and kabocha, butternuts are at their best from early fall through winter. The big difference is that butternut squash are larger than most other winter squash, ranging in size from 6 to 12 inches long, and in weight from about 2 to about 5 pounds. They have a hard, light-tan rind and golden orange flesh.

Butternut squash is versatile

This vegetable stars in all kinds of favorite fall recipes, such as soups and pasta, and shines during the holiday season when used in side dishes (cue the creamy gratin). It's also used to make a showstopping and beloved Thanksgiving pie. We're fans, so you know we'll be roasting and baking butternut squash through the fall and into winter for purées, soups, and so much more.

What to look for when buying butternut squash

Choose one that feels heavy for its size. The skin should be smooth and uniform in color with a matte surface. Butternut squash with a fat neck and small bulb will have the smallest seed cavity and will yield the most meat. Avoid any that have soft spots, bruises, or mold.

How to store butternut squash

Once you find a good one, you'll be pleased to know that it's a keeper. This hardy squash can be kept for up to three months in a cool, dry place. But know that butternut squash will not last as long in a warm kitchen. For optimal storage, keep them in the basement or another cooler place if possible. Do not refrigerate the whole squash, but once cut, butternut squash can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated.

How to cut butternut squash

When it comes to halving, slicing, or cutting wedges of the bright orange flesh, follow our technique for cutting a butternut squash.

Ready to cook your butternut squash? We're highlighting our favorite recipes that put this autumnal ingredient on full display.

01 of 25

Butternut-Squash Roast with Pistachio Yogurt and Grain Relish

butternut-squash roast with pistachio yogurt and grain relish
Ryan Liebe

Let butternut squash be the star of your dinner by making this magnificent roasted butternut squash dish. Simply roast a halved squash and serve with cooked farro mixed with pomegranate arils and capers, atop a swoosh of yogurt puréed with pistachios for the most colorful and nutritious vegetarian meal around.

02 of 25

Baked Farro Risotto with Golden Vegetables and Goat Cheese

baked farro risotto with golden vegetables and goat cheese
Chris Simpson

Butternut squash is diced and grated in this delicious vegetarian main that comes together in only one hour. Farro adds a nutty flavor, while the beets offer up an earthy taste that perfectly evens out the sweetness of the butternut squash.

03 of 25

Brown-Sugar Butternut-Squash Pie

Will Anderson

Seeking a more unique Thanksgiving pie? Use butternut squash instead of pumpkin for the filling! It's roasted, spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla, and amped up with evaporated milk before being surrounded by a fancy fishtail-braided crust.

04 of 25

Butternut-and-Boursin Shells

Yunhee Kim

Butternut pulls double duty in this quick weeknight pasta—caramelized, shredded squash goes into the sauce, and roasted squash cubes are tossed in before serving.

05 of 25

Spicy Squash Salad with Ginger-Lime Dressing

David Prince

A fiery, aromatic dressing with shallots, lime juice, Thai chiles, and ginger balances out the sweetness of steamed butternut squash perfectly.

06 of 25

Butternut-Squash and Kale Gratin

Chris Court

Kale is sandwiched between layers of butternut squash, then topped with cream, Parmegiano, sage, and panko in this luxe gratin.

07 of 25

Winter-Vegetable Red Curry

Bryan Gardner

Canned goods including coconut milk and red curry paste transform butternut squash, carrots, and peppers into a hearty, flavor-packed stew. Serve with rice, grape tomatoes, and basil the first night, then turn the leftovers into a sensational potpie using store-bought puff pastry.

08 of 25

Orecchiette with Butternut Squash and Sage


Never throw out butternut squash pulp and seeds again! Instead, toss them into this simple pasta dish. Ricotta and poppy seeds give it extra oomph.

09 of 25

Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlic Dip


Tahini, turmeric, and cayenne turn up the volume on this sweet and savory dip. It's just the thing for fall entertaining.

10 of 25

Squash Hash with Kale and Baked Eggs

David Prince

Not your usual hash skillet, this one is filled with festive fall vegetables forming a nest for sunny baked eggs. Try it for brunch or lunch.

11 of 25

Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk and Ginger

vegan butternut squash soup topped with seeds
Bryan Gardner

Vegan soup for the win! This irresistible dish starts with a base of roasted butternut squash, then adds fresh ginger for a little heat and a swirl of coconut milk for creaminess. Skip crackers or croutons, and sprinkle with toasted squash seeds for crunch.

12 of 25

Roasted Butternut Squash Lasagna


Butternut squash lasagna, flavored with sage and grated nutmeg and layered with sheets of homemade pasta, is autumn in a baking pan.

13 of 25

Butternut Squash Quesadilla

squash quesadilla
Bryan Gardner

This recipe is just the thing for using up leftover roasted butternut squash. It's mashed, then teamed with pickled jalapeños and two types of cheese—goat and mozzarella—for this quesadilla filling.

14 of 25

Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa

Bryan Gardner

Sweet butternut squash along with hearty Brussels sprouts star in this delicious take on the popular quinoa bowl.

15 of 25

Shaved-Butternut-and-Carrot Salad with Dates and Sunflower Seeds

Ryan Liebe

Carrots are no surprise in a winter salad, but paper-thin shavings of uncooked butternut squash are a revelation: They have a very gentle garden sweetness and a crisp texture.

16 of 25

Butternut-Pear Soup

Johnny Miller

The flavor of pears is wonderful with earthy squash. Another great combo: This soup plus a grilled cheese sandwich makes a cozy, comforting lunch.

17 of 25

Butternut Squash Mash

William Brinson

This simple and healthy side dish needs only five ingredients, all of which you probably already have in your kitchen.

18 of 25

Chili-Lime Roasted Butternut-Squash Salad

Johnny Miller

Chili powder, lime juice, honey, and cilantro add an unexpected zing to roasted squash in this memorable fall salad.

19 of 25

Spicy Butternut Squash Meatloaf


Mix up your meatloaf routine with this flavorful variation combining butternut squash, pancetta, and sage.

20 of 25

Butternut Squash Soup with Shrimp


Turn creamy squash soup into a satisfying main course with the addition of sweet shrimp, plus a garnish of sour cream and fried sage.

21 of 25

Chickpea and Butternut Squash Stew

Marcus Nilsson

This North African-inspired chickpea and butternut squash stew gets incredible flavor from homemade harissa.

22 of 25

Lacinato Kale Salad with Roasted Squash

Marcus Nilsson

Not your everyday side salad, this one marries raw kale with roasted butternut squash and shallots, toasted hazelnuts, and aged goat cheese shavings. The dressing is simple: just lemon juice and flaxseed oil.

23 of 25

Butternut Squash and Bacon Quiche


Arrange thin slices of butternut squash, whole bacon strips, and sage leaves over custardy filling to make this piece of edible art, a slab quiche that serves as both the main dish and the centerpiece.

24 of 25

Gluten-Free Butternut Squash, Apple, and Hazelnut Muffins

Marcus Nilsson

Combined with grated apple and steamed squash, hazelnut flour, which is rich in healthy fats, ensures a perfectly moist texture in these autumnal treats.

25 of 25

Butternut Squash Pudding

Butternut Squash Pudding
Marcus Nilsson

A blend of tangy, sweet apples and mellow butternut squash form the base of this simple, lovely soup. Cumin, coriander, ginger, and cayenne add vibrant flavors.

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