Recipe: The Easiest Way to Make Winter Squash

Recipe: The Easiest Way to Make Winter Squash post image

There are so many varieties of winter squash, but I usually stick with just two. These two varieties are my tried and true types of squash that I use in many recipes. They are butternut and kabocha (buttercup) squash.

You can use these instead of pumpkin and I think they actually taste better than pumpkin! You will not believe how easy it is to cook these hard squash!

Here is the easiest way to make any of these winter squash! There is no struggling to cut through the hard shell — no need to chance cutting yourself. By letting it bake whole, it remains dry inside and it comes out very starchy and so tasty!

Of course, other winter varieties may be cooked this way as well.


  • 1 butternut or kabocha squash


  • A large baking dish
  • parchment paper


  1. Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the dish – this makes cleanup a snap!
  2. Place the whole squash in the pan and place in the oven
  3. Bake at 400 degrees F for about one hour and 20 minutes (I like it really cooked well)
  4. The kabocha squash cooks faster than the butternut — it usually need only 1 hour or it will get really dry
  5. When you can pierce it easily with a knife it is done and remove from oven
  6. Carefully cut open and let cool
  7. Remove seeds
  8. Scoop out the meat into a bowl or jars or use serve immediately
  9. You can add spices to it like cinnamon or nutmeg or pumpkin spices
  10. To store for other recipes simply put it into a jar and refrigerate — it may also be frozen but it gets watery so that is not the best thing to do — best to eat and use within 5 days

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 1 hour or more

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Leave a Comment

  • Eileen @ Phoenix Helix November 8, 2013, 9:19 pm

    Those are my favorite two as well! Sometimes I’ll throw delicata squash into the rotation, but kabocha’s my absolute favorite.

  • K November 9, 2013, 6:50 pm

    Cooking the squash dry (versus cutting open and putting in water) has been such a revelation! It’s so easy, and makes cleanup very quick. Off to put some butternut in the oven right now.

  • Anna January 20, 2015, 4:20 am

    Is the photograph at the top of this article of a butternut squash or kabocha?
    In South Africa we would call this a pumpkin.

    • Carol November 10, 2015, 5:04 am

      Kabocha. Interesting that you call it a pumpkin!