If you’re wondering whether or not butternut squash can be frozen, you’re in luck, because it can, and it actually freezes very well.
Butternut squash can be frozen either raw or cooked, and this means you can keep it for longer and reduce your food waste.
You can either freeze it in chunks, which is perfect for roasting and adding to salads and stews or puree it and freeze it to later whiz up into a soup or a pie filling.
The options are pretty much endless, and if you want to learn how to freeze butternut squash and the numerous ways you can do this, then keep reading…
How to freeze butternut squash
Method 1: Freeze Raw
If you’re freezing your butternut squash raw, you can cut the squash up into your desired sized chunks, and then place them on a baking tray, spaced out so the pieces don’t touch. This works well with store-bought pre-chopped chunks as it saves you even more time when freezing.
Place the tray of butternut squash into the freezer and freeze until the pieces are very firm. After this you can transfer them to a freezer container, leaving room for expansion. Then you’re good to go: simply freeze until you need them. In case you’re wondering, you can freeze a full squash, but this is going to take up a whole lot of freezer space, and it’ll take a long time to thaw.
Method 2: Blanch Before Freezing
Blanching is a process that involves scalding the vegetable and then removing them from the boiling water for a brief interval before plunging them in freezing water, and some experts believe this is the best way to prepare butternut squash for freezing.
Cut your squash into pieces and then boil them for 3-5 minutes, before plunging the pieces into ice water to flash-cool. You can then drain and freeze in the same way as above. This process is supposed to help the squash maintain better texture and flavor.
Method 3: Cook Before Freezing
Cut the butternut squash into two and scoop out the seeds. Then place the halves cut-side down in a baking tray and pour in ½ inch of water.
Place the baking tray in a 400 F oven until the flesh is soft and the peel has a few brown spots. It can take quite a while - usually between forty minutes to one hour.
You’ll then need to let the squash cool for 10 minutes before scooping out the cooked flesh.
You can freeze the cooked squash like this, but it's better to puree it first or mash it with a potato masher. This will save you time when it comes to using the squash at a later date.
Finally, pour the pureed squash into freezer bags or containers and place them into the freezer. It’s a good idea to measure how much squash you're freezing and label the amount, as this will make it easier to use in certain recipes. Pureed squash is great for pies, soups, and muffins.
How to defrost butternut squash
The good news is that frozen butternut squash is super simple to defrost. Simply remove your squash from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator until completely thawed.
If you’re adding your squash straight into a recipe, a quicker option is to simply run the freezer bag under running water until thawed, or, in some cases, you can cook the squash from frozen - for example, if you’re adding chunks of it to a risotto.Use the thawed squash within 2-3 days and do not refreeze it.
Things to consider before freezing butternut squash
What Can I Use It For?
Before you freeze your butternut squash, it’s a good idea to first consider how you intend to use it, as this will make it easier to cook later on.
For example, if you want to use your frozen squash in a soup, it’s best to cook it and then puree it once it’s cooled as this will mean you can simply thaw the frozen pureed squash and add it straight to your soup.
Similarly, if you’ll be using chunks of squash in a recipe you can just add these straight from the freezer, but if you want to add them to a salad it’s probably best to cook them before freezing and then thaw them in the refrigerator before eating or adding to a dish.
How Long Can I Freeze It For?
You can freeze butternut squash for a long time, but to keep it tasting its best, use it within nine months of freezing.
Always label your container before freezing so you know exactly when you froze it, and the best before date prior to freezing.
Can I Do This To Other Types Of Squashes?While this article has focused on butternut squash, you can use this method of freezing with all types of squashes.
Butternut squash is probably the most popular type, but other varieties of squash freeze just as well and also make delicious soups, pies, and stews.
Butternut squash is the perfect winter ingredient and makes wholesome soups, pies, and stews.
However, while it’s a winter squash, freezing it means you can use it year-round, and it’s also a great way of minimizing your food waste and shortening your meal prep time.
The great thing about butternut squash is not just the myriad of ways it can be used, but the variety of methods for cooking and freezing it, too.
It can be frozen both raw and cooked, can be cooked frozen in some instances, and can even be pureed before freezing to later be made into soup or pie filling.
Freezing your butternut squash means you can enjoy it for longer, which is a bonus for those who live alone and can’t manage a whole squash in one sitting!
While you can freeze a whole squash, you can also save on freezer space by pureeing or chopping your squash into chunks before freezing in freezer bags or containers.