Even though butternut squash is most closely associated with crisp, cool weather and cozy dishes (like this hearty lamb stew, for starters), it's actually available all year round.
"Despite what the name might suggest," writes former Food52 editor Lindsay-Jean Hard, "winter squash doesn't grow in the winter. The name actually refers to the fact that most varieties can be stored and used throughout the winter." All to say, it lasts a very long time. How long, exactly? Well, that depends on where (and how) you keep it.
Here are three easy-peasy ways—yep, there's more than one—to store butternut squash:
If you don't need to use your butternut squash right away, you'll want store it raw and whole (don't peel it!) in a cool, dark place; on the counter works, too. It can last for one to three months this way, so don't worry about it going bad if you decide to stock up way ahead of time.
There are a few different routes you can take if you decide to store your butternut squash in the fridge:
Peel and cube the butternut squash, then store it uncooked in an airtight food storage container in the fridge, where it will keep for about three to five days.
If you've got meal prep on your mind, an easy option for having a bit of butternut squash always at the ready—for grain bowls, pastas, you name it—is to roast up a batch of cubed butternut squash and store it in the fridge. (Psst: Here's our go-to method for roasting butternut squash, plus a few tasty ideas for using it throughout the week.)
3. Make it last (& last) in the freezer
For a taste of fall flavors during the summer months (or any time, really), you can also freeze your butternut squash. There are two ways you can do this:
Peel the butternut squash and cut into one-inch cubes, then spread out the cubes (try not to let them touch) on a sheet pan and freeze them all the way through. Once they're frozen, transfer them to an airtight food storage container or zip-top bag and toss 'em back in the freezer—this way, they won't stick together.
The best way to freeze cooked butternut squash is to puree it first. Whip up the recipe below, let it cool, then simply freeze it (you can use an ice cube tray or ice cream scooper to portion it out) for three to six months. One thing to note: Before reheating the butternut squash puree, let it thaw first in the fridge.
What's your go-to method for storing butternut squash? Tell us in the comments!
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Erin Alexander is the Associate Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.