I really love butternut squash — it's sweet and absolutely packed with flavor and fiber. You can roast it, purée it into soups or smoothies, and add it to any kind of casserole under the sun.
Recently I started stocking cubed and frozen butternut squash on hand at all times — just like I do peas and corn. Not just because butternut is a vegetable my kids will eat readily (or because I can use the bag for boo-boos), but because it's just incredibly versatile. Here are five reasons to keep butternut squash within reach at all times.
1. Cubed butternut squash requires zero prep.
No need to thaw frozen butternut squash. You can season it frozen and take it right to the sheet pan. Once roasted, these golden cubes are fodder for salad and grain bowl toppings. They can also be added at the last minute to quick pasta dinners or eaten over oatmeal.
Read more: How To Roast Frozen Butternut Squash
2. It doubles as a smoothie sweetener.
Here's a secret: I often use frozen butternut squash in smoothies, especially those where pumpkin plays well. I've also successfully added it to green smoothies. Like frozen bananas, it adds a sweet creaminess.
3. Butternut squash is instant sauce.
You don't have to "sneak" this vegetable into creamy sauces for pasta — it's in the same class as Alfredo and cheese sauces purely for flavor and color (nutrition not-withstanding). And because cubed butternut squash is already steamed, frozen butternut purées readily.
Get a recipe: Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo
4. You can add it (from frozen!) to grain salads and lunch boxes.
Frozen butternut squash is truly a store-bought meal prep shortcut for everyone. Add it to your grain salads before storing and it will thaw in time for tomorrow's lunch. I've also packed it (seasoned with cinnamon and a little brown sugar) in my kids' lunch boxes, and they gobble it right up.
5. It can play the part of pumpkin.
Need pumpkin purée in a pinch? Frozen butternut squash is here for you. Quickly thaw it and purée or briefly cook it (microwave is totally fine) and purée. Then use it one-to-one as a substitute for pumpkin purée.
Learn more: 3 Substitutes for Canned Pumpkin Purée