Butternut squash is one of the best comfort foods, isn’t it? Creamy, a little sweet, rich and delicious. I love butternut squash. But I hate peeling and chopping it. Guess what! It’s easy to cook squash without cutting it up first! The secret is your crock pot. Here’s how to cook butternut squash in a slow cooker with no cutting required!
Cook squash without cutting it
The secret to enjoying squash is knowing how to cook a whole butternut squash at once. It’s so much easier to cut and peel once it’s cooked—no wrestling awkwardly with a knife.
I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to cut up butternut squash. First there’s the struggling with the knife, which as sharp as they can be, still never make it all the way through the squash. Then there’s the way the squash rolls around on the cutting board as you attempt to cut it into chunks. You have to scoop out the squash seeds, which are stringy and messy. Then, if you decide to peel it before cooking, you’re in for even more of a challenge. Watch your fingers! Squashes are hard to hold and tough to deal with.
To be honest, if I'm going to cook a butternut squash, I usually skip the cutting and either roast it whole in the oven, or buy it already cut up from the produce department at the grocery store (not the cheapest way, but certainly the fastest). It’s worth the expense so I can enjoy this delicious and versatile squash which is a staple in so many of my favorite fall and winter recipes. Once cut up, squash is a perfect ingredient…but getting it there is the challenge.
Selecting a Squash
Choosing a butternut squash isn’t too tough. Simply look over the squash and make sure it doesn’t have any bruises or soft spots. The squash should be firm, heavy and free of any dents or blemishes. It shouldn’t appear shiny or waxy looking, and the stem should be dark brown and still intact. The entire squash should have a uniform color with no green streaks or spots (which indicate it wasn’t fully ripened) or brown spots which indicate frostbite.
Selecting a perfect squash is the toughest part. You see, crock pot butternut squash is the simplest recipe in the world. You’ll enjoy a delicious squash that tastes the same as baked butternut or roasted butternut squash without ever needing to heat up the oven.
Squash is in season in September through the winter months. It’s a great source of vitamins and is a healthy whole food. Enjoy butternut squash whether you follow a gluten-free, paleo, vegan or Whole30 diet.
How to Cook Whole Butternut Squash the Easy Way—In the Crock Pot
Are you ready to enjoy delicious, creamy, comforting butternut squash without all the work?
The crock pot method takes easy to a whole new level. I'm not even sure you can call this a recipe since there's just one ingredient and hardly anything to do.
OK, here it is—take a whole butternut squash and put it in the crock pot. Turn it on. Yep, slow cooker butternut squash is that easy.
After 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low in the slow cooker, you’ve got a delicious, ready-to-enjoy roasted butternut squash. The squash will be perfectly cooked and easy to cut into. No wrestling required. The squash seeds scoop right out and it's easy to peel. The flesh can be chopped into cubes or enjoyed as is. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper or drizzle with olive oil, if you like, and it’s ready to eat!
So many people try to “doctor” up this sweet squash by adding apple juice, brown sugar, maple syrup and all sorts of other ingredients, but honestly? Squash doesn’t need any of that to taste sweet, rich and delicious. If you select a ripe squash in good form, it doesn’t need any extras; it’s great on its own!
You can use your crock pot butternut squash for anything from butternut squash soup to baked goods (you can even use it in place of pumpkin). It's also great for a quick breakfast. Simply heat and top with a fried egg.
I like to cook a squash in the slow cooker and store it in the fridge for a quick, hearty side dish. Just slice off or scoop out as much as you need. You can store it in the fridge for several days once it’s cooked.
Can butternut squash be frozen? Absolutely! I like to puree is in the food processor and freeze it in one cup portions. That way I can easily grab and thaw as much squash as I need for a recipe.
So, if you’re ready to enjoy delicious butternut squash all season long, get out your slow cooker. Making crockpot butternut squash is about the easiest recipe out there.
How to cook butternut squash the easy way—without cutting it up first.
- 1 medium butternut squash washed
- Place whole squash in a slow cooker and cook until soft and easily pierced, about 4 - 5 hours on high or 6 - 8 hours on low.
- When cool enough to handle, cut in half and scoop out seeds.
More easy crock pot recipes
Want more easy recipes to make in your slow cooker? Check out these 30 paleo crock pot recipes. You may also like…