Cooking 101: 3 Simple Winter Squash Recipes

Acorn squash can be baked (as shown), steamed, slow cooked, boiled. Read more about this nutritious food.

Acorn squash can be baked (as shown), steamed, slow cooked, boiled. Read more about this nutritious food.

by donR  November 17, 2015

If you search for winter squash recipes you can find plenty of suggestions on the web. In our last post we interviewed a master gardener to get  few tricks for preparing nutritious squash. I was satisfied with that until I met Richard and Nancy while picking apples for a Cook-In. It was there that I heard another way to prepare winter squash.  They own Apple Creek Orchards in Ferndale, Washington, recognized by redtri.com  as one of the best apple orchards for families near Seattle.

According to Richard, Winter squash can be stored in a cool dry place for up to 3 months due to its hard outer skin. But that feature also makes it hard to cut and he offered two solutions:

  • Simply poke a hole in the top of the whole squash and cook it in a microwave oven for ‘a few minutes’ to soften it enough to cut. 
  • Poke a large hole in the top and bake it before cutting it open.

I’m still o.k. with using an axe and a sledge for cutting squash so I did not try Richard’s suggestion. If you try it, please add comments on the forum

Here are three basic winter squash recipes you can try.

Baked Winter Squash
A traditional way to bake winter squash
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Ingredients
  1. mature winter squash of choice*
  2. 1 C water
  3. sea salt
  4. black pepper
  5. butter
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. 2. Wash squash then cut in half lengthwise*
  3. 3. Scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers
  4. 4. Place squash on a shallow metal baking pan cut-side down
  5. 5. Pour about 1/2 inch water on bottom of pan to seal the squash so steam is trapped inside.
  6. 6. Place pan on middle rack in the oven to cook
  7. 7. Test the tough skin with a fork after about 40 minutes and every 7 minutes thereafter until the skin feels softened.
  8. 8. Remove from oven and scoop cooked meat away from the skin.
  9. 9. Add butter and salt and pepper before serving.
Notes
  1. Cook up a bunch and freeze some for later meals and soup.
Family Meals Project http://familymealsproject.com/

Winter Squash Soup
easy slow cook squash soup
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. Washed sweet meat Squash
  2. half cup apple juice
  3. half teaspoon nutmeg
Instructions
  1. 1. After Squash is washed, cut into quarters
  2. 2. Use potato peeler to remove skin
  3. 3. Remove seeds and any pulp at the core
  4. 4. Cut squash meat into evenly sized cubes
  5. 5. Toss ingredients into medium sized pre-heated slow cooker
  6. 6. Cook on low for four to six hours or until squash is soft
  7. 7. Puree with immersion blender or fork until desired consistency
  8. 8. Add other ingredients to taste and finally enjoy!
Notes
  1. To vary flavor you can add different fruit juices and spices. Experiment with your own favorite combinations. For this recipe you could also use butternut or delicata.
Family Meals Project http://familymealsproject.com/
Baked Acorn Squash
Serves 4
E-Z to prepare and serve
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 large acorn squash, washed
  2. water as needed
  3. 1/2 C brown sugar
  4. 2 slices bacon or 2T butter
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. 2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds
  3. 3. Place cut-side down on a shallow metal baking pan
  4. 4. Add 1/2" water to the pan to seal the squash so it can steam inside the squash
  5. 5 After 15 minutes, turn squash cut side up and fill both depressions with remaining ingredients
  6. 6. Return to oven and cook until squash is soft (and bacon is well cooked)
Notes
  1. Experiment with other fillings and smaller winter squash varieties.
Adapted from tradtional
Adapted from tradtional
Family Meals Project http://familymealsproject.com/

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