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How to Prep and Cook a Butternut Squash (+ 5 Easy Vegan Recipes)

Quick Take

Pumpkin spice has a rival, and her name is butternut squash. Much like pumpkin, this autumn squash is creamy, sweet, healthy, and absolutely delicious. In addition to the endless health benefits, butternut squash is super versatile, meaning you can use in anything from tacos to pie, so long as you know how to prep and cook a butternut squash. Good news: it's easy! And we're about to show exactly how to do it, plus share some of our favorite easy vegan butternut squash recipes. 

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Health Benefits of Butternut Squash

How to Prep Butternut Squash

How to Cook Butternut Squash: 5 Delicious Vegan Butternut Squash Recipes for Fall

Key Takeaways

Health Benefits of Butternut Squash

This sweet and smooth gourd is loaded with antioxidants like beta carotene and vitamins E and C, potassium and other vitamins and minerals. Butternut squash also has a very low fat content and a high fiber content making them a perfect weight loss food.

The perfect storm of nutrients! The addition of butternut squash to your diet can lead to a healthy heart and weight, a decreased chance of Alzheimers, improved athletic performance, decreased chances of some cancers, and glowing skin. So eat up!

How to Prep Butternut Squash

The Easiest Way to Cut Butternut Squash

1. Soften: While butternut squash is delicious, it’s also a bit dangerous to cut open. So be careful!

  • First, make sure you are using a large, sharp knife. Dull knives tend to promote more slipping and sliding.
  • Pierce several holes in the skin of the gourd, and microwave.
  • You can start your timer at 5 minutes to cook it just enough to make it easier to cut.
  • If you’re looking to cook the squash all the way through so you don’t have to roast it, start with about 10-12 minutes depending on the size, and then check every few minutes until you can easily slide a knife through the skin and flesh. 

2. Slice

  • After heating and softening your squash, let it sit for several minutes in order to cool.
  • Then, use a sharp knife to cut it in half, from stem to base.
  • Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. 

3. Peel

  • Use a peeler to peel away the outer skin before slicing in half, or scoop out the meat with a spoon in order to separate it from the skin. 

How to Cook Butternut Squash: 5 Delicious Vegan Butternut Squash Recipes for Fall

Now...the moment we've all been waiting for: 5 Butternut squash recipe suggestions to blow you away like a leaf off a maple tree (just some New England humor!). 

1. Chili Roasted Butternut Squash For Tacos or Salad 

After prepping your butternut squash, chop it up into bite sized cubes. Toss it in the following spices: Chili powder, garlic powder, lime juice, and tamari.

If you wish to sweeten up your squash, about half way through add a little maple syrup and toss again.

Bake on a parchment lined pan, in a 400 degree preheated oven for one hour.

Once squash is soft, and begins to brown, it's good to go!

Chill your squash for a salad, or use right away in a corn tortilla with corn, black beans, and avocado. 

2. Butternut Squash Pudding 

Image and recipe via:

Butternut squash is naturally sweet, and pairs well with cinnamon and maple flavors. Blend this pudding up and eat as is, or stuff into a whole-grain pie crust. 

3. Butternut Pasta 

Creamy butternut squash is perfect for making dairy-free dishes creamy. Case in point: this vegan butternut squash and sage pasta recipe

4. Butternut Squash Boats 

Prep your butternut squash and roast in a pan, cut side down with about ¼ inch of water, on 400 degrees for one hour (line your pan with parchment paper for a quicker cleanup).

Remove boats from the oven, and stuff with heated vegan MamaSezz Millie’s Chili. Top with diced avocado and enjoy. 

5. Butternut Squash Soup

Is there anything more comforting than a creamy soup on a chilly fall evening? Didn't think so! This flavorful butternut squash is creamy, dreamy, and 100% vegan. 

Recipe and photo via:

Key Takeaways 

  • Butternut squash is versatile and healthy. It reaps many health benefits like weight loss, immunity boosting, disease prevention and glowing skin.
  • Bonus: in-season veggies are always a good idea, because they are fresh, local, which leaves less of a carbon footprint! 


By Caroline DiNicola Fawley

Caroline is a plant-based chef, recipe designer, and whole food plant-based nutrition educator, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. 

What you should do now

  1. We have been where you are and we’ve helped thousands of people (just like you) transition to eating a plant based diet. If you are looking for a guide that can help you with some of the big questions, and dramatically reduce your stress, this FREE Ultimate Little Guide to Plant-Based Eating is a great place to start.
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  3. If you’d like to learn about plant-based living go to our MamaSezz Blog where you can read hundreds of “How To” articles. If you’d like to learn about plant-based cooking go to our Recipes Section for easy step by step favorites.
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