One of the most common winter squash, this foot-long, bell-shaped variety has thin, butterscotch-colored skin and sweet, nutty
Season: August through March; peak October through November.
How to Choose Butternut Squash
Pick a heavy squash with smooth, butterscotch-colored skin that looks slightly dusty. (A shiny skin means the squash was picked too early.) The stem should be intact and dry, not moist or blackened.
How to Store Butternut Squash
An uncut squash will last for up to 3 months at room temperature. (The thick skin serves as a protective barrier.) Cut squash will keep tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
How to Prepare Butternut Squash
Don’t let the hourglass figure deter you: A butternut squash is easy to work with. First cut it crosswise at the base of the neck, separating the neck from the bottom. Then, using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, remove the skin from both pieces until you get down to the brightly colored flesh. (Don’t skimp on this step: Otherwise, the outer layers of the skin will cook up tough.) Cut the bulb in half and, using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Cut the bulb and neck into pieces as desired. For step-by-step pictures, see How to Prepare Squash.
How to Cook Butternut Squash
Easy to peel and prepare, butternut squash is wonderful roasted or pureed as a side dish or in a soup.
Real Simple Butternut Squash Recipes:
- Chopped Winter Salad With Butternut Squash, Apple, and Feta
- Butternut Squash Soup With Sage and Parmesan Croutons
- Butternut Squash and Bean Tacos
- Butternut Squash Galette
- Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.