Delicious, healthy but so big it’s often hard to eat in one go... if you’ve ever wondered how to freeze butternut squash, we’ve got you covered. The good news? It’s easy.
Can you freeze butternut squash?
Most definitely! Butternut squash freezes really well, which makes it a great vegetable to buy in bulk and store for the long run.
When winter squash is in season, I love to buy a few and keep them in the freezer. There are some amazing butternut squash recipes (see below) and I like to have a big supply on hand throughout the year.
There are actually a few different methods when it comes to freezing squash. Let’s take a look at each of them and answer a few general questions around the whole process.
Can you freeze squash without cooking it?
Yes, you can certainly freeze it without cooking it. In fact, freezing uncooked butternut squash is the easiest way and doesn’t affect the safety.
However, it’s best to blanch the squash before freezing it. Blanching means cooking it very quickly in boiling water, then plunging into ice water immediately after.
What does blanching do?
Blanching your squash before you freeze it stops the growth of enzymes that affect the flavor of frozen squash. It's not for safety, but rather to preserve the taste, texture, color and nutrients of the squash.
Its lifespan still remains the same, whether you blanch it or not. Make sure you eat the squash within 4 to 6 months – the taste and texture should be fine.
Still, for best results, blanch those butternuts! For a great example, check out this blanched kale recipe.
Does butternut squash freeze well?
Butternut squash freezes really well! In fact, it’s one of the best vegetables to freeze.
The great thing about freezing squash is that you can freeze it cooked or uncooked. You can even puree it before freezing.
Can you refreeze butternut squash?
When you refreeze squash, the biggest change is to the texture. If you froze your butternut squash in chunks this could be a problem.
However, if you pureed it or made it into a soup, refreezing it shouldn’t be a problem. You might notice it doesn’t taste as good, but there shouldn’t be too much of a change.
Of course, you can remove the need to refreeze by only thawing as much as you need. This is why it’s a good idea to freeze squash in smaller portions.
How do you freeze squash without it being mushy?
The best way to prevent squash from becoming too mushy is to blanch it before freezing.
Can you freeze butternut squash with the skin on?
Yes. But it's best to remove the stem, skin and seeds before freezing it.
How long can you keep frozen squash?
Butternut squash can be frozen for quite a long time. For best results, freeze butternut squash for 4–6 months.
If you need to freeze squash for longer than that, store it in the freezer for no more than 12 months.
Can you freeze whole butternut squash?
Technically you can. It’s not the most convenient method though, so I don’t recommend it.
With a little bit of preparation beforehand, you can save time in the long run and also make the whole freezing process far more convenient.
Can you freeze butternut squash puree?
Butternut squash freezes really well when pureed. It makes the freezing process more straightforward and also means that the texture isn’t affected once thawed.
Can you freeze butternut squash noodles?
Yes, you can freeze butternut squash noodles. It’s best to freeze them before cooking.
To freeze squash noodles, place them in a plastic bag after spiralizing it and store it in the freezer.
Can you freeze butternut squash soup?
Butternut soup freezes really well. Simply place the soup in an airtight container. Make sure to leave a space at the top of the container, as the soup will expand when frozen.
Can you freeze other types of squash?
Absolutely. While butternut squash is the most popular type, you can use the methods in this guide to freeze any type of squash, including pumpkins, honeynut squash and banana squash.
How do you defrost butternut squash?
The best way is to just throw it in frozen! If you’re cooking a stew or casserole, for example, you can just add the frozen butternut squash cubes into the pot. They will defrost over a few minutes.
You can also boil or steam them for several minutes, although this way they might go slightly soggy. You can also toss your frozen butternut squash chunks in oil and herbs and roast for 30 minutes in the oven at 200ºC/392ºF.
The best way to defrost butternut squash is to transfer it from the freezer to the fridge and leave to thaw overnight.
Tips for freezing butternut squash
Let’s recap a few important tips when it comes to freezing butternut squash:
Blanch the squash before freezing
It might take a bit of effort, but blanching your squash helps to preserve its taste, texture and color. It’s definitely worth the time and effort to blanch before freezing.
Flash freeze the squash
Again, it takes a bit of time and effort, but flash freezing makes the whole process so much easier. It allows you to freeze your squash in smaller portions without it clumping together.
- Sharp knife
- Baking sheet
- Paper towels
- Ice cube tray
- Plastic wrap
- Freezer bags
- Freezer safe airtight container
How to freeze raw butternut squash
- Remove the stem, skin and seeds with a sharp knife.
- Cut the squash in half, then into small bite-sized chunks.
- Blanch your butternut squash chunks by parboiling them in salted boiling water for around 5 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge the butternut squash chunks into ice-cold water. Drain, then pat dry with paper towels.
- Arrange the pieces onto a baking sheet. Make sure none of the chunks are touching. Cover the tray in foil or plastic wrap film and flash freeze the squash in the freezer for 2–3 hours.
- Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and transfer the chunks into a freezer bag or airtight container. Leave a ½ inch gap at the top to allow the squash to expand when frozen.
- Label the freezer bag or container with contents and date of freezing.
How to freeze cooked butternut squash cubes
- Chop up your butternut squash and roast in the oven.
- Allow them to fully cool at room temperature.
- Once cooled, transfer the squash to freezer bags. Put a few cubes into each bag. This means you can use butternut squash in smaller portions, only using as much as you need each time.
- Label the freezer bag or container with contents and date of freezing and place in the freezer. After 30 minutes, give the bag or container a shake to avoid clumping.
How to freeze cooked butternut squash puree
- Blitz the butternut squash in a blender
- Spoon into an ice cube tray.
- Wrap the tray in cling film and place it in the freezer for 2–3 hours.
- When the cubes are frozen, remove them from the tray and transfer them in a freezer bag or freezer safe container.
- Label the freezer bag or container with contents and date of freezing.
Butternut squash recipes
Make the most of your delicious and healthy squash by buying it in bulk, freezing to extend its lifespan and using these great recipes for inspiration:
- Slimming world butternut squash soup – a slimming and delicious soup
- Butternut squash risotto – wonderfully comforting and very easy to make
- Curried butternut squash and apple soup – delicious flavors, with a hint of spice and a subtle spice
- Butternut dauphinoise – creamy, garlicky and utterly delicious
- Butternut and chickpea burger – a fantastic vegan burger