Nothing Says Fall Like Pureed Squash!

It’s squash season! Who else can smell the pumpkin pies and roasted butternut waiting to be made?

A rustic pumpkin soup perfect for the fall -

If you have a garden, or just really love autumn and winter produce and want to take full advantage of its availability, you may be wondering about some of the best ways to use and store it for the long haul.

Although we primarily think of pumpkin, you can absolutely puree any of your favorite varieties!

In the summer, we love making our parsnip and beet puree with coconut milk. It has a fun and tropical flavor that perfectly pairs with grilled meats.

But you have an entirely new lineup of seasonal produce in the fall and winter!

Winter squash can find its way into almost any type of dish, from breakfast to dinner to dessert, and ups the nutrient quotient significantly.

For your picky eaters, it will only add a little sweetness that they’ll likely love, and you can rest assured they’re getting their daily dose of beta carotene. They’re also chock full of dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and all kinds of other good stuff.

Although most people think they are a vegetable, they’re actually considered a fruit!

Pureeing Basics

There are two basic methods for pureeing squash: baking or boiling.

Some people prefer the taste of baked for the deeper flavor. If you choose to boil, you’ll get a more mild flavor, which can be useful for dessert recipes that call for it. Boiling is a slightly quicker method than baking.

To bake and puree, you’ll need:

• 1 squash of choice
• Water
Large, rimmed baking sheet

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the squash in half, long ways. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and membranes and discard.

Place the fruit, flesh side down, in the rimmed baking sheet. Pour about a cup of water into the baking sheet, just enough to make a thin, even sheet of water.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until it’s tender. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

To boil and puree, you’ll need:

• 1 squash of choice
• Water
• Large pot

Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the squash in half long ways. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and membranes and discard. Peel and cube it into evenly sized pieces, about 1 inch by 1 inch.

Fill the large pot about halfway with water and bring to a boil. Lightly salt the water if desired.

Add the cubed squash to the water and boil for 10-15 minutes, until it’s fork tender. Drain and add to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Pumpkin puree|
Pureed Pumpkin

If you want to store large batches, I recommend canning or freezing. For canning guides, check out Foodal’s How to Start Canning Your Own Foods at Home and Water Bath Canning Made Easy.

To freeze, you can spoon the fruit into freezer-safe plastic bags or storage containers.

My favorite way to freeze and store these, as well as foods like soups and stocks, is to use a vacuum food sealer. This method protects a little better against freezer burn and the bags take up less of the precious little space in my freezer!

Varieties of Squash

You can really puree and store nearly any variety of squash, although I wouldn’t recommend spaghetti, as it has a much different texture than other varieties.

A stand-alone puree with a little seasoning, be it savory or sweet, makes a great side dish, or it can be added to some of your favorite dishes.

Pumpkin takes the award for fall favorite and it’s one of the few you’ll find available canned and ready to go at the grocery store. However, fresh pumpkin has much more flavor than the grocery store variety!

Try making it at home and you won’t go back. Although most of us often just think of pumpkin pie, try using it in soups or curries for something a little different. In fact, check out Lynne’s pumpkin soup recipe.

Butternut is another very popular variety. It has a similar flavor to pumpkin, although a little lighter. Butternut puree is a great side dish on its own, but it’s also popularly used in soups and dishes like risotto, pasta, and even baked goods.

One of the most fun recipes I’ve seen is macaroni and cheese lightened up with butternut! Check out my take on it.

Butternut Squash Soup |
Pureed Butternut Soup

Like butternut and pumpkin, pureed acorn squash also makes a wonderful side dish. Just add a little butter and nutmeg for a simple, flavorful accompaniment to your main course. It also does very well in soups.

For something a little different, try acorn lasagna with plenty of ricotta cheese and sage. It makes a perfect complete meal for meatless Monday!

Acorn Squash -
Acorn Squash

Blue hubbard is a wonderful fall fruit that doesn’t see as much of the limelight as the other varieties. Although you can use it in any of the savory dish ideas I’ve already listed, the blue hubbard is great in sweet dishes too.

This Thanksgiving, try making blue hubbard custard pie to add to the dessert table. You might find that it’s as popular as the classic pumpkin!

Buttercup is yet another wonderful varietal for pureeing and storing. You can use it in a simple soup, but it also works well in baked goods. Try pairing it with apples to make filling and nutritious breakfast muffins.

