How to Freeze Butternut Squash
Just follow our method outlined below to freeze butternut squash in the best way:
- Prepare Your Squash
To prepare for freezing, you first need to take your butternut squash and remove the skin. It’s not pleasant to eat and even after a long roast it will still be tough. Use a sharp knife to carefully peel away the tough outer skin then chop your butternut squash into equal-sized chunks.
- Blanch It
Next, you need to parboil your butternut squash chunks in salted boiling water for around 5 minutes until the edges are fork soft. You’re not looking to cook the butternut squash through. Place your butternut squash into ice-cold water to stop the cooking and to bring their temperature right down. Drain from the ice-cold water then pat dry with paper towels.
- Flash Freeze
Tip your butternut squash onto a baking tray and ensure no chunks are touching one another. Cover the tray in foil or cling film and then place in the freezer overnight.
- Flash Freeze
Once frozen, remove the tray from the freezer then tip your frozen chunks into a freezer bag or airtight container and place back into the freezer.
Make sure to label and date your container prior to placing in the freezer.
It’s also worth noting that this method will work for all varieties of squash and will also work for different sizes. You can cut the squash into small cubes, large chunks or even slices.
How to Freeze Butternut Squash Dishes
Freezing blanched butternut squash on its own is all well and good, but often, you’ll want dishes that are ready to use straight from the freezer. That’s why we’ve outlined how you can freeze cooked butternut squash in a couple of dishes below:
How to Freeze Roasted Butternut Squash
One of the most popular ways to cook butternut squash is to roast it with other vegetables and herbs. You can try a range of vegetable mixes but we would recommend trying carrot, squash, leeks, onion and celeriac.
- Prep Veggies
Cut all your vegetables up into roughly the same size.
Place your vegetables into a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and then add herbs and seasoning. Roast in an oven at around 200c for 30 to 40 minutes until everything is cooked through and beginning to char.
Allow it all to cool
- Bag Up
Once cooled, add portions to bags. You want to place a portion in each bag. This will allow you to grab a portion as and when you need it and also means you don’t need to flash freeze.
Finally, place it in the freezer. To prevent it all clumping together you can shake the bag after 30 minutes.
How to Freeze Butternut Squash Puree
Freezing puree is really simple. Once you’ve made and cooled the puree using your favourite recipe, spoon it into an ice cube tray. Wrap the tray in cling film and freeze. When the cubes are frozen solid, remove them from the tray and place them in a bag back in the freezer.
When you need some puree, just grab a cube or two and melt it over a low heat. You might want to add a knob of butter to make it silky and shiny.
4 Tips for Freezing Butternut Squash
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 4 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing squash to have the best results:
- Blanch It – It’s annoying and it’s time-consuming, but blanching your squash can really help it to maintain its texture and flavour. It’s well worth taking the extra time to blanch it. You’ll notice the difference.
- Flash Freeze – Like blanching, flash-freezing is also time-consuming but it will also make it far easier to defrost the amount you need. If you don’t flash freeze your squash then you’ll find it clumps together and you won’t be able to defrost a portion at a time.
- Try Mixing Vegetables – You can create instant veggie mixes which can then be used as ready-to-go side dishes. Try roasting squash, onion, celeriac, carrots and parsnips together before freezing.
- Try Other Squash Varieties – The methods outlined above aren’t limited to butternut squash. You can use a huge variety of squash depending on the season. Onion and spaghetti squash varieties are particularly delicious.
How Long Can You Freeze Butternut Squash?
Thankfully, butternut squash can be frozen for a long time. For optimal results for use in cooking, store your frozen butternut squash for up to nine months in the freezer. It is important to label your container prior to placing in the freezer so it stays at its best before being used for cooking.
You Can Freeze Butternut Squash for up to 9 Months
How Do You Defrost Butternut Squash?
The good news is that for sliced or chunked butternut squash, it can be cooked for several minutes from frozen.
Like many frozen vegetables, butternut squash can be cooked for several minutes in boiling water or in a steamer. However, this can result in limp and soggy butternut squash.
Alternatively, it can be tossed in oil and seasoning, and roasted for around 30 minutes for the ultimate side dish. Frozen butternut squash can be cooked directly in stock to be prepared for soups and stews.
Can You Refreeze Butternut Squash?
Although it is safe to do in most instances, we would still avoid refreezing butternut squash if it can be helped. When you refreezing any food, you risk completely ruining the texture. You’ll also find that the flavour degrades far quicker.
Instead, flash freeze your butternut squash as outlined above so you can easily defrost the quantity of squash you need as and when.
Does Butternut Squash Freeze Well?
Whether best fresh or frozen depends on how it will be prepared. Frozen butternut squash holds a different texture to fresh, so for recipes where texture matters, fresh is best. However for soups, stews and purees, frozen works just fine, too.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing butternut squash or squashes in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Butternut Squash Whole?
Yes, but why would you want to. You will want to do as much preparation before freezing so that it is more convenient for you when you come to thawing and cooking it. You may want to freeze it in halves but you’ll still want to peel it and scoop the seeds out.
What About Other Squash Varieties?
We’ve focussed on butternut squash on this page but that doesn’t mean you can’t use these methods for freezing other varieties of squash.
Butternut squash is the most common and most readily available variety – that’s why we’ve focussed on it – but other squashes will freeze just as well.