Simply Roasted Buttercup Squash

I went into the way-back machine to grab this oldie-but-goody post from 2011. I am still a huge fan of buttercup squash. Give this delightful squash a try ASAP!

I like to call of myself an adventurous eater but, I am embarrassed to say, I have not ventured very far into the colorful world of squash. Throughout the upcoming chilly months, I have assigned myself a fun little challenge – try all of those bumpy, warty, unusual looking squash that I have shied away from in the past. I already know I enjoy pumpkin, butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash. Now thanks to my challenge I have a new favorite, buttercup squash.

Buttercup Squash

You can identify a buttercup squash by its dark green skin, squatty-squarish shape, and the funny, inset, domed belly-button on the base. According to Wikipedia, “buttercup squash can be roasted, baked, and mashed into soups, among a variety of filler uses, much like pumpkin. It is extremely popular, especially as a soup, in Brazil and Africa.”

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I picked up this little warty gem at a great farmer’s market in Richland, Washington. The seller had a whole variety of squash – I wanted to try them all! – but, managed to narrow it down to one. The reason I went for the buttercup squash was simple, there were a group of us standing there wondering what to do with this fantastic looking produce and the seller pointed to the buttercup and told us it was her favorite. She gave a brief description of how she cooks them then, all four of us, reached in and grabbed her remaining squash!

Buttercup Squash

 Review: Buttercup squash is AMAZING!!!! Buttery with a mild nutty flavor. It couldn’t be easier to prepare. Even the skeptics at the table agreed this was a great side dish. The meat is starchy and filling like whipped potatoes without needing any cream or extra butter. Buttercup’s smooth texture and pleasant flavor would make it a great option for both savory and sweet applications. I could see using buttercup squash in place of pumpkin to make a pie but, just as easily, topping with some sour cream and onions like a baked potato. In short, TRY THIS SQUASH!

How to Roast Buttercup Squash

A simple way to cook buttercup squash:

At the farmers market, the woman I spoke with said she likes to top her buttercup squash with butter and brown sugar before she bakes it. I was looking for a more savory flavor, so, I prepared mine with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

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Our squash was approximately 3 pounds, more than enough to fed four people. I have been thinking longingly about this squash for the last couple of days. It will certainly be on my dinner table again very soon.

  1. Rinse & dry the outside, stab it with a fork a few times, then pop the whole squash into the microwave for 5 minutes- This softens the skin and makes it easier to cut.
  2. Cut it in half horizontally and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits.
  3. Place both halves in a baking dish with about 3/4 of an inch of water in the bottom. Drizzle squash with some olive oil, about a tablespoon for each half and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake at 375 until the meat is soft enough to cut with a butter knife – around 45 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the size.

Once the squash was cooked through I let it cool just a few minutes before scooping all the meat from the rind into a serving bowl. It was so creamy all it needed was a brief stir to smooth out the texture before it was ready to eat.

Now it’s your turn! Give buttercup squash a try and, when you do, let me know what you think!


  1. I am in my late 50’s and grew up eating buttercup squash. I didn’t know that butternut was so similar until into my 40’s. I make a delicious soup with either one. People absolutely go nuts over it. You can also use the soup as a pasta sauce. It is delicious with stuffed manicotti.

  2. Roast at 425 for 35 minutes then stuff with chopped celery, red onion, and walnuts cook additional 15 minutes. Serve with sweet potatoe biscuits topped with agave syrup. Vegan Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Rose, thanks for featuring squash. We have been stuck on delicata and spaghetti. We were inspired to try this one and it was delish. I thought I'd give it a headstart by pre-cooking in the microwave for ten minutes whole. Well, it was perfectly cooked and ready to eat with salt and pepper. Your good work is putting a local spin on seasonal cooking. Cheryl.

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