Whole and Sliced Butternut Squash | Foodal/com
Whole and Sliced Butternut Squash

This season, give some new squash varieties a try, whether that means planting new things in your garden or grabbing something a little different from your farmers market.

You can find excellent recipes to put nearly any squash to use! When you find one that you really love, stock up so you can puree and store and enjoy that fruit all year long.

What’s your favorite way to use pureed winter squash? Let us know in the comments!

Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

About Chelsea Miller

Chelsea Miller, born and raised in Portland, Oregon, graduated from the University of Oregon where she discovered both her love of football and cooking great food. She's the founder of the food blog "A Duck's Oven" and began writing for Foodal in 2014.

26 thoughts on “Nothing Says Fall Like Pureed Squash!”

  1. I really enjoy growing and eating squash, under the right conditions squash can grow into MASSIVE proportions! Therefore, multiple squash recipes are very welcome! I will definitely try the pureed soup sometime 😀

    Some tips for choosing squash: make sure that there are no browning, or softness in the squash, as that would indicate that they are going bad. The best way to get fresh squash is to grow them yourself!

  2. I don’t get squash that often but when I do it’s usually for roasting or making soup. My favourite is to blend together squash, carrot, sweet potato and coriander into a soup – it really is heavenly 🙂

  3. When added to a pot of chicken soup such as what’s often done in my household, squash is absolutely fantastic and delectable and enriches the final product. I like squash boiled on its own as well and eating it with spinach or dumplings. It tastes so good. I’m also interested in some of the ideas from this article too and I have to say that first picture looks really good.

  4. I absolutely love eating butternut squash and pumpkin soup in the fall. I’ve never pureed it myself but I’m going to give it a try! It would be nice to save a little money that way.

  5. Great post! I love squash dishes. I’m really fond of my mom’s squash soup – pureed squash and pumpkin, spaghetti, dumplings and chicken pieces. One dish I love making and definitely eating is curry squash lentils. I puree both the squash and lentils and put it over rice or in a bowl to be scooped up with chapatis. So yummy!

  6. Wow this is the ultimate seasonal pleasure. There is nothing like like a warm, velvety soup on a cold, autumn day. And now on the market the offer is so varied and at really good prices!

    For me it marries perfectly with cumin and coriander in a soup, and when oven baked I always think of my grandma’s recipe with brown sugar and cinnamon on top: Irresistible, specially for children. My 3 little ones just go mad for it. And it’s a low calories and low cost dessert , win-win 🙂

  7. First of all I’d like to say that the photography you’ve used is gorgeous!

    I make soups and stews using squash from the moment it’s in season, but as I was looking at your post I realized that I don’t puree it and I’m not sure why? It’s certainly simple enough as your directions describe. The only reason I can come up with is that I’m the only one that likes it and I don’t often go that extra distance for myself… That being said, I do believe you have inspired me to spoil myself a bit!

    Thank you so much!

    • This is exactly what i always say, the presentations and the pictures within this blog are amazing and awesome!…it always make me want to get off my lazy bone and head to the kitchen right away and start implementation of the recipes within…so i second you absolutely in regard to that comment 🙂

  8. What have i been doing?…i have lots of pumpkin in the house and i never let my mind wonder off a bit into creativity…so am pretty thankful to stumble across this article on making squash…plus from the way i see it, its quite easy to make, maybe i’ll scratch my head a bit when thinking of what to accompany it with because making lasagna might be quite a handful 🙂

  9. The photographs on this blog are a veritable feast for the eyes, let me tell you. Just beautiful.

    To the best of my recollection, I don’t think I’ve eaten any pureed squash yet. If I have eaten any, it would have had to have been a long time ago for me not to remember.

    I like my squash cut in pieces, boiled, and then drizzled with a bit of oil, with a little bit of salt and pepper. Delicious.
    Pureed squash sounds like it will taste fantastic.

  10. I can’t remember the last time I ate squash if ever. But this seems like something to try this autumn season. And as I just read it seems very simple to put together. I’m definitely going to try that pureed squash it looks tasty.

  11. Those look absolutely delicious, and they’re healthy too. I love eating squash. I’ve even been told they’re good for your eyes. Now I have whole new recipes to try and enjoy.

    I like to eat acorn squash with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of sugar. I heat it up and turn into a warm dessert. I think I could eat an entire course made of squash from the appetizer to the main dish. That’s how much I love it.

