Make butternut squash puree at home with this simple recipe! Just scoop the seeds, roast, blend and use in recipes that call for butternut squash puree. It’s also a great first food for babies!
I’m back with another puree recipe! It’s amazing how simple and versatile purees are. I’ve been having fun making them and then adding them to a wide variety of recipes. Before you think this is just baby food… think again! You can mix this puree into pasta, pancakes, oatmeal and more.
Butternut squash is a delicious vegetable (that’s technically a fruit but we won’t get into that!) that works well in both sweet and savory recipes! It’s packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals while also being low in calories. Butternut squash has been linked to decreased disease risk and weight loss. (Source)
You can usually find butternut squash year round but it’s in season in the fall and winter months. Look for a squash that is heavy for its size, has smooth, firm skin without many cuts or bruising. The bigger the base of the squash, the more seeds there will be. Store the whole butternut squash in a cool, dark spot – no need to refrigerate!
There are a few different ways to cook butternut squash when making purees. I usually steam it because it’s one of the faster methods, but baking is also relatively easy and hands-off, it just takes a bit longer!
Bake – Slice the butternut squash in half, lengthwise and remove all of the seeds with a spoon. Place the squash on a baking sheet, cut side down. I like to line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat for easy clean up. Roast at 400ºF for 30-40 minutes or until the skin is a bit wrinkled and you can easily insert a fork without much resistance.
Steam – You can also steam your squash! Start by peeling the squash with a vegetable peeler or knife. After peeling, cut the top and bottom of the squash and then cut the squash in half widthwise and lengthwise so the squash is quartered. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and then chop into cubes. Add about 1 inch of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Place the squash cubes in a steamer basket or metal colander and place in the pot. Cover and steam for about 10 minutes or until the squash is soft.
Microwave – Yes, you can microwave butternut squash! Cut the squash in half and remove any seeds with a spoon. Place the squash cut side up on a microwave safe plate. Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until you can easily insert a fork without much resistance.
Instant Pot – Another super quick way to cook squash. Cut the squash in half (lengthwise) and remove any seeds. Place the wire trivet inside the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water. Arrange the squash halves in a single layer in the Instant Pot (you may need to do this in batches). Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes and then allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure.
Allow the squash to cool until you can hold it without burning yourself. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the squash and discard the skin.
Food processor – Add the cooked squash to your food processor and blend until smooth.
Blender – Add the cooked squash to a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
Immersion blender – Add the cooked squash to a large bowl or pot and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.
Masher – Add the cooked squash to a large bowl or pot and use a potato masher (or fork) to mash the butternut squash. This will result in a chunkier puree and is a great option if you want a little texture. It also works for serving older babies.
tip! If you're serving this puree to a baby, you can thin it out a little by adding a splash of milk (regular or breast milk works great!)
When you start solids with your baby, butternut squash puree is an awesome first food. You can mix it with breast milk to thin it out if needed.
It’s obviously delicious on its own, but can be combined with a variety of other foods for stage 2 eaters and beyond.
Any of these foods can be blended with butternut squash to make unique flavor combos!
Fresh butternut squash baby food should be stored in the fridge and used within 3 days. For longer storage, I recommend freezing the squash puree! I like using silicone ice cube trays and these 4 oz glass storage containers. The ice cube trays are great for younger babies who aren’t eating as much volume because you can defrost one cube at a time. While the 4 oz jars are great for older babies who are eating more than 1 oz at a time.
I recommend thawing frozen squash puree in the fridge the night before you want to use it, but you can also thaw it the day of with a warm water bath. It thaws quickly if you’re defrosting a small amount to serve to a baby.