Learn how to make butternut squash puree that can be used in recipes, eaten alone, or served as a healthy first food for babies!
Today’s recipe couldn’t be easier.
We’re going to roast a butternut squash in the oven, throw it in the food processor, and come out with a creamy puree that can be used in recipes, as a filling, or eaten alone and served to baby as a first food.
There are two ways to roast a butternut squash. You can cut it in half and remove the seeds, then place on a baking sheet in a 375ºF oven for 45 minutes. Once it’s soft, scoop out the flesh into your food processor.
My favorite way to do it is to first peel and remove the seeds, then cut into small cubes. Toss that with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roast until soft and beginning to caramelize and turn brown.
How do you cut a butternut squash?
I use a large, sharp chef’s knife (<— affiliate link in case that’s a new term for you!). Lay the squash down on a cutting board and insert the tip of the knife into the center of the squash, cutting toward the bottom.
If your squash isn’t too large, you should be able to cut down at least half way. You might be able to cut all the way through, if not, turn the squash over and continue the cut from the bottom back to the middle.
Move the tip of your knife back to the middle of the squash and repeat the process toward the stem until the squash is completely cut in half. Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon and discard.
Another option would be to first remove the peel of the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler or by cutting off the top and bottom of the squash to create a flat surface and then cutting the peel off from top to bottom.
If your squash is particularly bulbous, you can cut it in half just above the bulb to make peeling and cutting easier.
Once your squash is peeled, cut the squash into ¼ or ½ inch disks. Cut each disk into cubes, trying to keep them all roughly the same size, removing seeds as necessary.
How do you cook butternut squash in the oven?
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place butternut squash cubes on a large, rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, rubbing to coat them completely. Just use a light coating of oil, too much will make the squash soggy.
Sprinkle the squash with coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast until soft and beginning to caramelize and brown, about 55 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes or so.
How do you make butternut squash puree?
Allow your cooked squash to cool slightly, then transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, adding a little water at a time to create your desired consistency.
How do I make butternut squash into baby food?
If making this butternut squash puree for baby food, omit the salt and pepper. When it comes time to process, add plenty of water to create a smooth, almost runny consistency.
As you can see I made my puree quite thick, but a little more water and time in the food processor will get you whatever consistency you’d like.
Alternatively, if you’re following baby led weaning, you could cut the squash into long strips and roast until soft, giving the baby the strips to chew on as they’re able.
This butternut squash puree can be easily customized! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Before roasting, season the butternut squash with chili powder, cinnamon, or dried sage
- Add to the food processor with the squash a few spoonfuls of sambal oelek, fresh sage, or cooked spinach for different flavor profiles
- If making a puree for a more experienced baby, consider adding spinach, kale, cooked beets, broccoli, or white beans to the food processor
I recommend using this butternut squash puree in my black bean and butternut squash vegetarian quesadillas, butternut squash snack cake, or vegetarian chipotle enchiladas with black beans and butternut squash. Roasting the squash is also the basis for my butternut squash and kale pizza, butternut squash and kale risotto, and butternut squash and sage pesto.
Butternut Squash Puree
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into ½ inch cubes
- Olive oil
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Arrange the squash cubes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and rub to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast 55 minutes or until the squash is lightly browned and caramelized, stirring every 20 minutes or so.
- Allow the squash to cool slightly, then transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, streaming in a little water at a time until the desired consistency is reached.