Winter Squash: Recipes and Tips
How to buy, store, and cook nutritious winter squash.
How to Buy, Store, and Cook Winter Squash continued...
When storing winter squash:
- You can keep cut pieces in plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to 5
- If uncut, you can keep winter squash in a cool, dark, well-ventilated
location for 30-180 days.
- If it's cooked and pureed, you can freeze squash for up to 3 months.
When preparing winter squash:
- For cutting tougher skinned varieties, you might need to use a cleaver or
hefty chef's knife.
- Your best cooking methods are steaming, baking, or microwaving.
- For most types, it's easiest to cut them in half, remove the seeds with a
large spoon, and bake the halves, flesh-side down, on a rimmed baking sheet
coated lightly with canola oil or canola cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees
until tender (30 to 40 minutes for most).
- Be sure to cook until the flesh is tender, whichever preparation method you
Winter Squash Recipes
Here are three recipes to help you celebrate winter squash: a pasta entrée,
a spicy soup, and a risotto.
Butternut Squash Risotto
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 1/2 cups "hearty
stew" OR 1 "frozen dinner light, pasta or rice dish" + 1/2 cup
vegetables without added fat
5 cups butternut squash cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1, 2-pound butternut
squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
6 cups chicken broth (lower sodium if available)
2 cups leeks (white and pale green parts), rinsed very well and thinly
2 cups medium-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup whole milk or fat-free half-and-half
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (more for garnish optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage (available in most produce sections)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a jellyroll pan with foil. Add the
squash cubes and 1 tablespoon olive oil to medium bowl; toss well to coat the
cubes. Spread them onto the prepared pan and bake until tender and lightly
golden (about 40 minutes), stirring after 20 minutes.
- While squash is baking, add the chicken broth to a medium saucepan and
bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cover to keep warm until
- Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy saucepan over
medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté, stirring often, until soft and lightly
brown (about 5 minutes). Add the dry rice and stir frequently for a minute.
Pour in the wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until wine is absorbed (1 to
2 minutes). Reduce heat to LOW and add a cup of hot stock and simmer, stirring
frequently, until absorbed (3-5 minutes). Add remaining stock, a cup at a time,
each time allowing stock to be absorbed before adding more. Stir each time you
add stock. Right about the time you've added the 6 cups of stock, the rice
should just be tender and the mixture should look a little creamy.
- Gently stir in the roasted squash cubes, the milk, Parmesan cheese and
fresh sage and cook about a minute or two, just until everything is heated
through. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired and serve each bowl with a
sprinkling of shredded Parmesan cheese if desired.