  12. Oh, my! Oh, my! I love squash. Squash is normally a main ingredient in a local dish called “Utan Bisaya!” (No direct translation; but generally just Vegetable Soup made of ‘malunggay’ (Moringa oleifera), Okra, String beans, Eggplant, etc.) Every time this dish is served at home I often wish for a dish purely made of squash as I don’t eat the other vegetables!

    The suggestions here are like heaven sent!

  13. The biggest thing I miss (other than Halloween) in autumn is squash. I love to dabble in the many different varieties & I love that you mentioned a few. Puree is reminiscent of my grandmother because that’s exactly how she would make it. Just a tad lumpy for texture.

  14. I have to admit, I haven’t had very much squash in my life (aside from pumpkin). This needs to change when they’re back in season. I know I’ve had butternut squash soup and it was delicious, but there were a couple of squash varieties listed that I wasn’t aware of before. Will have to look into those further if possible.

  15. This looks so good and it’s easy. It is such a healthy meal that doesn’t cost that much either. The best part is that a big bowl of this is very filling. You will stay full for a long time after this one. A little pink himalayan salt has the most amount of minerals instead of a regular table salt. Not much of anything in that and pink salt you use less. Maybe some nutritional yeast. I am going to be curious to see how it tastes plain though. When you first slice this up the smell is really strong so it is probably it doesn’t need much.

  16. Squash is a favorite of mine. I would never have thought that Blue Hubbard would be good in sweets, but now I’m curious to try it. I’ve used most of the other types, but although I’ve eaten this particular variety, I have never made one or cooked with it. I love your idea of a Blue Hubbard Custard Pie, and will have to find a recipe for it!

  17. I’ve had tons of squash in my days, but never pureed or in a soup! How well would acorn squash work, I wonder? I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to try this out, it is SO versatile.

  18. In the past, I have only eaten squash breaded and fried, in restaurants. Although I was raised in the country, where it grew in abundance, I just never had much interest in any variety of it, except pumpkin. This year, my son made some squash dishes and convinced me to try it. Now I’m hooked on the many different types! I was thinking about growing some next year, but I didn’t know how to preserve it. This article helped a lot!

  19. Thank you for this article–pumpkin season is the best!

    If anyone has a pressure cooker, it makes the cooking of any squash for puree a snap.

    My favorite storage option: Using a silicone muffin pan, fill each area with 1/2 cup puree. After freezing, store your pre-made portions in a gallon freezer bag. This makes it SO easy to add to soups, desserts and all of those yummy fall dishes.

    I think I am going to have to try that pumpkin soup tonight! Thanks!

  20. We eat a lot of butternut. It makes the most delicious winter soups and stews. I love it with chili powder sprinkled on top. There is no food like squash to accompany your vegetables and meat during the winter months. It is so healthy, tasty and filling. My family love it and they will love your recipe ideas.

  21. I can’t say enough about squash, I love this beautiful fruit (now that I know it’s a fruit and not a veg). I grew up eating pumpkin or buttercup squash as a dessert. My parents baked it then added a little honey and cinnamon or some brown sugar. At times, we put nothing on it and still it was heavenly.

    Naturally, when I had children I incorporated squash into their diets as soon as possible. Making soups, muffins or just as a side.

    I must try the acorn lasagna for a meatless Monday. Don’t know how my husband will like it (he’s a meat and potato guy), but I am always trying to expand his palette.

  22. I am a farmer and I grow my own food. I grow vegetables, fruits, and food crop. Pumpkin, squash, cauliflower, tomato,potato, cabbage, broccoli are some of the vegetables I grow. I don’t grow all kinds of vegetables through out the year, however, I grow pumpkin and squash for all season. Usually we don’t make soup from pumpkin and squash, we cook it as a curry instead.

  23. I’m not a fan of any fibrous vegetables, but particularly pumpkin and squash – definitely not. I can just about manage a butternut squash soup, but only in small doses and it needs to be heavily spiced.

  24. This stuff is the best! I like getting the squash soup from Panera, and I would love to make it at home. Butternut squash ravioli is delicious (especially with a spoonful of pesto and a sprinkle of chipotle chili powder). The one problem I have is that cooking squash makes me nervous because it seems that you have to take a big knife and chop this big, hard gourd into bits, which seems like a lot of work. Are there any easy squash-cooking secrets that you guys could share?


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