If you love autumn fruits and veggies, then you must have had the delicious butternut squash before!
Butternut squash is a favorite autumn and winter fruit that is used in a wide array of dishes. I simply love to cook with it because it’s just so versatile; I can add it in soups, stews, lasagna, pies, muffins, and whatnot, and it always tastes delicious.
With that said, until a few years ago, I had never tried this delectable variety of squash and had no clue about what it tasted like.
So, if you’re anything like me and wonder, “what does butternut squash taste like?” then you’ll truly enjoy reading this article!
What Is Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is a pear-shaped squash with a smooth cream or beige-hued skin and vivid orange flesh. It’s most popularly used in South African cuisine and is known as butternut pumpkin in New Zealand and Australia.
It’s a relatively new variety of squash and is part of the Cucurbita family of fruits.
Even though butternut squash is a fruit, it is widely used as a vegetable in food preparation. The squash has very few seeds that are edible and you can roast and season them for a crunchy, delicious meal.
The rind of the squash is also edible, but only once you’ve cooked it. However, it is commonly peeled away.
The flesh of the butternut squash is used in various dishes, both savory and sweet.
What Does Butternut Squash Taste Like?
So, what does butternut squash taste like? It has a much sweeter taste than other winter squashes. It’s so sweet that people often compare it with butterscotch, which is made with butter and brown sugar.
Some people also believe that the taste of butternut squash is similar to turnip, carrot, and sweet potatoes.
The flavor of butternut squash also has nutty undertones, particularly when it is pureed. It has that unique “autumn” taste, which is deeply associated with pumpkin. The only difference is that it’s sweeter and isn’t stringy like pumpkin.
The delicate butternut squash flavor pairs perfectly with aromatic spices and herbs, such as cinnamon and tarragon.
What to Make With Butternut Squash
There are so many delicious dishes that you can prepare with butternut squash.
If you’re looking for a no-hassle dish, then you can simply cut the squash in half, seed it, and then bake, grill, broil, or roast it and have it with your favorite sweetener, spices, or cheese.
You can also stuff the half cup of the squash with mushrooms, grains, dried or fresh fruits, shallots or onions, breadcrumbs, and seasonings.
You can also roast the seedless squash and toss it into refreshing green salads. Alternatively, you can puree the flesh of the squash and use it as a base for souffles, muffins, soups, pies, and bread. You can also prepare a deliciously rich and smooth Butternut Apple Bisque with the squash or use chunks of the squash in stews and soups.
If you’re looking to add some flavor and texture to your lasagna, casserole, or risotto, then you can add butternut squash to these dishes.
You can also prepare a delectable Winter Squash and Apple Bake with butternut squash, Granny Smith apples, brown sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice.
You can also pair it with other fruits such as pear and prepare them with white wine stock. Additionally, it also works perfectly with bacon and apple as a side for breakfast eggs or turkey.
How to Store Butternut Squash
It’s pretty easy to store butternut squash; you can simply store the whole squash in a cool and dry area for up to 3 months.
Once you cut the butternut squash, you can use a plastic wrap to cover the squash or put it in an airtight container and put the container in your fridge for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze butternut squash for long time storage. Just wash, peel, and dice the squash.
Flash freeze the butternut squash pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and then put the frozen pieces into freezer bags.
You can also store cooked squash in an airtight container in your freezer. Also, you can freeze puréed squash in ice cube trays and then store the cubes in freezer bags.
Squash will keep in your freezer for about a year.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some general tips and tricks that you can use to choose the right butternut squash:
- Even though butternut squash is available all year round, the best quality fruit, with the sweetest butternut squash flavor, is available from September through November.
- Always pick a butternut squash that’s weighty for its size and avoid the ones that are light for their size.
- Make sure that your chosen butternut squash has a smooth and firm skin and it’s free of any blemishes or cuts and scrapes.
- Fresh and ripe butternut squash is supposed to be matte and evenly colored.
- Don’t buy butternut squash that has brown frostbite scars and soft spots or wrinkly skin.
- Make sure that the stem of the squash is dry and tan and not fresh green as that means that the squash is unripe.
- One pound of butternut squash yields around two cups of peeled, chopped squash so make sure to buy accordingly.
The Bottom Line
I hope this article has sufficiently answered your question, “What does butternut squash taste like?” It tastes sweet and has a distinct autumn essence with nutty undertones.
You can make innumerable savory and sweet dishes with butternut squash as the star ingredient. This versatile autumn fruit is truly a must-try!