How Do I Prepare Frozen Butternut Squash?

Cynde Gregory

Frozen foods have been making home cooks’ lives easier for decades. People who have gardens have the option to freeze the summer’s bounty rather than undertaking the more laborious job of canning it. Shoppers can make the most of frozen foods sales, filling their freezers to feed their families for weeks or months. Frozen butternut squash freezes well with little loss of flavor or nutrients, and it can be used in soups, simple side dishes, casseroles and even in baked goods. It is best used after being thawed and drained so that the dish won’t be watery.

Butternut squash can be baked with ham and potatoes to make a hearty casserole.
Butternut squash can be baked with ham and potatoes to make a hearty casserole.

The only downside to frozen butternut squash is that baked or roasted squash halves won’t retain their firm texture upon thawing; that’s not really much of a problem, because squashes of all kinds are so versatile. A quick cold summer soup can be whipped up with thawed squash, a little buttermilk, some minced ginger and garlic and perhaps a little sautéed onion. These ingredients can be cooked on a stove top and chilled for a chunkier soup or tossed into a blender and puréed for a smooth treat.

Frozen butternut squash can be used to make soup.
Frozen butternut squash can be used to make soup.

A heartier winter soup is easy to construct out of whatever is at hand. Vegetarian soups can incorporate quinoa, rice, barley or other grains along with sliced carrots, potato, green beans or other available vegetables. Tofu or tempeh are great protein additions. Carnivores will find that butternut squash goes well with red meat, pork and poultry. Ham or bacon and butternut squash also go well together, especially with some onion sautéed until it’s translucent.

Butternut squash goes well with red meat.
Butternut squash goes well with red meat.

Cooking with frozen butternut squash also offers lots of main-dish options. A simple, filling casserole can be whipped together with squash, meat or a non-meat protein, some sautéed onions and garlic, topped by a layer of buttered bread or cracker crumbs. It’s up to the cook how elaborate to make the casserole; the addition of navy beans or chickpeas and other vegetables adds body and flavor. Flavor enhancers such as a splash of orange juice, a squeeze of lemon or some curry can take the dish in a whole new direction.

Drained and thawed frozen butternut squash can be a great addition to baked goods such as sweet bread, cakes and muffins. It adds a dense, velvety texture and natural sweetness, and it eliminates the need for all of that fat. Some cooks like to supplement the squash with applesauce as well, and others slip in minced carrot or zucchini.

Before freezing squash or any other vegetable, blanch it to help retain its flavor and texture.
Before freezing squash or any other vegetable, blanch it to help retain its flavor and texture.

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Discussion Comments


@ddljohn-- I wish I could give you a recipe, but I'm not much of a cook myself. I do make frozen butternut squash ravioli often though. I get it from the organic market. I just have to boil it, drain it and add the sauce.


Frozen butternut squash is super convenient, but unfortunately, there isn't that much that can be done with it. I personally love roasted butternut squash and butternut squash fries. But it's almost impossible for them to turn out good if I use frozen squash. Frozen squash just has too much water in it. So it's never crispy. The only recipes that work are those where the squash needs to be steamed or boiled.

I suppose casserole is a good idea but I have never tried it before! If someone here shares a good recipe, maybe I'll give it a try.


Washing and draining frozen butternut squash before cooking is very important. I once used some frozen butternut squash without washing it. I used it straight out of the bag and it had an odd refrigerator taste. I made butternut squash soup with it but it didn't taste very good. I think the squash might have been in the freezer for too long.

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