Butternut squash is a common variety of winter squash with an orange skin and a long, bell-like shape. Like other winter squash, it is an excellent source of fiber and nutrients and can easily be roasted, baked, mashed, or puréed.
To cook butternut squash, start by cutting it in half lengthwise. Be sure to use a sharp knife and stabilize the squash with a clean kitchen towel, if necessary; cutting round squash can be difficult. Once you’ve halved the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds and fibers and discard them.
In the Oven
Place the cleaned halves cut-side up on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Brush the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour about ¼ of an inch of water in the bottom of the pan and roast the squash in a 350 degree oven until tender.
On the Stovetop
Butternut squash can also be cooked in a pot of boiling water. After halving the squash, flip the halves over and place them on a cutting board, cut-side down. Cut the halves in half again and then peel the quartered squash with a sharp knife or durable vegetable peeler. Then, cut the squash into 1-inch cubes and boil in a pot of water (or steam in a steamer basket) until tender.
You can then season the butternut squash and serve it whole, sliced, or mashed. You can also easily purée it as a base for soups or stews.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.