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This is the perfect time of year to stock up on Winter Squash, but what do you do with them? Cooking Winter Squash can be done easily in your slow cooker! Learn how with these simple tips and get a few new recipes to take advantage of these delicious squash varieties while they’re in season!
Cooking Winter Squash
A few years ago, in the fall, I stocked up on bushels of winter squash. Since we were living in an RV, I didn’t have a garden and I couldn’t grow my own. But I ended up finding a good deal ($18 for 50lbs) so I stocked up! It had been a few years since I’d had this kind of abundance of winter squash in storage. So I set out to figure out the best way to cook it. I need something easy that didn’t take up so much time because let’s face it, no one wants to spend their time cooking winter squash!
Of course, I settled on my answer for just about anything cooking-related… cook it in the slow cooker! It’s so easy and only takes about 5 minutes of prep work. Plus, you can to do this with just about any kind of squash!
–Winter Squash stores very well in cold storage. Learn how to make your own frugal cold storage space.
How to Cook Winter Squash
Cooking winter squash in the slow cooker is super simple. I start by washing the outside of the squash to get any dirt or leftover garden bugs off. Then the hardest part….cutting the squash in half. Use a sharp knife and go slowly, cutting around the entire squash until it pops in half. Then, remove the seeds using a spoon. You might have to scrape to remove everything.
Place the prepared squash into the slow cooker, then pour about a pint of water into the bottom of the crock. (Make sure not to add cold water to a warm crock or you could end up making the mistake I made once – the bottom can easily break right off!)
–Looking for a Slow Cooker? See which one I use and find More of my Favorite Products!
Set your slow cooker on high for 6 hours. You can check on the squash periodically with a fork to see how it’s cooking.
Once your squash is cooked, remove it from the slow cooker. Using hot pads to hold the squash, scoop out the yummy insides!
With Spaghetti Squash, cook as I mentioned above. When the squash is done, instead of scooping out the insides with a spoon, you will want to use a fork to get out all of the noodles.
You can make a simple side or even a main dish with spaghetti squash. Just take a little butter and minced garlic and fry together for a few minutes in a frying pan until the garlic is nice and tender. Toss the butter and garlic in with the cooked spaghetti squash noodles and you’ve got a meal!
–Here are a few more ideas with recipes using Spaghetti Squash.
With smaller winter squashes such as Acorn, Carnival, Delicata, ect, you will simply cook as shown above. Then scoop out the meat with a spoon, and place it in a bowl. For a simple side, add a little butter and let some brown sugar melt into the warm squash. Yum!
When cooking a butternut squash, you can cut them into large chunks so that they cook a little more evenly (instead of just cutting in half). Once these are cooked, unlike the other squashes, they stay in more solid shape, something like a cooked carrot.
Butternut Squash is good to eat in small pieces with some butter on top, added to soups or other dishes, or cut in long slices and baked like a french fry. If you keep imagining them like a cooked carrot, then you will be able to think of even more recipes that you can add them to.
–If you’re still struggling with this one, check out How to Cut Butternut Squash Easily!
It’s fun to have a large variety of squash because there are so many different dishes that you can make with them. I can’t wait to plant all different kinds in my garden again this summer so we can enjoy them next winter!
Looking for some more Winter Squash Recipes? Check these out:
What is your favorite recipe using winter squash? Share in the comments section below!
This post on Cooking Winter Squash was originally published on Little House Living in October 2016. It has been updated as of October 2019.