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Calorie Count Blog

Healthy Butternut Squash Recipes

By +Janice D'Agostino on Sep 21, 2012 10:00 AM in Recipes

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. - Voltaire 

The aroma of butternut squash casserole filled my kitchen with cherished family memories. Mom's recipe was serious comfort food. Hoping the goodness of squash would cancel out all the cheese and butter, I ran the recipe through Calorie Count's nutrition analysis. One serving contained a mere 191 calories. It also earned a B- for the nutrition grade. Not bad for comfort food.

Butternut squash may not have canceled out the butter, but this winter squash is remarkably low in calories and packed with nutrition and filling fiber - making it a calorie counter's friend. The squash's deep orange flesh clearly indicates the amount of nutrients within, including such powerhouses as calcium, manganese, potassium, thiamin, and Vitamins A, B6, C, and E! As a cook, I particularly enjoy the squash's ability to go from sweet to savory recipes with ease.

How do you know if you are buying a good butternut squash? Like most fruits and veggies, it should be heavy for its size. A light squash is a dried out squash. If the skin is discolored or soft to the touch, do not buy it as it is likely way past prime and starting to rot. Do not buy a squash that has slices or punctures in the skin as these serve as welcoming portals for bacteria. Butternut squash needs no refrigeration and will keep for about two weeks in a cool dark place.

What do you do if you have a squash but don't plan to use it within two weeks? Prepare it for freezing. Butternut squash can be cooked completely, pureed, and frozen. Or peel, cube, and blanch the squash before freezing. It's easier than you might think to peel and cut a squash. So, get a nice beautiful squash and check out these great recipes!

Butternut Squash and Onion Saute is my new favorite savory way to eat squash. It cooks up fast (under half an hour) which makes it perfect for a work night. 

With Marie’s Grilled Butternut Squash you don't even have to peel the thing. Just slice and scoop out the seeds. The peel grills up tender and delicious as can be. 

My old favorite Butternut Squash Casserole is the traditional approach to comfort squash.

If you don’t have chilaca peppers in your grocery store, sub in either a mild poblano or a slightly hot Hatch chili pepper for BrokeAssGourmet’s Roasted Butternut Squash and Chilaca Pepper Soup.  I've run the calories for you here.

The Refined Chef’s Whole Wheat Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese makes a wonderful filling and meal that is elegant enough for guests.

I found this wonderful Butternut Squash Puree using Calorie Count’s recipe search bar and plan to make it soon!

If you think in ounces instead of grams, let Calorie Count's Unit Converter do all the math so you can prepare this outstanding Butternut Squash Risotto.

Your thoughts…

Do you skip the peeling and eat the skin of a butternut squash? What is your favorite way to cook butternut squash? Do you grow it yourself and have a good gardening tip for growing squash? Share your favorite recipes with everyone here! If you would like your recipe considered for CC Palate, please send it to me via pmThis article may be reprinted (including bio) with prior permission from the author.


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I love butternut squash! It's really good enough to cook and eat plain if you wanted. I actually cut it into quarters (cut the "skinny" part off the bell, then cut each half again the other way), scoop out the seeds, and it can be popped in the microwave (cut side down) if you don't want to heat up the oven. It takes several minutes, but is faster than the oven.

My favorite way to eat it is to peel it and cut it into bite sized cubes, toss it with a little olive oil and sage (fresh or dry rubbed), then put it in the oven at 350 for about 45-55 min. I serve it hot with some cold low-fat ricotta cheese on top. Mmmm!

I like to cube butternut into 1/2 inch dice, oil and salt/pepper/garlic powder sprinkle them, roast until browned, and cool them. Then I toss them into a salad. Delish!Tongue out

In place of pumpkin, I use butternut squash to make a pie.   Top the pie with some whipped cream, especially homemade whipped cream sweetened and flavored to my desire, and it is scrumptious!

When making Butternut squash soup try making it 1/2 and 1/2 with leeks instead of pure squash. I haven't done the math but it would probably be lower cal too. For garnish with either soup I put a dollop of fat free sour cream and some low-fat, low-sodium bacon crumbles and some paprika.

My favorite:

2 cups butternut squash peeled, cubbed and boiled, set aside

saute sm onion and garlic in olive oil or chicken broth for less calories

add can of beans(pinto or black), squash, 2 cups of fresh spinach and a cup of chicken broth.  Cook until spinach is cooked down and all is heated.

great as a side or main dish.

Butternut squash - I eat everything but the stem! I do eat the peel.  The seeds are great prepared like pumpkin seeds.  You can also scoop out the strings/seeds and put them in a cheesecloth as part of your vegetable stock.

I don't have an official recipe, but I do combine any of the following and have it constantly in the fridge for a quick and easy meal:


winter squash, such as butternut or pumpkin, in chunks

sweet potato, in chunks

apple, in chunks

dried fruits such as craisins, raisins, dates

your typical pumpkin pie spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger

dash of pepper

seeds or nuts for topping (you can use the squash seeds)


I leave the peel on everything.  Boil or bake.  I add the apples and dried fruit last after I take the squash and potatoes off the heat - the residual heat will be enough to soften them.  Better the second day after the dried fruit has plumped up and flavors melded.  You'll noticed there are no proportions because you really can't go wrong unless you overdo the spices.

Freezes well.

I call it "pumpkin goop" because it does look like goop, but the smell always gets raves from my coworkers.  Tasty, filling, low sodium (I don't ever add salt), and high in potassium.


I eat it as a main dish with the seeds but it also pairs well with pork and green beans as a side dish.

I cut my squash in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast face down in a 400 degree oven for about 40 min. I then scoop out the flesh and puree with a little honey or maple syrup. Delish!!

I love butternut squash soup, but if I'm going through the trouble of cutting and peeling a butternut squash, I prefer something a little more "exciting," like these butternut squash lasagna rolls: sagna-rolls-baked-zucchini-chips/


I love the idea of using butternut as a sauce for other savory dishes, can't wait to try that risotto as well!

I am OBSESSED with Butternut squash. I usually just bake it with a little olive or coconut oil. It actually tastes better the next day after it's natural sugar has caramelized a bit. These recipes look fantastic too though, I'll have to try them all! :)

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