Q. I’m planning on cooking some dishes that call for butternut squash, but I’m not sure if I’ll use it all. Can you freeze butternut squash?
A. Yes, all squash can be frozen, including butternut. Butternut squash is often inexpensive and abundant in the autumn months, and it can be worthwhile to stock up on it and freeze some to use throughout the winter. Butternut squash can be frozen in pieces, pureed, or in recipes. While you can freeze a whole squash, it takes up a lot of freezer space and takes a long time to thaw, so it’s not recommended.
How to Freeze butternut squash?
To freeze raw butternut squash, cut the squash into cubes, either peeled or with the skin still on. Place the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes, or until pieces have started to harden. This will prevent the cubes from sticking together and forming a large clump once frozen. Once the pieces are a bit hard, place them in freezer bags, squeezing as much air out of the bags as possible. Label and date the bags, and store stacked in the freezer.
To freeze cooked butternut squash, roast or boil squash as desired. Let the squash cool completely, and then cut it into cubes. Place the cubes on a baking sheet in the freezer for about 20 minutes, or until the cubes have started to harden. Place the cooked cubes in freezer bags, remove the air, then label and date. Be sure to note that the cubes are cooked, and can be added directly to recipes once thawed.
To freeze pureed butternut squash, boil squash until soft, then let cool. Remove flesh from the skin of the squash, and puree until smooth in a blender, food processor, or using a stick blender. Scoop desired amount of puree into each freezer bag. Remove the air by smoothing the puree until the bag lays flat. Seal, then label and date the puree. Store stacked in the freezer.
To thaw frozen butternut squash, remove from the freezer and place in the refrigerator until thawed completely. If using in recipes, frozen butternut squash can be added directly to the recipe or quickly thawed in the freezer bag under running water. Thawed butternut squash should be used within 2-3 days of being thawed. Do not refreeze butternut squash that has been previously frozen.